War In The Balkans: Dissenters -Belgrade regime `cracking apart'

Click to follow
NATO IS seizing on evidence of growing dissent within Yugoslavia, after a former army general joined calls made by the former deputy prime minister for President Slobodan Milosevic to resign.

The allies are claiming that cracks in the Belgrade regime, which have been predicted almost since the bombing started, are opening. They hope that dissent in the army may lead to Mr Milosevic being toppled from within and allow the Balkan crisis to be resolved.

The latest voice to speak out is that of Vuk Obradovic, president of the Social Democratic Party and once a rising star in the Yugoslav army. He was quoted in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica as saying: "Milosevic should resign - especially because it is clear that he will fall anyway." Serbian authorities have blocked the transmission of an interview he gave to John Simpson, the BBC correspondent in Belgrade.

The move follows the sacking on Wednesday of Vuk Draskovic, the Yugoslav deputy prime minister, who earlier this week called on Mr Milosevic to stop lying to the Serbian people about the chances of victory.

General Obradovic's army connections make his intervention important. "Vuk Obradovic is not just another opposition politician," said Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary. "... How many of his former military comrades is he speaking for?"