ENN Issue 9a
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ENN Issue 2a
Serb Forces Move to Border with Croatia

August 1, 2009

Zagreb, Croatia 

Striking workers protest outside steel mill gates.

Serbian military forces have deployed to the Croatia/Serbian border in response to civil unrest between local Croatian districts and their central government. 

The main issue involved is a highly profitable steel mill complex not far from the border where the Serbian military is assembling. Croatian steel workers are on strike and threatening to shut down production completely. The Croatian government depends heavily upon the mill complex for income and is threatening to bring in workers from Zagreb to break the strike. 

According to preliminary reports, the local populous (many of whom are of Serbian background) have called upon Serbia to protect them from Croatia's "cruel greed" and to stabilize wages. In a sign of unity, other steel workers in Croatia are set to walk out in a wildcat strike if the workers are not given higher wages by the state-controlled company. 

One leading member of the workers called upon Serbia to "Remember your

Marching protesters encounter line of  Croat police (amateur video)

 Serbian brothers living in Croatia and to not forget us during our time of need." 

Croatia's army, while reasonably well-trained and fairly modern, is simply not large enough to hold off a resolved Serbian invasion should Belgrade order it's forces to cross the border and 'secure' the steel mill complex and surrounding countryside.

The showdown that is now brewing is just one more chapter in an age-old conflict between Croatia and Yugoslavia. The last conflict was a border dispute over the Pretaka Peninsula, a small strip of land on the Adriatic at the border between Croatia and Montengero. 

The news of the assembling of Serbian military forces on the Croatian border isn't without relief though. Originally, reports had the Serbian forces moving toward the Bosnian-Serbian border area. Once it was learned the forces were moving in a northerly direction instead of toward the Bosnian border, a sigh of relief went out from many Bosnians, for many of whom lost whole families or family members during the last war with Serbia.

( Kelly Crawford, ENN)

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