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Warlords and Rebels in the Balkans

Macedonia by John Phillips
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The disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s shattered the Balkans, unleashing all the horrors of extreme nationalism. Macedonia seemed to have been spared the bloodletting. In reality, it was only postponed. A fierce rebellion by Albanian guerrillas demanding rights equal to those of the dominant Slavs in Macedonia killed and wounded hundreds of people, many of them innocent civilians, and raised fears that the crisis would suck in surrounding Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece. International intervention spearheaded by British peace-keeping troops brought an uneasy halt to most of the internecine blood-letting in the summer of 2001, but hard-line Macedonian nationalists have hindered full implementation of the peace agreement signed in August that year.Macedonia’s President Boris Trajkovski presided over the introduction of the Ohrid peace accord’s concessions to the ethnic Albanians. In 2001his leadership on the issue inspired some observers to claim Trajkovski had headed off a fifth Balkan war virtually single-handed. But the untimely death of the liberal statesman in an air crash in Bosnia in February 2004 seemed likely to revive instability in his homeland. The rioting by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in spring 2004, the worst violence in the province in four years, led Macedonia to close its borders amid fears that ethnic Albanian radicals might again stir up discontent in Macedonia as a way to put pressure on the international community to give Kosovo independence from Belgrade. John Phillips has covered both the fighting on the front line in Tetovo and other cities as well as the behind-the-scenes diplomatic intrigue in Skopje. A journalist and historian by training, he shows, in alarming detail, just how dangerous the instability in Macedonia is for any hope of a lasting peace in the Balkans.MACEDONIA is vital reading for those interested in the state of the world today and in the Europe of tomorrow.‘John Phillips elucidates very clearly and objectively the complexities of the Macedonian war, with some fine eye witness accounts of the chaos that overtook the landlocked southern Balkan republic. His book will be required reading for all diplomats, peacekeepers and future students of the conflict. Many laurel boughs.’ James Pettifer, author of The New Macedonian Question‘ Cogent, judicious, layman-friendly journalistic report on an important, woefully under-covered conflict…The book also stands as a warning that unless Europe and the U.S. devote considerable diplomatic energy and political/financial assistance to Macedonia, it could still blow up into another Balkan war.’Strobe Talbot ‘ Most promising and timely…a study that is based on both historical awareness and contemporary observation…vital’ Brendan Simms, Peterhouse, Cambridge
I.B.Tauris; June 2004
241 pages; ISBN 9780857714510
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Title: Macedonia
Author: John Phillips
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