KM - REQUEST FOR FORMATION OF NEW MUNICIPALITIES
AND MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATIONS
February 11, 2003 - The Serb National Council of Kosovo
and Metohija has decided to begin forming new municipalities
in areas of the Province where Serbs constitute a majority and
encourage their unification into municipal associations. Pointing
out that the situation for Serbs and other non-Albanians has
remained very difficult since arrival of the international
mission , the SNC KIM requested at its meeting in Gracanica
on Tuesday that UNMIK allow the formation of new municipal units
in the next three months in accordance with the legal provisions
of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Constitution
Framework. The SNC KIM is asking that UNMIK define the authority
of the municipalities and how they will function, as well as
assisting with funding of future local organizations through
its budget. UNMIK is also to draft legal regulations and define
mechanisms for association of municipalities in order to achieve
better and more efficient realization of municipal common interests
as well as faster development of democracy and human rights.
Kosovo and Metohija - ERP KIM Info-service Feb, 12
News From Kosovo and Metohija:
- Serbian Woman Wounded Near Pristina
B92 - Crisis
Looms in Southern Serbia Once Again
B92 - Albanians
Still Pursuing Declaration of Independence
SRNA - UN and
KFOR Take Albanian Threats Seriously After Remi Trial
of Cemeteries Continues:
- From Reselling Grave Markers to Digging up of Graves
for Essential Changes
February 10, 2003
of all, it is necessary to define concrete mechanisms to defend
the rights of the Serb community in Kosovo and Metohija, not
only individual rights but the collective rights of the Serbs,
which presupposes the building of institutions of Serb self-administration
in areas where Serbs and other communities using the Serb language
live, and where the most significant Orthodox monuments of spirituality
and culture are located. The Serb community cannot afford to remain
the silent observer who passively watches as others tie the noose
to be slipped around its neck. Therefore, the basic condition
for return and for any form of further participation by Serb representatives
in Kosovo and Metohija institutions must be a clear definition
of the constitutionality of the Serb community and the amendment
(or change) of the existing Constitutional Framework, which needs
to be realigned with the principles of UN SC Resolution 1244.
return process has been brought into question due to lack of
freedom of movement, the difficult economic situation and the
uncertain future of Kosovo
Pristina, February 10, 2003
Kosovo ombudsman Marek Antoni Nowicky stated that it is completely
uncertain whether more massive returns of Serbs and members
of other non-Albanian communities in Kosovo will occur this
year as announced by the international community. He assessed
that "if displaced persons do return to Kosovo, there will
only be a few thousand of them". In an interview for Radio
Free Europe Nowicky warned that, due to the general situation
in Kosovo, the return process "has been brought into question"
and explained this was due to "lack of freedom of movement,
the difficult economic situation and the uncertain future of
cautioned that a small number of displaced persons will return
primarily to the villages "where they won't bother anyone".
"According to my analysis there is no prospect for the
return of displaced persons to the cities because there is no
room. It's not just a question of lack of space but all confiscated
property as well as all services rest today in the hands of
the Albanians," said Nowicky. Another problem is lack of
knowledge of the Albanian language when "Kosovo is increasingly
becoming an Albanian language area," said Nowicky. "Serbs
think that they will return to their Kosovo, which no longer
exists. Kosovo today is different than it was in 1999 when they
left it," emphasized Nowicky and pointed out the fact
that Serbs are selling their property in Kosovo. "Serbs
are increasingly thinking about how to leave Kosovo, while those
who remain here will live on the margins of society," warned
are some who say that, in case of independence, all Serbs will
leave Kosovo. We don't know that but the fear does exist. It's
a question how the Serb community would react to independence
and that's why the international community, quite understandably,
is very cautious. When we talk about the status of Kosovo, we
should not forget that it is a part of the Balkan stability
and security problem," said Nowicky.
February 7, 2003
Rugova's army of 20,000 men
By N. Zejak
PRISTINA - Ibrahim Rugova is attempting to form a paramilitary
formation in Kosovo and Metohija called the "Kosovo Shiptar
Army" (KSA) /Armija Shiptara Kosova? - ASHK/. Recruitment
of KSA members is in progress, "Blic" has learned from
a senior level source in the Kosovo Police Service.
Our source claims that Rugova wanted to appoint Tahir Zemaj head
of the KSA; however, he was killed on January 4 in Pec, only two
days prior to assuming duty. The UN police and the Kosovo Police
Service determined that after firing 52 shots at Zemaj from an
automatic rifle, the attackers fled in a Kosovo Protection Corps
vehicle in the direction of the villages of Glodjane and Ratis
near Decan, the location of the former KLA headquarters. "This
area is practically off-limits to the international and Kosovo
police," said our source. A "Blic" source from
the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) claims that the
KSA has already recruited more than 20,000 men, most of them from
the areas of Lab and Bajgora, where Rugova enjoys the greatest
"We know that on January 30 in the hamlet of Miljevac, on
the Pristina-Podujevo road, above the village of Devet Jugovica,
the first roll call of this paramilitary formation took place.
Rugova claims that this is some sort of security force and that
these men have the task of protecting eminent members of the DSK,
12 of whom have been killed since the signing of the document
on disarming the KLA," "Blic's" source from the
Serbian MUP said.
Momcilo Trajkovic, the leader of the Serb Resistance Movement,
says that the KSA is the international community's problem because
"it is taking a confidence test, having established that
the KLA is disarmed and demobilized".
"I believe that the UN mission has all the details regarding
this incident but the problem of confronting the extremists remains,"
said Trajkovic. Dragisa Krstovic, the head of the Return (Povratak)
Coalition in the Kosovo parliament, said it remains to be seen
how capable the UN mission is of implementing Resolution 1244
which "clearly establishes there can be no other formations
in Kosovo and Metohija except KFOR".
War between former UCK fractions ravages Kosovo's
prospects for peace and stability
DITORE: ANA IS PRESENT IN KOSOVO
News Agency, Belgrade
February 8, 2003
PRISTINA, February 8, 2003 (Beta) - Recently in some Kosovo
villages it has often been possible to see armed men wearing
black uniforms and masks stopping and demanding to see the identification
of local residents, writes today's "Koha Ditore".
Multiple sources confirmed for the independent Pristina daily
that members of the ANA are driving through villages and stopping
people, usually late at night, and demanding to see their identification,
causing fear and concern among citizens in several locations
appeared in public last year in Macedonia, proclaiming itself
to be an Albanian guerrilla organization created as a result
of dissatisfaction that the members of the now disbanded National
Army of Liberation (ONA) agreed to negotiate with Macedonian
authorities, thus ending the crisis in that country.
and KFOR officials say they have no information regarding activities
by a guerrilla group or paramilitary formation on the territory
of Kosovo. International police spokesman Derek Chapell stated
that so far only one incident has been reported in Vucitrn municipality.
Chapell also confirmed that the UNMIK police still does not
have its own intelligence agency. KFOR spokesman Tony Davis
said that international military forces have no information
regarding the activities of such a group in Kosovo.
of the Kosovo government also claim they have no information
regarding the existence of illegal armed formations in Kosovo,
while individuals who have had the opportunity to meet with
members of the ANA are not prepared to publicly discuss it.
media, however, recently have been frequently announcing a "spring
offensive" by the ANA in Macedonia but officials of the
international missions in that country, as well as Albanian
politicians in Macedonia, deny this possibility.
The Democratic Union for Integration, a political party headed
by the political leader of the ONA in Macedonia, Ali Ahmeti,
has no information regarding the existence of the ANA.
to "Koha" the ANA was founded as early as December
4, 1999 as a branch of the Kosovo Liberation Army with the goal
of national unification of all Albanians.
violence against Serb population continuing (a scene of a terrorist
attack in which a Serb university professor was killed, UNMIK police
Four Serbs injured in a
grenade attack in eastern Kosovo
Serbia-Montenegro, Feb 8 (AFP) - Four Serbs were injured by
a hand grenade tossed from a passing vehicle in eastern Kosovo,
an official said Saturday.
Albanian, suspected of throwing the grenade, was arrested following
the attack in a shop late Friday, Andrea Angeli, spokesman for
the UN mission in Kosovo, told AFP.
occured around 8:00 pm (19OO GMT) in the village of Mogila,
some 40 kilometers (25 milez) south of the provincial capital
"Soon after the incident, UN police in the province arrested
a 26-year-old Albanian," Angeli said.
has not been revealed pending an investigation.
that two of the injured, aged 30 and 32, were undergoing treatment
in a hospital in Vranje, in southern Serbia, and two others
were released after being treated for minor injuries.
In a separate
incident, also late Friday, a hand grenade was thrown at an
Albanian house in the ethnically divided northern town of Kosovska
Mitrovica. The roof of the house was damaged but no injuries
motivated crime has dwindled in Kosovo in recent months but
tensions between the majority Albanians and minority Serbs are
still high four years after the end of the Kosovo war.
Serbian province of Kosovo has been under UN and NATO control
since June 1999.
Serb News Agency
February 8, 2003
Albanian arrested for
wounding four Serbs
February 8 (SRNA) - Today UN police arrested Gzim Azemij from
the village of Mogila near Kosovska Vitina, who is suspected
of throwing a hand grenade into the store of Zivorad Dimic last
night resulting in serious injuries one person and lesser injuries
to three others. Last night at 20,30 hours a hand grenade was
tossed into the shop of Zivorad Dimic seriously injuring his
son, Boban; another son, Darko, and Aca Garic and Darko Djuzic
sustained less serious injuries. The injured were transferred
to the U.S. military base Bondsteel near Urosevac and are not
in any life-threatening danger, SRNA learned in UN police headquarters
in Pristina. (end) VR
Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic to the UN Security Council, NY
ATTACK IN MOGILA NEAR KOSOVSKA VITINA
FOUR SERBS INJURED, ONE SERIOUSLY
Gracanica, February 7, 2003
Today at approximately 20,30 hours unknown attackers threw a hand
grenade at a store owned by Zivorad Dinic located in the village
of Mogila not far from Kosovska Vitina.
The store owner was seriously injured and three other Serbs sustained
less serious injuries in the ensuing explosion, which also caused
significant material damage. The injured were transferred to the
nearby U.S. military base Bondsteel.
According to the testimony of eyewitnesses, the attackers, who
are alleged to be Kosovo Albanians, threw the grenade from a moving
vehicle and quickly fled the scene of the attack.
This attack has caused great unrest among the Serb population
in the village, one of the few remaining mixed Serb-Albanian villages
in Kosovo and Metohija. According to the latest information, the
village has been blocked off and an investigation is in progress.
Europe - beginning of the 21st century
ERP KIM Info-Service 1-2 Feb, 2003
SAVA OF SERBIA DAY CELEBRATED THROUGHOUT KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
January 27, 2003
Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizen and Kosovo-Metohija served holy
archierchal liturgy in Gracanica today in celebration of the
religious holiday of St. Sava, the first Serbian archbishop.
After liturgy and recitations for this special occasion, Bishop
Artemije distributed St. Sava's Day presents to the children
in attendence. Holy liturgy was served in all monasteries and
parishes in Kosovo and Metohija, and Raska. Special celebrations
will be held today in all Serb schools throughout the Province
where special programs and recitations will mark the holiday
of the greatest Serb Enlightener and Teacher.
Bishop Artemije on St. Sava's Academy - Gracanica, January 26, 2003
ORTHODOX CHURCH STRONGLY CONDEMNS THE ATTACK ON SERB REFUGEES
Acts of inter-ethnic hatred and intolerance only drag
Kosovo away from democracy and Europe
Gracanica, Sunday - January 26, 2003
bus with a group of Serb refugees from Kosovo was stoned near
Vucitrn by a group of Kosovo Albanians today. Around 200 Serb
refugees,temporarily displaced in Central Serbia, visited today,
the first time after two and a half years, Serbian Orthodox
cemetery in Vucitrn, 30 km north from Pristina. On their way
towards administrative boundary with central Serbia, one of
the buses was stoned by a group of Albanians. Several windows
were broken, but no one was injured. Another bus safely returned
from Vucitrn to central Serbia.
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren strongly condemns
this latest attack and appeals on UNMIK and KFOR to provide
safe surrounding for all citizens regardless of ethnicity and
religion. As a society which is based on ethnic discrimination
and the lack of tolerance towards Serbs and other minorities,
Kosovo is dragging entire region away from European integration
and democracy. Desecrations of Christian holy sites and attacks
on peaceful visitors to the cemeteries demonstrate regrettable
lack of culture and respect towards Christian values.
KFOR protection still necessary
Italian soldier in front of Visoki Decani Monastery, summer 2002
KIM Info Service
INFORMS DIOCESE OF RASKA AND PRIZREN THAT IT WILL CONTINUE TO
PROTECT ALL ENDANGERED ORTHODOX CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES
After announcement of decision of withdraw checkpoints
near churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija, KFOR command
informs Serbian Orthodox Church that current arrangements will
Gracanica, January 23, 2003
Today the Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren received notification
from the commander of KFOR forces, General Fabio Mini, that
the process of removing protective checkpoints near endangered
Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija would
be discontinued until further notice. According to the notification,
which was received from KFOR headquarters, peacekeeping forces
will continue to protect Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries.
This also applies to the Church of St. Elijah (Sv. Ilija) in
Podujevo which will remain under KFOR protection.
Two months ago the Italian news agency ANSA informed the public
that KFOR would protect only a few more significant historical
monuments while the remaining churches would be left without
permanent KFOR protection due to the reduction in the number
of troops. This decision provoked a very harsh reaction by the
Diocese of Raska and Prizren and at that time Bishop Artemije
stated that the Church does not separate its churches into more
or less important ones because they are all equal before God.
At the same time, this information was interpreted as an indirect
encouragement to Albanian extremists to freely continue destroying
the Orthodox spiritual and cultural heritage, which has already
reached unprecedented proportions throughout Kosovo and Metohija.
Recently, unofficial information has arrived from UNMIK that
KFOR checkpoint would be removed from the church in Podujevo,
which caused additional concerns in the Diocese.
The most recent decision of KFOR that it will continue to protect
Orthodox churches and monasteries according to current arrangements
represents, therefore, an encouraging development which suggests
that an understanding of the real situation and needs in the
field has prevailed over higher strategic interests.
The deterioration of security and the increasingly larger number
of armed attacks in Kosovo and Metohija confirm that a powerful
presence by KFOR is quite necessary to protect the safety of
all citizens. In circumstances where the Serbian Orthodox Church
and the Serb people are completely unprotected, KFOR remains
the only reliable protection from extremism and the violence.
against Christianity intensifying in Kosovo
January 22, 2003
latest initiative of the Kosovo Ministry of Education to demolish
the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior in the centre
of Pristina is a last drop in the three year's long anti-Christian
campaign led by Kosovo Albanian extremists. While all most important
Universities in Europe and the United States are proud of their
University chapels, Kosovo Albanian Ministry of Education and
University request destruction of a Christian church. Why? For
the Pristina University, which is becoming an ethnically clean
institution, with the vast majority of Moslem students, a Christian
Chruch with a cross in its vicinity looks like "a pig in
the mosque courtyard". FULL
EDUCATION MINISTRY REQUESTS
DESTRUCTION OF AN UNFINISHED ORTHODOX CHURCH
OF RASKA AND PRIZREN MOST STRONGLY CONDEMNS PROPOSALS FOR DESTRUCTION
OF UNCOMPLETED CHURCH OF CHRIST THE SAVIOR IN PRISTINA
Artemije: New Kosovo institutions now taking over the campaign
of destroying Serb Orthodox heritage
Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija most strongly condemns
the announcement of political officials of the Kosovo ministry
of education who, according to today's writing of Pristina Albanian
language dailies have launched an initiative to destroy the
uncompleted Serbian Orthodox Church of Christ the Savior in
the center of the capital of the Province.
is an unprecedented example of institutional violence against
the Serb people because the new Kosovo institutions are now
taking over the campaign of destroying Serbian Orthodox churches
from Albanian extremist groups," Bishop Artemije said in
a statement for the Info Service of the ERP KIM, adding that
"under the guise of supposed democracy and law, the barbaric
destruction of the remaining Serbian Orthodox churches is continuing
and all this is occurring under the eyes of the democratic world".
of Christ the Savior has long been a thorn in the side of Albanian
extremists and their sponsors who hold offices in the highest
Kosovo institutions. Construction of the church began in complete
accordance with the law in 1991 with the blessing of the former
Bishop of Raska and Prizren, who is now the Serbian Patriarch
Pavle, and was scheduled to have been completed in 1999. Unfortunately
wartime destruction brought suffering and exodus to the Serb
people and the church remained unfinished. Albanian extremists
have attacked the church several times since the end of the
war and members of KFOR surrounded it with barbed wire and flood
lights as a protective measure. The recent withdrawal of a KFOR
security checkpoint in front of the church was followed almost
immediately by demands to the municipal authorities of Pristina
that the church be "legally" destroyed with the permission
of the new "democratic" Kosovo institutions, as a
building which was allegedly illegally built on land belonging
to the University Campus.
In the 14th
century, during the time of the Holy Prince Lazar, 11 other
Orthodox churches and monasteries existed in Pristina in addition
to the Church of Christ the Savior which the Turks upon conquering
Kosovo and Metohija leveled with the ground and on whose foundations
they built the contemporary Pirinez Mosque in Pristina. The
Pristina Serbs planned for a long time to rebuild this centuries-old
church but the Communist authorities refused to permit it. The
license was finally obtained only in the early 1990's. The Diocese
is in possession of duly processed land registry documentation
and it claims that the church is built "on university land'
are absolutely unacceptable.
permission by the municipal authorities for the destruction
of this church will be the clearest message to the Serb people
that the Kosovo Albanian government wants an ethnically pure
Muslim Kosovo without Orthodox Christian churches. It is hardly
necessary to state the degree to which such an irrational decision
would damage efforts to establish inter-ethnic and inter-religious
tolerance and cooperation.
the end of the conflict in June 1999 and the arrival of the
UN Mission and KFOR Kosovo Albanian extremists destroyed or
seriously damaged 112 Orthodox churches throughout the southern
Serbian province. The most recent attacks on Orthodox churches
occurred on November 17, 2002 when attackers used explosive
devices to destroy the Church of St. Basil of Ostrog (Sv. Vasilije
Ostroski) in Ljubovo near Istok and damaged the Church of All
Serbian Saints in nearby Djurakovac. The perpetrators of these
recent misdeeds, as in the case of the 110 attacks on churches
before them, have not been found or brought to justice.