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Albania approves U.N.-backed security force

parliament March 30, 1997
Web posted at: 2:25 p.m. EST (1925 GMT)

TIRANA, Albania (CNN) -- Albanian on Sunday overwhelmingly approved a multinational security force to protect the delivery of humanitarian aid amid the country's nationwide upheaval.

The parliament, dominated by President Sali Berisha's rightist Democratic Party, voted to pass the law approving the U.N.-approved multinational force. Italy, trying to head off a new wave of illegal Albanian immigrants, wants to deploy the force as soon as possible, and diplomats said advance units could arrive this week.

Albania has been racked by violence since January, when a number of fraudulent savings schemes collapsed and wiped out millions of dollars. A popular uprising then swept the country in March, and much of southern Albania remains outside government control.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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