Balkans: Aegean Hot Line


July 9, 2006: UN and international forensic experts reported that they have pulled more bodies from a mass grave outside the Bosnian town of Zvornik. In the last several weeks excavators have removed at least 260 more bodies. The murdered were victims of the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. Just as Holocaust deniers sprang up after World War Two that denied the Nazi Holocaust, a small-scale denial act sprang up after Srebrenica. There is no doubt the slaughter occurred, and moreover, it occurred despite the presence of UN peacekeepers. The bodies of more than 2000 have been reburied outside Srebrenica.
July 6, 2006: Bosnia announced that it will form one army by the end of 2007. That means merging the separate Serb, Croat, and Muslim armies. The new force will have three brigades. You guessed it-- one Serb, one Muslim, one Croat.
July 5, 2006: 150 British soldiers took part in a joint training exercise with Albanian military forces. The exercise will continue for three weeks. The British are helping train Albanian forces for peacekeeping duty.
July 1, 2006: Greece and Turkey announced they will observe a moratorium on military training operations "over the Aegean Sea." The moratorium will extend through September 15, 2006. Greece and Turkey also commissioned a new communications "hot line" between their military commands. The "hot line" is designed to mitigate "air space conflicts." That is a euphemism for stopping incidents of close fly-bys between Greek and Turk aircraft from escalating into political conflicts between the two countries.
June 29, 2006: The Serb government issued a statement insisting that current Balkan borders must not change. The Serb statement said that Serbia opposed "secession" by Bosnian Serbs (in the Republika Srpska statelet) and also opposed Kosovo independence (ie, from Serbia). The implication is that, if the UN and NATO make it possible for Kosovo to gain independence, the Serbs will stop restraining the Serb separatists in Bosnia.
Bulgaria's parliament voted to end the military draft. Under the current plan, Bulgaria will field a fully professional military by 2008.
June 28, 2006: Montenegro was officially admitted to the UN, after voting to leave its association with Serbia.




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