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CIA's Role In Causing Revolt Against
Milosevic In Kosovo Revealed
By Peter Beaumont, Ed Vulliamy and Paul Beaver
March 11, 2001
United States secretly supported the ethnic Albanian
extremists now behind insurgencies in Macedonia and
The CIA encouraged former Kosovo Liberation Army
fighters to launch a rebellion in southern Serbia in an
effort to undermine the then Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic, according to senior European
officers who served with the international peace-keeping
force in Kosovo (K-For), as well as leading Macedonian
and US sources.
They accuse American forces with K-For of deliberately
ignoring the massive smuggling of men and arms across
The accusations were made in a series of interviews by
The Observer . They emerge as America has been forced
into a rapid U-turn over its support for Albanian
extremists in Kosovo seeking a 'Greater Kosovo' that
would include Albanian communities in Serbia and
In the past week ethnic Albanian guerrillas have
intensified their campaign of attacks in the two areas,
threatening a new war in the region which last week put
US troops in the firing line in the Balkans for the first
The accusations have led to tension in K-For between the
European and US military missions. European officers
are furious that the Ameri cans have allowed guerrilla
armies in its sector to train, smuggle arms and launch
attacks across two international borders.
One European K-For battalion commander told The
Observer yesterday: 'The CIA has been allowed to run
riot in Kosovo with a private army designed to overthrow
Slobodan Milosevic. Now he's gone the US State
Department seems incapable of reining in its bastard
He added: 'Most of last year, there was a growing
frustration with US support for the radical Albanians. US
policy was and still is out of step with the other Nato
The claim was backed by senior Macedonian officials in
the capital, Skopje. 'What has been happening with the
National Liberation Army [which has been responsible
for a series of attacks on Macedonia's borders in recent
weeks] and the UCPMB [its sister organisation in
southern Serbia] is very similar to what happened when
the KLA was launched in 1995-96,' said one.
'I will say only this: the US intelligence agencies have not
been honest here.'
The claims were given extra credence from an
unexpected source - Arben Xhafari, leader of
Macedonia's main Albanian party who tried to prevent
the crisis on the border igniting an ethnic civil war inside
A US State Department official blamed the last
administration. There had now been 'a shift of emphasis'.
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