April 18, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 18-04-03

STEINER: ALBANIAN NATIONAL ARMY IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION


ANALYSIS: ALBANIAN TERRORISM UNCOVERED
Proclamation of ANA as a terrorist organization is a major step forward towards interethnic reconciliation claim Serb political leaders in Kosovo.
Whether this is a change in the existing UNMIK/KFOR strategy or only a new rhetorical trick the following days and months will show.

STEINER: ALBANIAN NATIONAL ARMY (ANA) IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
Steiner released an administrative direction, declaring AKSH - which has claimed responsibility for the act for blowing up the railway bridge in Zvecan on April 12th - an outlaw organization. Steiner said the bombing was aimed at killing "a large number of innocent civilians and damaging public property." The decision to declare ANA a terrorist organization was the first such move by the U.N.'s Kosovo administration.

KOSOVO PROTECTION CORPS CONFIRMED THAT ONE OF ITS MEMBERS MIGHT HAVE TAKEN PART IN BRIDGE MINING
KPC: There is a reasonable suspicion that Behrami might have been involved in the attack on the railway bridge at Loziste near Zvecan and that he died in this attack. KPC also says that such attack was an individual act which should not be brought in connection with the institutions.

KOSOVO PARLIAMENT HAS MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES THAN TO CONDEMN TERRORISM - KOSOVO GOVERNMENT REQUESTS DECISIVE ACTIONS AGAINST "ILLEGAL ORGANIZATIONS"
"The parliament has more important issues to debate than the advice and request of Michael Steiner and Fabio Mini for the parliament to condemn an act against the people of Kosovo carried out on April 12 by blowing up the bridge on the Kosovo Polje-Lesak railway line," said Daci, shortly after opening today's session of the provincial parliament.

ONE SUSPECT IN PEC MURDER IDENTIFIED - ADEM ELSHANI, FORMER KLA MEMBER
One suspect in the double murder in Pec is 29 year-old Adem Elshani from Pec, advised Bob Richards, the regional commander of the UNMIK police in Pec today.

BELGRADE GOVERNMENT: STEINER'S STRATEGY UNACCEPTABLE

The contents and dynamic of Steiner's  plan are contrary to the principles and aim of the UN Security Council and our state police and, as such, are totally unacceptable,” said the government in a statement

KOSOVO INSTITUTIONS WILL BE JUDGED PRIMARILY HOW THE MAJORITY TREATS THE MINORITY
The UN Secretary General calls on the leaders and people in Kosovo to stop such counterproductive, antidemocratic behavior and to orient themselves towards joint work, interethnic dialogue and reconciliation. Kosovo institutions will be judged primarily by how the majority treats the minority, warns Annan.

EXTRACTS FROM THE REPORT OF THE UN SEC. GENERAL ON UN MISSION IN KOSOVO

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Analysis: After Steiner's proclamation that Albanian National Army is a terrorist organization

ALBANIAN TERRORISM UNCOVERED
Proclamation of ANA as a terrorist organization is a major step forward towards stabilization of security situation and  interethnic reconciliation, claim Serb political leaders in Kosovo.
Whether this is a change in the existing UNMIK/KFOR strategy or only a new rhetorical trick the following days and months will show.

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ERP KIM Info-Service
Gracanica, April 17, 2003

(photo: Image from the front page of ANA (AKSH) Web site www. aksh.org)

Calling outlawed Albanian National Army a terrorist organization is seen as a major step made by UNMIK's chief Michael Steiner forward towards stabilization of security situation and interethnic coexistence in Kosovo and Metohija, unanimously claim Kosovo Serb political leaders in Kosovo and Metohija.

So far UNMIK and KFOR have persistently denied existence of Albanian terrorism in the Province, which was seen by extremists as a green light to carry out their criminal agenda. The attack on the railway bridge near Zvecan seems to be a turning point. Steiner's radical statement gives hope that the international community might no longer turn the blind eye towards Albanian terrorists who have used the sufferings of war to present themselves as freedom fighters and now continue to keep Kosovo Albanian political scene in the claws of extreme nationalism.

The goal of ANA is so called "reunification of all Albanian lands", which clearly means not only redrawing of international borders of Serbia and Montenegro, of which Kosovo is a constitutive part, but also reshaping the entire Balkan political map. At their recent meeting in Belgrade, Balkans political leaders expressed their strong commitment not to allow changes of borders, seen by all as too dangerous a threat for their fragile democracies. But Albanian extremists like ANA think that it is time to make their dream come true despite serious political changes in the region and public opinion in the last four years.

Albanian extremists enjoyed certain Western favor during the Milosevic rule, when they were even presented in the press as freedom fighters and pro-Western guerillas. Actions of Serbian police against KLA terrorists were exclusively painted as repressive actions against "peaceful civilians". However, the situation on the ground was much more complex. As much as Milosevic regime wanted to prevent any kind of internationalization of the Kosovo problem, using brutal force to discourage rebellion, Albanian guerillas sought by all means to draw NATO into the war by provoking massive police crackdown. But now the one time allies seem no longer welcome to their former sponsors, the fate similar to Osama Bin Laden who used to be seen in his younger days as a freedom fighter against Russians in Afghanistan.

There are many indications that certain number of the former KLA guerillas, dissatisfied by decreasing Western support, joined the new Albanian National Army (ANA), which pursues exactly the same strategy as presented in the first public KLA statement read by Jakup Krasniqi, now a minister in the Kosovo Government. But upon intervention by their Western sponsors, the goals of KLA, including the controversial "reunification of Albanian lands", were quickly changed into more palatable "struggle for human rights and democracy". Although special US envoy for the Balkans Robert Gelbard identified KLA as a terrorist organization, the U.S. Administration changed its opinion overnight out of fear that Milosevic police might have excuse to crack on the entire Kosovo Albanian separatist movement.  American and some other intelligence services also managed to prevent spreading of excessive Islamic influence on KLA despite obvious attempts by Bin Laden to impose Al Qaeda as a protector of the new Moslem "freedom fighters". Although groups of bearded moujaheddins were seen near Mitrovica and Malisevo , the KLA remained faithful to its Western sponsors. Obviously the West needed the KLA to topple the Milosevic regime and Kosovo was seen as Milosevic's most sensitive stronghold where he won the power in 1989. That is why many in the West were too ready to overlook the whims and excesses of their new allies. Information about drug links of some KLA fighters and a typical separatist political agenda (at least a century old) were deliberately pushed behind the new image of brave young Albanians "fighting for democracy and freedom".

However, "the allies" went too far in their encouraged national enthusiasm and after the war immediately seized power under NATO eyes, committing hideous crimes against innocent civilians. Murders, illegal detentions, cleansing of Serb- and Roma-inhabited areas and destroying of Serb houses and churches were the most significant activities of the KLA "liberators" upon establishing their rule of terror. But Albanian dissenters were not spared, either. On the contrary, many of them (the number is still unknown) perished overnight while Western politicians were applauding the birth of new democracy. To get into direct conflict with their war time allies was seen as too dangerous because, thanks to Western media and politicians, the KLA established its authority in Kosovo as a liberation movement and any measure against the wild Drenica clans and self-made "ministers" could ignite an armed conflict between the peacekeepers and Albanians themselves. In that case, the Mission could easily fail and the world would be confused by the new reality which was all too far from enthusiastic reports in media.  At the same time, this could give a plausible excuse to Milosevic to say that he was right after all. That is why a solution was found to officially disband KLA and establish a new organization under Western sponsorship: the Kosovo Protection Corps. For all well informed observers, it was more than clear that this was not the end of the KLA agenda and their dream of expanded ethnic Albanian land. The rebellious spirit of Adem Jashari and his gunmen continued to be glorified by Corps and was now amply supported by Western money. For Serbs the Corps remains even today nothing but the KLA in disguise.

After the war, under the guise of legality, former KLA "commanders" began organizing rebel movements in southern Serbia and Macedonia in order to try out the Kosovo strategy in these territories, too. In front of NATO's nose they exported machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, bombs and explosives to help their brethren on the other side of the border. While NATO led peacekeepers were guarding the boundary towards central Serbia, fearful of Milosevic revenge, "the freedom fighters" freely brought fresh weapons to Macedonia. But the West was not ready to go into a new adventure this time with their former friends which immediately caused considerable frustration among some leading figures who thought that their allies were going to help them "unify all Albanian lands". Although these guerrilla movements were put under certain kind of control, they still remain destabilizing factor in both south Serbia and Macedonia today. The Serb and Macedonian population is slowly leaving these areas where Albanians await some better days to finally proclaim their sovereign territory. Although they seemed to be a useful tool to bring down Milosevic's power, now the KLA - UCPMB - NLA and their satellites look more like dangerous viruses which escaped from the laboratory.

In the meanwhile, almost all leading figures of the Kosovo Protection Corps, except its leader Agim Cheku, who is seriously suspected of war crimes in Croatia, have either been suspended or arrested for various crimes. Some of them, especially those who exported "democracy" to Macedonia, were immediately put on a black list by U.S. President George W. Bush. Some have already been brought to justice and a deputy of Hashim Thaqi was sent to the Hague tribunal. For the first time, Albanian people of Kosovo could read in their newspapers that their famous war-time "generals" and "commanders" killed probably more ethnic Albanians than Serbs in their insatiable quest for power and control of illegal financial resources. They gathered a great wealth from drug smuggling, prostitution, white slavery and production of illegal cigarettes while the majority of ordinary Albanians lived in poverty and unemployment. Again, some circles in the West took care to hide this reality from the world because the truth of KLA crimes could seriously put to question the plausibility of the NATO intervention and could also throw a dark shadow on the "success story" of the UN Mission in Kosovo. 

Dugi Gorani, one of the members of the Kosovo Albanian negotiation team at Rambouilett in France, explained to BBC that creating a humanitarian crisis during 1998 and early 1999 was the only way to attract the attention of the world and media (documentary "Moral Combat", BBC). KLA would simply carry out a terrorist attack against Serb officials or infrastructure which would result in fleeing of Albanian civil population before rampaging Serb policemen. Hardly any Albanian would ever consider this strategy morally wrong. In addition, many have forgotten that the large-scale humanitarian catastrophe began after the beginning of the bombing campaign, when enraged Milosevic regime decided to take most radical measures against the Albanians. After all, it was not too difficult to trigger Milosevic's excessive reaction. Both during and after the war, the main victims were innocent civilians on both sides. This was definitely not a war between Serbs and Albanians but between a brutal regime which employed excessive force to preserve its control over a rebellious territory and a guerrilla movement which wanted to draw NATO into the war on their side. Tragically, many do not realize that even today.

Steiner's radical statement against ANA came out of blue as a real surprise after the lukewarm and cautious statements by UNMIK police spokesman who flatly denied the very existence of the ANA in Kosovo. Such a radical statement could not be heard even after the blowing up of the Serb bus in February 2001 when 11 Serb civilians were killed and 40 wounded. Although it is still early to draw any final conclusions, this decision may indicate that the international community might no longer tolerate Albanian terrorism and violations of human rights of non-Albanian population. Whether this is a change in the existing UNMIK/KFOR strategy or only a new rhetorical trick, the following days and months will show. If UNMIK and KFOR seriously decide to crack down on extremism and organized crime in the same manner as the Serbian police is now dismantling Milosevic's mafia structures which survived the opposition coup in 2000, this could open a new page in the contemporary history of Kosovo and lead to much better Serb-Albanian cooperation. On the other hand, if UNMIK fails to act on its words and continues to hide Kosovo reality behind the facade of non-existent multiethnicity and sham-democracy, the volatile Province will continue to slide towards further conflicts which may easily create additional instability in the region.

D.S.
 




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STEINER: ALBANIAN NATIONAL ARMY IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

Steiner released an administrative direction, declaring AKSH - which has claimed responsibility for the act for blowing up the railway bridge in Zvecan on April 12th - an outlaw organization. Steiner said the bombing was aimed at killing "a large number of innocent civilians and damaging public property." The decision to declare ANA a terrorist organization was the first such move by the U.N.'s Kosovo administration.

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Radio 21 (Pristina)
April 17, 2003


Steiner released an administrative direction, declaring AKSH (ANA) - which has claimed responsibility for the act for blowing up the railway bridge in Zvecan on April 12th - an outlaw organization.

"Noting further that AKSH publications and other propaganda materials, including the AKSH web-site, clearly manifest that it seeks to achieve its objectives by violence and use of force, Armata Kombetare Shpiptare (AKSH) / Albanian National Army (ANA) is a terrorist organization as defined under section 1 (f) of UNMIK Regulation No. 2001/12", reads Steiner's administrative direction.

The ruling by German diplomat Michael Steiner means that members of the Albanian National Army (ANA) can be jailed for up to 40 years. The move suggests that Western officials are starting to take ANA, which has been dismissed by some diplomats as little more than a band of criminals, more seriously.

ANA says it wants to unite Albanian lands in the Balkans. It said this week on its website that it was behind the bomb attack designed to cut the railway connecting "occupied" parts of Kosovo with Belgrade. Two suspected bombers were killed.

Steiner said the bombing was aimed at killing "a large number of innocent civilians and damaging public property." The decision to declare ANA a terrorist organization was the first such move by the U.N.'s Kosovo administration.

U.N. police spokesman Barry Fletcher said the remains of two people were found by a bridge, damaged in Saturday night's explosion near the town of Zveçan, northern Kosovo. "We believe they were the people who were setting the explosive device," UN Police spokesman told.

He said three people were detained in connection with the incident, adding they were from an Albanian-populated area near the divided flashpoint town of Mitrovica.

Also Kosovo Assembly, Government, the President Ibrahim Rugova, the leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci and the one of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj strongly condemned the terrorist act of the bombing of the railway bridge near Zvecan.

"This is an act against stability and overall progress in Kosovo. We expect the authorities which implement the law to investigate the case and bring the culprits to justice", Government, Rugova, Thaci and Haradinaj said among others.

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KOSOVO PROTECTION CORPS CONFIRMED THAT ONE OF ITS MEMBERS MIGHT HAVE TAKEN PART IN BRIDGE MINING
KPC: There is a reasonable suspicion that Behrami might have been involved in the attack on the railway bridge at Loziste near Zvecan and that he died in this attack. KPC also says that such attack was an individual act which should not be brought in connection with the institutions.

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BETA News Agency
PRISTINA, April 17, 2002

"Unfortunately, according to the information from the family and the several days of absence from work of Hamza Behrami, member of the Kosovo Protection Corps, Fourth zone, there is a reasonable suspicion that he might have been involved in the attack on the railway bridge at Loziste near Zvecan and that he died in this attack", it is said in the communiqué of the Kosovo Protection Corps today.

KPC also says that such attack was an individual act which should not be brought in connection with the institutions.

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KOSOVO PARLIAMENT HAS MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES THAN TO CONDEMN TERRORISM - KOSOVO GOVERNMENT REQUESTS DECISIVE MEASURES AGAINST 'ILLEGAL ORGANIZATIONS'

"The parliament has more important issues to debate than the advice and request of Michael Steiner and Fabio Mini for the parliament to condemn an act against the people of Kosovo carried out on April 12 by blowing up the bridge on the Kosovo Polje-Lesak railway line," said Daci, shortly after opening today's session of the provincial parliament.

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BETA News Agency
April 17, 2003

Today the speaker of the Kosovo Parliament Nexhat Daci rejected the proposal of UNMIK chief Michael Steiner and KFOR commander Fabio Mini that deputies condemn the blowing up of a railway bridge near Zvecan and the murder of two Albanians in the village of Ozrim near Pec.

"The parliament has more important issues to debate than the advice and request of Michael Steiner and Fabio Mini for the parliament to condemn an act against the people of Kosovo carried out on April 12 by blowing up the bridge on the Kosovo Polje-Lesak railway line," said Daci, shortly after opening today's session of the provincial parliament.

Steiner and Mini submitted a request in writing this morning that the parliament condemn the blowing up of the bridge and the murder of two Albanians near the village of Ozrim near Pec, stating that "these are acts directed against the people and represent a danger to the future of Kosovo".

Despite Steiner's advice not to debate the tax law on real property, and the opposition of Serb deputies, the Kosovo parliament included the proposed draft of this law on today's agenda.

In a request a few days ago, Steiner warned the Kosovo Parliament that its deputies cannot debate the proposed draft law on real property because this area falls under the jurisdiction of the UNMIK chief.

KOSOVO GOVERNMENT REQUESTS DECISIVE MEASURES AGAINST "ILLEGAL ORGANIZATIONS"

Kosovo Government condemned today all forms of illegal organizing, either it is military or political, and requested from the security bodies to undertake decisive measures in preventing and eliminating of such organizations.

Kosovo Government in its communiqué called KFOR and UNMIK as well as international forces responsible for security to clarify as soon as possible "appearances of illegal and dangerous organizations the activity of which is in opposition to the goals of

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ONE SUSPECT IN PEC MURDER IDENTIFIED - ADEM ELSHANI FORMER KLA MEMBER

One suspect in the double murder in Pec is 29 year-old Adem Elshani from Pec, advised Bob Richards, the regional commander of the UNMIK police in Pec today.

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BETA NEWS AGENCY
Pristina, April 17

PRISTINA, April 17, 2003 (Beta) - One suspect in the double murder in Pec is 29 year-old Adem Elshani from Pec, advised Bob Richards, the regional commander of the UNMIK police in Pec today.

The police has called on citizens to give police all information regarding the incident in which Ilir Selimaj and Feride Selimaj were killed, and two children and one adult were wounded, even anonymously.

Richards stated that suspect Elshani has a criminal record and that there is a possibility that the same persons who recently committed the double murder near Pec also recently murdered former KLA member Tahir Zemaj, also in Pec.

Tahir Zemaj, like Ilir Selimaj, was a witness against the members of the so-called "Dukadjin group" (Dukadjin - Albanian name for Metohija) sentenced to serve multi-year prison terms for crimes against Albanian civilians during the war in Kosovo.

This group of former KLA members included its senior official Daut Haradinaj, the brother of Alliance for the Future of Kosovo leader Ramush Haradinaj.

RADIO YU
April 18, 2003

The commander of the UNMIK police in Pec, Bob Richards, confirmed that one of the participants of the terrorist attack mounted in Pec on Monday, when two persons were killed and three injured, had been identified. At issue is 29-year-old Adam Eljsani of Sec, former member of the self-styled KLA.

The police is searching for him and other murderers, Richards said and added that there was a resonable suspicion that the same persons killed Tahir Zemaj last year, who, like Ilir Selimaj, who was murdered four days ago, was a whitness in the trial of four Albanans - former members of the KLA from the so-called Dukadjini group.

The members of the Dukadjini group have been sentenced by the international court in Pristina to between 5 and 15 years’ of imprisonment respectively, due to war crimes committed during and following war in Kosmet.

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BELGRADE GOVERNMENT - STEINER'S STRATEGY UNACCEPTABLE
The contents and dynamic of this plan are contrary to the principles and aim of the UN Security Council and our state police and, as such, are totally unacceptable,” said the government in a statement

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BETA NEWS AGENCY
April 18, 2003


BELGRADE -- Thursday – UN governor Michael Steiner’s plan to transfer his mission’s authority to the institutions of the temporary Kosovo government is an additional burden on the process of establishing peace and stability, the Serbian government said today.

“The contents and dynamic of this plan are contrary to the principles and aim of the UN Security Council and our state police and, as such, are totally unacceptable,” said the government in a statement.

Belgrade called for priority to be given to the standards of the Kosovo institutions rather than burdening them with new authority “at any cost”.

“Of the highest importance in successfully resolving the problems of Kosovo are the issues of repatriation, freedom of movement and decentralisation, which are the key to securing the status of the Serb community in Kosovo,” said the government.

RADIO YU
April 18, 2003

The Serbian Government pledges for a consistent implementation of Resolution 1244 and of the Joint Document of Belgrade authorities and UNMIK, and insists on the dialogue with the international administration officials and representatives of local authorities, regarding all questions of importance for the living of Kosmet inhabitants.

This was stated after the Government’s session. As quoted, it is necessary for the resolving of problems in Kosmet to create conditions for freedom of move, return of refugees and decentralization, being key-issues for the protection of the collective status of the Serbian national community. The Government assessed that the plan of the UNMIK head, Michael Steiner regarding the transfer of competences onto provisional institutions of self-administration, was not acceptable because it was in contradiction with principles and goals of the policy of the UN Security Council and the authorities in Belgrade.

Estimating that much more important is to achieve international standards in the building of institutions than to burden them with new competences, the Government of Serbia points out that the justification of such position has been confirmed by the reports of OSCE, UNHCR and the ombudsman in Kosmet.


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KOSOVO INSTITUTIONS WILL BE JUDGED PRIMARILY BY HOW THE MAJORITY TREATS THE MINORITY
The UN Secretary General calls on the leaders and people in Kosovo to stop such counterproductive, antidemocratic behavior and to orient themselves towards joint work, interethnic dialogue and reconciliation. Kosovo institutions will be judged primarily by how the majority treats the minority, warns Annan.

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SRNA NEWS AGENCY
April 17, 2003


New York, April 17, 2003 (SRNA) - In his most recent report on the work of UNMIK and the situation in Kosovo, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warns the Security Council that local Albanian leaders and provisional institutions are attempting to gain status and respect by publicly promoting positions contrary to Resolution 1244.

As an example of greatest concern, Annan cites the decision of the Kosovo Parliament to vote on the Law on Higher Education in which the vital interests of minority communities are not taken into account and which represents a direct threat to UNMIK’s authority and the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Constitutional Framework.

Local leaders must strictly adhere to Resolution 1244 and the Constitutional Framework. They must not overstep and abuse the rights they have acquired nor allow their political and ethnic differences to impede the activities of provisional institutions and prevent the realization of goals of vital importance to all residents of Kosovo, including those who are scheduled to return,” emphasizes the report to be reviewed by the Security Council in an open session on April 23.

The UN Secretary General asks that local leaders in Kosovo and Metohija work together on tasks and duties for which they are responsible and which are in accordance with the policy of “standards before status.”

This presumes the meaningful participation of all communities in the work of the provisional institutions and support for a multiethnic Kosovo “towards which we all strive,” emphasized Annan, who asked the Belgrade government to work with UNMIK to dismantle existing parallel administrative bodies.

The report advocated the need for strengthening dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and appeals to the authorities in Serbia to refrain from making public statements which create unnecessary tensions, undermine cooperation and are contrary to the provisions of Resolution 1244.

Kofi Annan gives credit to his Special Representative Steiner, UNMIK, the provisional government and some municipalities for their efforts to create conditions for the return of refugee members of national communities and expresses his regret due to attempts to use “threats and violence against returnees to discourage their participation in public life.

The UN Secretary General calls on the leaders and people in Kosovo to stop such counterproductive, antidemocratic behavior and to orient themselves towards joint work, interethnic dialogue and reconciliation.

Kosovo institutions will be judged primarily by how the majority treats the minority, warns Annan. He gives recognition to local administrators for increasing cooperation with the Hague tribunal, emphasizing that no one is above the law and appealing to all citizens to respect laws and turn away from crime and violence.

The report covers the period concluding with March 2003 and describes the situation in detail and already known events in the Province. It points out that minorities in some regions, primarily in Pec and to a lesser degree in Pristina and Mitrovica, lack full freedom of movement, while the situation in the regions of Gnjilane and Prizren is improving.

Kofi Annan informs the Security Council that minority members are still not able to feely use their own language, being unable to use it even in courts, public and state institutions. Signs on public buildings and roads are mostly in Albanian, and the names of non-Albanians are “Albanized” in official documents.

Refugee returns are going slowly and violence against returnees is continuing. The economy is not functioning well, and the reduced presence of international representatives in Kosovo is partially to blame.

In the opinion of the UN Secretary General, the assassination of premier Djindjic and the provocative statements of some officials in Belgrade with regard to the future status of Kosovo have negatively impacted the political situation in the Province. The statements of Albanian leaders on the same subject have had the same effect.

UNMIK’s effort to establish direct dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina are being obstructed by Albanian leaders, who are posing a series of preconditions. The situation in Kosovo and the work of self-governing institutions are made also made more difficult by the support Belgrade is giving to parallel administrative structures in regions predominantly inhabited by Serbs, stresses the report.

Because of the tendency of representing the Kosovo Protection Corps as the army of the future independent Kosovo, the Serbs are refusing to join in the work of this organization, which should be multiethnic but is not.

The report devotes significant attention to the transfer of an increasing amount of responsibilities to the Kosovo provisional institutions. However, it emphasizes that the responsibilities which belong to UNMIK and the Special Representatives of the UN Secretary General according to Resolution 1244 will not be transferred and that everyone in the Province must respect this.


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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UN INTERIM ADMINISTRATION MISSION IN KOSOVO
 

United Nations S/2003/421

Security Council Distr.: General

14 April 2003
Original: English
03-31663 (E) 150403
http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/sgrep03.html

(We are presenting only the 9th chapter with general obesrvations and a few extracts which reflect specific problems of the Serb community. The full report will be published on our Kosovo Daily News List)

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XI. Observations

53. The continuing and accelerating transfer to the Provisional Institutions of the responsibilities outlined in chapter 5 of the Constitutional Framework is welcome. This is an important step in the process of establishing provisional democratic self-governing institutions, as foreseen in resolution 1244 (1999). The transfer process will be conducted in a phased manner, so that it is sustainable and in compliance with applicable law. It will take into account the capacity of these institutions to assume additional responsibilities. At the same time, the transfer must proceed, so that the Provisional Institutions become accountable to the people of Kosovo for the delivery of those services and administration for which they are responsible. This will lead to a greater need for the Provisional Institutions to make concrete progress in operationalizing and achieving the benchmarks laid out by my Special Representative. The transfer process will not affect the authority of UNMIK and KFOR under resolution 1244 (1999) or the powers and responsibilities reserved to my Special Representative in accordance with chapter 8 of the Constitutional Framework.

54. The tendency of local Kosovo Albanian leaders and the Provisional Institutions to focus on symbols and image and to publicly promote positions contrary to resolution 1244 (1999) is a cause for concern, as well as the action taken by the Kosovo Assembly on higher education and its refusal to take into account vital interests of minority communities. This amounts to a direct challenge to resolution 1244 (1999) and the Constitutional Framework, as well as to UNMIK’s authority under those documents.

55. All local leaders should adhere strictly to resolution 1244 (1999) and the Constitutional Framework. They should also keep their political differences separate from the activities of the Provisional Institutions, and work together to consolidate these institutions by focusing on substance and practical results, instead of holding institutional development hostage to political or ethnic differences. The Provisional Institutions and municipalities need to focus on their areas of responsibility and on what matters directly to all the people of Kosovo, including those waiting to return. The “standards before status” policy provides a framework for this focus, and the local leaders are called upon to support and join in the efforts to make measurable progress towards achieving them. These institutions can and will increase their capacity to deliver services to the people with the concerted effort of all concerned. A lack of participation in the institutions themselves, as well as disengagement from the political process, serves only to hamper progress in concrete issues of governance and does nothing to improve the image of Kosovo in the eyes of the international community.

56. This, of course, includes the meaningful participation of all communities of Kosovo in the provisional institutions and municipal bodies. Forming separate, mono-ethnic administrative institutions will not lead to the multi-ethnic Kosovo towards which we all strive. Working within the established structures requires willingness on the part of the minority communities and receptivity on the part of the majority community. Leaders of these communities are called on to work together to this end, and to foster an environment within Kosovo and its provisional institutions that encourages such participation. I also call on the authorities in Belgrade to work with UNMIK to dismantle the existing parallel administrative bodies still functioning in Kosovo.

57. With the returns season fast approaching, UNMIK is working hard to ensure that the Kosovo environment is conducive to minority returns. Progress has been made on the ground by preparing projects and sensitizing communities to ensure that returns take place in as safe, secure and sustainable an environment as possible. The progress made by the Provisional Institutions and some municipalities in providing support to the return of minority communities, which must continue and be further strengthened, is encouraging. Everyone’s support and dedication is needed to create a welcoming and sustainable environment. However, acts of intimidation, threats and violence directed against minorities still occur and are intended to discourage minority participation in public life. Such acts have a negative impact on Kosovo’s institutional development, which will be judged, inter alia, by how the majority treats the minority. The leaders and people in Kosovo should put an end to such acts, and work actively on inter-ethnic dialogue and reconciliation. Such acts, deplorable as they are, should not be used to obstruct the functioning of the democratic institutions that are being developed. Positive change can only be brought about by genuine dialogue and participation.

58. Dialogue is also needed between Belgrade and Pristina. My Special Representative’s initiative to start this dialogue on practical matters of mutual concern is commended. This initiative will be pursued after a consolidation phase necessitated by developments in Belgrade and the need for the Provisional Institutions to prepare for such dialogue. Those concerned should work constructively together in order to begin this process in a spirit of compromise and within the framework of resolution 1244 (1999). Leaders on both sides, and particularly in Belgrade, should refrain from making public statements, which may undermine the proposed dialogue or contradict the provisions of resolution 1244 (1999). Such statements create unnecessary tensions and do not serve the best interests of the communities concerned.

59. It is encouraging that respect for the rule of law appears to be improving, as evidenced by the support given by local leaders to the efforts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. No one is above the law, and it is the responsibility of the leaders and the population to support the consolidation of the rule-of-law structure, and to turn away from crime and violence.

60. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to my Special Representative, Michael Steiner, and to the men and women of UNMIK for the exemplary and professional manner in which they have carried out their duties. I would also like to express my gratitude to our partners within UNMIK, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as KFOR, and the organizations, agencies, contributors and donors for their substantial political and material support in implementing Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).


Extracts from the Full report:

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

24. Several communities remained unable to exercise unescorted freedom of movement. The level of freedom of movement differed significantly from one region to another, and from one ethnic group to another. Freedom of movement for members of minority communities, particularly the Kosovo Serb community, remained extremely restricted in much of the Pec region, and substantial limitations also continued in the Pristina and Mitrovica regions. In contrast, there was a limited, although still not fully acceptable, level of freedom of movement throughout the Gnjilane region, and freedom of movement in the Prizren region continued to improve.


29. Minority communities in Kosovo are still not able to freely use their own language and alphabet throughout Kosovo, including in courts, agencies and other public bodies. This provision has been fully respected only in the Assembly of Kosovo, whereas other central bodies and municipalities often continued to disregard this legal right. Documents issued by the courts have been translated into other languages only upon a request by an individual, rather than as a matter of routine. At the municipal level, working materials, municipal decisions, by-laws and regulations have frequently been translated only with delays or not at all. The reluctance of civil servants to speak in Serbian continued at both the central and municipal levels. Signs in public buildings, road signs and names of municipalities were generally posted only in Albanian. The personal names of non-Albanians have been “Albanized” in official documents, such as civil status papers (e.g. identity cards), contracts, bills and statements issued by either public institutions or public utility companies. Wherever these violations have been brought to the attention of UNMIK, they have generally been rectified. In the case of UNMIK identity cards, thousands have had to be reissued to minorities with the correct spelling of personal names.


KOSOVO PROTECTION CORPS

48. The more fundamentally challenging task of transforming the Kosovo Protection Corps into a multi-ethnic body focused solely on its mandate as a civilian emergency agency has lagged. The ethnic Kosovo Albanian basis of the Corps, which celebrates “KLA war values”, combined with public declarations by KPC and Kosovo Albanian leaders that the Corps is well on its way to becoming the army of an “independent Kosovo” made it almost impossible to attract Kosovo Serbs to the organization. In addition, the aspirations of the organization to serve as an army clearly contravene the principles of resolution 1244 (1999) and the provisions set out in chapter Seven of the Constitutional Framework, as well as applicable law. The commitment of KPC to its civil protection mandate has fluctuated, although in recent weeks the organization appeared to be more focused on its mandated tasks. The verbal commitment to acknowledge UNMIK authority is positive, but some actions belie this. Comments by KPC officials on recent criminal cases and on the Tribunal arrests have shown a lack of understanding for the rule of law, although, in one recent case, the head of KPC took disciplinary measures against an outspoken KPC member. While the standard of individually trained KPC members is high in all mandated tasks and there are adequate internal structures, command and control is, at best, weak. Training has been received in such skill areas as demining, basic first aid, map reading, communications, mountain search and rescue and public information. A Civil Protection Development Group was formed to improve coordination of all the constituent parts of the emergency response organizations in Kosovo and to develop tasks for KPC within its mandate.

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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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