Authorities today imposed “urgent measures” to quell continuing unrest by workers and students demanding political and economic reform in the southern republic of Montenegro.
The measures ordered by the state leadership of Montenegro included increasing the number of police patrols in the streets of the capital of Titograd, a police official said by telephone from the city.
President Raif Dizdarevic appealed Sunday for an end to the demonstrations that have shaken his ethnically diverse nation, warning that the government will not allow the country to be torn apart by civil strife.
The president said the tense situation might lead to “extraordinary conditions,” an apparent allusion to a possible crackdown on mass protests similar to police strong-arm tactics in Titograd on Saturday.
The government of Montenegro, one of Yugoslavia’s six republics, introduced the unspecified measures today in Titograd “to prevent an extraordinary situation because the security situation rapidly turned for the worse.”
Montenegro state presidency member Blazo Orlandic said these “urgent measures are of limited character and are directed exclusively against those who misuse the justified dissatisfaction of the workers and citizens.” The government statement said militant groups have begun “threatening to virtually suspend institutions of the legal political system and endanger personal security of the citizens and their property.”
Police clashed Saturday with protesters in Titograd and the town of Niksic, 37 miles north of Titograd, leaving 13 people injured. Police briefly detained 23 people in Titograd, authorities said.
Husnija Redzepagic, a senior official in the Montenegro Secretariat for the Interior said today that police in Niksic arrested another 12 people Sunday during a demonstration to demand the resignation of Montenegro leaders.
A police official in Titograd told UPI, “It is calm here (today) and citizens of Titograd live a normal life.”
Strikes, Protests Continue
But about 2,000 workers continued a strike today at a construction equipment factory in Titograd.
In Niksic, workers demonstrated today at a bauxite mine and at the Piva hydroelectric power station. Several hundred school and university students and professors demonstrated in front of the Niksic town hall.
The students and workers are protesting the use of force by police and seek the resignation of leaders deemed responsible for the nation’s economic crisis. They also are demanding national political and economic reforms.
More than 1,000 university students in Titograd and other Montenegrin towns went on a hunger strike Sunday to support demands for reforms.