June 16, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 16-06-03



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The Information Service of the
Serbian Orthodox Church

June 13, 2003



(photo: Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Kyr Pavle - Biography)

His Beatitude the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle sent an appeal today to the United Nations Security Council and Mr. Javier Solana, the European Union's high representative for common foreign and security policy, to protect and ensure basic human rights for Serbs and other non-Albanians still remaining in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as to continue providing humanitarian assistance to those expelled from the southern Serbian province. The letter states, among other things, the following:

"The suffering of hundreds of thousands of Serbs and other non-Albanians, expelled four years ago from Kosovo and Metohija, an autonomous province of the Republic of Serbia under the administration of United Nations during this entire time, continue undiminished. Their houses and property in Kosovo and Metohija have been destroyed or illegally appropriated by the Albanians (30,000 houses and apartments looted, 77,000 usurped). International organizations are no longer giving them even minimal assistance to cover their most basic life needs. Prospects for their return to their ancestral homes grow smaller each day, taking into account that KFOR and UNMIK officials are doing very little or nothing to ensure basic rights for the few Serbs remaining in Kosovo and Metohija. What is more, after the bestial murder of the three members of the Stolic family in Obilic, they are preparing to flee from the knives of Albanian terrorists. Unfortunately, the Republic of Serbia has no opportunity to control this part of its own territory because those provisions of Security Council Resolution 1244 giving it this right remain a dead letter.

"We are aware that much of this is already known to you and we have written regarding these matters to many influential international factors repeatedly in the past. However, we are appealing to you once again because we simply cannot accept that the Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija have outlawed before the eyes of the entire planet: those who fled have been left without minimal living conditions; those who remain in Kosovo and Metohija live in daily fear for their lives.

"Therefore we once again appeal to you to influence KFOR and UNMIK organs so that they actually begin to work on achieving their proclaimed goal: a multiethnic Kosovo and Metohija. Only one thing is necessary to achieve this goal: to put an end to crime and terror. For we are convinced that the Albanian population must know that it cannot build the happiness of its own children on the misfortune of Serb ones.

"Similarly, we call on you to work with humanitarian organizations to ensure that refugees from Kosovo and Metohija continue to receive the humanitarian assistance so necessary for their essential survival. We therefore express our full support for the petition sent to you in April 2003 by the Patria Association of Expelled and Displaced Persons from Berane, and the Kosmet Association of Displaced Persons from Sutomore.

"We hope that you will take advantage of existing opportunities and realistically support the survival of the Serbs and other non-Albanian peoples in Kosovo and Metohija."


In the four years of UNMIK administration in the Province, more precisely, from June 10, 1999 to June 10, 2003, there have been 6,391 attacks on Serbs. In these attacks, 1,194 Serbs were killed, 1,305 wounded and 1,138 abducted. Of the total number of Serbs abducted, 155 were killed, 13 escaped and 95 were released. The fate of 863 persons remains unknown.


Vecernje Novosti, Belgrade
June 11, 2003

By D. Vujanovic

This month the international administration will complete its fourth year of presence in Kosovo and Metohija. A period, even according to the most pessimistic prognoses, more than sufficient to completely implement almost all provisions of the United Nations Security Council's Resolution 1244. Even those related to security, freedom of movement, multiethnicity, the right to property, information, culture, the creation of provisional and subsequently permanent institutions...

Reality, unfortunately, is completely than expectations. Even though the Serbian government has in all ways demonstrated its cooperativeness, through various compromises, including participation in elections and the freeing of Albanian prisoners, thus subjecting itself to the criticism of the domestic public, it has gotten nothing in return. Quite the opposite! The fourth anniversary of the UNMIK and KFOR missions were marked by a crime representing, if the world had the eyes to see it, a direct slap in the face to them. Because the Serb family of Stolic was murdered in their house; they had not even gone out into their yard where they might have been accused of allegedly provoking their attackers. Steiner's team was not too upset by this nor by any of the previous crimes of Albanian gangs. Nor did it occur to him to finally call things by their proper name - terrorism. The Albanians cannot read this as other than support for their goals, justifying the use of all means, nor can the Serbs understand it as anything but a message that there is no longer room for them here.


The results of the international mission are disastrous. According to statistics provided by the Coordinating Center of Kosovo and Metohija, during the four year mandate of UNMIK the life of the remaining 120,000 Serbs in the southern Province has been transformed into a ghetto; their living conditions hardly differ from that of prisoners in a concentration camp; they have turned into moving targets for Albanian terrorists...

With the help of the Coordinating Center, "Novosti" managed to obtain the most current profile of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, with respect to the persecution of Serbs. In terms of numbers, it looks like this: in the four years of UNMIK administration in the Province, more precisely, from June 10, 1999 to June 10, 2003, there have been 6,391 attacks on Serbs. In these attacks, 1,194 Serbs were killed, 1,305 wounded and 1,138 abducted. Of the total number of Serbs abducted, 155 were killed, 13 escaped and 95 were released. The fate of 863 persons remains unknown.

In an interview with "Novosti", Vladimir Bozovic, the head of the judicial department of the Coordinating Center, said that just this year there have been 164 attacks on Serbs. "If the number seems lower to anyone, it's only because there are now fewer Serbs and they have become somewhat better informed on how to protect themselves," said Bozovic.

Even though the fate of some 280,000 of the compatriots scattered throughout central part of Serbia can hardly encourage anyone to do the same, the handful of remaining Kosovo and Metohija Serbs are preparing to follow them. Returns to Kosovo and Metohija are out of the question.

"The alleged total of 3,000 to 4,000 returnees that Michael Steiner talks about are an absolute fiction. Only 125 Serbs have returned and certainly more than that have left in the meanwhile. The number of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija is growing smaller and smaller. In Pristina there are currently 100 of them; before UNMIK's arrival, there were 20,700. What we have here is classic ethnic cleansing. It's a fact that people would return if conditions to do so existed. More than 50 percent of displaced persons want to return. But how to return when barely five percent of 28,000 requests for the eviction of Albanian squatters from Serbian homes and apartments have been positively resolved," said Bozovic.


Bozovic admits that we are partially to blame for many things ourselves, that we could perhaps have done more to inform relevant international institutions regarding the true situation, that we neglected to create a true media picture in the world. When asked why things have gotten worse and worse over the years, why the Serbian government has been unsuccessful in getting the UNMIK administrator to protect at least the basic rights of Serbs according to Resolution 1244 and why, if this could not be done, it did not pursue the matter at a different level, Bozovic said:

"We did pursue it. There were two pictures being presented to the world: our realistic one and UNMIK's imaginary one. The world chose to listen to them. However, the primary reason for this catastrophic four year tally is Mr. Steiner. We still believe that things can improve after the replacement of the administrator."

In the meanwhile, the Serbian government has managed to convince the Serbs from Obilic to return. Their guarantee is a reinforced KFOR patrol. Representatives of the Serbian government are trying to convince them to stay at any price. According to Bozovic: "They have to be patient a little while longer and stay there. If there are no Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, we won't have any arguments left to use. How can we insist on rights for them if they are not there? This is why we cannot support them in leaving the territory."


Movement for Kosovo and Metohija Convention in Belgrade
Momcilo Trajkovic, Marko Jaksic and Dr. Rada Trajkovic



Radio Yugoslavia
June 14, 2003

The Movement for Kosovo-Metohija is a political union based on co-existence of Serbs and Albanians who are ready to build a society in the Province with the highest standards of civil and human rights, said the Movement coordinator Momcilo Trajkovic at this movement’s convention at the Belgrade Sava Center.

Trajkovic emphasized that Kosovo could be an opened Euro-region in which the EU would confirm its capacities through relatively lasting security, economic and political presence in order to stabilize all communities. The Movement for Kosovo is consisted of 47 political parties, associations and NGOs.


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.
Our Information Service is distributing news on Kosovo related issues. The main focus of the Info-Service is the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM Info Service works in cooperation with www.serbian-translation.com as well as the Kosovo Daily News (KDN) News List

The views expressed by the authors of newspaper articles or other texts which are not official communiqués or news reports by the Diocese are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church

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