February 28, 2003
ERP KIM Newsletter 28-02-03
AGI: KOSOVO - FORLANI, THE WOUNDS ARE
LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE - KOSOVO IN A DEADLOCK
B92: SERB DEPUTIES AGAIN WALK OUT OF KOSOVO PARLIAMENT
AP: Foreign ministers of Macedonia and Serbia-Montenegro
discuss regional security
BETA: Djindjic proposes Kosovo federation
SRGOV: Nebojsa Covic - Statement to the NATO leaders in
BETA: There is no one to listen to Serbs from three villages
FLASH NEWS FROM KOSOVO - RADIO YUGOSLAVIA
KFOR COMMANDER GEN. MINI TARGETED BY ALBANIAN EXTREMISTS
More News Available on our:
NEWS LIST (KDN)
If the soldiers leave Decani and move to their new base
near Pec the monastery
will be exposed to serious danger says Italian Senator Alessandro Forlani,
KOSOVO: FORLANI (UDC) THE
WOUNDS ARE STILL OPEN
Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI)
February 27, 2003
(foto: Honorable Alessandro Forlani,
- Rome, 27 February, - Regarding the imminent withdrawal of the Italian
KFOR soldiers which have been guarding for three and half years the
medieval monastery of Decani in Kosovo, Senator Alexander Forlani claims
that "this place, so precious to the Serb-Orthodox memory and of such
great artistic value, should not be left alone to possible retaliations by
the Albanian extremists. If the soldiers leave Decani and move to their
new base near Pec, the monastery, in which 35 monks and some of their
attendants live, will run a risk to be exposed to serious danger.
According to reliable sources, the extremists have already destroyed 112
Orthodox churches since 1999 until today and desecrated numerous
cemeteries. In this way they perhaps intend to discourage the return of
the Serbs who had fled Kosovo in their time'.
This alarming news, in the opinion of Senator Forlani, again bring forward
unsettled future status of Kosovo and the role of the peace mission
and the international peacekeeping forces. What will be the final
institutional settlement in the region and are Albanians and the Serb
minority still capable of cohabitation. So far KFOR has not succeded to
fully prevent abuses by Albanian extremists and to assure the safety for
the Serbs which have to live under armored protection, without elementary
human and civil rights. 'We find ourselves, concludes the Senator, in
front of a still opened conflict in a region of Europe that has potential
We need more decisive and effective efforts by the international community
to achieve that which is the objective of the UN Security Council
Resolution 1244 – multiethnic and democratic Kosovo.
KOSOVO IN A DEADLOCK
LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE
February issue, 2003
(the following text is an unofficial translation of the
text from Le Monde Diplomatique, photos by ERP KIM Info-Service)
By Jean-Arnault Dérens, special correspondent, Cetinje.
four years ago the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began a
bombing campaign against Yugoslavia; after it ended, the province of
Kosovo was turned into a UN administered protectorate. The results of the
operation are more than doubtful. The economic situation appears
catastrophic. The acts of violence against non-Albanians still continue,
and a majority of 200.000 Serbs expelled from the province still are not
able to return. But most of all, a direct clash between the extremist
Albanians and the international community seems more and more eminent.
On January 4, 2003, around 5 p.m., unknown persons intercepted a car in
one of the streets of Pec, a big city in the west of Kosovo, and opened
fire on the persons inside. Tahir Zemaj, together with his son and cousin,
fell dead. All three men were known militants of the Democratic League of
Kosovo (LDK), president Ibrahim Rugova’s party. Zemaj had been a commander
of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA or UCK), but actually was dependent on
the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo (FARK), the paramilitary group
established in the summer of 1998 by Bujar Bukoshi, at that time the
“prime minister in the exile of the Republic of Kosovo”. FARK was grouping
the followers of Rugova but they were obliged to join the ranks of the
KLA, commanded by nationalists who ideologically professed an Albanian
version of the Marxism-Leninism school, and were also very hostile to the
The murder of Zemaj is only the more recent of a long series of murders.
It was surely a real massacre, a blow for the cadres of LDK, especially in
Pec region and in the west of Kosovo. In December of 2002, Zemaj had
revealed he was a witness in the case against the “Dukagjin group,” five
ex-combatants of the KLA who have become members of the Kosovo Protection
Corps, a paramilitary force of unclear competencies, officially created by
the UN administration in order to facilitate a social rehabilitation of
ex-guerillas. The five men were declared guilty of the murder of four
Albanians who were, like Zemaj, under the influence of FARK. The most
famous of the defendants was Daut Haradinaj, whose brother, Ramush, heads
the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), a small nationalistic group
that obtained approximately 8% of the votes in the elections organized in
the territory since the beginning of the UN protectorate.
Ramush, a 34 year-old ex-commander of the KLA in the region of Pec, Decani
and Djakovica, has a thick record in France and Switzerland. After a short
time in the Foreign Legion, he joined the forces of the KLA where he was
noted for his involvement in instances of extreme violence against the
civilian Serb population. Ramush Haradinaj is the most likely of the
former KLA commanders to be indicted by the International Criminal
Tribunal in The Hague.
Nevertheless his party has managed to attract some ex-Communist Albanian
leaders in the province, such as Mahmut Bakalli, and a few distinguished
intellectuals. The AAK had also openly profited – at least until the year
2001 – from the support of some diplomatic circles, especially in the
United States. This “third force”, despite never managing to attract the
electorate, has been trying to install itself on the political scene,
which is characterized by the confrontation between Rugova's LDK and
Hashim Thaçi's Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), a party which gathers
some distinguished ex-KLA leaders. This is one of the reasons why it has
won the support of certain international circles, who are bothered as much
as by the immobility and subservience of the LDK as by the PDK’s drift
toward the mafia. Anyhow, this support will have been in vain in the event
Ramush Haradinaj is seized on grounds of his criminal past.
Kosovo suffered a long political crisis after the legislative elections in
November of 2001. Only after several months and three polls did the
provincial parliament manage to elect Rugova as president of Kosovo, a
nominal function without any political competencies. After the
negotiations that ensued, Bajram Rexhepi, the leader of PDK, was appointed
to the position of prime minister. This long crisis demonstrated, above
all, the amazing mediocrity of the key figures of political life, who are
interested only in pointless games to gain power.
In the middle of the rivalry between the LDK, the PDK and the AAK, the
only alternative that managed to break out and reach out to the electorate
was the nationalist one. But this position runs the risk of leading
rapidly to an open confrontation with the international administration of
the province. Thus, Rada Trajkovic, the spokeswoman of the caucus of Serb
deputies in the Kosovo parliament, has announced that in the spring,
Europe can expect a confrontation between the Albanians and international
It is interesting to recall, considering the political deadlock in which
the province has found itself, the intentions of the international
community when it initiated military intervention in Yugoslavia. The
apparent aim to put an end to the repression and the acts of violence
against the Albanian population concealed another, political goal, also of
major importance: to precipitate the fall of Slobodan Milosevic's regime.
Nevertheless, the Albanian nationalists considered the intervention as
support for their plans of making Kosovo independent.
(photo: Ramush Haradinaj, former legionare, UCK commander
and a political leader)
regime already belongs to the past. And if Albanian nationalism served as
a foundation for Western strategists yesterday, today it is perceived as a
factor of destabilization for all of the Balkans. The international
community is concurrent in excluding all prospects of independence for
Kosovo because it believes that an independent Kosovo would lack economic
viability and might well turn into a small mafia paradise, as well as a
magnet for Albanian irredentism, especially in Macedonia.
As the "peripheral" nationalisms in Kosovo and Montenegro became of less
and less strategic interest in the eyes of West, anti-Western resentment
has grown among both the Albanian leaders and those in Montenegro, where
Milo Djukanovic and his supporters feel – not unjustifiably - that they
have been used and then dumped.
Actually, the European strategy in the Balkans seems to limit itself to a
single purpose: to buy time. The discussions on the final status of Kosovo
have been postponed indefinitely, and for the past year the European Union
has been seeking a provisional and original solution for the
Serbia-Montenegro dispute. The Belgrade Agreement, signed on March 14,
2002 under the auspices of Javier Solana, the man in charge of European
foreign policy, foresees the replacement of the present Yugoslav
Federation with a new Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The common
competencies of this future confederal entity will be very limited; in
exchange, Montenegro will have to accept a moratorium of three years
before convoking a possible referendum on self-determination. (2)
Anyway, there is little chance that the constitutional negotiations
between Serbia and Montenegro will succeed, having not met with success
for one whole year, if the European Union does not implement a new
pressurizing intervention. In fact, the Yugoslav minister of Foreign
Affairs, Goran Svilanovic, defined the year 2002 as “a lost year” in his
report. In effect, institutional aid has blocked all political reform, in
Serbia as well as in Montenegro.
The objective of the new metamorphosis of Yugoslavia would be to prevent
the hypothetical independence of Kosovo, which a rupture in the federal
union of Serbia and Montenegro would make inevitable. But the agreement of
March 14 explicitly restored the Yugoslav rights over the southern
territory to Serbia.
The Albanian leaders have reacted with inflexibility, opposing any
negotiations on the future state, which they boycotted and certainly
disdained. Anyhow, the logic of the Western diplomats is inexorable.
According to UN Resolution 1244, Kosovo continues to be an integral part
of the Yugoslav Federation, whose legal heir will be the new Union of
Serbia and Montenegro. But evidently Kosovo does not belong to Montenegro;
its belonging to Serbia must be confirmed. In case of the break of the
Union, it is explicitly stipulated that Kosovo will be under the
sovereignty of Serbia. In November of 2002, Rexhepi, prime minister of the
province, was threatening to unilaterally declare the independence of
Kosovo if the Serbia Montenegro constitutional negotiations were accepted.
The phantom “Solana State,” as the Union of Serbia and Montenegro was soon
christened runs the risk of precipitating a confrontation between the
Kosovo Albanians and the international community. The lack of skill and
foresight in the international circles is deplorable. After having granted
full power to the most extreme manifestations of Albanian nationalism, was
it very likely that it would be possible to go back without provoking any
The only solution avoiding both the status quo and new confrontations must
have the following indispensable conditions: concrete advances with
respect to the reconciliation between the communities present in Kosovo,
and the beginning of a direct dialogue between Belgrade and the Albanian
The 40.000 NATO soldiers deployed in Kosovo have already demonstrated
their inability to prevent violence against the non-Albanian communities
of Kosovo (3). On the other hand, the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has
failed to seriously assume its political responsibility to ensure
intercommunity dialogue. Accordingly, the speaker of the parliament of
Kosovo, Nexhat Daci, managed to prohibit the Serbian deputies use the name
“Kosovo and Metohija” during parliamentary sessions without any
international reproach, an attitude even more surprising if one considers
the blatant interventions of the UN High Representative in the political
life of Bosnia.
The scanty beginning of dialogue between the Albanian leaders and Belgrade
has always taken place in a neutral country. The last time was in November
of 2002, during a colloquium on the Albanian question organized in
Lucerne, Switzerland. Upon his return, Rexhepi had to publicly apologize
for having shaken hands with to Nebojsa Covic, deputy premier of Serbia in
charge of Kosovo, despite of the fact that the latter had apologized to
the Albanian leader for Serbian excesses committed in the province.
The nationalistic escalation that the Albanian leaders use as a political
strategy suggests, actually, a complex of irresponsibility fed by the
international community. Since the future of Kosovo is decided by the
Western diplomats, it more provident to engage in demogoguery than in real
dialogue with Belgrade, something which is certainly difficult but
unavoidable. In the same manner, the parliament of Kosovo can pass the
most radical decisions but all of them must be endorsed by the special
representative of the UN secretary general, Michael Steiner, who has the
right of discretional veto.
Thus the “substantial autonomy” promised in the United Nations Resolution
1244 gives was to a colonial-like, completely uncontrollable situation.
The justice system is only partially functional (4), public services are
abandoned and corruption undermines the UN Mission (5), despite the
valiant commitment of some administrators. An eminent journalist on Kosovo
synthesizes the situation in the following way: “Instead of electricity,
they deliver us generators. The same thing happens with justice, which
deals with nothing more than expedient political operations.”
During the first years of the post-war period, the reconstruction
deceptive, moving forward in a rather anarchic way and leading to losses
in natural resources and historical heritage. But now the economy of
Kosovo is totally stagnant and, for the teeming youth, emigration to the
West seems to be the only exit. Under these conditions it is
understandable that the sirens of radicalism can seduce Serbs and
Finally, Kosovo in 2003 represents the same ticking bomb as in 1999. The
only difference is that the international community is now directly
involved in the crisis, although it would be satisfied with an illusory
peace and the ability to forget about Kosovo and the Balkans. Like in 2000
and 2001, a confrontation with the international community might take the
form of new armed clashes in the peripheral Albanian inhabited regions,
especially in Presevo Valley in the south of Serbia.
1. Danas, 6-1-03
2. See the text of the Belgrade Agreement [in French] at:
3. P.M. de La Gorce, “Le sud-est de l'Europe sous l'emprise de l'OTAN,” Le
Monde diplomatique, March 2000
4. Patrice de Charette, Les oiseaux noirs du Kosovo. Un juge à Pristina,
Michalon, Paris, 2002
5. “Kosovo: corruption à la Minuk”, Le Courrier des Balkans:
French original: "Le précédent contesté de l'intervention au Kosovo,"
Jean-Arnault Dérens, Le Monde diplomatique, February 2003
SERB DEPUTIES WALK AGAIN
OUT OF KOSOVO PARLIAMENT
Radio B92, Belgrade
February 27, 2003
(photo: Serb deputies arrive to a
Parliament session in armored vehicles)
- Deputies of the Return (Povratak) Coalition walked out of the Kosovo
parliament on Thursday after demands by some Kosovo Albanian deputies that
two declarations be added to the agenda, one expressing parliamentary
support for Fatmir Limaj, indicted by the Hague tribunal, and one
abolishing the Declaration of the Union of Serb Municipalities adopted in
Mitrovica two days ago, reports B92 correspondent Zoran Culafic.
Only 13 deputies from the Return Coalition were present at the Kosovo
parliament session because the remaining nine deputies were not provided
with transportation to Pristina. Despite this some of the Return Coalition
deputies agreed to attend the session, where the items on the agenda
included laws on libraries and archives.
Kosovo parliament presidency member Oliver Ivanovic told B92 that the
deputies left the session "after demands for irregular changes to the
agenda". He added that attendance at the next parliament session would
depend on "the manner in which UNMIK chief Michael Steiner will react".
Ivanovic said that Return Coalition deputies "expect a sharp response"
from Michael Steiner, even at the price "that someone be punished for such
behavior in the Kosovo parliament". "Today the parliament functioned in an
irregular manner. I think the very fact that nine deputies were not
present because it was not possible to provide them with transportation
speaks for itself, let alone the attempt to adopt the two declarations.
This type of politicization is unacceptable because it leads to strong
ethnic polarization and increase in tensions," said Ivanovic.
FOREIGN MINISTERS OF
MACEDONIA, SERBIA-MONTENEGRO DISCUSS REGIONAL SECURITY
February 27, 2003
By KONSTANTIN TESTORIDES, Associated Press Writer
SKOPJE, Macedonia - The foreign ministers of Macedonia as well as Serbia
and Montenegro on Thursday said organized crime was the single biggest
threat to their countries' security.
Macedonia's Ilinka Mitreva and Goran Svilanovic of Serbia and Montenegro -
or what used to be Yugoslavia - _ agreed that recent incidents in the
region were the work of criminal gangs, rather than ethnic tensions.
"The essential threat to the stability in the region does not come from
our neighbors, but from organized crime," declared Svilanovic.
"Both our countries are challenged with the threat of organized crime and
we will solve all other problems if organized crime is uprooted," he
Both Macedonia and neighboring Serbia, have restive ethnic Albanian
minorities that have staged insurgencies - in 2000 and 2001 - to demand
In both countries, the insurgencies were ended by Western-brokered peace
deals that improved the situation of the ethnic Albanian communities.
However, there have been fears that ethnic Albanian rebel groups have been
rearming and are preparing fresh uprisings this coming spring in both
Macedonia and Serbia.
In the most recent incident in southern Serbia, a policeman was killed and
two more wounded last week when their car ran over a land mine authorities
say was planted by ethnic Albanian "terrorists."
Svilanovic said that terrorist attacks on the Serbian security troops were
financed by organized crime - which has flourished in the Balkans in the
past decade of wars, including drug and human trafficking.
"We are not afraid of this spring or summer," Svilanovic said. "Those who
are now organizers of the incidents in southern Serbia and Macedonia
cannot count on support by the international community, or anybody in the
Svilanovic and Mitreva also announced that a summit of countries of
Southeast Europe will be held in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and
Montenegro, in April.
DJINJDJIC PROPOSES KOSOVO
ERP KIM info service subarticle
BETA News Agency, Belgrade
February 27, 2003
-- Thursday – Zoran Djindjic has stepped up his campaign for a rapid
resolution to the Kosovo question with a proposal for a partitioned,
The Serbian prime minister told media that Kosovo is a national and
security problem which must be resolved.
“Kosovo is for me what Iraq is for US President George Bush: a difficult
national and security problem which we must resolve.
“If the world expects us to understand global priorities, we are entitled
to expect the world to understand our priorities,” Djindjic told Frankfurt
Serbian-language daily Vesti.
“I am not interested in the status of Kosovo, like the special
relationship with the Republic of Srpska, as a matter of emotion, justice,
myths and history, but as an issue of statehood and international
“It is extremely unfortunate that some people in Europe and the rest of
the world think the only good Serb democrats are those who renounce the
national interests of their country, that they think war in Iraq should be
our national priority rather than resolving the Kosovo issue.
“After two years of democratic government I think we have garnered enough
democratic credibility to begin open discussion of this issue.
“I believe that after two years we have the right to seek from the West a
degree of confirmation that they accept us as partners and are ready to
“If they are not, let them say so,” said Djindjic.
The prime minister emphasised that he could not understand the argument
that it was too early to begin discussion of Kosovo’s final status.
“I think it is time to stop applying double standards.
“When they ask us to cooperate with the Hague court, because this is an
organ of the UN Security Council which we respect, then let us ask who is
obliged to implement the resolution adopted by that same Security Council
on the return of a thousand Serbian solders and police to Kosovo.
“Why is it not yet time for the return of Serbs to Kosovo while it is
always time to implement decisions of the Hague Tribunal?
“Because the international community only responds to crisis situations,
my goal has been to establish Kosovo as a politically critical situation,
because no one will respond to demands put at the diplomatic level.
“In that kind of situation is important to have a resolution, and I am
offering one,” said Djindjic.
The prime minister proposed the division of Kosovo into two ethnic
communities, Serbian and Albanian, each with equal rights.
“Serbs would accept this kind of Kosovo, with a status greater than
autonomy but less than a federal unit such as Serbia and Montenegro,” said
STATEMENT OF NEBOJSA
COVIC DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA AND PRESIDENT OF THE
COORDINATING CENTER - BRUSSELS NATO HQ
February 27, 2003
Brussels, Feb 26, 2003
thank you for your time at a moment when you are dealing with the
difficult and complex problem of Iraq.
I am completely aware that you would like me to present you with
solutions, not problems. But, I shall stick to the problems of southern
Serbia (Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja) and Kosovo.
SOUTHERN SERBIA (Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja)
The situation in the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja is
not even close to what it was two years ago. Significant results have been
achieved in establishing peace and multiethnic institutions.
During the past few weeks, the situation has become more complex; with
attempts to bring back the situation to the state it was two years ago.
Certain criminal and radical elements of the ethnic Albanians are trying
to destabilise the situation in the region by frightening citizens, the
multiethnic police force and multiethnic representatives of the local
Since the beginning of 2003, in the municipality of Presevo and Bujanovac
we have catalogued death threats, explosions in the private dwellings of
multiethnic police officers and other citizens, physical assaults, the
murder of an ethnic Albanian member of the Serbian Security and
Intelligence Agency (BIA), the planting of landmines and explosives, the
murder of a member of the Gendarmerie and the wounding of another two.
There are indications that other paramilitary troops are organising in the
region, such as the self-proclaimed Albanian National Army (ANA). This
creates additional concern, as extremist groups are based along the
administrative border between Kosovo and southern Serbia.
Despite these problems, Belgrade is successfully working on restoring
order to the situation in southern Serbia, which includes cooperation with
KFOR, the OSCE, and the EUMM, which has been of great benefit. We are
resolute in responding to all the extremist threats and terrorist actions
of certain local ethnic Albanians in a measured and responsible manner,
and with your help.
The basis for stability and development of the region is fighting
organised crime. Organised crime is to blame for the violence in the
everyday life of the region, and represents a threat to the safety and
economy of the region, but also the EU. Organised crime includes,
primarily, drugs and arms trafficking, sex trafficking and money
Organised crime in the countries of the region is interwoven with the
state, politics, politicians and bureaucrats, which gives it a special
We need your help and cooperation to resolve these problems through
special projects of regional stability. With your help, we must, and can
preserve the results we have achieved in southern Serbia, which should
also serve as a model for the peaceful resolution of the crisis in the
As a rule, organised crime is connected with war crimes and
war profiteers. We must not let criminals manipulate patriotic and
national feelings, by hiding behind national flags.
Our goals in southern Serbia are:
1. Full respect of the Programme for peaceful resolution of the crisis and
further building of multiethnic institutions, 2. Zero tolerance for
violence, crime, extremism and terrorism, 3. Absolute cancellation of the
Ground and Air Safety Zone.
We expect your support, assistance and full understanding in order to keep
the peace in southern Serbia and to fully carry out the Programme for
peaceful resolution of the crisis.
As for Kosovo, certain Belgrade leaders are concerned that the position of
Serbia in a possible process of the province's status could be jeopardised
to the disadvantage of democratic support
Be sure that Belgrade will not undertake any action that would make the
work of KFOR harder. On the contrary, we support a maximum of dialogue
between the Army of Serbia and Montenegro and KFOR in order to resolve
extremism and crime in Kosovo and southern Serbia.
In this sense, the arrest of Kosovo suspects is of great help, and for
that we are thankful to KFOR.
What concerns us and makes harder our position as democratic authorities
in the process of democratisation of the country:
1. After three and a half years, there is no return of internally
displaced persons - Serb and other non-Albanian ethnic groups;
2. The level of safety and freedom of movement is not
satisfactory for Serbs and non-Albanians and human rights are constantly
3. The number of KFOR members has decreased;
4. Disharmony in the transfer of jurisdictions from KFOR
to UNMIK, and from UNMIK to interim institutions;
5. The opening of border crossings between Kosovo and
Albania, and the introduction of customs services between Kosovo and
6. Repetitive provocations by ethnic Albanian politicians
from Kosovo, aimed at prejudging the final status of Kosovo, in the form
of independence for the province;
7. Excluding the Belgrade authorities from the process
that is under way in Kosovo, and lack of partnership relations with UNMIK;
. Failure to resolve the fate of missing and kidnapped
persons in Kosovo;
9. Failure to resolve the problem of the usurped property
of Serbs and other non-Albanians from Kosovo;
10. Failure to implement certain agreements and protocols
signed between Belgrade and UNMIK, as well as the Belgrade Agreement
signed on November 5, 2001;
We have opted for sincere partnership relations with KFOR and UNMIK, but
with full respect for mutual agreements that have been reached.
It is certain that the army and police of Serbia and Montenegro are no
longer enemies to KFOR; KFOR now has an internal enemy: extremists and
separatists backed by organised crime structures in Kosovo.
The proclaimed standards have been supported by the Serbian authorities,
but they need to be elaborated in order to enable a realistic evaluation
and monitoring of results achieved in the process of creating a
We are pleading to you to help the Serb community in Kosovo become a
constitutional people, and thus be able to exercise their collective
rights as envisaged by the Ohrid agreement.
Without the sustainable return and preservation of the Serb community in
Kosovo, we will not achieve the declared goal of creating a multiethnic
Belgrade wishes to take advantage of 2003 to make up for lost time and to
continue with its integration into the international community.
We know what is expected of us.
We intend to find ways to resolve these problems, but you could make the
job easier for us, by sending us signals that difficult decisions yield
It is easier to "get away with" unpopular moves in Serbia, where we are
building institutions that have been left destroyed for years and trying
to restore democratic forces, if it is clear that we are facing some
formal, concrete requests as part of an integration process.
A daunting task is ahead, one in which you can help. We count on your
assistance, for the purpose of full stabilisation of our country as well
as the entire region.
THERE IS NO ONE TO LISTEN
TO SERBS FROM THREE VILLAGES
BETA News Agency, Belgrade
February 26, 2003
OBILIC, February 26, 2003 - The deputy mayor of Obilic municipality Hajriz
Bekteshi refused to attend a meeting of NGO's, UNMIK administration, KFOR,
UNMIK police and Serb representatives from Obilic, Crkvene Vodice and
Bekteshi first asked that the meeting be rescheduled despite the fact that
it had been scheduled last week; when this was refused, the deputy mayor
left the meeting, saying he had to go to the protest being held the same
day in Pristina.
Residents of Obilic, Crkvene Vodice and Janine Vode, the home of a total
of some 300 Serb families, have lived under extremely difficult conditions
without any freedom of movement since the arrival of international forces.
The residents of Janine Vode have not had drinking water for the past
three years due to a problem with the water supply.
The meeting was to have included discussions on improving the security
situation and living conditions.
After Bekteshi's departure, almost all the representatives of the
international administration in Kosovo left one by one, saying that the
topics on the agenda were not within their area of responsibility.
By the end of the meeting the only ones left were the Serbs from the three
locations in the Obilic area who told each other their troubles.
FLASH NEWS FROM KOSOVO -
SVILANOVIC - NO DANGER OF DESTABILIZING THE BALKANS
There is no danger of destabilizing the Balkans this spring and summer,
for the Albanian extremists who cause incidents cannot get support from
the international community, the foreign minister of Serbia and
Montenegro, Goran Svilanovic, said. He also pointed out that in
yesterday’s talks with the highest NATO officials he got a clear
endorsement for the actions which the authorities in Belgrade are
undertaking in the aim of disarming extremists and maintaining peace in
southern Serbia. According to Svilanovic, criminal interests lie behind
the political aims of the Albanian extremists, and thus cooperation of the
countries in this region with NATO and other international organizations
in the battle against trading in arms, drugs and people is essential.
LIMAJ STILL IN SLOVENIA
Based on the decision of the Slovenian Supreme Court on the extraditing of
one of the former KLA leaders, Fatmir Ljimaj, to the Hague Tribunal, the
Slovenian minister of justice Ivan Bizjak signed the decree which
initiated the proceedings for his surrender to this court. Bizjak did not
reveal when Ljimaj would be extradited to the Tribunal, though he did say
that this could happen within the legal 15-day cut-off period.
ALBANIAN PROTEST RALLY IN SOUTH MITROVICA
More than 3,000 Kosovo Albanians staged a protest rally in southern
Kosovska Mitrovica demanding that Kosovo be granted independence and that
all former members of the self-styled KLA be released from prisons in the
Hague and Pristina. International police forces and KFOR troops were
stationed during the protest rally on the north side of the bridge on the
Ibar river, which divides the Serb from the Albanian part of the town.
Several thousand Albanians also staged a protest rally in Lipljan,
south-west of Pristina. According to UNMIK, there were no
incidents.Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic assessed that it was high
time that national interests were restored and demanded a change int eh
conception of resolving the issue of Kosovo-Metohija. Djindjic told a
press conference that Serbia has a legitimate right, as a democratic
country, to define its national policy and takes part in the resolving of
problems in Kosovo-Metohija. The provincial government should represent a
ministerial council of the two national communities, Djindjic said and
added that Serbs had a legitimate right to form a community of
municipalities in Kosmet in which they are in the majority.
PRIME MINISTER DJINDJIC - ON RESOLVING THE KOSOVO
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic assessed that it was high time that
national interests were restored and demanded a change int eh conception
of resolving the issue of Kosovo-Metohija. Djindjic told a press
conference that Serbia has a legitimate right, as a democratic country, to
define its national policy and takes part in the resolving of problems in
Kosovo-Metohija. The provincial government should represent a ministerial
council of the two national communities, Djindjic said and added that
Serbs had a legitimate right to form a community of municipalities in
Kosmet in which they are in the majority.
KOSOVO ASSSEMBLY ADOPTED TWO DECLARATIONS
The Kosovo Assembly, at the proposition of the most influential Albanian
parties, has adopted two declarations - one demanding of the Hague
Tribunal to release war crime indictee Fatmir Ljimaj, an MP of the
Democratic Party of Kosovo, pending the beginning of the trial, and the
other rejecting the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities, as
a parallel institution claimed to be contrary tot eh constitutional
framework of Kosovo and UN Resolution 1244. MPs of the Serb POVRATAK
coalition left the session dissatisfied with the enactment of those
declarations and the fact that nine MPs of the Serb coalition had not
attended the session, as they had not been allowed KFOR escort. A Serb MP
in the Assembly, Oliver Ivanovic, assessed that the enactment of the
declarations was in breach of the rights and obligations of the Assembly
of Kosovo-Metohija and added that members of the POVRATAK coalition expect
UNMIK head Michael Steiner to voice his opinion on this issue.
ATTACKERS FIRED AT A RED CROSS VEHICLE
On Thursday morning, unidentified persons fired at a Red Cross vehicle
parked in front of the headquarters of that organization in northern
Kosovska Mitrovica, Tanjug reports. Shots were fired from the direction of
the part of the town called Bosnjacka mahala, inhabited by Albanians.
UNMIK has conducted an inquiry, but has not revealed any details save the
information that nobody was injured in the attack.
PRESIDENT KOSTUNICA - KOSOVO MUST BE SOLVEDWITHIN
Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica said that the Kosovo issue must be
solved within the present borders, with the return of displaced people and
much more intensive communication between Belgrade and Pristina. He told
the YU INFO TV that the idea of the formation of a community of Serb
municipalities in the Province has certain limits and can be conducive to
retaliation on the part of Albanian extremists, but added that the
community had been formed in response to extreme Albanian demands.
STEINER TALKED TO THE POVRATAK COALITION MEMBERS
UNMIK Head Michael Steiner saw in Pristina, on Wednesday, representatives
of the Serb POVRATAK coalition, on teh occasion of the enactment of a
declaration on the territorial integrity of Serbia in Kosovo. He told the
coalition representatives that the declaration was contrary to UN
Resolution 1244. An MP of the Povratak coalition, Oliver Ivanovic, said
that Serb MPs in the Kosmet parliament believe that the situation in the
Province was very tense and that therefore they demanded of Steiner to
intensify security measures in Serb enclaves.
KFOR COMMANDER GEN. MINI
TARGETED BY ALBANIAN EXTREMISTS
Under the title KFOR COMMANDER TARGETED BY ALBANIAN EXTREMIST CIRCLES, the
VECERNJE NOVOSTI daily quotes international offices as warning that
Albanian extremists are preparing the liquidation of Italian general Fabio
Minni. The KFOR leadership, as VECERNJE NOVOSTI unofficially learns, has
already contacted competent authorities in Belgrade seeking their
assistance in order that the prepared scenario be thwarted. The general
himself does not seem to be too much frightened by Albanian threats, the
daily writes. Such conclusion is testified to by his statement given in an
interview to the Italian CORRIERE DELLA SERA daily, that the Hague
Tribunal will soon demand the extradition of 10 former KLA commanders and
that the list also includes several KLA leaders, who have meanwhile formed
their own political parties. In reply to the question of VECERNJE NOVOSTI
whether the arrest will follow soon and what is the truth regarding
general Fabio Minni, UNMIK regional spokesman Christian Linmeyer explained
that he knew nothing of the aforesaid list but that the list might appear
in public very soon.
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
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and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM
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