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Macedonia Votes to Seek Recognition From EC

From Associated Press

The Parliament of the southern republic of Macedonia voted Thursday to seek diplomatic recognition from the European Community, raising the threat of still more ethnic unrest in this war-ravaged country.

Ethnic Serbian minorities in Macedonia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina have threatened to take up arms if the two republics make good on their pledges to seek independence. The Serbian government said Wednesday that it would recognize the Serb-dominated regions of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The 12-nation EC announced this week that it will recognize on Jan. 15 any Yugoslav republic seeking independence that could guarantee minority rights. Independence for Macedonia, Bosnia, Slovenia and Croatia would leave only Serbia and its ally, Montenegro, in Yugoslavia.

After Croatia and Slovenia declared independence last June, Serbian rebels in Croatia immediately rebelled. Allied with the Serbian-led army, they have captured a third of Croatian territory.

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Meanwhile, fighting intensified in Croatia on Thursday amid allegations of massacres by both sides.

European Community officials said they are investigating Croatian claims that retreating Serbian-led forces massacred at least 43 civilians late last week in Vocin, 90 miles southeast of Zagreb, and in three nearby villages.

Federal military sources told the Belgrade-based Tanjug news agency that the Serbian village of Masicka Sagovina was pillaged and burned Thursday by Croatian forces.


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