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Words in the News
Wednesday 29 August 2001
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  soldiers
Macedonian Rebels Surrender Weapons
Summary: The Secretary-General of NATO arrives in Macedonia to observe progress in NATO’s operation to collect weapons from ethnic Albanian rebels. This report from Jackie Rowland.
   
The News Listen  
  Ethnic Albanian fighters lined up to hand in their weapons on the second day of NATO's operation. British, French and Dutch soldiers had set up a temporary collection centre in a private house behind rebel lines in the north-west of the country. Most of the weapons surrendered were assault rifles, but there were also a few heavier weapons.

NATO officials said the operation went smoothly, but they didn't expect to match the yield of the first day when they received more than four hundred guns, mortars and landmines. The Macedonians are following the process closely. Many of them suspect the rebels are holding back a lot of guns including their best equipment.

The NATO Secretary-General, Lord Robertson, flies to Macedonia on Wednesday to observe day three of the operation. He'll be lobbying Macedonian political leaders to make sure they stand by their side of the bargain. The Macedonian parliament has promised to give greater rights to the Albanian community once the rebels have surrendered their arms. But with ongoing arguments about the size of the rebel arsenal, constitutional reform cannot be taken for granted.

Jackie Rowland, BBC, Skopje

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  hand in
give (to someone in authority), surrender

 
   
  behind rebel lines
inside territory held by the rebels. Rebels are people who are fighting against their own country’s army in order to change the political system

 
   
  assault rifles
a rifle used for fighting, not for sport

 
   
  match the yield of the first day
equal the number [of weapons] surrendered on the first day

 
   
  mortars
short cannons which fire missiles high into the air and for short distances

 
   
  lobbying
trying to persuade

 
   
  stand by their side of the bargain
keep to what they have agreed. If you stand by an earlier agreement, you do not change it

 
   
  arms
weapons

 
   
  arsenal
a store of weapons, all the weapons or military equipment which a group has

 
   
  cannot be taken for granted
if you take something for granted, you assume that it is certain to happen, without questioning it

 
   
 

Other Words in the News archives

 

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