Army leaves cities in south
Tuesday 11 March 1997
President Sali Berisha was locked in negotiations yesterday with the Socialist Party and other opponents in Tirana over who would hold which posts in the new caretaker government.
The President was not planning to resign, as demanded by the mutinous south, because he had not been asked to by any of the political parties, a Berisha adviser said. But his decision to call new elections before June is not likely to end the uprising in the south, where heavily armed civilians are also demanding back the money they lost in corrupt investment schemes.
The "rebels" seem now to control four more southern towns - Berat, Permet, Corovod and Kukova - while the army appears to have withdrawn north of Fier. Lushnje, Albania's largest air base, is still said to be in government hands, although one report put the pilots sitting in their cockpits.
At least five people were said to have been killed in skirmishing around Permet, with a sixth shot dead, apparently by a sniper, during the celebrations that followed the army's retreat.
It is not clear why the troops have pulled so far back, but their action must weaken Mr Berisha's hand. One diplomat described the President's recent concessions as substantial, but warned: "We're a long way from solutions here, with the number of guns in people's hands."
The people of Vlora are certainly not planning to surrender their weapons any time soon. "The Council for the Salvation of Vlora decided to co- operate with the police. We are checking all those who are acting as police, making sure they have not been involved in any crimes," Sokol Qendro, a member of the newly formed council, said.
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
£35 - 38k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager ...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This position will in the main ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the top Cosmeceutical br...
£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...