Foreign Agencies on January 10th, 1997

Christian Science Monitor
Friday January 10, 1997 Edition
Serbia Tilts on Verge of Violence, But Hints of Compromise Surface
Scott Peterson, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Yesterday, however, in a hint of further compromise by the regime, Belgrade police appeared to back down as student protesters advanced.

Students planned to blockade riot policemen, a deliberate escalation from their usual good-natured confrontations. But police reportedly walked back to waiting buses as students advanced.

Protesters want reinstatement of opposition victories in Nov. 17 local elections, which were annulled by courts close to the ruling Socialist Party. Massive crowds have since marched daily in sub-zero temperatures, keeping up their enthusiasm to the surprise even of opposition leaders.
Protesters have been joined by the Serb Orthodox Church and have won pledges of noninterference from the Army, the one institution required for Milosevic to impose a state of emergency. Splits are also emerging in the more-loyal police force.

(c) Copyright 1997 The Christian Science Publishing Society.

Students March in Belgrade Again
Associated Press Writer
Friday, January 10, 1997 10:58 am EST

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- Students heartened by one triumph over police demanded Friday that the government withdraw riot squads that had blocked street protests against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

After a daylong standoff with police, 30,000 students were allowed to march through Belgrade early Friday. The students dispersed, but said they would be back Saturday -- and demanded that the government pull riot police off the streets.

The students delivered a letter to Premier Mirko Marjanovic demanding the removal of the riot police. They had asked for a meeting, but were told to leave the letter instead.

Earlier this week, a delegation of students met with Serbia's interior minister to make similar demands, but had no success.

``We wanted to see if Premier Marjanovic was ready to do what one of his ministers refused,'' Cedomir Jovanovic, a student leader, said Friday.

Later Friday, cordons of hundreds of shielded riot police again prevented tens of thousands of other opposition supporters from marching in downtown.

Students and other opposition groups have demonstrated for 53 straight days to protest Milosevic's annulment of Nov. 17 local elections won by the opposition.
Belgraders waved from balconies and windows in support of the student marchers early Friday. Others joined in their cars, honking horns in celebration.

(c) Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

U.S. Wants Milosevic to Concede
Associated Press Writer
Friday, January 10, 1997 5:27 pm EST

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP)
Meanwhile, student protesters heartened by a triumph over police late Thursday demanded the government withdraw riot squads that have blocked their street protests against Milosevic for over two weeks.

About 30,000 students managed to outlast the police Thursday and marched through Belgrade overnight. They dispersed early Friday, but said they would be back Saturday.

The students delivered a letter to Premier Mirko Marjanovic's office, demanding the removal of police. The students did not meet with the premier.

(c) Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

Opposition Protests Jam Belgrade Traffic

(17:15 01/10/97) BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (Reuter)
Hundreds of riot police were also present in the streets, heightening tension in the city, hours after students had persuaded them to dismantle security cordons and let protesters march in defiance of a ban imposed last month.

Los Angeles Times
Friday, January 10, 1997
Serbian Police Let March Begin
From Associated Press

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia--After a standoff that lasted into the early morning, police backed down today and allowed tens of thousands of students to march through Belgrade in opposition to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

Supporters waved from balconies and windows, greeting the students after they made good on their vow to no longer retreat before Milosevic's riot police.

Students and opposition followers have demonstrated for 53 straight days in protest of Milosevic's annulment of local elections won by the opposition.

In recent days, heavily armed riot police have blocked the marches that accompany the rallies.

About 30,000 students gathered Thursday afternoon, pledging to stay in the capital's center until police allowed them through. Well after midnight Thursday, police finally retreated to their cars, and the students marched.

Their celebration was marred when a government supporter drove into the marchers, injuring four or five of them. The protesters beat the driver before police arrested him and took him away.

Copyright Los Angeles Times

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