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Serbia Marks 10th Anniversary Of Mass Protest

Anti-Milosevic demonstrators converged in massive numbers on downtown Belgrade on October 5, 2000.
Serbia is marking the 10th anniversary of the mass demonstration that led to the ouster of President Slobodan Milosevic, ending more than a decade of wars, international isolation, and economic decline.

Speaking at a conference marking the anniversary, Serbian President Boris Tadic said the country was getting closer to joining the European Union.

On October 5, 2000, hundreds of thousands of people rallied in Belgrade to force Milosevic to accept electoral defeat.

Protesters entered the parliament building, which was partially destroyed by fire.

Milosevic, who resigned days later, was arrested the following year and handed over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where he died in 2006 while on a trial for genocide.

Serbia applied to join the EU last year.

Obstacles have included Belgrade's failure to arrest Ratko Mladic, the wartime Bosnian Serb commander wanted on war crimes charges, and relations with Kosovo, formerly a Serbian province with a mainly ethnic Albanian population.

Cops Protest

Meanwhile in the Serbian capital, around 1,000 off-duty police officers protested outside the government building to demand better wages. Their main demand is a collective labor contract that would establish a minimum salary threshold and a set of labor rights.

compiled from agency reports