Operation Amber Fox
- 26 June 2002 - 15 December 2002
- Military personnel
The population of Macedonia consisted mainly of Slavonic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians. By tradition, the Slavonic Macedonians held the key positions in society.
Although ethnic Albanian parties formed part of virtually all successive governments, until 2001 there was little progress in terms of concessions to their demands – political and socio-economic equality as a constitutional entity within Macedonia.
The greatest fear of the Slavonic Macedonian parties in the government was namely that the Albanian demands would jeopardise the unity of the country. A wave of violence erupted in the second half of 2000. The parties signed a ceasefire on 6 July 2001. Then on 13 August, the Slavonic Macedonian and ethnic Albanian leaders then signed what was known as the Ohrid Agreement, which contained the following points: recognition of the territorial integrity of Macedonia and the multi-ethnic character of Macedonian society.
The Macedonian government was then faced with the task of restoring its authority in the whole of Macedonia. It opted for the deployment of multi-ethnic police teams, which would deploy gradually in the former conflict areas. Observers from the European Union Monitoring Mission (see EUMM) and from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were to monitor the return.
Operation Amber Fox
The Macedonian authorities were responsible for the safety of the observers. On 19 September 2002, President Trijkovski therefore asked NATO to station a small force in Macedonia as an additional security measure for the observers. Operation Amber Fox came into existence. The force had the job of supporting the Macedonian authorities in providing security for the EUMM and OSCE observers. With the exception of the time around the elections, they concentrated solely on the former crisis areas in the northwest of the country: the working area of the international observers. The TFF was, however, authorised to operate throughout Macedonia.
Updated: 18 February 2011