(en) Albania Report - 03/21

Thurs, 27 Mar 1997 20.47 GMT

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Note on Origin: The I-AFD (Initiative for an Anarchist Federation in Germany) is a small anarchist organisation in germany attempting to build an extensive structure of all anarchists regardless of theoretical differences to improve effectiveness, cooperation and discussion within the anarchist movement. It is organised internationally in the IFA (International of Anarchist Federations).

Robert (for the A-Infos Group in germany)


*I-AFD Group Hamburg I* (i-afd_2@anarch.free.de) ALBANIA REPORT from March the 21., 1997

News were a bit less scarce today:

It was reported that delegates of 13 towns met in Tepelena to discuss their future strategy. Consequentially, they offered the new government to co-operate. They will not co-operate with Berisha and said that as long as Berisha was in office, elections were useless. Delegates announced they were not going to march on Tirana, and they also did not appoint their own presidential council (Yes, that's right: one of the rare times that the term 'council' was used on TV - this was BBC World!). Latest reports, however, said that the situation was still in change and that it may look like they were going to install a 'rival administration'.

The correspondent added that Berisha stepping down was a point of minimal consent to which most can agree and also a minimum condition to lay down arms, but that this was not the solution to all the problems.

Italy was reported to have additional patrols in the Adriatic Sea. Another 120 Albanians have been deported by Italy. Italian authorities have pointed out that they will deport back persons who are/have been convicted of crimes in Italy, persons found trafficking drugs and arms, smuggling people into the country and persons living off prostitution.

EU commissioner Bonnino (Italian resident) demanded that humanitarian aid shipments to Albania must be protected by troops.

Then I saw an interview on Austrian TV: Austrian correspondent Friedrich Orter described his last days in the country and how he was evacuated by US Marines. He said that he, touring the country, found tank barricades near the southern town of Korce (in this town, he took care to emphasize, Enver Hoxha went to school and worked as a teacher later on), and that everybody, including the bloke at the reception of his hotel, was armed to their teeth and beneath the reception counter the inevitable box of ammo. Orter talked of going by car from Korce but had to return to Tirana as, getting close the border to Macedonia, they heard shots. The next day they went south again and were held up near Prenjas by armed rebels in black clothes who took their car and equipment so they had to try and make it back to Tirana hitchhiking. He described they got a lift but had to pay for it, having hard times to convince the driver that US$ 10,000 were not the equivalent of 10,000 Italian Lire, and in the end he did not take them to Tirana but threw them out in Elbasan (duly after taking their money which was meant to be the fare to Tirana) where there was a taxi service to Tirana (Elbasan, by the way, was one of the towns mentioned to have joined the rebellion). In Tirana, they were lucky enough, as Orter said, to get to know of US evacuation plans and were flewn out to Brindisi.

Remarkable about this is that Orter says to have been held up by rebels at a time when other correspondents were working without difficulties in the Southern part of Albania, without being harrassed. But then Orter's reports to Austrian TV (as far as they were broadcasted here) were remarkably pro-government and to some extent even pro-Berisha and he always seemed to have major difficulties in seeing a difference between rebels, bandits and an insurrection.

This is it for today's update, catkawin ## CrossPoint v3.11 ##

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