Macedonia, FYR

Macedonia, FYR

Macedonia, FYR The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was declared an independent republic on 8 September 1991, seceding from the Yugoslavian federation. Before then Macedonia had been a constituent republic of the federation of Yugoslavia (which had several names during its existence), into which it was integrated in 1946 by the communists under Josip Broz Tito.

As the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) began to disintegrate in 1991, and Slovenia and Croatia fought conflicts of independence with the central government, Macedonia made its own moves towards independence. As in the other constituent republics of the FRY nationalist parties triumphed in the first multi-party elections in 1990 and began to commit themselves to independence. The secession was peaceful, in contrast to the secessions of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which all led to armed conflicts. The new state came to be known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, since Greece protested against the use of the name Macedonia (Macedonia is also a region in northern Greece) and the Vergina Sun as the national symbol.

Independent Macedonia became a parliamentary democracy, with the two most important groups being ethnic Macedonians (67% of the population) and ethnic Albanians (23% of the population). The new constitution of Macedonia however failed to place Macedonians on par with its large Albanian minority, since only ethnic Macedonians were regarded as the constituent people of the republic. Sentiments among the Albanians that they were second class citizens subsequently grew over the years until an armed conflict erupted between the government and the UCK (Ushtria Clirimtare ë Kombëtare, National Liberation Army) in 2001. The UCK demanded a constitutional revision so as to eradicate perceived discrimination against the Albanian people; demands that were not met by the government. The conflict lasted from January to August of 2001, when a peace agreement containing constitutional revisions was signed. As a consequence of the agreement a NATO-led peacekeeping force was also deployed to the country.

By the summer of 2005 a number of constitutional amendments and laws on decentralisation had been passed in the Macedonian parliament, in line with the peace agreement. The Macedonian government subsequently proclaimed that the peace agreement had been fully implemented.

Macedonia has provided secondary warring support to the government of Iraq in the intra-state conflict that started in 2004.

Since 1946 the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has experienced the intra-state category of UCDP organised violence.