- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001

Macedonian clashes cloud peace hopes
SKOPJE, Macedonia — Clouding hopes of a quick peace agreement to avert civil war, government forces clashed with ethnic-Albanian rebels crossing into Macedonia from neighboring Kosovo, the army said yesterday. One soldier was critically wounded.
Defense Ministry spokesman Marjan Gjurovski said the clash occurred late Wednesday. He declined to specify how many troops or militants were involved in the exchange, but said there had been several other, smaller incidents that have violated a week-old cease-fire.
The flare-ups came exactly a week after the NATO-mediated truce took effect July 5 in an effort to create an atmosphere of calm for peace talks under way in the capital, Skopje.
The talks between representatives of the Macedonian majority, who dominate the government, and ethnic-Albanian politicians who represent the country's large and restive minority, began Monday under the auspices of the United States and the European Union.

Marches peaceful in Northern Ireland
BELFAST — Drums thundering and bagpipes wailing, thousands of Protestant marchers took to the streets of Northern Ireland yesterday in a noisy but largely peaceful show of strength at a politically delicate moment for the province's peace process.
Helicopters buzzed overhead and British soldiers manned long lines of armored vehicles to watch over the day's parades — hundreds of large and small processions, staged on urban thoroughfares and country lanes across the province on the biggest day of the summertime "marching season."
On the eve of the marches, rioters threw firebombs at police — a pattern authorities feared might be repeated once the parades ended at nightfall.

Japan is ordered to pay compensation
TOKYO — The Japanese government must pay $161,300 to relatives of a Chinese forced laborer who fled his Imperial army captors and lived more than 10 years in the wilderness, a court said yesterday in a landmark ruling.
The Tokyo District Court said the Japanese government should pay Liu Lianren's relatives for forcing him to live and work under harsh conditions for almost 15 years, a court spokesman said on the condition of anonymity.
The Japanese government, then under U.S. occupation, also ignored a U.S. order to help forced laborers return home after World War II, the court said.
Not only did the government fail to provide protection and support for Mr. Liu, it also made no effort to pay compensation.

Arms rock Africa, U.N. diplomats warn
NEW YORK — From Ethiopia to Congo, cheap, light weapons are destablizing Africa. And even if the continent's civil wars are resolved, the leftover arms could plague countries for decades, diplomats warned yesterday.
"The problem is so acute and urgent that any further waiting or delay will seriously undermine democracy," Marsden Madoka, Kenya's presidential minister of state, said at a U.N. conference on small-arms trafficking.
Millions of weapons, many of them bought illegally, are believed to be circulating in Africa. Many are left over from civil wars, which affected one-fifth of sub-Saharan Africa's population during the 1990s, the United Nations said.

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