February 22, 2004

ERP KiM Newsletter 22-02-04

Outcry over murders in Kosovo

Serbian journalists today refused to accompany UN governor Harri Holkeri and Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova on a photo-opportunity tour of thirty Serb families who have been repatriated to villages in the Klina district. The local Serbs were openly hostile, greeting Holkeri and Rugova with banners carrying slogans such as "We want the truth told," "We are imprisoned" and "Give us our freedom".

Kosovo today in photos
Serb victims burried - Serb protests against UNMIK and KFOR Albanian protest against Serb returnees - Holkeri and Rugova in a "circus tour" around Kosovo

The last farewell to murdered  Milijana

Serb funeral under police protection

Families remain in grief
During the Panikhida Service

UNMIK and KFOR as two inert turtles
Serb protest in Lipljan

Rugova and Holkeri in a circus parade while Serbs are in grief - wrong step in a wrong moment

Protests orchestrated by Rugova's party: Kosovo Albanians in Klina protest against Serb returns

CONTENTS:

Outcry over murders on Kosovo
Serbian journalists today refused to accompany UN governor Harri Holkeri and Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova on a photo-opportunity tour of thirty Serb families who have been repatriated to villages in the Klina district. The local Serbs were openly hostile, greeting Holkeri and Rugova with banners carrying slogans such as "We want the truth told," "We are imprisoned" and "Give us our freedom".

Ombudsman Nowicki: UNMIK police reliability at a stake
Kosovo ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicki assessed on Saturday that the reliability of the work of UNMIK police is at stake due to the fact that a number of investigations regarding attacks against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija remain unsolved.

Despite all Mr. FEHLER is still UNMIK police head
In any democratic country such a terrible record of crimes during the so called peacetime would immediately bring about resignations of the leading persons in Police and justice. However, in Kosovo other rules are in force. The chief of UNMIK police a German Mr. Stephan Feller, often called by Serbs Mr. Failure (Fehler in German means a flaw, error or failure) not only remains the head of impotent UNMIK police but denies any responsibility for the terrible situation in the police and justice.

Belgrade Patriarchate: Still no order and justice in Kosovo and Metohija
The murder of Zlatomir Kostic and Milijana Markovic on the outskirts of Lipljan in the direction of Staro Gracko on the eve of the meeting of this Council has confirmed what the Serbian Church has been constantly repeating and attesting to before all, and reality, tragically, constantly confirms its warnings: that despite all the efforts of the International Community, which we do not deny, crucifixion and persecution remains a constant in the life of the Serbs since the arrival of the NATO army and the UN administration in Kosovo and Metohija.


Holkeri cancels Covic's visit to Holy Archangels for security reasons
UNMIK's statement de facto confirms that in the Prizren area, especially in around Holy Archangels Monastery, it is unable to ensure security for a visit by the Serbian delegation, which is in direct contradiction with earlier statements by German KFOR that it no longer needs to provide military escorts for the monks of that monastery due to the supposedly improved security situation.

UNMIK police and KFOR manipulations continue
In their most recent statements regarding the murder of two Serbs in Lipljan on Thursday night, UNMIK police and KFOR multinational brigade Center representatives stressed that there are no indications that the crime in Lipljan was ethnically motivated. According to the same logic, of course, it is possible to say that there are no indications that these were not ethnically motivated crimes either.

Rugova kicks off pre-election campaign in Serb villages
Today's visit by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri and so-called Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova to Serb returnee villages in Klina, Istok and Pec municipalities is an unfortunate example of media manipulation of Serb returnees with the intent of strengthening the politically inert Rugova as he launches his pre-election campaign.

AP: Kosovo minister hurt in car blast
Ethem Ceku, Kosovo's environment and spatial planning minister, and four others were in a car that blew up shortly after 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Saturday, police spokesman Refki Morina said. All five were hospitalized but their injuries were not life-threatening, hospital officials said.

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Outcry over murders in Kosovo

Serbian journalists today refused to accompany UN governor Harri Holkeri and Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova on a photo-opportunity tour of thirty Serb families who have been repatriated to villages in the Klina district. The local Serbs were openly hostile, greeting Holkeri and Rugova with banners carrying slogans such as "We want the truth told," "We are imprisoned" and "Give us our freedom".

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ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, October 31, 2003

PRISTINA, LIPLJAN -- Saturday (B92) -- More than a thousand people gathered in the Kosovo village of Staro Gracko today for the funeral of Milijana Markovic.

Twenty-four-year-old Markovic and her companion, Zlatomir Kostic, were killed on Thursday night when unknown gunmen fired at their car on the outskirts of the village.

Twenty-two Serbs have been killed in the Lipljan municipality since the arrival of peacekeepers and the United Nations administration in mid-1999.

Zoran Cirkovic, a local official, claimed Serbs in the village were being systematically attacked in an attempt to drive them out. He called for support from the authorities in Belgrade and Serbs in central Serbia.

"Apparently they don't want peace"

The head of Belgrade's Kosovo Coordination Centre, Nebojsa Covic, was conspicuous by his absence from the funeral today.

He told Radio B92 that international peacekeepers had said they could not guarantee his safety.

"I really can't believe that the whole world, the whole international community in Kosovo can't resolve the problem of normal living conditions, normal safety, normal freedom of movement for Serbs and non-Albanians.

"Believe me, I am certain that, if they wanted it, peace and safety would win in a moment. Apparently they don't want this. There are honourable exceptions, but to a great extent they have been successfully got at.," said Covic.

Locals reject political glad-handing

The murders have sparked protests throughout Kosovo and from all sides.

Serbian journalists today refused to accompany UN governor Harri Holkeri and Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova on a photo-opportunity tour of thirty Serb families who have been repatriated to villages in the Klina district.

The local Serbs were openly hostile, greeting Holkeri and Rugova with banners carrying slogans such as "We want the truth told," "We are imprisoned" and "Give us our freedom".-

Local Albanians were similarly enraged by the visit, with scores of them demonstrating outside the Klina council offices while the Pristina guests spoke to local politicians.

They protested against the return of Serbs to Kosovo and demanded that light be shed on the fate of missing Albanians.

"No evidence of racial motivation"

KFOR responded to the murders by claiming that there was no evidence that this was an ethnic attack.

A statement from the international peacekeepers' Multinational Brigade warned that speculation following the murders was "unsubstantiated, unconfirmed and not in the interests of anyone".

The 22 murders in Lipljan and the way they have occurred did not point to any coordinated and systematic campaign, said KFOR.

An investigation is under way, said the peacekeepers, but neither motive nor perpetrators have yet been discovered.


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Covic: They do not want peace

BETA, February 21, 2004

"I really can't believe that the whole world, the whole international community in Kosovo can't resolve the problem of normal living conditions, normal safety, normal freedom of movement for Serbs and non-Albanians.

"Believe me, I am certain that, if they wanted it, peace and safety would win in a moment. Apparently they don't want this. There are honourable exceptions, but to a great extent they have been successfully got at.," said Covic.

 


Nowicki: UNMIK police reliability at stake

Kosovo ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicki assessed on Saturday that the reliability of the work of UNMIK police is at stake due to the fact that a number of investigations regarding attacks against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija remain unsolved.

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FoNet News Agency, Belgrade
February 21, 2004

Kosovska Mitrovica - Kosovo ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicki assessed on Saturday that the reliability of the work of UNMIK police is at stake due to the fact that a number of investigations regarding attacks against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija remain unsolved. "This is not the first case of murder but I hope that, unlike in previous cases, the police will find the perpetrators because the murder was interethnic," Nowicki told reporters during a visit to Serb villages near Vucitrn. He added that in such cases police authorities are not able to immediately inform the public about the investigation.

Nowicki said that the Ombudsperson's Office had questioned the investigation of the attack on the Nis Express bus near Podujevo, which resulted in the death of 14 Serbs, including one infant, and still remained unsolved by police three years later. "It's not important that the police respond to the institution or me but to the families of the victims and the public," said Nowicki. He added that it was very important for the public to have some insight into what had been done in three years.

Nowicki stated with regret that after the murders is Staro Gracko, where 14 Serb harvesters were massacred in 1999, as well as after murders of Serbs in Gorazdevac, Obilic and Podujevo, UNMIK police officials only made statements and this was the only news the general public got. "It is important that the public is informed because the reliability of the UNMIK police is at stake," concluded Nowicki

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Despite all Mr. FEHLER is still UNMIK police head

In any democratic country such a terrible record of crimes during the so called peacetime would immediately bring about resignations of the leading persons in Police and justice. However, in Kosovo other rules are in force. The chief of UNMIK police a German Mr. Stephan Feller, often called by Serbs Mr. Failure (Fehler in German means a flaw, error or failure) not only remains the head of impotent UNMIK police but denies any responsibility for the terrible situation in the police and justice.

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ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, February 21, 2004
 

So far unresolved major massacres of Serb civilians in post-war Kosovo under UN and KFOR protectorate:

1. Harvest Massacre:

22 July 99 - 14 Serb farmers muredered in Staro Gracko, near Lipljan. Despite Serb testimonies that the murderers came from the neighboring Albanian village of Mali Alas no one has ever been brought to justice despite UN Chief promise that they would be found
/gracko_victims.html

2. Blowing up of Nis-express bus

 17 February 2001 Livadice nr. Podujevo - After the terrorist attack on a Serb civilian bus (Nis-express) in which 11 people were killed (two of them children) and 40 wounded a few Kosovo Albanian suspects have been arrested by UN police. The main suspect Florim Ejupi is direcly linked to the circles of Kosovo Albanian organized crime, close to the former KLA and its successor UN/NATO sponosred Kosovo Protection Corps. Despite all security measures Ejupi ran away from the American detention facility in Camp Bondsteel. British Sunday Times reveals in its article by Bob Graham (July 29, 2001: Sunday Times: British troops' error led to bus bomb) that "UN sources believe that Florim Ejupi had been working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). His trial would have been a serious embarrassment, they claim".
/bus_attack.html#st 

3. Murder of the Stolic Family
4 June 2003, Obilic - Slobodan and Radmila Stolic, both about 80 years old, and their son Ljubinko, who was 50 were found killed and mutilated in their family house in Obilic, nr. Pristina. After the murder the attackers set the house on fire. Although UN chief Michael Steiner offered 50.000 EUR reward for any information which might lead to arrest of the perpetrators, the murderers have not been found yet.
/erpkim05june03.html

4. River Massacre of Serb Children
August 13, 2003 - Unknown persons opened machine gun fire on Serb children bathing in the Bistrica River not far from Gorazdevac, Pec municipality. Two Serb teenagers were killed and five more wounded. Panta Dakic (10) and Ivan Jovovic (19) were pronounced dead at Pec Hospital while Bogdan Bukumiric (15) and Nikola Bogicevic are in critical condition. Also seriously wounded were Dragana Srbljak (14), Djordje Ugrenovic (20) and Marko Bogicevic (15).
http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,1019652,00.html

Neither of these major massacres and crimes, beside many other individual ones in which 2.500 Serbs have been killed or abducted without trace since beginning of the UN/KFOR mission in Kosovo have been resolved. What is even more surprising even the Kosovo's ombudsman Mr. Marek Antoni Nowicki could not obtain any official records on the progress of investigations.

In any democratic country such a terrible record of crimes during the so called peacetime would immediately bring about resignations of the leading persons in Police and justice. However, in Kosovo other rules are in force. The chief of UNMIK police a German Mr. Stephan Feller, often called by Serbs Mr. Failure (Fehler in German means a flaw, error or failure) not only remains the head of impotent UNMIK police but denies any responsibility for the terrible situation in the police and justice. Despite all these massacres and individual murders Mr. FEHLER continues deceiving the public by intentionally hiding the Kosovo reality and the truth that the UN administered province remains an arena of ethnically motivated crimes which have the goal to drive all remaining Serbs out of Kosovo.

After the most recent murder of two Serbs near Lipljan it has become clear once more that UNMIK police and its daughter (Kosovo Police) serve only continuation of ethnic violence and are not capable of granting basic protection to the vulnerable population.

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Belgrade Patriarchate: Still no order and justice in Kosovo and Metohija

The murder of Zlatomir Kostic and Milijana Markovic on the outskirts of Lipljan in the direction of Staro Gracko on the eve of the meeting of this Council has confirmed what the Serbian Church has been constantly repeating and attesting to before all, and reality, tragically, constantly confirms its warnings: that despite all the efforts of the International Community, which we do not deny, crucifixion and persecution remains a constant in the life of the Serbs since the arrival of the NATO army and the UN administration in Kosovo and Metohija.

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Information Service of the
Serbian Orthodox Church
February 20, 2004
 

 
PUBLIC COMMUNIQUE
COUNCIL ON KOSOVO AND METOHIJA OF THE
HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE
SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
 
The day after the most recent murder of two Serbs in Kosovo, on Friday, February 7/20, 2004, the Council on Kosovo and Metohija of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church held a regularly scheduled meeting in the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade chaired by His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch.
 
The murder of Zlatomir Kostic and Milijana Markovic on the outskirts of Lipljan in the direction of Staro Gracko on the eve of the meeting of this Council has confirmed what the Serbian Church has been constantly repeating and attesting to before all, and reality, tragically, constantly confirms its warnings: that despite all the efforts of the International Community, which we do not deny, crucifixion and persecution remains a constant in the life of the Serbs since the arrival of the NATO army and the UN administration in Kosovo and Metohija. In the shadow of that suffering are the few achievements of that government as well as the individual efforts of some people representing it who seek to establish order and justice that simply do not exist in Kosovo and Metohija. In addition to Thursday's double murder in Lipljan, the humiliation of monks of Holy Archangels Monastery in Prizren (carried out in recent weeks by German KFOR); the departure of the last remaining Serbs from the village of Miroc out of fear for their safety and the lack of will on the part of KFOR to protect them; the torching of the belfry of the Orthodox church in Stimlje; the attack on the church in Gornja Brnjica (on the eve of Christmas); as well as the further destruction of Zociste Monastery represent but the tip of the iceberg of injustice which is an eyesore to all justice-loving people and cries out to the Heavens, injustice as a result of which all of Kosovo and Metohija and all its inhabitants can have no peaceful sleep or life.

Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren because of this very crying injustice, and in the attempt to draw attention to it, spent the last two weeks in the USA with a three member delegation, regarding which he has informed the Council in detail. During his visit he met with a large number of U.S. officials and delivered several lectures where those in attendance learned that the manner in which the Clinton administration attempted to resolve the problem in Kosovo and Metohija, unfortunately, has brought neither peace nor justice to the Serbian province. As well, Mr. Joseph K. Grieboski of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy warned the U.S. State Department that this "catastrophe of human rights in Kosovo and its ignoring is arming those who oppose human values and freedoms to rebel against the U.S."
 
If it is so apparent from the U.S. that developments in Kosovo and Metohija have bad and far reaching consequences, all the more reason why representatives of the International Community in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as Serbian statesmen and politicians, need to be aware of this and to undertake appropriate measures. Therefore, we call upon both to invest all their efforts and their strength to protect the people, to capture and punish criminals, and to return Serb refugees to their homes. Only then can we speak of a better future for Kosovo and Metohija and the entire region, which is what we all are hoping for.
 
The Serbian Church advises its faithful people in Kosovo and Metohija at it remains irrevocably beside them and aware of their troubles and needs, and that it prays to God the Just and appeals for His help. We know, too, that the people of Kosovo and Metohija survive in poverty and therefore appeal to all those who can assist in alleviating that poverty to do so and to help their brothers.
 
We also convey our wishes to our people for a blessed Great Fast and faith in Christ the Resurrected, that is, the same faith and hope that sustained our ancestors as they survived in Kosovo and Metohija through the centuries.

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Holkeri cancels Covic's visit to Holy Archangels for "security reasons"

UNMIK's statement de facto confirms that in the Prizren area, especially in around Holy Archangels Monastery, it is unable to ensure security for a visit by the Serbian delegation, which is in direct contradiction with earlier statements by German KFOR that it no longer needs to provide military escorts for the monks of that monastery due to the supposedly improved security situation.

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 21, 2004


The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija has learned from a source in the office of the head of the Serbia-Montenegro and Republic of Serbia's Joint Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija that Dr. Nebojsa Covic will be unable to visit Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren as planned. Both terms (February 20 and 23) were cancelled by UNMIK because the police allegedly "is unable to guarantee his safety".

UNMIK's statement de facto confirms that in the Prizren area, especially in around Holy Archangels Monastery, it is unable to ensure security for a visit by the Serbian delegation, which is in direct contradiction with earlier statements by German KFOR that it no longer needs to provide military escorts for the monks of that monastery due to the supposedly improved security situation. If UNMIK police is not in a position to guarantee the safety of a Serb from Belgrade, it is logical to ask to what extent it can be expected to ensure the safety of the monks of Holy Archangels whose safety and lives have now been entrusted to it.

This latest explanation shows that not only is the UNMIK police unable to provide for safe contact between official representatives of the Belgrade government with their own people in Kosovo and Metohija but despite all its resources it is apparently unable to ensure the safety of Serbs five years after the arrival of the UN mission in Kosovo and Metohija.

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UNMIK police and KFOR manipulations continue

In their most recent statements regarding the murder of two Serbs in Lipljan on Thursday night, UNMIK police and KFOR multinational brigade Center representatives stressed that there are no indications that the crime in Lipljan was ethnically motivated. According to the same logic, of course, it is possible to say that there are no indications that these were not ethnically motivated crimes either.

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 21, 2004


In their most recent statements regarding the murder of two Serbs in Lipljan on Thursday night, UNMIK police and KFOR multinational brigade Center representatives stressed that there are no indications that the crime in Lipljan was ethnically motivated. As we have repeatedly seen before (especially following the slaughter of the Stolic family in Obilic and the massacre of Serb children in Gorazdevac), Stefan Feller, the UNMIK police chief, is persistently attempting to cover up the fact that Serbs have been repeatedly killed in Kosovo and Metohija for no other reason except that they are Serbs. According to the same logic, of course, it is possible to say that there are no indications that these were not ethnically motivated crimes either.

However, if we take into account that on the same night that the two Serbs were murdered in their vehicle near Lipljan, Albanians were shooting at Serb houses in the nearby Serb village of Staro Gracko, it is more than obvious that these are no ordinary crimes; thus, UNMIK police and KFOR statements make no mention of the attacks on the Serb houses - yet another attempt to manipulate the public and cover up their own responsibility.

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Rugova kicks off pre-election campaign in Serb villages

Today's visit by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri and so-called Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova to Serb returnee villages in Klina, Istok and Pec municipalities is an unfortunate example of media manipulation of Serb returnees with the intent of strengthening the politically inert Rugova as he launches his pre-election campaign.

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Ibrahim Rugova's vision of Serb integration in Kosovo means that Serbs should forget their ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity and merge into Kosovo Albanians (called Kosovars). The best example what new Kosovo institutions offer to Serbs can be seen in the new Kosovo Parliament hall and Mr. Rugova's office. Not only UN flags were thrown out from both of them but the walls of the Parliament hall are decorated with Albanian nationalist murals which rather suggest going to the past ethnic feuds than orientation towards Europe and the 21st century. (photo: Rugova with his home-made flag of Kosovo containing only Albanian nationalist symbols)

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 21, 2004

Today's visit by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri and so-called Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova to Serb returnee villages in Klina, Istok and Pec municipalities is an unfortunate example of media manipulation of Serb returnees with the intent of strengthening the politically inert Rugova as he launches his pre-election campaign. This visit also serves the purpose of giving the world the impression that standards are being implemented in Kosovo and Metohija, thus collaborating Holkeri's and Rugova's inaccurate reports before international forums regarding the "increasingly improved" situation in Serbia's southernmost province.

Holkeri's travelling circus is still making the rounds in Kosovo accompanied by entourage of Albanian journalists (no Serbs) with the sole task of procuring the necessary photos and video footage of Rugova demonstrating his supposed concern for the Kosovo Serbs despite the fact that he has done nothing for them since 1999. While post-war crimes against Serbs remain unsolved and discrimination against the Serbs continues in every domain including government institutions, education, medical care and employment, on the day of the funeral of two Serbs murdered in Lipljan on Thursday Holkeri and Rugova are launching their media campaign to salvage their deeply compromised moral authority.

The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija wishes to express its utmost disgust with Holkeri's and Rugova's political marketing efforts at a time when the Serb people still remain exposed to systematic persecution and discrimination. The Diocese and its faithful people are also deeply disappointed by the roles of certain Serb representatives in the Kosovo provisional government who visited these same villages a few days ago upon Holkeri's orders to prepare this theatrical spectacular for the consumption of Albanian and global public opinion. This sad fact proves that some Serb political representatives are working against the interests of their own people and state by using the misfortunes of the desperate and poorly informed people for their own personal and, above all, financial gain - just like in the time of Kosovo's autonomy.

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Kosovo minister hurt in car blast

Ethem Ceku, Kosovo's environment and spatial planning minister, and four others were in a car that blew up shortly after 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Saturday, police spokesman Refki Morina said. All five were hospitalized but their injuries were not life-threatening, hospital officials said.

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Saturday, February 21, 2004 Posted: 2323 GMT ( 7:23 AM HKT)


PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) -- A government minister from Kosovo and four associates were injured in a car explosion, police said.

Ethem Ceku, Kosovo's environment and spatial planning minister, and four others were in a car that blew up shortly after 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Saturday, police spokesman Refki Morina said. All five were hospitalized but their injuries were not life-threatening, hospital officials said.

Police could not immediately say what caused the blast.

The five were leaving a basketball game in Pec, 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Pristina, Kosovo's capital, when the blast occurred.

Ceku is a member of the third-largest ethnic Albanian party in the province, which is led by rebel leader-turned-politician Ramush Haradinaj.

Kosovo is legally part of Serbia-Montenegro -- the union that replaced Yugoslavia last year -- but has been administered by the United Nations and NATO since mid-1999, after an alliance air war ended a crackdown by Serb forces on ethnic Albanians.

 

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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

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