AFP 140 Former Guerrillas Enter Kosovo From Macedonia
140 Former Guerrillas Enter Kosovo From Macedonia
PRISTINA, Aug 31, 2001 -- (Agence France Presse) Some 140 ethnic Albanians
claiming to be demobilized rebels from the National Liberation Army (NLA) in
Macedonia entered Kosovo overnight but were not detained, a UN spokesman
"None of them were arrested, since they were carrying valid passports," said
Andrea Angeli, a spokesman for the UN mission which administers Kosovo.
Angeli added that the group, comprised mostly of men in their twenties, had
come "from Albania."
"All were wearing civilian clothes, they declared themselves as former NLA
fighters in Macedonia. They did not carry any weapons, only a few items were
confiscated, like knives and NLA badges," Angeli said.
The NLA began surrendering its weapons to NATO forces this week as part of a
peace agreement with the Macedonian government that grants greater rights to
the country's large ethnic Albanian minority.
To help back the peace deal, which must still be ratified by Macedonia's
parliament, NATO-led peacekeeping troops in Kosovo have been cracking down
on weapons smuggling routes between Macedonia and Kosovo, a predominantly
Albanian province of Serbia.
The peacekeepers have detained around 150 people entering Kosovo from
Macedonia in recent days, including 96 suspected NLA fighters.