Albanian PM meets rebels in south for first time
April 1, 1997
Web posted at: 2:50 p.m. EST (1950 GMT)
TIRANA, Albania (CNN) -- Albanian Prime Minister Bashkim Fino
went to Albania's rebel-held south on Tuesday for the first
time since insurgents seized control of the region last
month. He told rebel leaders that the feared Shik secret
police had been disbanded a day earlier.
Fino, who arrived by helicopter in the rebel-held stronghold
of Gjirokastar, told reporters he was in the region to meet
the "legal representatives of local power and public order"
but quickly moved to discussions with rebels and elected
During the discussions he said he and President Sali Berisha
had accepted the resignations of top Shik officials Monday.
Their resignation had been a main demand of the rebels who
seized southern Albania in early March.
Albania has been swept by violence since January, when a
number of fraudulent pyramid schemes collapsed, wiping out
many Albanians' life savings. Anti-government protests
evolved into a full-scale uprising against President Sali
Berisha, who is blamed for not warning Albanians against the
Reuters contributed to this report.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.