May 22, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 22-05-2003

90 YEARS-OLD SERB BRUTALLY BEATEN UP BY ALBANIANS

CONTENTS:

90 YEAR-OLD SERB MAN BADLY BEATEN UP BY ALBANIANS IN VITINA - ANOTHER SERB MAN ESCAPES ABDUCTION

Terror of Kosovo Albanian extremists continues in Vitina area while UNMIK and US KFOR deny increase of interethnic violence.

SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND SNC KIM MOST STRONGLY CONDEMN ATTACK ON 90 YEAR-OLD IN VITINA
This most recent attack on a 90 year-old man and the attempt to abduct another Serb took place in the aftermath of completely irresponsible statements by UNMIK and US KFOR representatives, who despite indisputable evidence that ethnically motivated crimes are occurring in this region, continue to hide the truth regarding the activities of Albanian extremists. If this attitude on the part of international representatives persists, it will be very difficult not to ask the question to what extent such statements amount to aiding and abetting crimes against the Serb people.

SNC NORTH KOSOVO - CRIMES AGAINST SERBS IN KOSOVO-METOHIJA CONTINUE
Serb National Council for northern Kosmet it has been ascertained that expelling and murdering of the Kosmet Serbs are continuing and that the safety situation in the northern part of the Province has deteriorated. Incidents that have become a daily occurrence stand to prove this, it was said at the meeting in Kosovksa Mitrovica.

PARLIAMENT OF SERBIA - SECURITY IN KOSOVO-METOHIJA AT LOWEST LEVEL POSSIBLE
The Serbian Parliament's committee for defence and security and the committee for Kosovo-Metohija said that the security situation in Kosovo-Metohija was at the lowest level possible, for which UNMIK and KFOR were responsible. At their joint session held on Friday, the two committees decided to send a letter to all relevant international organisations demanding that the number of UNMIK and KFOR members in the province not be reduced until an adequate level of security for all Kosovo-Metohija citizens is established.

COVIC: MIRKOVIC'S MURDER SHOWS SECURITY LEVEL IN KOSOVO

Head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic said on Monday that the murder of Zoran Mirkovic in the village of Vrbovac near Kosovska Vitina clearly illustrates the level of the safety and freedom of movement of Serbs in the province.

REACTIONS TO OPENING OF KOSOVO'S FINAL STATUS ISSUE

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90 YEAR-OLD SERB MAN BADLY BEATEN UP BY ALBANIANS IN VITINA - ANOTHER SERB MAN ESCAPES ABDUCTION
ALBANIAN TERROR IN KOSOVSKO POMORAVLJE CONTINUES WHILE UNMIK AND US KFOR DENY INCREASE OF INTERETHNIC VIOLENCE

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ERP KIM Info Service
Kosovska Vitina, May 22

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren Information Service has been informed by Fr. Dragan Kojic, Serbian Orthodox Priest in Kosovska Vitina, that yesterday (May 21) at approximately 17:00 hours SLAVKO STAMENKOVIC (born in 1912), a 90 year-old Serb man, was found heavily beaten in his house in Vitina. The attackers, who were identified by the Stamenkovic's as Kosovo Albanians, bound and gagged his wife JELKA and locked her in the next room. The attackers left the Stamenkovic home thinking Slavko was already dead. However, despite serious injuries, bleeding and his age, the old man managed to drag himself to the nearby Orthodox church and tell the other Serbs of the attempt on his life.

Stamenkovic was urgently transferred to the hospital in Vranje, southern Serbia, where Serbs regularly trasport their patients in absence of free access to Kosovo hospitals. Because of the nature of his injuries and his age, it is still not known whether his condition is life-threatening. The attack on Stamenkovic family is seen by local Serbs as another attempt to force remaining Vitina Serbs to sell their property to Albanians and leave Vitina.

Serb sources in Vitina also confirmed that yesterday, Monday, May 20, following the funeral of recently murdered Zoran Mirkovic, an attempt was made to abduct STANKO NICIC (age 50), a Serb man who was on his way to check on his fields in the area of the village of Vrbovac. Almost incredibly, Nicic managed to slip away from his would-be kidnappers, whom he described as Kosovo Albanians.

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DIOCESE OF RASKA AND PRIZREN AND SERB NATIONAL COUNCIL OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA MOST STRONGLY CONDEMN ATTACK ON 90 YEAR-OLD
This most recent attack on a 90 year-old man and the attempt to abduct another Serb took place in the aftermath of completely irresponsible statements by UNMIK and US KFOR representatives, who despite indisputable evidence that ethnically motivated crimes are occurring in this region, continue to hide the truth regarding the activities of Albanian extremists. If this attitude on the part of international representatives persists, it will be very difficult not to ask the question to what extent such statements amount to aiding and abetting crimes against the Serb people.

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, May 22, 2003


The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija and the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija most strongly condemn this most recent attack by Albanian extremists in Vitina who have once again confirmed their intention to ethnically cleanse Kosovsko Pomoravlje (Eastern part of Kosovo) of Serbs. The attempted murder of Stamenkovic brings to mind a similar attack on grandmother Smiljka Andjelkovic in Lipljan on April 25, who was also beaten almost to death in order to force the Andjelkovices to move away and sell their apartment.

Unfortunately, this most recent attack on a 90 year-old man and the attempt to abduct another Serb took place in the aftermath of completely irresponsible statements by UNMIK and US KFOR representatives, who despite indisputable evidence that ethnically motivated crimes are occurring in this region, continue to hide the truth regarding the activities of Albanian extremists. If this attitude on the part of international representatives persists, it will be very difficult not to ask the question to what extent such statements amount to aiding and abetting crimes against the Serb people.

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren and the Serb National Council demand that KFOR and UNMIK provide security for the Serbs in this region and protect them from these completely inhumane attacks sparing no one in their intent to achieve their equally inhumane goals. If KFOR is unwilling or unable to protect the people, the Serb population should immediately be permitted to defend itself and organize village patrols and assisted in doing so. The same hold true for other parts of the Province where violence against Serbs continues unabated.

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SNC OF NORTH KOSOVO - CRIMES AGAINST KOSOVO AND METOHIJA SERBS CONTINUE
Serb National Council for northern Kosmet it has been ascertained that expelling and murdering of the Kosmet Serbs are continuing and that the safety situation in the northern part of the Province has deteriorated. Incidents that have become a daily occurrence stand to prove this, it was said at the meeting in Kosovksa Mitrovica.

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Radio Yugoslavia
May 21, 2003

At the meeting of the Regional Committee of the Serb National Council for northern Kosmet it has been ascertained that expelling and murdering of the Kosmet Serbs are continuing and that the safety situation in the northern part of the Province has deteriorated. Incidents that have become a daily occurrence stand to prove this, it was said at the meeting in Kosovksa Mitrovica.

Member of the SNC Executive Board Nebojsa Jovic told a press conference that the Serb National Council would once again request UNMIK and KFOR to start with the realization of the programme for the return of the expelled Serbs into major towns of Kosovo-Metohija.

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PARLIAMENT OF SERBIA: SECURITY IN KOSOVO-METOHIJA AT LOWEST LEVEL POSSIBLE

The Serbian Parliament's committee for defence and security and the committee for Kosovo-Metohija said that the security situation in Kosovo-Metohija was at the lowest level possible, for which UNMIK and KFOR were responsible. At their joint session held on Friday, the two committees decided to send a letter to all relevant international organisations demanding that the number of UNMIK and KFOR members in the province not be reduced until an adequate level of security for all Kosovo-Metohija citizens is established.

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Serbian Government, Belgrade
May 19, 2003

Belgrade, May 16, 2003 - The Serbian Parliament's committee for defence and security and the committee for Kosovo-Metohija said that the security situation in Kosovo-Metohija was at the lowest level possible, for which UNMIK and KFOR were responsible.

At their joint session held on Friday, the two committees decided to send a letter to all relevant international organisations demanding that the number of UNMIK and KFOR members in the province not be reduced until an adequate level of security for all Kosovo-Metohija citizens is established.

The two committees accepted the report on security conditions in the province, submitted by Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija security head Major-General Svetislav Djurdjevic. The report points to the difficult security situation in Kosovo-Metohija, stressing that Belgrade authorities have only partial influence in the Kosovo region.

Head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic suggested that Serbian Parliament and the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro should consider the Centre's strategy, adopted by the Serbian and the Yugoslav governments in mid-2001. This strategy includes a repatriation programme for the internally displaced as well as a decentralisation plan.

Covic also said that UNMIK chief Michael Steiner's decree on privatisation in Kosovo-Metohija and a Resolution recognising the war of liberation of the Albanian people in Kosovo adopted by the Kosovo Assembly could only lead to an independent Kosovo.

Covic also said that the snail-pace progress of resolving safety issues was enhanced by Steiner himself, whom he called "the factor of instability". "The question is whether Steiner's moves are his personal wish or if he does it on behalf of someone else," Covic said.

According to him, more severe terrorist acts by the self-proclaimed Albanian National Army (ANA) can be expected in future.

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NEBOJSA COVIC: ZORAN MIRKOVIC MURDER SHOWS SAFETY LEVEL IN KOSOVO

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SERBIAN GOVERNMENT
May 19, 2003

Kosovska Vitina / Belgrade, May 18, 2003 - Head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic said on Monday that the murder of Zoran Mirkovic in the village of Vrbovac near Kosovska Vitina clearly illustrates the level of the safety and freedom of movement of Serbs in the province.

Covic said that the international community must take concrete measures to protect the Serb ethnic community in Kosovo-Metohija "or else things may go out of control." If that happens, said Covic, Belgrade cannot be held responsible for anything.

Zoran Mirkovic, 41, a teacher of Russian, was murdered with several bullets in the chest and head late on May 17, while he was riding a bicycle on his estate, the Beta news agency reported.

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REACTIONS TO THE OPENING OF KOSOVO FINAL STATUS ISSUE
Firstu fulfillment of democratic and legal standards and only then discussion on the final status

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RADIO YUGOSLAVIA
May 22, 2003

Serbian Premier Zoran Zivkovic to Deutche Welle

It is still early for a final agreement on the status of Kosmet, but it is necessary to fulfil democratic and legal standards which have been set by the international community, the Serbian prime minister, Zoran Zivkovic, said in an interview to DEUTSCHE WELLE radio. Zivkovic warned that UNMIK has still not created the conditions for the freedom of movement, the security of the non-Albanian population, the return of refugees and the decentralizing of the province. Pointing out that the issue of Kosmet is hindering the democratic and reform processes in Serbia, the prime minister requests from the international rule to fulfil its commitments from the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1244 and the Agreement with the authorities in Belgrade

Chief of UNMIK Michael Steiner

The US advocate the fact that the talks on the final status of Kosovo cannot commence before standards mapped out by the head of UNMIK, Michael Steiner, have been implemented, director of the US State Department for central and southern Europe Paul Jones said in Pristina. Standards must be put into practice and must serve to improve the living conditions of all citizens, regardless of their nationality, said Jones following his 2-day visit to Kosovo. The US official emphasized his satisfaction with the process of return of the displaced which had began, but said that the course of action should be accelerated for which purpose the US will allocate 14.5 dollars.

Serbian Deputy Premier Nebojsa Covic

The final status of Kosovo-Metohija cannot be dealt with right now, as it would be a bad solution that would result in changes of border demarcations, and that is why certain standards must be met prior to this being done, said Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic. The set standard ought to be given broader dimensions, while the control of achievements should be carried out not by the UN Security Council but by a Contact Group, on a monthly basis, Covic told a press conference. As for the return of the expellees, he emphasized that Serbs must be allowed to return where they choose to and not where they are forced.

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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.
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

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