September 03, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 03-09-03

KOSOVO ETHNIC TENSIONS RISE AMIDST GROWING CRISIS IN MACEDONIA

CONTENTS:

SERB VICTIM OF BOMB ATTACK BURIED IN CERNICA TODAY
SERBS FROM CERNICA DECIDE WHETHER TO STAY IN VILLAGE WITHIN DAYS
VOLUNTARY SURRENDER OF WEAPONS BEGINS
UN RIGHTS CHIEF STRONGLY CONDEMNS RECENT ATTACKS AS HEINEOUS ACTS
SERB SUSPECT IN UNMIK POLICEMAN MURDER RELEASED
AFP - ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS ISSUE ULTIMATUM TO MACEDONIAN POLICE
ANA TERRORISTS THREATEN MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT - ANA COMMUNIQUES

PERPETRATORS OF GORAZDEVAC MASSACRE STILL NOT ARRESTED - DAY 21...

INVESTIGATIONS OF COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST KOSOVO SERBS AT A STANDSTILL (ERP KIM Info-service, Sep 02, 2003)

Investigations following recent crimes committed against Kosovo Serbs in Obilic, Skulanovo and Gorazdevac are literally at a standstill, the ERP KIM Info Services has learned from sources close to the UNMIK police. The chief reason that it is impossible to find the perpetrators of these crimes is the conspiracy of silence in effect in Kosovo and Metohija, and the unwillingness of local Albanians and institutions representing them to cooperate with UNMIK police officials. According to the same source, this is to the advantage of extremist Albanians who are suspected of being the perpetrators because without knowing the names of the perpetrators these attacks cannot be officially classified as ethnically motivated crimes.

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SERB VICTIM OF BOMB ATTACK BURIED IN CERNICA TODAY
Miomir Savic (35), who died of wounds he received during a hand grenade attack on a group of Serbs gathered in front of the village store on Sunday evening, was buried today in the Orthodox cemetery in Cernica.


BETA News Agency, Belgrade
September 02, 2003


GNJILANE/CERNICA - Miomir Savic, who died of wounds he received during a hand grenade attack on a group of Serbs gathered in front of the village store on Sunday evening, was buried today in the Orthodox cemetery in Cernica.

Savic is "the seventh Serb victim in Cernica of attacks by Albanian extremists since the arrival of UNMIK and KFOR in Kosovo and Metohija," it was said at the funeral, which was attended by almost all the remaining Serbs in the ethnically mixed village near Gnjilane.

The remaining Serbs in Cernica announced that after the funeral they would discuss the security situation in the village. In addition to the seven Serbs who were killed, more than 30 of them have been wounded in the 75 attacks that have occurred to date.

None of the perpetrators of the murders of Serbs in Cernica have been found.

At today's public meeting the Serbs of Cernica will decide whether they will remain in the village or whether they will collectively leave their homes. One of the alternative possibilities is also the relocation of some 50 children to safer areas in Kosovo to attend school.

Serbian language instruction in the new school year in Cernica still has not begun and has been taking place in a private residence located some 50 meters from the site of the most recent explosion.

Yesterday Cernica Serbs requested talks with the U.S. KFOR officers, asking them for guarantees and the creation of normal living conditions, and stating that their decision on whether to collectively leave the village or not will depend on the guarantees they receive.


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SERBS FROM CERNICA TO DECIDE WHETHER TO STAY IN VILLAGE WITHIN DAYS
At the meeting Cernica Serbs had planned to discuss the security situation in the village and decide whether they wish to remain living there or want to collectively leave their homes. One of the alternative possibilities is also the relocation of some 50 children to safer areas in Kosovo to attend school.

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BETA News Agency, Belgrade
September 02, 2003


CERNICA - Serbs from Cernica have deferred for a few days the public meeting scheduled for today where residents were to have decided whether they wish to stay in the village.

Beta has learned that the meeting was delayed in order to allow time for a response to their request addressed to the U.S. KFOR command in whose area of responsibility the village is located.

At the meeting Cernica Serbs had planned to discuss the security situation in the village and decide whether they wish to remain living there or want to collectively leave their homes. One of the alternative possibilities is also the relocation of some 50 children to safer areas in Kosovo to attend school.

Following Sunday's attack in which Miomir Savic was killed and four other persons injured, yesterday Cernica Serbs requested talks with the U.S. KFOR officers, asking them for guarantees and the creation of normal living conditions, and stating that their decision on whether to collectively leave the village or not will depend on the guarantees they receive.

Savic is the seventh person murdered in Cernica since the arrival of international forces in Kosovo. In the 75 attacks against the Serbian population that have occurred so far, more than 30 people have also been wounded.

There are approximately 200 Serbs and more than 2,000 Albanians living in Cernica.\

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RELATED NEWS FROM THE AREA:

Gnjilane Municipal Vice President Bans Serbs From Talking

Gnjilane, 02 Sep (RTS-NS) - Xhemajl Hyseni, the vice president of Gnjilane municipality tried to distance the Serbian representatives of the "Povratak" coalition from the sessions of the municipal security council and the municipal presiding body, both of which were addressing the Cernica incident.

Parliamentarian Vesna Jovanovic confirmed for FoNet news agency that after the reaction of Bob Simon, the UNMIK municipal administrator, the Serbs were allowed to participate the session but Hyseni still did not allow them to talk.

Municipal vice president Bozidar Peric evaluated that the attack on the Serbs from Cernica is politically motivated while Hyseni not liking such an estimate evaluated that what happened in Cernica is just a typical criminal act.

Local Serbs Announce Street Protests Until Perpetrators Of The Crime In Cernica Are Captured

Gjilane, 02 Sep (Radio Kosova, K/Albanian) - The Committee for Security and Emergency in Gjilane municipality has denounced the explosions in Cernica, where a Serb minority member lost his life, on a special meeting held on Tuesday.

The second Vice-President of the Gjilane municipality Bozidar Peric announced street protests by the local Serbs until the perpetrators are captured. He assessed the explosion in Cernica as a crime with political motives that aims to cleanse the Serbs from the village. Albanian deputies opposed this qualification made by Peric and called it as a hasty reaction, while they demanded that such acts, which are making the situation tense, come to an end.


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VOLUNTARY SURRENDER OF WEAPONS BEGINS

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KIM RADIO
Pristina, September 1, 2003

Today is the official beginning of an operation of voluntary surrender of weapons in Kosovo and Metohija supported by UNMIK and KFOR. UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi and KFOR commander-in-chief general Fabio Mini held a press conference in Pristina today and called on all citizens of the Province who are in possession of illegal weapons to surrender it by September 30.

"Recent events give Kosovo a bad image," said UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, who condemned the bomb attack in Cernica and the murder of Cernica local Miomir Savic. Holkeri appealed to citizens to turn in their illegal weapons. "People in Kosovo need to believe the police so that Kosovo can be safe for everyone," said Holkeri.

Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi also condemned the murder of a Serb man in Cernica, calling it a criminal act that occurred, according to him, despite an improvement in security. "It appears that someone is behind these criminal acts who wants to provoke fear among the people of Kosovo and ruin the image of its progress," said Rexhepi. Appealing for surrender of weapons, Rexhepi stressed that Kosovo should have the rule of law so that crime does not increase.

KFOR commander-in-chief Italian general Fabio Mini reminded that the period of amnesty began today and that the deadline for turning in weapons without fear of prosecution is until September 30. "We have established mobile and fixed checkpoints for turning in weapons throughout Kosovo," said Mini. The KFOR commander expressed his hopes for positive results in the voluntary surrender of weapons and said that the mentality of using weapons must be overcome. KFOR has organized multiple campaigns for the voluntary surrender of weapons, this latest one under the slogan "Turn in weapons, don't kill freedom."

During the amnesty the UNDP organization will use funds provided by the Japanese government to implement a program called "Weapons Exchange for Progress" in 30 municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija. The program foresees the possibility of competing for development projects in the municipalities in exchange for voluntary surrender of arms, said the Japanese ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro, Si Gemi Za Mura. The three municipalities with the greatest quantity of collected weapons (over 300 pieces) will compete for an UNDP award of 250,000 dollars. The public announcement of the results of the best disarmed municipalities will take place on October 2 of this year.

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KOSOVO: UN RIGHTS CHIEF STRONGLY CONDEMNS RECENT ATTACKS AS "HEINOUS ACTS"
"These heinous acts underline the urgency of ridding Kosovo of criminal and destructive influences and of establishing a democratic society fully based on rule of law and respect for human rights," Mr. Ramcharan said in a statement. "The perpetrators of these crimes must not be allowed to undermine the peace process and the efforts to build a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo."
 

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UN NEWS CENTRE
September 02, 2004



2 September - The acting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, today strongly condemned the recent series of attacks in Kosovo, calling them an assault on the crucial process of democratic reforms and appealing for an immediate end to the violence.

"These heinous acts underline the urgency of ridding Kosovo of criminal and destructive influences and of establishing a democratic society fully based on rule of law and respect for human rights," Mr. Ramcharan said in a statement. "The perpetrators of these crimes must not be allowed to undermine the peace process and the efforts to build a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo."

An attack on Sunday evening left one Serb dead and four others injured, and two Serbian teenagers were shot dead and four others injured while swimming in a river earlier in August.

"The acting High Commissioner encourages the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to continue their efforts to improve the security situation in Kosovo, in particular through strengthening local police and measures to fight organized crime," the statement added.


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SERB SUSPECT IN UNMIK POLICEMAN MURDER RELEASED
Vladimir Jovanovic (21) from Ibarska Slatina in Leposavic municipality, suspected for the murder of Satish Menon, an UNMIK police member, was released on Tuesday from detention facility in Northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

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Pristina, 02 Sep (Free Serbia)

Vladimir Jovanovic (21) from Ibarska Slatina in Leposavic municipality, suspected for the murder of Satish Menon, an UNMIK police member, was released on Tuesday from detention facility in Northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

On a recommendation of the international prosecutor, Karl Mike Peralta, an international judge, reached a decision to release Jovanovic from detention in which he was placed on 19 of august. The decision was reached on the basis of the forensic analysis, which confirmed that none of the weapons found during the search in Leposavic municipality were used to kill the policemen.

Miro Delvic, who is Jovanovic's lawyer, stated that the investigation in this case would continue. (Beta)

CASE OF VLADIMIR JOVANOVIC USED TO MAKE A FALSE BALANCE OF CRIME IN KOSOVO

ERP KIM Info-service
September 3, 2003

COMMENT

Vladimir Jovanovic who was arrested under suspicion of killing a UN policeman Satish Menon in August has finally been set free. Be it coincidence or not, Jovanovic was arrested in the time of a series of terrorist attacks on Kosovo Serbs, including the massacre of Serb childeren in Gorazdevac, and his case served to the K/Albanian and some international press as an indicator that beside Albanian terrorism there is also a Serb terrorism in Kosovo. The press immediately spread the news that a Kosovo Serb killed the UN policeman although the police did not have any reliable proof against Jovanovic. Before Satish Menon was killed the attacker(s) shot at the car in which there was a Serb member of the UN run Kosovo Police Force. Besides, the fact that the attack on the UN policeman occurred in North Kosovo predominantly inhabited by Serbs has no significance at all because just few months ago members of the Albanian National Army were proved to have attempted to blow up a railway bridge, after which the UNMIK chief branded them publicly a terrorist organization.

This case shows once again that some circles in Kosovo are maiking tremendous efforts to divert attention from Kosovo Albanian terrorism which is without any doubt the most serious problem of post-war Kosovo Province.

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ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS ISSUE ULTIMATUM TO MACEDONIAN POLICE

The ANA has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks in Kosovo, southern Serbia and Macedonia in recent months, and openly declares its intention to create a "Greater Albania" in the region.
 

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AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Tuesday, 02-Sep-2003 11:41AM

SKOPJE, Sep 2 (AFP) - An ethnic Albanian militia has issued a stern ultimatum to Macedonian security forces, urging them to withdraw from the north of the country or face armed conflict, reports said Tuesday.

But after more than three hours of talks with the deputies of ethnic Albanian political parties in the Macedonian parliament, the guerrillas of the Albanian National Army (ANA) decided to suspend the ultimatum, sources close to the rebels said.

However, the group issued five demands to the authorities, including a withdrawal of special police forces from the northern region -- populated mostly by ethnic Albanians -- amnesty for all former guerrillas and release of all "political prisoners," one of the deputies, Hisni Shaciri, told reporters.

He said the demands would be sent to the Macedonian authorities, but the ANAN set to deadline for a response.

Earlier, ANA gave Macedonian forces until Tuesday afternoon to pull out of the ethnic Albanian dominated region along the border with Kosovo.

In a statement posted on its website, the group said its forces would use "all available means" to drive Macedonian forces out of the region, threatening a return to the kind of separatist violence which erupted there two years ago.

An interior ministry spokeswoman, Mirjana Kontevska, said the villages of Vaksince and Lojane, some 40 kilometers (24 miles) from Skopje, "are under control of armed persons," confirming earlier reports that rebels had been seen there.

Local women and children are also reported to have left the village.

Earlier, Macedonian government spokesman Saso Colakovski told the Makfaks news agency that Skopje would not negotiate with an "extremist criminal group".

"The government is determined to isolate and eliminate these groups," Colakovski said.

Kontevska said "the police will not take any measures which could jeopardize civilians and the safety of the citizens."

The ANA has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks in Kosovo, southern Serbia and Macedonia in recent months, and openly declares its intention to create a "Greater Albania" in the region.

Ethnic Albanians make up about a quarter of Macedonia's two million population, while they are the majority in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo, which has been a United Nations protectorate since the 1998-99 civil war there.

The UN mission in Kosovo has listed the ANA as a "terrorist organisation" but police there say it has limited resources to carry out large-scale operations.

International peacekeepers are also deployed in Macedonia as part of a peace deal between the Macedonian authorities and ethnic Albanian rebels who waged a seven-month uprising for greater minority rights in 2001.

The ANA has emerged since the end of that conflict and is considered to be more hardline than the rebels who took up arms two years ago.

Last week it claimed responsibility for three almost simultaneous explosions near official buildings in Skopje which injured one soldier.

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RELATED NEWS:


Macedonia: ANA mobilizes its forces

Makfax News Agency, Skopje
Skopje 9/2/03 2:43:42 PM


The National Front for Uniting of Albanians, ordered today an immediate mobilization and deployment of its fighters in the border villages in Kumanovo's municipalities, Makfax news agency quotes the latest communiqué of the so-called Albanian National Army (ANA).

ANA's communiqué was released on its web site. It states that the Commander of ANA Headquarters, Vigan Gradica, had issued an activation order due to current situation in Kumanovo, Tanusevci, Vaksince and Lojane.

"The activation order foresees that ANA's units 'Skenderbeg', 'Adem Jashari' as well as the special units within ANA HQ, 'Anakonda', Komando 98' and the battalion 'Tahir Sinani' be put under state of highest alert. The activation order comes into force immediately, says the ANA's communiqué.

"The members of these units are to immediately take their positions within next 24 hours, before the expiration of ANA's ultimatum to Macedonian government forces, that are due to withdrawing from designated villages."

On Monday, ANA gave the Macedonian government a 24-hour deadline to withdraw the security forces from Kumanovo-Lipkovo region. ANA made it clear that it will re-activate its fighters unless the government upholds its terms by 16:00 hours. /end/


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ANA TERRORISTS THREATEN SKOPJE GOVERNMENT AND OPENLY DECLARE THEIR GOAL OF CREATING GREATER ALBANIA

We are enclosing English translations of the two latest Communiques issued by the Albanian National Army (ANA or AKSH in Albanian). The communiques can be found in Albanian on their Web-site www.aksh.org ANA was officially branded as terrorist organization by the Chief of UN Mission in Kosovo Michael Steiner earlier this year.

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AKSH Takes Responsibility For Bomb Attacks In Skopje

01 Sept (Ribashkimi I Shqipërisë) - AKSH "Skënderbeu" Division HQ's announces that it's Special Unit "Kommando", led by Colonel Gent Kumanova, on date 28 August, 2003, has accomplished three political and military strategic operations against three important buildings of the Macedonia authorities, Skopje's main Court of Law, technical base of the anti-Albanian government of FYROM and the military barracks "Ilinden." The soldiers of this special unit, responsible for their mission, carried out these actions during the late night hours after they ensured that there would be no human casualties, which was successfully accomplished.

The objective of these missions was to weaken the Macedonian military base. The military barracks of "Ilinden" was and remains the "black shadow" against the autochthonous Albanians, a base from where the Serb Slav militias are supplied with weapons in order to create tragic events, especially in the Albanian "Bit Pazar."

The Skopje Court of Law also mistreats innocent Albanians only because they do not want to stay under the colonization and occupation of Slav Macedonians. This court is turned to a simple political institution in the hands of Crvenkovksi, where the term "justice" is changed into monstrous kidnappings of fascistic type. This court not only closes its eyes to the unjust arrests of Albanians, but it also sentences them without any evidence.

The AKSH political structure, FBKSH, through its serious declaration has made known to all official political actors in the Albanian territories and, above all, to the international actors to properly take into consideration the demand of Albanians for the just solution of the Albanian National cause. Albanians do not want to live with their Slav Macedonian colonizers any more, but they want their ethnic state by uniting with Albania. It has been a while now that the AKSH soldiers have been speaking the language of good reason, but the irresponsible actors of Albanian official policy or the irresponsibility of the Macedonian officials or the international community are canalizing our warnings into banal offenses and unmeritorious labels. It is time to stop these untrue and irresponsible declarations for the alleged "FYROM stability" and seriously consider the repeated demand of autochthonous Albanians in FYROM to get rid of the Slav Macedonian colonization once and forever. The sooner the international community sits down and examines this demand with full responsibility, the better for the peace and stability in the Balkans. If otherwise, we declare certain international factors are interested in keeping the Balkans in a permanent war situation, which obliges the Albanian nation's freedoms fighters to sacrifice to eliminate the cause of this anti-Albanian phenomenon, states communiqué number 29th released by the AKSH General HQ's spokesperson, Colonel Ilir Duraku.

AKSH Sends Ultimatum To Macedonian Military Forces

01 Sept (Ribashkimi I Shqipërisë) - On Monday, September 01, 2003, AKSH General HQ's examined the tragic situation created on the Albanian territory of Kumanova municipality as a result of the serious provocations made by the increased presence of FYROM military forces. Albanians, autochthonous residents of these territories, are experiencing the worst days of unseen state terror. The expressions of Serb Slav Macedonians soldiers like they are stepping over the Albanians once again show the unseen wildness of the authorities of the so-called state without a name, FYROM. As a result of this several Albanian families have displaced from their villages in Malinë, Brezë, Tanushë etc.

This cruel act that is taking place before the eyes of the international community, which, as it seems, is testing the patience of Albanians. Albanian political forces in position and opposition in FYROM, which we consider more than irresponsible and unpatriotic, did not react with the proper means. The acts of the Slav Macedonian authorities have revived a massive hatred amongst the Albanian population. The people of this region have called for AKSH assistance to protect during these bad days they are experiencing. AKSH General HQ's has undertaken the appropriate measures and is relocating the AKSH forces there where the unprotected Albanian population needs them. In these circumstances, based on international rights juridical principles, in the principle for self-determination, war against the colonization and defending of the unprotected civil population, AKSH General HQ's makes this ultimatum"
"Within 24 hours, starting from 1600 hrs of today's date September 1, 2003, all the military and police forces and their heavy weaponry must withdraw from Kumanova and all Albanian-inhabited areas around this town. If these Macedonian military-police forces do not withdraw in order to leave in peace the Albanians in their lands, AKSH General HQ's is legitimated to order their forces to operate and to realize with any means this patriotic, civil, and democratic obligation. We appeal to the international community personnel who are operating in FYROM, urgently to influence the fulfillment of this lawful and democratic right for Albanians, the right of removing the armed colonizers from their lands and homes. If otherwise, they will also be held accountable for what will happen next after this Ultimatum in continuity in FYROM. We appeal and want that the Albanian political forces in FYROM, within the deadline of this Ultimatum, express their political position related to this barbarous act of the genocidal Slav Macedonian authorities.

For the AKSH General HQ's, General Vigan Gagica



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ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
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