February 25, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 25-02-03



TANJUG: Community of Serb municipalities for double degree of autonomy

BETA: ANA claims responsibility for planting landmine near Muhovac (South Serbia)
OBSERVER: Lessons from Kosovo
RADIO YUGOSLAVIA - Kosovo related news (Feb 24, 2003)


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A leading member of the SNC KM and the POVRATAK Coalition before tomorrow's meeting of the Serb municipalities and communities of Kosovo and Metohija


KIM Radio

Gracanica, February 24, 2003

'All Serb representativew which were legaly elected in the internationally sponsored elections will take part in the meeting of the Assembly of the Association of Serb Municipalities in nothern part of Kosovska Mitrovica tomorrow (Feb 25)', announced Rada Trajkovic, the deputy of the POVRATAK Coalition in the Parliament of Kosovo and Metohija and the member of the Serb National Council speaking for the KIM Radio today.

'I think that tomorrow we are going to get the president and the right person to lead the Association of Municipalities and Serb communities of the entire area of Kosovo and Metohija. Unfortunately he will not attend the meeting because he had suffered an accident. Nevertheless he will be there with us. Mr. Marko Jasic is one of those who enjoys our support to lead the community and the Serbian Assembly. Normaly, we plan to establish certain bodies of the Assembly too'.

Asked if that would mean that citizens of Kosovo and Meothija would get a new President, Rada Trajovic said: 'If we look at the last Kosovo elections we may ask ourselves who actually elected Mr. Rugova? It was only Albanians. He did not receive votes from our enclaves, he was not elected in the North, nor did any Serb refugee vote for him. If we are aware of the reality on the ground why should we not accept this reality and give it form through institutions? Of course, Mr. Rugova cannot have the role of the president of the Serb community in this area and may only remain the president of the Albanian entity.'

Speaking about the present security situation in Kosovo and Metohija and the actions of the so called Albanian National Army (AKSH) in the South of Serbia, Rada Trajkovic mentioned some facts about the secret training camps near Decani and Gnjilane. 'Kosovo Protection Corps (TMK) and its members have already marked thier own territories. We know for sure that for a longer time members of the Kosovo Protection Corps are training near Decani and that KFOR never goes into that area. It is also known that these units are under control of Mr. Ramush Haradinaj. These are information which we received from reliable KFOR sources and other international sources. We have also heard about the training camp near Gnjilane', said Rada Trajkovic.




February 24, 2003

Gracanica, 24 Feb. (Tanjug) - The objective of the founding of an Association of Serb municipalities and areas in Serb-populated parts of Kosovo and Metohija is to establish a double degree of autonomy within which the Serb community would centrally be linked to Kosovo's institutions, and, locally, with Belgrade, without changing the provincial borders, Kosovo-Metohija parliament coalition Return member Rada Trajkovic told Tanjug on Monday.

"The document which will be offered for adoption at the founding assembly in North Mitrovica tomorrow, envisages that Serb-populated areas get entity administration through which they would be linked with Belgrade, and, through them, the ethnic Albanian community as well, to the desired degree," Trajkovic said.




February 24, 2003

BELGRADE - The illegal Albanian National Army (ANA or AKSH in Albanian) today claimed responsibility for planting a landmine in the road near the Bujanovac village of Muhovac whose explosion resulted in the loss of life of Serbian policeman Milan Vukovic and the injury of two others. Yesterday's activity was carried out "by a guerrilla unit of the ANA acting as part of the Adem Josher division in the area of eastern Kosovo," the ANA claims on its web site (www.aksh.org).

The statement, signed by the spokesman of the Adem Jashari division Besfort Karadaku, assesses that the activity was successfully carried out "against criminal policemen in the village of Muhovac in Bujanovac municipality".

The ANA states that the activity resulted in damage to the enemy in manpower and war equipment.

The activity was commanded was commander Korabi, who claims responsibility for this attack which resulted "in the death of many policemen".

Head of the Coordinating Committee for southern Serbia Nebojsa Covic told Beta News Agency that the entire activity was coordinated "by well-known outlaws in southern central Serbia: Shefchet Musliu, Besim Tahiri "Chechen" and Lirim Jakupi "Nazist", whom the Belgrade government had already pointed out earlier.

"This has no connection with other and former commanders of the Liberation Army of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja (UCCPBM) and no connection with the citizens. We expect UNMIK and KFOR to arrest these three men and extradite them to us because they are presently in Kosovo and Metohija," said Covic.

Covic said that otherwise UNMIK "will otherwise be an accessory to organized crime, terrorist activities and violence".

Covic announced that the police force and joint security forces would take adequate measures to stabilize the situation and ensure security in the region of Bujanovac and Presevo municipalities.




February 24, 2003

Albanian Minister of Defense Pandeli Majko said the Albanian National army (ANA) poses a threat not only to Albanians in Macedonia but also to Albanians in Kosovo.

'ANA is a knife in the back. This organization creates problems to Albanians in Macedonia and Kosovo alike,' said Majko in an interview with Albanian television Klan.

Ahead of meeting with his Macedonian counterpart Vlado Buckovski, Majko appeared rather concerned with the statement of Macedonian Defense Ministry’s Spokesman, who said that Albanian officers have trained the extremist groups operating in Macedonia.

'Macedonia and Albania are fully committed to promoting the bilateral co-operation. We had a friendly meeting with the Macedonian Minister of Defense,' said Majko after the meeting with his Macedonian counterpart Vlado Buckovski.

'Albanian politicians raised concerns over the recent arrest of Fatmir Limaj, one of the leading figures of Hashim Thaci' Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK),' Majko told the Albanian private television Klan.


If there is war from Iraq, there are many lessons about post-war reconstruction from the west's experience in Kosovo. But the current crisis also means we risk overlooking unfinished business elsewhere, say Val Percival and James Lyon of the International Crisis Group


Observer, U.K.
February 23, 2003

As the United States and its allies prepare for possible military intervention in Iraq, they should bear in mind the lessons of their intervention in Kosovo - perhaps the most ambitious experiment in post-war reconstruction that the international community has undertaken.Since 1999 the donor community has contributed billions of dollars in humanitarian, reconstruction, and development assistance. Tens of thousands of peacekeepers and thousands of civilians worked to rebuild Kosovo into a democratic 'autonomous' society.

Although the international community has much to be proud of in Kosovo, two key weaknesses have hampered their efforts: failure to get full control of the security situation, and failure to develop a realistic exit strategy in partnership with the local actors. Both of these are also risks for any future international intervention elsewhere, and while Kosovo's specific circumstances are of course unique, the situation there illustrates the problems that will arise elsewhere.

When the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) rolled into the province on 11 June 1999, they feared resistance from remaining Yugoslav army and paramilitary forces, as well as retaliation attacks against KFOR from the local Serb population.

In fact (as should have been anticipated) the problems of those first few months were completely different - a complete security vacuum, with horrific crimes of revenge perpetrated against the Serb civilian population by Albanian extremists. NATO and the UN were shown to be impotent, and they - and Kosovo's population - are still paying for that early failure. The international community cannot afford to make that mistake elsewhere.

NATO also failed to effectively neutralize its former allies from the 1999 conflict, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In the immediate aftermath, KLA members were able to gain control of local institutions, involve themselves in organised crime, and engage in extortion and intimidation. Although the international community tried to occupy former KLA members through recruitment to a new Kosovo Protection Corps and the Kosovo Police Service, former KLA fighters were still able to exacerbate armed conflicts in South Serbia in 2000 and Macedonia in 2001. It is not sufficient to disarm the enemy - to get a peaceful environment, you have to disarm your allies as well.

Under Security Council Resolution 1244 the UN must develop "autonomous" government institutions for Kosovo pending the resolution of the province's final status. Kosovo is thus in a sort of international twilight zone: a de jure part of Yugoslavia (now renamed "Serbia and Montenegro"), yet simultaneously a de facto UN protectorate under international administration, which may well be on the road towards independence.

The UN at first found it difficult to attract sufficiently skilled international recruits to work in a difficult post-conflict setting. Many internationals found themselves running municipal administrations, or even government ministries, for which they had no experience or training.
Three and a half years down the line, Kosovo now has a President, a Prime Minister, and a functioning government. However international administrators are finding it hard to let go. Consultation mechanisms with local leaders have not been institutionalized, and critical information is kept in the hands of internationals. While local politicians lobby the international community for more authority, it is often a cry for inclusion in the process of governing rather than a desire to be at the helm.

While UNMIK has outlined "benchmarks" to assess Kosovo's institutional development, the process has not gone much beyond describing these objectives. There is no implementation strategy, no assessment of how close (or far) Kosovo is from meeting these benchmarks, what resources are needed, and what further action. At the same time there is mission fatigue, resources are running low, and the world's attention is focused on the Middle East. UNMIK is planning to transfer as much responsibility as possible in the next twelve months to minimize the costs and to minimize its responsibility for governing Kosovo.

Yet Kosovo is at a critical phase. Institutions are not yet fully developed, the civil service has not yet been completely recruited, and there is no transition strategy. Moreover, too early a transfer of power would put the three billion dollar investment to date at risk. What is lacking is a careful transition strategy - to build local counterparts who will be able to take over responsibility gradually from UNMIK.

On the ground, Serbian areas of Kosovo still function as if they were part of Serbia, outside the framework of government established by UNMIK, in terms of courts, schools, health care, pensions, telecommunications and most importantly security forces. Zoran Djindjic, the Prime Minister of Serbia, has appealed to the international community to start talks on Kosovo's final status sooner rather than later. Rather than repeat the traditional mantras of returning the whole province to Belgrade rule, he takes the line that independence for Kosovo is not a taboo topic; but he also has begun to hint about partition of the province as part of an independence deal.

The overwhelming majority of Albanians will accept nothing less than the independence that they proclaimed over ten years ago, while the vast majority of Serbs want to remain part of Serbia. Until this question is addressed, insecurity among both populations about the future will remain high, impeding important aspects of Kosovo's rebuilding effort, including privatization, trade relations, economic development, and the willingness of displaced Serbs to return to the province.
But the UN Security Council (mindful perhaps of possible parallels in Tibet or Chechnya) was, and is, unwilling to move in that direction. Michael Steiner, who as UN Special Representative runs Kosovo on behalf of the international community, has declared that any resolution of the issue must wait until the UN's benchmarks have been met - his slogan is "standards before status".

Meanwhile there is a Kosovo parliament with 120 members, all of whom were elected because of their views on the one subject - Kosovo's future status - which they are forbidden to discuss.
Any partition of Kosovo along ethnic lines would raise very uncomfortable issues elsewhere in the Balkans - not least in Bosnia, and in neighbouring Macedonia. But if the international community continues to stonewall on the question of final status, the existing soft partition on the ground will become harder, and the ability of the UN or its members to have a positive influence on the outcome will be correspondingly less. These are indeed difficult issues - and there will be similar difficult issues in planning the future of Iraq - but that is no reason not to address them.

For, while international attention will focus still more sharply on Iraq in the coming weeks, the lengthy process of clearing up earlier crises, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and indeed Bosnia, remains incomplete. Rather than allow them to slip off the agenda in favour of the hot issue of 2003, we should remember that those who do not learn from past mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

Val Percival is Kosovo Project Director, International Crisis Group, and James Lyon is Serbia Project Director, International Crisis Group.




Radio Yugoslavia
February 24, 2003


The creation of the new state union of Serbia and Montenegro does not influence the Kosmet issue and the resolution 1244 still remains applicable in all respects. This was stated after the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union countries in Brussels. Calling on Belgrade and Pristina to start a dialogue on practical questions of mutual interest, the ministers requested both sides to refrain from unilateral moves, which may imperil the stability in Kosmet and in the region. The EU Ministerial Council gave full support to the position of the UNMIK head Michael Steiner, that in the first place, it is necessary to attain certain democratic and legal standards in the Province and only then to approach the discussion on the status of Kosmet. The ministers welcomed the extradition of former KLA members to the Hague Tribunal, estimating that it had shown the resoluteness of the international community to put on trial all those who had committed war crimes.


The return of Serbian security forces into Kosmet within the present circumstances would not contribute to the stabilization of the situation in the Province, but would only create additional problems, assessed the UNMIK Head, Michael Steiner, in a letter to the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. BETA News Agency reports that Steiner reiterated that UNMIK and KFOR held exclusive responsibility for the security in Kosmet and said that the UN Security Council rejected all unilateral initiatives.


The authorities in Belgrade expect UNMIK and KFOR to arrest three Albanian terrorists responsible for yesterday’s killing of a Serbian policemen in the south of Serbia, declared the vice-president of the Serbian Government and Head of the Coordination Body for the South of Serbia, Nebojsa Covic. Sefcet Musliu, Besim Tahiri and Lirim Jakupi are in Kosovo-Metohija and the international forces are obliged to arrest them. Otherwise they will become accomplices in terrorist violence and organized crime - warned Covic. He announced that the Serbian security forces would take appropriate actions in order to stabilize the situation in the region of municipalities of Bujanovac and Presevo. The UNMIK head Michael Steiner refuted the claims of Nebojsa Covic and said that he had not received any information from Belgrade authorities that the terrorists were located in Kosmet.


The OSCE mission in Serbia and Montenegro condemned the act of violence in southern Serbia, which was committed in the municipality of Bujanovac on Sunday, when a member of the Gendarmerie, Milan Vujovic, was killed and his colleagues Goran Perovic and Zoran Zivic were wounded in a terrorist attack. The perpetrators of this heinous act of violence must realize that such actions cannot be accepted in a democratic society, it is said in the statement. The OSCE mission will not allow provocations which disturb the current process of the consolidation of the rule of law and multi-ethnic democracy in the region. Together with the local authorities in southern Serbia and the leadership in Belgrade, the Mission remains dedicated to the success of the peace process and future stabilization in the region, the OSCE mission in Serbia and Montenegro announced.



Today’s press covers the news that a member of the Serbian gendermarie was killed and another two were seriously injured in an anti-tank mine explosion near Bujanovac, in southern Serbia. VECERNJE NOVOSTI quotes the head of the Coordination Body for Southern Serbia, Nebojsa Covic, as saying that at issue is a classic terroist act aimed against the citizens and institutions of Serbia and Montenegro and efforts by the state bodies and the international community to stabilize the situation.

DANAS reports that Covic has identified the perpetrators of the attack and emphasized that at issue are already well-known criminals to whom the authorities in Belgrade have pointed many times. Covic said he expected UNMIK and KFOR to arrest the three perpetrators and extradite them to Serbia.


The POLITIKA daily quotes a member of the Presidency of the Kosovo Assembly, Oliver Ivanovic, as saying that the arrest of four Albanians indicted for crimes against Serbs and Albanians and their extradition to the Hague Tribunal have caused a veritable shock among Albanians and that protest rallies and other excesses on the part of Albanians are to be expected, in order that pressure be exerted on UNMIK and KFOR and on witnesses to the crimes as well. Ivanovic assessed the arrest of the indictees as very important and connected with the process of the return of displaced persons. The Serbs who wish to return to Kosmet will realize that the perpetrators will be punished and those who intend to perpetrate crimes will be prevented, Ivanovic said. NACIONAL writes that Ivanovic agreed with the leader of the Serb Resistance Movement party, Momcilo Trajkovic, that the idea of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic on the division of Kosovo-Metohija and the creation of a mini-Serb state in Kosmet, if the West should not allow the return of military forces which would secure the return of Serbs, is only a warning and an ultimate possibility. Serbs want to live in their own state, Ivanovic said and added that, according to cadastral books, 62% of Kosmet belongs to Serbs.


A lonely Serb church amidst Kosovo uncertainity, Osojane nr. Klina



Hvosno (local Kosovo Serb newspaper from Leposavic)
February, 2003

The stone crusher in Brestovik has ground up the stones of many Serb houses in Brestovik and neighboring Siga. And who knows what other Greater Arbanas (Albanian) crushers are also working away. Serb property is being ground up. It's very cheap. But why buy it? Grab as much as you can! Take whatever you want that is Serb-owned! Remove every sign of the Serbs. Dig up the Serb graves, scatter the bones. Wipe out every trace. Don't worry, it's all under the UN flag. The perfect crime is being committed.

The worst restrictions of electrical power in Europe are in Kosovo and Metohija. The sabotage in Obilic has already been forgotten. UNMIK has arrived at the phase of tranferring responsibility to provisional institutions. They stress: "Improving the quality of life in Kosovo is now almost completely in the hands of the people of Kosovo."

Who are these "people from Kosovo"? The "partners" of the international community have been tasked with meeting eight standards. One of those standards is "sustainable returns". What is meant by "sustainable returns"? Lists for return were created by OSCE and UNMIK representatives in collective housing and given to Arbanas representatives for verification. The desirable ones were the elderly and the helpless.

If you ask a KFOR officer whether they are creating "an affiliate of a united Europe" or the worst "affiliate of anti-Christian fanatics" you will be met by silence. Nor will he will not say how many millions of dollars per month the so-called Kosovo Protection Corps costs. Do they know that these "partners of the international community" fought for democracy by attempted rapes of Serb schoolgirls and nuns, by throwing dead frogs and dogs into classrooms while classes were being conducted by Serb schoolteachers, by defecating in the classrooms of Serb students and who knows what other atrocities? And that the Arbanas professors were single-minded in refusing to allow these disgusting acts to be condemned. Attack under the UN flag!

Attack against the elderly Serb "wretches" in Pec. Set the Serb bus on fire and shower the members of KFOR with gunfire. Descend on the 269 newly opened brothels. Attack against every Serb sign! Attack against the remaining Serb graves!

According to the commanders in chief, things are getting better and better. The drama is coming to an end. Checkpoints near Serb enclaves are being abandoned. "Freedom" is alive and well and there is no need to protect the remaining Serb monasteries and churches. The only thing missing is for the UN to grant "independence" to the terrorists become "freedom fighters". And the river of democracy will flow. Of "democracy" without fundamental democratic values, that is.

It is important not to anger the Arbanas "partners".

It is most important that the green money continues to funnel in, preferably without any control. The Greater Arbanas have become especially proficient in taking things from Serbia. The great lie is useful for both the major financers and the numerous beneficiaries. All with the blessings of "Big Brother" and "the Omniscient".

The Greater Arbanas program rolls on. The Serbs are not returning to their homes. The Serbs are in a cage. We are waiting to see "what America will say". Time is working for the Arbanas.

"The non-Albanians" are in a great state of ennui. For the Serbs everything is going wrong. More than 85 thousand Serb homes are illegally occupied. In the three years of UNMIK administration a few hundred Albanians have been moved out of occupied Serb homes. This occupation is not publicly discussed in the West. Less than 300 Serbs have returned. Thousands have left on top of the original 250 thousand.

In less than six months of the UN mandate, there were 4,253 attacks against Serbs. 982 were killed and 1,063 were kidnapped. Serbs have wasted away in prison in kangaroo trials where they are accused of genocide and treated in violation of every international convention on human rights despite supposed UNMIK supervision. Less than 0.1 percent of reconstruction aid was allotted for the repair of Serb homes. Does UNMIK know this? It is better to stay quiet; the pay is good. Darkness is good. Fishing is good in troubled waters.

Translation by S.L.


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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