Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript


CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Fighting in Macedonia Gets Closer to the Capital

Aired August 12, 2001 - 09:34   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: On the eve of the scheduled signing of a peace agreement in Macedonia, there is new fighting between government forces and ethnic Albanians, and it's getting closer to the capital city.

CNN's Walter Rodgers joins us now by videophone from Skopje with the latest -- Walter.

WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Kyra. Most of the day here in Skopje, Macedonia, the capital of this small country, we have seen Soviet vintage MI-24 helicopter gunships flying around the capital. We have also seen SU-25, Sequoia-25, fighter bombers, flying north and west, where the worst of the fighting is, around Tetovo and Radusa.

Nonetheless, the Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski told CNN a short while ago that while he does not believe the guerrillas will observe a cease-fire, nor turn in their weapons to NATO, as they are supposed to do, he nonetheless -- that's President Trajkovski, nonetheless says that his country, Macedonia, will go ahead with the signing of a peace agreement Monday afternoon.

Still, there are grave doubts about just how much substance there would be in any peace agreement at this point. The, as I say, the president of this country does not believe the guerrillas are going to stop fighting. We have in the last 36 hours witnessed the heaviest fighting we've seen since the insurgency by the ethnic Albania guerrillas broke out in February.

They say they are fighting for greater political and greater human rights. Nonetheless, in the six months ensuing, they have captured large sections of this country. President Trajkovski now says he believes they are trying to succeed from the country -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Walter, yesterday we were reporting about a travel advisory, that American's not go into that area. Is that still in effect and do you agree it's necessary?

RODGERS: You're walking me through a mind field there. Yes, the travel advisory, I believe, is put out by the State Department in Washington. I read it. In effect, as for whether I agree or think anyone should come here or not, that really isn't my province to say.

In the capital, Skopje, presently it is relatively safe, although awhile ago we did watch an artillery barrage just about a mile from where I'm standing, and security forces here in Macedonia have told me that they are receiving an increasing number of anonymous phone calls warning that the airport here in Skopje is going to come under attack by the guerrillas. Anonymous phone calls, perhaps, from the guerrillas themselves.

The reason the guerrillas would target the airport here in Skopje, should they decide to do it, is because that's where the government parks it's helicopter gunships, those MI-25 Soviet vintage helicopters.

Additionally, I should also point out that some of the K-4 NATO troops are also based right adjacent to that airport. Presently, that has not happened, but as I say, Macedonian security forces say there has been an increased number of threats that the airport itself could come under attack -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Our Walter Rodgers, braving the frontline there in Skopje. Thank you so much.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   




MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 














Back to the top