RealNews

Stability Is Still a Struggle in Macedonia

For 21/2 tense days last week, a paramilitary police force here appeared on the verge of very bloody mutiny. About 500 men dressed in khaki uniforms and bulletproof vests, and brandishing machine guns and rocket launchers, blocked a key road just north of this capital city. Their gripe: government plans to abolish their unit. Fortunately for the government, a crisis was averted late Thursday when the group, known as the Lions, accepted a compromise that let some of the men keep their jobs. The standoff, in which separate units of elite police officers trained weapons on each other, was symptomatic of the frustrations felt by many nationalist politicians and their allies in this tiny Balkan state following their loss of power in elections last September. It was also a reminder that Macedonia remains unstable a year and a half after a power-sharing deal ended a six-month conflict between ethnic Albanian gunmen and security forces. Full Story

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