Albanian Daily News
Paper says Albanian-Montenegrin border closed

Mch 01, 2000

TIRANA - The Yugoslav army has closed the Albanian-Montenegrin border crossing at Bozaj (Hani i Hotit) and that "not even a bird" can cross, reported a Montenegrin daily on Tuesday.

The Podgorica-based daily Vesti said that there is considerable military activity in the border region and soldiers had set up a check-point some five kilometres from the frontier on the road leading to Albania.

The troops have even prohibited the local border traffic that has been allowed to continue since 1997, when the frontier was closed officially during the anarchy that swept Albania.

Army officials say that the military are carrying out only "normal duties," Vesti reported.

Albania and Montenegro signed an agreement on Thursday to re-open their common border three years after it was closed by Belgrade. But the move was not approved by the Yugoslav government, legally in charge of border crossings. The Yugoslav army normally controls the borders, but not the crossings.

A top Montenegrin official warned on Sunday of the massing of Yugoslav army troops and heavy artillery near the republic’s border with Albania, which could be used to provoke the smaller republic.

Predrag Popovic, vice president of Montenegro’s parliament said the Yugoslav army had brought in troop reinforcements and weaponry, including heavy artillery, to the border region and warned it could use force to resolve a number of disputes with Montenegro, the smaller republic in the Yugoslav federation.

The Yugoslav army denied in a statement published on Monday that it had raised its combat readiness in Montenegro after last week’s re-opening there of a border crossing with Albania.

Original article