February 16, 2004

ERP KiM Newsletter 16-02-04

Serbs from Miroc village leave their homes in Kosovo

Serbs from the village of Miroc (pronounced Miroch) in the Kosovo municipality of Vucitrn (Vuchitrn) left their homes this morning due to the removal of the KFOR security checkpoint in their village, sources in Kosovo informed Beta news agency. At the same time the local Kosovo institutions continue with their discriminatory policy against Kosovo Serbs. Kosovo Parliament, dominated by ethnic Albanians refused to remove pictures of mono-ethnic contents despite requests of UNMIK chief Holkeri, Klina Municipality still obstructs the return of Serbs, while Kosovo PM keeps finding excuses to avoid continuation of dialogue with Belgrade authorities. As in previous weeks Kosovo Albanian institutions show that Kosovo Standards plan is just a dead letter on the paper. In reality Kosovo institutions work on building of mono-ethnic society tailored for ethnic Albanians only.
 


So called "Kosovo Protection Corps", former UCK remains continuous threat to Kosovo security. This infamous organization is nevertheless still financed by the Western Government although almost all members of the KPC leadership since its "transformation" in 1999 have been either arrested or placed on the black list of US Government and EU for different kinds of criminal activities. Despite efforts of some internationals to make this organization "multiethnic" it remains dominated by the ethnic Albanian nationalism and has been directly involved in many crimes in the post-conflict Kosovo, not only against Kosovo Serbs but also against moderate Albanians and other minorities

Four Albanians KPC members suspected of murder arrested in Kosovo

UNMIK police report, February 16, 2004

Four people have been taken into custody following an early morning operation by the Police, acting with support from KFOR.

The arrests were made in Prizren and Pristina regions. Those detained are suspects in serious criminal offences such as murder. The victims of these crimes were Kosovo-Albanians.

All of the suspects are members of the Kosovo Protection Corps and one senior officer is amongst those detained.

The arrests have led to a number of follow-up searches in KPC facilities and residences limited to those individuals.

The operation was conducted without resistance.

Criminal acts require that the individuals responsible be held accountable, regardless of their position or their membership in any organisation. This operation was aimed at suspect individuals and not at the KPC.


Derek CHAPPELL
Spokesperson, Chief Press Office
UNMIK Police
Pristina

Angela JOSEPH
MHQ Deputy Chief Press
UNMIK Police, Pristina
 

CONTENTS:

Serbs from village Miroc in Kosovo leave their homes
Serbs from the village of Miroc (pronounced Miroch) in the Kosovo municipality of Vucitrn (Vuchitrn) left their homes this morning due to the removal of the KFOR security checkpoint in their village, sources in Kosovo informed Beta news agency.

Monks of Holy Archangels Monastery reject escorts by UNMIK police and KPS
The monks of Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren "presently will not accept any services" by UNMIK police and the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) in providing security for the brotherhood and the monastery itself because they are not considered sufficiently ready for this task, Hieromonk Benedict told Beta news agency.

Kosovo Parliament refuses to remove pictures of monoethnic contents
UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri will not attend the opening of the renovated auditorium of the Kosovo parliament if pictures of "monoethnic content" are not removed from its walls, said UNMIK spokeswoman Isabella Karlowicz on Friday. Kosovo parliament official Ramush Tahiri stated today that the controversial pictures will not be removed from the renovated auditorium of the parliament as requested by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, who had objected to their monoethnic content.

Kosovo PM rules out talks with Coordination Center
Belgrade's Coordination Centre for Kosovo cannot take part in the upcoming dialogue between the authorities in Belgrade and Pristina, Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi insisted today.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, February 13-15, 2004


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Kosovo Albanian led municipality of Klina still prevents return

ERP KIM Info-service
Gracanica, February 16, 2004


Diocese of Raska and Prizren learns from Serb returnees to Klina who still remain temporarily in the nearby village of Bicha that local Albanian authorities in Klina Municipality (LDK) still do not allow them to go back to their homes. While the Serbs were living in exile the local Municipality issued to local Albanians false cadastral records of ownership over the Serbian property which makes the issue of return to Klina even more difficult.

The Klina case is a clear example how local Kosovo institutions are working against implementation of standards and human rights. Although the mayor of Klina Ramo Manaj is the member of LDK (party of Ibrahim Rugova) the so called Kosovo President who keeps travelling around the world speaking about "great standards of Kosovo democracy" has not done anything to resolve this problem. Quite on the contrary Rugova still gives political support to his officials who are deeply involved not only in human rights violations but also in organized crime and violence.

Klina case is demonstrating the present policy of Kosovo Albanian leaders who support returns and human rights issues by their words while through their own people on the ground do everything to make Kosovo a mono-ethnic society.

 


Serbs from village of Miroc in Kosovo leave their homes

Serbs from the village of Miroc (pronounced Miroch) in the Kosovo municipality of Vucitrn (Vuchitrn) left their homes this morning due to the removal of the KFOR security checkpoint in their village, sources in Kosovo informed Beta news agency.
 

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Beta News Agency, Belgrade
February 15, 2004

VUCITRN - Serbs from the village of Miroc (pronounced Miroch) in the Kosovo municipality of Vucitrn (Vuchitrn) left their homes this morning due to the removal of the KFOR security checkpoint in their village, sources in Kosovo informed Beta news agency.

As a result of the lack of security following the withdrawal of KFOR, the Serb inhabitants of the village decided it was safest for them to leave in order to save their lives.

The village of Miroc is located six kilometers from the Kosovska Mitrovica-Pristina highway and the majority of its population is ethnic Albanian.

KFOR recently decided to withdraw security checkpoints from Miroc and the surrounding ethnically mixed villages of Slatina, Banjska and Gobulja.

Kosovo parliament presidency member Oliver Ivanovic asked Kosovo Ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicki on Thursday to request the return of the security checkpoints to the villages of Banjska, Slatina and Miroc.

Nowicki had previously asked the KFOR commander, German general Holger Kammerhof to return checkpoints to Velika Hoca (Velika Hocha) near Orahovac, Banjska and Slatina.

In a letter to the KFOR commander Nowicki expressed his concern because representatives of these villages had informed him that they do not feel same without the KFOR checkpoints.



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Monks of Holy Archangels Monastery reject escorts by UNMIK police and KPS

The monks of Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren "presently will not accept any services" by UNMIK police and the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) in providing security for the brotherhood and the monastery itself because they are not considered sufficiently ready for this task, Hieromonk Benedict told Beta news agency.

BETA News Agency, Belgrade
Prizren, Februrary 15, 2004

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Holy Archangels Monastery: Monks do not want to be turned over
to UNMIK police and the Kosovo Police Service


PRIZREN - The monks of Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren "presently will not accept any services" by UNMIK police and the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) in providing security for the brotherhood and the monastery itself because they are not considered sufficiently ready for this task, Hieromonk Benedict told Beta news agency.

Commenting on the proposal of the German KFOR contingent, which is based in Prizren, that UNMIK in cooperation with the KPS assume responsibility for escorting the monks in the future, Fr. Benedict said that "UNMIK and the KPS are still not sufficiently ready to confront the problems of providing security for the Serb minority".

Among the reasons why the monks do believe that UNMIK and the KPS are ready to provide them with security, Fr. Benedict pointed out the unresolved instances of destroyed churches and monasteries, murders and abductions of Serbian Orthodox clergy and other crimes perpetrated against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija since 1999.

Fr. Benedict also cited as one of the reasons "the frequent murders of members of the KPS" which, according to him, "only demonstrates that either they themselves are unaware who they are dealing with or the members of the KPS are themselves involved in dubious activities, resulting in the loss of their lives".

He added that the KPS "includes a good number of former fighters of the Kosovo Liberation Army".

Fr. Benedict appealed to the members of German KFOR "to stop punishing the monks" of Holy Archangels Monastery" for what he described as "revealing the truth regarding the incident that occurred on January 21 in Djakovica, and to do everything within their power" so that the monks can carry out their religious duties without obstruction.

"If the command of the German KFOR contingent disregards our appeals and does not provide us with professional escorted protection, we will request that members of the Serbia-Montenegro Army be permitted to come here, knowing that they will perform their job enthusiastically and professionally," said Fr. Benedict.

"If this possibility is also rejected in disregard of Resolution 1244, then we will be forced to leave our monastery and there will be no more talk of Serb returns, not only to the Prizren area but anywhere in Kosovo and Metohija," he concluded.

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Holkeri concerned by monoethnic picture in Kosovo Parliament - Kosovo Parliament refuses to remove pictures bothering Holkeri

UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri will not attend the opening of the renovated auditorium of the Kosovo parliament if pictures of "monoethnic content" are not removed from its walls, said UNMIK spokeswoman Isabella Karlowicz on Friday. Kosovo parliament official Ramush Tahiri stated today that the controversial pictures will not be removed from the renovated auditorium of the parliament as requested by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, who had objected to their monoethnic content.

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Beta News Agency, Belgrade
February 13-14, 2004


PRISTINA - Kosovo parliament official Ramush Tahiri stated today that the controversial pictures will not be removed from the renovated auditorium of the parliament as requested by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, who had objected to their monoethnic content.

Tahiri, political advisor to parliamentary speaker Nexhat Daci, told Kosovo Television on Saturday that this part of history does not present a problem to anyone, adding that it is the right of every parliament to decide how its facilities will look.

"The pictures will stay where they are and later it will assessed whether they have artistic value but we do not accept forcible or imposed changes on the pretext that the pictures are monoethnic," said Tahiri.

He rejected Holkeri's objections that the pictures are monoethnic "because history cannot be projected based on the present".

Holkeri advised yesterday that he will not attend the opening of the renovated auditorium of the Kosovo parliament unless the pictures of "monoethnic content" were removed from its walls.

In a letter addressed to Daci, Holkeri expressed his concern about the pictures with themes from Albanian history as the Kosovo parliament is a multiethnic institution representing a multiethnic Kosovo.

The pictures depict the arrival of "Skenderbeg in Kruja, the assembly of princes in Lezha, which was also attended by a Montenegrin prince, and the League of Prizren," reported Kosovo Television.

The formal opening of the Kosovo parliamentary auditorium on Monday, February 16, will also take place in the absence of the Serbs from the Return Coalition (Povratak) in the Kosovo parliament - not because of the displayed pictures but because of the celebration of Serbian Republic Day, said Kosovo Television, adding that the Return Coalition deputies had informed the Kosovo parliament of this in writing.

Representatives of UNMIK, Kosovo institutions, offices of Western countries and other international institutions in Kosovo have all been invited to the formal opening of the renovated auditorium of the parliament.

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Holkeri concerned by monoethnic picture in Kosovo parliament

PRISTINA - UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri will not attend the opening of the renovated auditorium of the Kosovo parliament if pictures of "monoethnic content" are not removed from its walls, said UNMIK spokeswoman Isabella Karlowicz on Friday.

According to Karlowicz, Holkeri sent a letter to Kosovo parliamentary speaker Nexhat Daci expressing his concern about the pictures with themes from Albanian history as the Kosovo parliament is a multiethnic institution representing a multiethnic Kosovo.

"The UNMIK chief is grateful for the invitation but will not attend the ceremony unless the pictures on the walls are changed," Karlowicz told KosovaLive news agency.

The opening of the renovated auditorium of the Kosovo parliament after eight months of renovation work is scheduled for Monday, February 16.



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Kosovo PM rules out talks with Coordination Center

Belgrade's Coordination Centre for Kosovo cannot take part in the upcoming dialogue between the authorities in Belgrade and Pristina, Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi insisted today.

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Beta News Agency, Belgrade
February 14, 2004

PRISTINA -- Saturday - Belgrade's Coordination Centre for Kosovo cannot take part in the upcoming dialogue between the authorities in Belgrade and Pristina, Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi insisted today.

Belgrade should be represented by the Serbian government, "and in no way by the Coordination Centre," Rexhepi told Radio Free Europe.

The Coordination Centre is led by Nebojsa Covic, whose party failed to enter parliament after elections in December.

Belgrade-Pristina dialogue is expected to resume later this month.

Rexhepi said he had proposed the two sides meet in Vienna or Skopje.



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News from Kosovo and Metohija, 13-15 February 2004

INET News

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Sunday 15 February 2004

20:20 Serbs from the village of Miroc near Vucitrn in Kosovo left their homes on Sunday morning after the removal of a KFOR security checkpoint in the village, reported sources from Kosovo.

20:00 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic will meet with UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri in Pristina on Monday to discuss the continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina officials.

19:40 It appears that dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade will resume on February 18 and two working groups - one concerned with missing persons and one with energy - have already completed the necessary preparations, announced the prime minister of the Kosovo provisional government Bajram Rexhepi.

Saturday 14 February 2004

19:40 Prime minister in the Kosovo provisional government Bajram Rexhepi announced that he is working on creating preconditions for the independence of Kosovo.

Friday 13 February 2004

20:00 Dragisa Krstovic, the Return Coalition (Povratak) whip in the Kosovo parliament, said that after a meeting with UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri it is "clearer" that the working groups for implementation of standards in Kosovo will be multiethnic.

19:40 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic met with the assistant to the U.S. secretary of state for southeastern European issues Kathleen Stevens and discussed the situation in the southern Serbian province and the upcoming dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

12:40 KFOR commander German general Holger Kammerhof announced that the International Organization for Migration will continue its program for the resocialization of fighters of the former Kosovo Liberation Army and the professional training and organization of the Kosovo Protection Corps.

12:20 Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi announced that his government plans to open offices for international economic cooperation in Washington, New York and Brussels, wrote the Pristina Albanian language daily Koha Ditore.

12:00 UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri and Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi met today to discuss the location of the beginning of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, stated UNMIK public relations chief Hua Jiang.
Holkeri and Rexhepi are scheduled to meet again tomorrow to discuss current issues and the upcoming dialogue. Rexhepi proposed that the dialogue take place in Skopje.


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