General Sir Mike Jackson
Gracanica, September 29, 1999
In the several last days the terror of Albanian extremists against Serbs in Kosovo has been seriously increased. That is why we are taking opportunity to remind you of some of the most striking incidents.
On September 27 unidentified Albanian extremists in their car injured
Ratomir Trajkovic from Ugljare village. After that one of the extremists
shot Zoran Galic who was seriously wounded in this incident. Doctors
are still trying to save his life. The attackers ran away in the direction
of Slatina village.
Yesterday, on September 28. two Serbs died, four were severely wounded and more than 30 lightly wounded in a grenade attack in the Bresje market place. At least 6 Serbs were injured in the follow up incident with the KFOR soldiers who repeatedly beat angry Serb protesters. This incident occurred after the recurrent appeals of the Kosovo Serbs to KFOR to assure better protection against the Albanian terrorists.
All these incidents occurred in the last several days, in the time when Mr. Solana and Gen. Clark expressed their satisfaction with the peace efforts in Kosovo.
These tragic incidents prove that the violence against Serbs and other ethnic minorities has not been stopped after three months of KFOR presence but is continuing with increased intensity. The goal of the Albanian terrorists, now disguised in the new uniforms of KPC, still remains ethnically cleansed and independent Kosovo. This goal is unfortunately been realized under the umbrella of UN and NATO. The ethnic cleansing and crimes against the Serbs occur in the full presence of at least 40.000 KFOR troops which is absolutely impossible to understand for anyone in the world.
Our monasteries, like Zociste, are still being destroyed although we are constantly been reassured that the cultural heritage is been protected. In fact, so far we do not know if any investigation on this case was conducted at all, because according to the testimony of your chaplain and our people, the Dutch soldiers did not know what happened in Zociste at least 24 hours after the explosion which was heard from the monastery church, now totally destroyed by explosive. We are extremely outraged by such unprofessional conduct of KFOR troops which allow destruction of a 14 century monastery church and even remain ignorant of its destruction. It is sad that our nun from Gracanica must be the first to enter the destroyed monastery compound at least 24 hours after the church was blown up although the KFOR troops are garrisoned just several hundred meters away in the village of Zociste.
In fact, there has not been recorded in the recent history that in the presence of so many international troops the entire ethnic cleansing of minority population occurred. Even in Bosnia where there was much more crimes and hatred such a post war trend was not recorded. More than 70 churches have been destroyed in the presence of an entire NATO army since June and not a single perpetrator of these crimes has been publicly identified so far. The church officials have not received a single report about any destroyed church even after three months.
Although Mr. Kouchner and you promised to do everything to find the perpetrators of the massacre of the Serb farmers in Gracko (July 99) we still do not know the names of the perpetrators of this crime. More than 450 Serbs have been kidnapped since June by the Albanian terrorists and still nothing is known about any single abducted person. In our opinion this is utterly unacceptable.
The KLA self appointed "officers", many of whom are directly responsible for most serious crimes against civilians, are openly appearing in the company of highest KFOR officers, while Serbs are being arrested at a hint of an Albanian child. While in the entire civilized world any person is innocent until it has been proved that he or she is guilty, the Serbs are guilty and kept in prisons until they prove to be innocent. Not a single KLA "officer" has so far been arrested for the crimes against the Serb civilian population, although there is an ample documentation on their crimes and atrocities.
These and many other injustices give us a lot of pain. But it is not only us who see such injustice but many other people in the world, which can be read in almost all international newspapers. With great regret we must say that UN and NATO have failed in their foremost goal - to provide protection for the civilian population and prevent replacing of one repression and fascism by another. Kosovo is now a deeply ethically divided society based on severe ethnic discrimination, repression and crime. Kosovo Serbs are deprived of all basic human rights despite all formal declarations and are again on the point to collectively leave the province.
Despite our deep personal respect for you, dear general, and your soldiers, many of whom are doing their best to protect the remaining people and churches, we simply cannot be silent before such gross human right abuses which happen not in time of war and absence of security mechanisms but in the time of peace and the presence of the 40.000 KFOR soldiers and the UN administration.
Therefore, hereby we express our most profound protest with hope that our voice will be heard.