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The secret appendix to the Rambouillet Accord

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>Status:
>
>This article was received on 25 April from a Veterans for Peace source
>without indication of where it appeared.
>
>Apparently the leak of the sensational Appendix B to the Rambouillet Accord,
>"Status of Multi-National Military Implementation Force," -- reminiscent of
>Nazi Germany's demands against Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Poland in 1938
>and 1939 -- came from the Albanian delegation, not from any NATO source.
>The article states that even high-ranking members of the German government
>were unaware of these clauses, which in effect demanded Yugoslavia's total
>capitulation.  The same is probably true of the French, Italian and British
>parliaments and the US Congress, thus making clear how foreign affairs are
>conducted in enlightened democracies.     --Charles
>--------------------------------------------------------
>
>Rambouillet Accord foresaw the occupation of all Yugoslavia
>===========================================================
>
>By Peter Schwarz  14 April 1999
>
>The refusal of the Milosevic government to sign the Rambouillet Accord
>provided NATO with official justification for its war against Yugoslavia.
>For a long time, however, the precise contents of this accord were
>unknown. The Contact Group, responsible for the talks at Rambouillet  and
>Paris, had agreed to remain silent. The complete text was only  recently
>published on the Internet site of the Albanian Kosova Crisis  Center.
>
>As can now be seen, the accord contains provisions that would have
>subjected the whole of Yugoslavia to NATO occupation. The official
>presentation repeatedly stated that it was a matter of autonomy for
>Kosovo, which would be secured by the stationing of a "peace force" in
>Kosovo. However, Appendix B, "Status of Multi-National Military
>Implementation Force", grants NATO freedom of movement "throughout  all
>Yugoslavia", i.e., Serbia and Montenegro as well as Kosovo.
>
>The text of Article 8 of this Appendix reads: "NATO personnel shall  enjoy,
>together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free  and
>unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY  [Federal
>Republic of Yugoslavia] including associated airspace and  territorial
>waters. This shall include, but not be limited to, the right of  bivouac,
>maneuver, billet, and utilization of any areas or facilities as  required
>for support, training, and operations."
>
>Article 6 guarantees the occupying forces absolute immunity: "NATO
>personnel, under all circumstances and at all times, shall be immune from
>the Parties' jurisdiction in respect of any civil, administrative,
>criminal, or  disciplinary offenses which may be committed by them in the
>FRY."
>
>Article 10 secures NATO the cost-free use of all Yugoslavian streets,
>airports and ports.
>
>If the Yugoslav government had signed the accord, they would have been
>relinquishing all claims to sovereignty over their own territory. The
>Berliner Zeitung noted, "This passage sounds like a surrender treaty
>following a war that was lost ... The fact that Yugoslavian President
>Milosevic did not want to sign such a paper is understandable."
>
>The way in which the Yugoslav government was called upon to sign this
>diktat--delivered as an ultimatum--and the secretiveness regarding its
>content, suggest that the Rambouillet and Paris conferences were aimed  at
>providing a pretext for war, not a political solution to the Kosovo
>conflict.
>
>"An accord such as this could not be signed by any head of a sovereign
>state," commented the radical newspaper Taz, the first German paper to
>publish passages from the Accord itself.
>
>"If the talks had really had the aim of producing agreement, and not
>merely trying to convince skeptics of the unavoidability of NATO's
>attacks, then the text of the Accord is incomprehensible."
>
>The original proposal of the Contact Group, which served as the basis  for
>the Rambouillet Conference, did not contain these passages. The
>negotiations were first supposed to deal with the question of Kosovar
>autonomy, and only then take up the question of the military measures to
>be implemented to carry this out. This was the basis for the Yugoslav
>government participating in the conference.
>
>In the course of negotiations, which lasted from February 6 to 23, the
>five Western members of the Contact Group--the US, Britain, Germany,
>France and Italy--moved openly to embrace the standpoint of the  Kosovar
>Albanians, who insisted on the stationing of NATO troops  inside Kosovo. On
>the final day of the conference, the final draft of the  Accord was
>presented containing the Appendix B quoted above.
>
>>From then on, the draft statutes covering Kosovar autonomy--to which  the
>Yugoslavian government had largely agreed--and the proposals for
>stationing NATO troops inside Kosovo were characterised as an
>"indissoluble packet". The Yugoslav delegation was given the bald choice
>of either swallowing the ultimatum or rejecting the Accord as a whole,
>which they then did.
>
>To the surprise of NATO, the Kosovar Albanians also refused to sign  up.
>The conference was consequently adjourned again, until the  Kosovars signed
>the same text on March 18. NATO had obtained the  pretext it wanted to
>launch its attack. On March 24, the first bombs were  dropped.
>
>It would appear that not a few politicians who bear responsibility for
>launching the war were uninformed about this sequence of events. They
>agreed to the attack on Yugoslavia without even having read the text that
>was used to justify it. NATO's campaign of disinformation, which has
>accompanied the war from its inception, is not only directed at the
>general public, but at parliamentarians and senior state officials.
>
>According to the Taz newspaper, which made inquiries at the German  Foreign
>Ministry, two of the three most senior officials--State Minister  GŁnther
>Verheugen (a Social Democrat) and Ludger Volmer (a  Green)--were completely
>surprised. They claimed that the Articles in  Appendix B were "completely
>new" to them. The third  official--Permanent Secretary Wolfgang
>Ischinger--claimed that the  passages came from an earlier, no longer
>current, version of the Accord,  which is clearly refuted by the facts.
>
>The Taz article asks, how much did Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer  know?
>They raise another possibility: "Did the Federal Government  deliberately
>pull the wool over the eyes of parliament and the public"
>
>Many parliamentary deputies have expressed anger regarding the
>Government's game of hide-and-seek. The text of the Accord was only
>officially presented to the German parliament last Thursday, more than  two
>weeks after the war had started.
>
>Angelika Beer wrote a letter to her Green Party colleague, Joschka
>Fischer, saying she would have spoken out against the air attacks if she
>had known about the content of the Accord.
>
>Social Democratic Party deputy Hermann Scheer said, "If we had been  able
>to read this paper as soon as it was ready, then the argument that all
>political and diplomatic manoeuvres had been exhausted and all that
>remains is the threat of bombardment would not have been tenable."
>
>Scheer accuses the Government of accepting the fact that the USA  exerts
>too strong an influence over NATO decision-making.
>
>The full text of the Rambouillet Accord can be viewed at:
>http://www.balkanaction.org/pubs/kia299.html
>



Al Kagan
Africana Unit, Room 328
University of Illinois Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801, USA

tel. 217-333-6519
fax. 217-333-2214
e-mail. akagan@uiuc.edu





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