Bosnia Herzegovina is now in a loose confederation, consisting of ethnic Croats and Bosniac (Muslims) on one side with a clear demarcation of the Republic Srpska (ethnic Serbs). NATO and the UN had hoped to create a country, where ethnic groups lived side by side, but it did not consider the history of the Balkans.
In early April five Macedonians were massacred by summary execution of four Macedonians, aged 18-22 and one mid-aged Macedonian while they were fishing on Good Friday this year.
A CNN blog and a report in Canada's National Post says that 20 men were arrested on May 2nd that are linked to a radical Muslim group, according to Macedonian police.
“The ministry of the interior found the perpetrators of the horrific killings at Smilkovsko lake”
The ministry says that some of the perpetrators had been “fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan against NATO soldiers”. The Interior Minister, Gordana Jankulovska, said that along with the arrests, police recovered weapons and radical Islamist literature. The 20 men will be charged with terrorist charges, since the aim of the killings was to incite "fear and insecurity."
There are now similar concerns in Macedonia. ethnic tensions between the Macedonians and the ethnic Albanians because that box has been wide open since before the brief civil war in 2001.
The killings raised fears that the fragile relations between ethnic Albanians and Macedonians could flare up again. Approximately 25% of the population in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are ethnic Albanians, which predominantly live in North Eastern Macedonia. Macedonia shares borders with Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece.
Many will recall the NATO interference in Kosovo, where Bill Clinton became the national hero after brokering, what can best be described, as a volatile deal, after a bombing spree on Serbia. Border clashes have been common between Serbia and Kosovo. Many of the Serbs are living a miserable life as the ethnic minority in Kosovo.
There are now similar concerns in Macedonia. Ethnic tensions between the Macedonians and the ethnic Albanians have been fragile since the brief civil war in 2001. The West intervened and made it clear that there was no room for a rebellion after the intervention by NATO in Kosovo after the NATO war with Serbia in 1999.
There are no easy solutions to solve the problems in Macedonia or even Kosovo and Bosnia. Otto von Bismarck once said that not one ounce of a German troopers blood should be spilled for the Balkans. Kaiser Wilhelm II dismissed the Chancellor, supported Austria-Hungary, which led to the assassination of Prince Ferdinand in Sarajevo and the start of the "Great War."
It would appear that radical Islam has spilled into the Macedonian conflict, which seems to be a phenomena around the world. The situation is worsening in Macedonia and in the past the West has taken sides in a civil war, Bosnia, Kosovo an now Macedonia.
The region is critical because of its location. Unrest and an outright civil war could create havoc in the whole region. Macedonia's destabilization could be the "best" way to trigger an international war which would suck in Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Turkey very quickly.
While the incidents of terror by radical Islam have been largely ignored by the Western media, which, at least in the U.S., are preoccupied with the U.S. election, Iran, Israel and the Middle East in general, it is time to once again focus on a solution in that region.
What recent events, with elections and France and Greece have shown us, is that much of Europe is volatile and it wouldn't take much to ignite a ticking time bomb.
More on Macedonia Wikileaks
Timeline Former Yugoslavia 1918 - 2006
White Book PDF - Background on Macedonia