BELGRADE — Rumbles of Yugoslavia’s next civil conflict hit the nation’s TV airwaves Wednesday after appointments to Radio Television Serbia (RTS) in the northern Serb province of Vojvodina angered politicos.
“I will no longer allow Belgrade to step all over Vojvodina,” declared Nenad Canak, leader of the province’s parliamentary assembly. Reflecting the secessionist sentiments brewing in Vojvodina, Canak went to the studios in the provincial capital of Novi Sad and tore down RTS signs.
Canak then ordered the RTS logo removed from Novi Sad state TV channels. “This media house will be managed by people chosen by the Vojvodina Assembly,” Canak declared. “Let them appoint their own managements in Belgrade.”
Canak said that the RTS appointments broke a agreement sealed Oct. 5 within Yugoslavia’s ruling Democratic Opposition of Serbia alliance, presumably to keep Vojvodina within Serbia and Yugoslavia.
Ever since the revolution that toppled dictator Slobodan Milosevic a year ago, Vojvodina and the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro have threatened secession. Although Yugoslav leaders appear to view Monte-negro’s departure as inevitable, Belgrade has worked to keep Vojvodina within the Serbian republic.
On Wednesday, RTS execs balked at Canak’s declaration. “RTV Novi Sad is still, legally, a part of the RTS system,” said Aleksandar Crkven-jakov. He said the RTS management committee was made up of represen-tatives from Vojvodina and alleged that Canak’s anger was partisan poli-tics.