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An Appeal by Women in Black, Belgrade

Dear friends,

As you know, the war in Macedonia has escalated. So far, our group has organized a number of protests against the violence and the war that is going on in Macedonia. Our friends from Macedonia have supported us over the past years and together we were building bridges of peace and friendship. On 14th July, we had a joint peace gathering and a peace action in Bujanovac. We are in daily contact with our Macedonian friends and they are desperate. In our opinion, international solidarity could help to stop this war. If you agree with us, please join our appeal and send it to your governments, parliaments, to the media and to the public, in order to arouse and stir public opinion as much as possible. We would appreciate if you kept us informed about your activities. [stasazen@Eunet.yu]

In peace and solidarity,
Stasa Zajovic
Women in Black, Belgrade

Let us stop the war in Macedonia!
Appeal to the international public

This is an appeal to the peaceful women and men in the world, to all the activists for peace and human rights, to the democratic public of the entire world, and particularly to the public of the world powers; ultimately, we appeal to all the powerful world figures, to those who make decisions about the fate of humanity.

The war in Macedonia has escalated to the utmost. It is not only the soldiers, but also the civilian population who are being killed. There are plausible reasons to fear the worst.

Helplessness is the main feature of those who are striving for the restoration of peace in the only country among the successors of the former Yugoslavia that was spared from war and destruction at the end of last century. Helplessness is the underlying feeling in the daily lives of the Macedonian population, regardless of their ethnic denomination. Unlike them, belligerent minorities have come to claim their own: the outrageous violence of illegal armed Albanian formations is countered by Macedonian chauvinists' retaliation and crime. As a rule, the victims of retaliation are innocent civilians.

Those who have been following our activities know that Women in Black intermittently and publicly condemned the repression and crimes committed by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, especially the terror against the Albanian population in Kosovo. We also publicly supported the Albanians' non-violent struggle for the respect of individual and collective rights of the majority population in Kosovo, who had been exposed to discrimination and apartheid for years. Having ignored that persistent struggle for years, the international community intervened only after the spiral of violence had begun spinning, culminating in double genocide, first against the Albanian majority, and afterwards against non-Albanian minorities.

There are numerous indications that the international community is, practically, repeating the same mistakes in the case of Macedonia. We wonder why nobody would even think of stopping the Albanian terrorists in Macedonia and exerting their influence in order to reach a compromising solution to the controversial issues in the Macedonian state. How many more victims will there be before some more efficient measures are undertaken?

In whose interest is it to see a Macedonian replica of the bloodstained scenarios from Bosnia and Kosovo? Is the democratic international public able to force the governments of the major powers to start behaving in accordance with the principles of humanity?

We hope that our appeal will be heard by those who care about peace and essential humanity.

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