|Collected weapons in Macedonia|
NATO gave itself 30 days to collect the 3,300 weapons declared by the ethnic-Albanians in Macedonia. However, it looks more likely that the organisation will extend its stay as it has only collected a third of the weapons thus far. There are also concerns about the stability of the peace process, which, NATO feels, will need to be monitored after the National Liberation Army (NLA) has been demobilised.
Moreover, the NLA is refusing to co-operate and hand over the remaining weapons to NATO soldiers until promised changes are made to the Macedonian constitution and relevant legislature. The August 13 peace deal proposed by NATO includes constitutional amendments that will provide the ethnic-Albanians with greater rights. Approximately 23 percent of Macedonia's population comprises ethnic-Albanians, thereby making them a minority ethnic group in the country.
However, these constitutional changes need a two-thirds majority vote by parliament to pass into the constitution. Many delegates are uncertain about whether they should risk their political future by compromising their reputation with their own Macedonian voters or whether to secure peace in the country.
The seeds of doubt are fuelled by Macedonian refugees protesting outside parliamentary buildings. The demonstrators, which have come from villages that have been taken over by Albanian rebels, curse their politicians, "The peace agreement is just a way of delivering their country to the Albanians and their western NATO protectors," they protest.
The Macedonian parliament will begin voting on whether to amend the constitution today. A No vote would delay NATO's mission.
NSP Lista isprobava demokratiju u praksi
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