- Title: MACEDONIA: MORE GREEK AND FRENCH SOLDIERS ARRIVE BOLSTERING NATO'S PEACE FORCE.
- Date: 25th August 2001
- Summary: (W5) KRIVOLAK, MACEDONIA (AUGUST 25, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. TV/GV: CONVOY OF GREEK MILITARY VEHICLES DRIVING ALONG HIGHWAY; CONVOY APPROACHING BASE (3 SHOTS) 0.28 2. GV/MV: QUEUE OF VEHICLES WAITING TO ENTER BASE; SIGN ON WINDSCREEN OF TRUCK READING, "HELLENIC FORCE"; GROUP OF GREEK AND MACEDONIAN SOLDIERS TALKING; QUEUE OF VEHICLES WAITING TO ENTER BASE (4 SHOTS) 0.56 3. GV: TRUCKS ENTERING BASE 1.06 (W5) SKOPJE, MACEDONIA (AUGUST 25, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4. LV: WIDE VIEW NATO NEWS CONFERENCE 1.08 5. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO SPOKESMAN IN MACEDONIA, BERRY JOHNSON, SAYING: "At this time several nations have increased what they believe is necessary for their own force protection of forces. As well as logistics the national support they deem necessary in order to ensure those troops are properly taken care of. So once again we now expect that total to become between 4,500 and 5,000 which was within the original limits that were given to NATO" 1.50 6. MCU: MEDIA TAKING NOTES 1.56 7. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHNSON, SAYING "We do not believe that the conditions have changed. It is still operationally permissive for us to conduct our mission and we still see all sides very much committed to this process of moving towards a peaceful solution to the problem here." 2.10 8. LV/GV: FRENCH MILITARY AIRCRAFT LANDING; HELICOPTER IN THE FOREGROUND; AIRCRAFT TAXIING ON THE RUNWAY; CLOSE UP OF PROPELLERS OF AIRCRAFT; MARSHALL STANDING ON TARMAC, DIRECTING THE PLANE; WIDE VIEW OF AIRCRAFT ON TARMAC (5 SHOTS) 2.50 9. GV: SOLDIERS STANDING ON TARMAC 2.53 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 9th September 2001 13:00
- Location: KRIVOLAK AND SKOPJE, MACEDONIA
- Country: Macedonia
- Reuters ID: LVA2GV9H6406JLZ75JRTA6R2V7A3
- Story Text: The number of troops taking part in NATO's "Operation
Essential Harvest" in Macedonia has been increased and now
stands at over 4,500.
A second convoy of Greek soldiers has arrived at the
military base in Krivolac and Skopje's airfield received
further French troops to join the NATO mission designed to
collect weapons from ethnic Albanian guerrillas as part of a
peace plan in the region.
NATO troops in Macedonia put the finishing touches
on Saturday (August 25) to plans to collect weapons handed in
voluntarily by ethnic Albanian rebels fighting in the
so-called National Liberation Army (NLA).
Troops from the Western alliance have been pouring into
the ex-Yugoslav republic since the mission got the green light
from NATO's 19 member states on Wednesday (August 22).
On Saturday a convoy of Greek soldiers and military
vehicles passed through the Macedonia-Greek border to the
Krivolak base. They followed a contingent which arrived the
day before numbering about 140 soldiers. Saturday's arrivals
brings the Greek force contributing to "Operation Essential
Harvest" to approximately 400.
During a press briefing in Skopje on Saturday NATO's
spokesman in Macedonia, Berry Johnson, spoke about the
increased numbers of NATO troops in Macedonia.
"At this time several nations have increased what they
believe is necessary for their own force, protection of
forces. As well as logistics, the national support they deem
necessary in order to ensure those troops are properly taken
care of," he said.
Johnson added that the increased number of troops were
within the original limits given to NATO.
The Western alliance has set a target of more than 3,000
weapons to be collected during "Operation Essential Harvest".
The first guerrilla arms, from pistols to heavy mortars,
armour-piercing rocket launchers and anti-tank mines, are due
to be handed in next week at about 15 collection sites in
northern hills where the NLA has fanned out since surfacing in
The alliance is hoping that the collection of even a small
number of arms will engender confidence in a shaky peace
process which many Macedonians complain is an effort to pacify
Local witnesses reported two explosions in an area of
Tetovo late on Friday (August 24), causing damage to a vehicle
registration centre but causing no casualties. There was also
gunfire from the nearby frontline villages of Trebos and
Despite this, Johnson said conditions pertaining to their
mission had not changed.
"It is still operationally permissive for us to conduct
our mission and we still see all sides very much committed to
this process of moving towards a peaceful solution to the
problem here," added Johnson.
Meanwhile more French troops touched down on the runway at
Skopje's airport on Saturday to join the mission which has set
a limited period of 30 days to collect and destroy the weapons
and then to pull out.
After their scheduled departure further obstacles remain,
not least the need for a nationalist-dominated parliament to
ratify reforms granting Albanians more civil rights and jobs
in public services within the same ambitious timeframe set for
the arms handover.
The latest breakdown by nationality of the troops taking
part in Operation Essential Harvest is as follows: Britain
1,400; France 550; Italy 800; Germany 400; Greece 400;
Netherlands 200; Canada 200; Turkey 150; Spain 150; Czech
Republic 125; Belgium 100; Hungary 50; Norway 12; Poland 6;
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