Macedonia: Defusing the Bombs

TitelMacedonia: Defusing the Bombs
Typ der PublikationReport
Untertitel / SerientitelEurope Briefing N°75
InstitutionInternational Crisis Group

Macedonia is reeling from two shocks. Amid a scandal over leaked wiretaps revealing a state apparatus captured and corrupted by the leading party, a battle in ethnically mixed Kumanovo between police and ethnic-Albanian gunmen, many from Kosovo, caused the region’s worst loss of life in a decade. Unless addressed urgently, the double crisis (government legitimacy/regional security) carries risk that could extend to violent confrontation, perhaps in worst case to elements of the conflict narrowly averted in 2001. Discredited national institutions cannot cope alone. The opposition has broken off talks on a European Union (EU) mediated deal between parties for reforms and early elections that deadlocked, substantially over whether the prime minister, in power since 2006, must resign and the time a transitional government would need to level the field. The EU must press for a comprehensive agreement addressing the state capture and alleged corruption, including independent investigation and monitoring with international help. Macedonia and Kosovo, also with aid, should jointly investigate Kumanovo.