February 17, 2004

ERP KiM Newsletter 17-02-04

Removal of KFOR checkpoints leads to ethnic cleansing of remaining Serbs

CONTENTS:

Title 1
Introductory text

Title 2
Introductory text

Title 3
Introductory text

Title 4
Introductory text

Title 5
Introductory text

Title 6
Introductory text

Title 7
Introductory text

Title 8
Introductory text

Title 9
Introductory text

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Return KFOR security checkpoints to Serb villages

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren especially appeals to the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija and Serb representatives in Kosovo institutions to demand an urgent change in KFOR's decision to abandon endangered Serb enclaves and monasteries to the KPS. If these decisions are not changed as quickly as possible, the consequences will be enormous and will place KFOR in the direct function of the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo and Metohija of its remaining Serbs.

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 16, 2004


Sunday's departure of Serbs from the village of Miroc (pr. Miroch) near Vucitrn (Vuchitrn) is another alarm signal after the most recent KFOR decision to begin the process of discontinuing control checkpoints located at the entrance to Serb villages in endangered parts of Kosovo and Metohija. The Diocese of Raska and Prizren most strongly protests this decision by UNMIK and requests that the checkpoints be returned to the entrances of Serb villages located in high risk zones.

The Diocese can understand that KFOR checkpoints are not essential in purely Serb environments such as, for example, Gracanica, north Kosovo or Brezovica, where a significant number of Serb policemen in the Kosovo Police Service are working in local police stations. However, several isolated Serb village enclaves in central Kosovo and especially in Metohija (Velika Hoca - pr. Hocha - and the Serb part of Orahovac, the Pec area) represent areas of high security risk and removal of KFOR control checkpoints from these locations will lead to the complete disappearance of Serbs from these areas.

"This decision will not only discourage the process of returns to the area, from which large numbers of Serbs were expelled after June 1999, but will lead to the complete departure of the remaining Serb population which has survived here in recent years thanks to the protection of KFOR forces," Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren told the ERP KIM Info Service. "We are especially concerned by the intention of gradually turning over the protection of our most important holy shrines in Metohija to the KPS, which we see on the example of Holy Archangels where KFOR escorts have already been cancelled," said Bishop Artemije.

It is important to note that in areas inhabited by the Albanian majority population where Serbs are living in complete isolation the UNMIK police has given great authority to the KPS, which is comprised almost exclusively of Albanians, and includes a significant number of former KLA members. In the past four and a half years the police has shown itself to be incompetent to resolve a single crime committed against Serbs; therefore, it is absurd to expect Serbs to have confidence in such a police. Furthermore, the Jan. 21 attack in Djakovica by a group of Albanians on monks from Holy Archangels Monastery escorted by German KFOR best shows that extremist Albanians cannot be contained by armored military vehicles, let alone from far weaker police forces.

Additionally, it is well-known that, despite a few honorable exceptions, UNMIK police in this region is relatively corrupt. On the other hand, the local, almost completely Albanian KPS is being given increasing authority. However, the KPS not only lacks training to conduct police work and fight against organized crime but among its ranks there is also a certain number of people, policemen as well as other officials and translators, with direct ties to the activities of extremist groups.

Unfortunately, the latest KFOR policy which attempts to turn over the task of protecting the endangered population to those who are themselves directly or indirectly responsible for the existence of a climate of ethnic violence is in complete contradiction to the proclaimed goals of UNMIK and Kosovo institutions to launch a more intensive process for the return of the displaced Serb population during the current year. There are even indications that in the background of this latest strategy is the intent of discouraging Serbs to return in order to justify the unwillingness of the Albanians and the international factor to built a truly multiethnic society in Kosovo and Metohija. Many local Albanian and international representatives are increasingly talking about how the Serbs do not really want to return. The truth is that Serbs want to return but cannot accept to return to conditions where even the most elementary guarantees for their physical safety are lacking. Returnees and those who remained in their homes are willing to integrate into a democratic and multiethnic society in Kosovo and Metohija but not into a purely ethnic Albanian society where the only two options are assimilation or disappearance.

The best example showing not only the incompetence of UNMIK police and the KPS but their direct participation in crimes is last year's massacre against Serb children in Gorazdevac. Not only was an adequate investigation not conducted but when police dogs came to the house of a local mafia chief and former KLA member in a nearby Albanian village nothing further was done. UNMIK has completely obstructed the efforts of the military police of Italian carabinieri from completing the investigation and the entire case was basically hushed up. In democratic countries senior police representatives would resign as a result of failure to resolve such a crime. However, even after the Gorazdevac massacre, the slaughter of the three members of the Stolic family in Obilic and many other ethnically motivated crimes, not one international or Albanian official has resigned. What is more, the mandate of UNMIK police chief in Pristina, German Stefan Feller, has been renewed and he remains at the head of the organization.

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren especially appeals to the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija and Serb representatives in Kosovo institutions to demand an urgent change in KFOR's decision to abandon endangered Serb enclaves and monasteries to the KPS. If these decisions are not changed as quickly as possible, the consequences will be enormous and will place KFOR in the direct function of the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo and Metohija of its remaining Serbs.

UNMIK inspectors do not know how to use Internet

"A month ago the monastery was visited by a group of UNMIK police inspectors from one of the Asian countries who are supposedly investigating the cases of some missing Serbs. They were asking about the fate of certain Serbs abducted by the KLA in 1998. I could not provide them with detailed information but I immediately went to the computer and found several reports on the Internet by Amnesty International, the Humanitarian Law Center and Human Rights Watch mentioning the names they were interested in. The inspectors were extremely grateful and asked me where I had gotten all this information. Surprised, I answered that if they would just run a search on Google they could find a lot of what they needed. Curiously the inspectors had never even heard of Google."

Testimony of Fr. Sava Janjic of Visoki Decani Monastery

 


Lack of basic culture, not "lack of cooks"

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 16, 2004



The Diocese of Raska and Prizren has learned from the monks of Holy Archangels Monastery that German KFOR troops protecting the Bishop's residence in Prizren are still adhering to the orders of their commanding officer, lt. colonel Kai Brinkmann, to throw away food leftovers instead of sharing them with the on duty priest located there who is unable to buy food for himself in the city due to lack of freedom of movement. As well, the monks of Holy Archangels are still not allowed to use the military electrical generator despite the fact that its capacity is more than sufficient to supply the military forces and the monastery during electrical black outs.

"What we are dealing with here is not the lack of cooks or food as lt. colonel Brinkmann tried to convince us but the lack of basic culture and human compassion," said Fr. Herman, the abbot of Holy Archangels Monastery. "In the worst case, we will find ways of delivering food to our on duty priest in the Bishop's residence but the German soldiers seem to have forgotten that in our monastery, as well as during visits to our other shrines, they were always served and heartily received, which is the basic rule of hospitality in every Serbian home. This kind of behavior on their part, unfortunately, shows that members of German KFOR are acting more like occupying forces than peacekeepers. They should not forget that their role in Kosovo and Metohija is not to implement sanctions and evoke memories on events of the past but to win the confidence of the local population and assist it under the present difficult circumstances," said Fr. Herman. 


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Title 2

Introductory summary

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ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

Yesterday's decision of the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament, despite opposition of the Serb deputies, to initiate a process of changing of the Constitutional Framework has created additional tensions in the Province. The present Framework is far from an optimal solution but it was finally accepted as a compromise between excessive Albanian ambitions to constitute de facto an independent state and the legitimate right of the UN to preserve its reserved-competences and ensure implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244. In short, the latest proposal by the ethnic Albanian deputies requests additional ministries of Interior, Foreign Relations and Defense which would give Kosovo everything but a formal recognition of an independent state.


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Title 3

Introductory summary

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ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

Yesterday's decision of the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament, despite opposition of the Serb deputies, to initiate a process of changing of the Constitutional Framework has created additional tensions in the Province. The present Framework is far from an optimal solution but it was finally accepted as a compromise between excessive Albanian ambitions to constitute de facto an independent state and the legitimate right of the UN to preserve its reserved-competences and ensure implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244. In short, the latest proposal by the ethnic Albanian deputies requests additional ministries of Interior, Foreign Relations and Defense which would give Kosovo everything but a formal recognition of an independent state.


TOP


Title 4

Introductory summary

TOP

ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

Yesterday's decision of the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament, despite opposition of the Serb deputies, to initiate a process of changing of the Constitutional Framework has created additional tensions in the Province. The present Framework is far from an optimal solution but it was finally accepted as a compromise between excessive Albanian ambitions to constitute de facto an independent state and the legitimate right of the UN to preserve its reserved-competences and ensure implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244. In short, the latest proposal by the ethnic Albanian deputies requests additional ministries of Interior, Foreign Relations and Defense which would give Kosovo everything but a formal recognition of an independent state.


TOP


Title 5

Introductory summary

TOP

ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

Yesterday's decision of the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament, despite opposition of the Serb deputies, to initiate a process of changing of the Constitutional Framework has created additional tensions in the Province. The present Framework is far from an optimal solution but it was finally accepted as a compromise between excessive Albanian ambitions to constitute de facto an independent state and the legitimate right of the UN to preserve its reserved-competences and ensure implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244. In short, the latest proposal by the ethnic Albanian deputies requests additional ministries of Interior, Foreign Relations and Defense which would give Kosovo everything but a formal recognition of an independent state.


TOP


Title 6 Introductory summary

TOP

ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

Yesterday's decision of the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament, despite opposition of the Serb deputies, to initiate a process of changing of the Constitutional Framework has created additional tensions in the Province. The present Framework is far from an optimal solution but it was finally accepted as a compromise between excessive Albanian ambitions to constitute de facto an independent state and the legitimate right of the UN to preserve its reserved-competences and ensure implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244. In short, the latest proposal by the ethnic Albanian deputies requests additional ministries of Interior, Foreign Relations and Defense which would give Kosovo everything but a formal recognition of an independent state.


TOP


Title 7

Introductory summary

TOP

ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

Yesterday's decision of the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament, despite opposition of the Serb deputies, to initiate a process of changing of the Constitutional Framework has created additional tensions in the Province. The present Framework is far from an optimal solution but it was finally accepted as a compromise between excessive Albanian ambitions to constitute de facto an independent state and the legitimate right of the UN to preserve its reserved-competences and ensure implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244. In short, the latest proposal by the ethnic Albanian deputies requests additional ministries of Interior, Foreign Relations and Defense which would give Kosovo everything but a formal recognition of an independent state.


TOP


Title 8

Introductory summary

TOP

ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

Yesterday's decision of the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament, despite opposition of the Serb deputies, to initiate a process of changing of the Constitutional Framework has created additional tensions in the Province. The present Framework is far from an optimal solution but it was finally accepted as a compromise between excessive Albanian ambitions to constitute de facto an independent state and the legitimate right of the UN to preserve its reserved-competences and ensure implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244. In short, the latest proposal by the ethnic Albanian deputies requests additional ministries of Interior, Foreign Relations and Defense which would give Kosovo everything but a formal recognition of an independent state.

TOP


Title 9

Introductory summary

TOP

ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

Yesterday's decision of the Kosovo and Metohija Parliament, despite opposition of the Serb deputies, to initiate a process of changing of the Constitutional Framework has created additional tensions in the Province. The present Framework is far from an optimal solution but it was finally accepted as a compromise between excessive Albanian ambitions to constitute de facto an independent state and the legitimate right of the UN to preserve its reserved-competences and ensure implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244. In short, the latest proposal by the ethnic Albanian deputies requests additional ministries of Interior, Foreign Relations and Defense which would give Kosovo everything but a formal recognition of an independent state.


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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

Disclaimer:
The views expressed by the authors of newspaper articles or other texts which are not official communiqués or news reports by the Diocese are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Additional information on our Diocese and the life of the Kosovo Serb Community may be found at: http://www.kosovo.net

Copyright 2004, ERP KIM Info-Service