Peace Corps Closely Monitoring Situation in Macedonia

Washington, D.C., June 12, 2001—Ethnic Albanian rebels and the Macedonian government announced a cease-fire today, a day after the rebels threatened to target airports, police stations and other sites in and around the capital city, Skopje. The Peace Corps is watching closely the recent military activity in northern Macedonia between ethnic Albanian insurgents and the government of Macedonia. The hostilities have reached mountain villages not far from Skopje.

Peace Corps is in daily contact with all Volunteers and Trainees serving in Macedonia and they are all safe and secure. The volunteers remain in “standfast” status—the first stage of alert during a potential crisis—which increases preparedness in the event that future steps are called for.

The Peace Corps, in close coordination with United States Ambassador Michael Einik and the security functions of the U. S. Embassy in Skopje, is actively monitoring the situation. As the situation develops, the Peace Corps will continue to take appropriate steps to protect the safety and security of Volunteers, Trainees and staff.

The Peace Corps has 28 Volunteers, 28 Trainees and several Peace Corps staff members spread throughout a large portion of the country, predominately in the South and East, away from the Albanian and Kosovo borders with Macedonia.

This announcement will be updated as new information warrants.

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