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Macedonia:Guns, policing and ethnic division. Report Saferworld III

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Release date: 2003-09

The report seeks to explore the prospects for weapons collection programmes and the introduction of effective gun control measures in the current security environment in Macedonia.With the government weapons amnesty due to start on 1 November 2003, the report takes a timely look at its chances for success – and considers the possible implications if the amnesty does not go as planned.
The main argument of the paper is that the problem of SALW proliferation in Macedonia is a question of both politics and policing, resulting both from internal challenges and from the country’s vulnerability to outside influence within its turbulent neighbourhood. Therefore, measures to tackle the problem have to combine increased confidence among citizens in the political process with building public support for disarmament without letting criminal groups benefit from more humane approaches. The international community has expressed its willingness to help. The question now is how this willingness will be utilised by political forces in Macedonia.