SIRIUS: The Strategic Issues Research Institute
Benjamin C. Works, Director

Life of Serbs
Prekale, Kosov- In the 80ies Life of Kosovo Serb was a nightmare
under constant threat of Albanian extremists

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Kosovo In the 1980s

ARCHIVE: Kosovo In the 1980s

NOTE: This archive, intended for research purposes, contains copyrighted material included "for fair use only."


  1. Wash. Post, April 3, 1981; Yugoslavs Take Emergency Steps In Face of Ethnic Disturbance
  2. The Economist, April 11, 1981; Yugoslavia; Home-grown Bother
  3. NY Times, April 19, 1981; One Storm Passed, Others Gathering in Yugoslavia
  4. Christian Science Monitor (CSM); May 7, 1981; Kosovo sparking a Yugoslav purge?
  5. AP; Oct. 23, 1981; Minorities Leaving Yugoslav Province Dominated by Albanians
  6. CSM, Dec. 16, 1981; Why turbulent Kosovo has marble sidewalks but troubled industries
  7. Financial Times, Feb. 5, 1982; Police fail to crush resistance in Kosovo
  8. Financial Times, June 1, 1982; Kosovo riots jolt the regions
  9. NY Times, July 12, 1982; Exodus of Serbians Stirs Province in Yugoslavia
  10. Facts on File World News Digest; September 10, 1982; Serbs in Kosovo Exodus
  11. NY Times; Nov. 9, 1982; Yugoslavs seek to quell strife in Region of Ethnic Albanians
  12. BBC World; May 4, 1985; Serbian Presidency discusses emigration from Kosovo
  13. The Economist; Nov. 9, 1985; Yugoslavia; Is fair unfair?
  14. NY Times, April 28, 1986; In One Yugoslav Province Serbs Fear the Ethnic Albanians
  15. Reuters; May 27, 1986, Kosovo Province Revives Yugoslavia's Ethnic Nightmare
  16. Sen. Robert Dole; June 18, 1986; Senate Resolution Nr. 150
  17. NY Times; July 27, 1986, Minorities are Uneasy in Yugoslavian Province
  18. CSM; July 28, 1986; Tensions among ethnic groups in Yugoslavia begin to boil over
  19. BBC; Nov. 10, 1986; Group of Citizens from Kosovo Received in SFRY Assembly
  20. Wash. Post; Nov. 29, 1986; Ethnic Rivalries Cause Unrest in Yugoslav Region
  21. Reuters; April 25, 1987, Serb Demonstrations Add to Yugoslavia's Economic Woes
  22. NY Times; June 28, 1987; Belgrade Battles Kosovo Serbs
  23. Reuters; August 16, 1987, Serbs & Montenegrans Rally Against Alleged Albanian Attacks
  24. Xinhua; Oct. 17, 1987; Thousands of women demonstrate in Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  25. AP, Oct. 21, 1987; Serb, Montenegrin Pupils Boycott Classes in Kosovo
  26. Xinhua; Oct. 26, 1987; Federal police sent to troubled Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  27. NY Times; Nov. 1, 1987; In Yugoslavia, Rising Ethnic Strife Brings Fears of Worse Civil Conflict
  28. CSM; March 11, 1988; Yugoslav groups struggle for same land
  29. Reuters; July 30, 1988; Yugoslav Leaders Call for Control in Kosovo; Protests Loom
  30. NY Times; Sept. 23, 1988; 70,000 Serbs Vent Anger at Officials
  31. Wash. Post; Oct. 7, 1988; Serb Protesters Oust Yugoslavian Province Officials
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The following excerpted article appeared in my inbox in early February and got me thinking and collecting articles about Kosovo in the 1980s from major newspapers and wire services. A number of good people contributed to finding these articles and I thank them.

The New York Times, Monday, July 12, 1982

Exodus of Serbians Stirs Province in Yugoslavia

"Serbs .... have... been harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region.

"The [Albanian] nationalists have a two-point platform, ...first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania."

"Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last decade... The exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems... in Kosovo..."

[Full text included below in Article #9.]

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I got more and posted an archive on the web Readers retrieved more articles from Lexis-Nexis and other archives and I present a broad sampling herein. Contrast Bob Dole's assertions of Serbian oppression of the Albanians in his Senate Resolution (article #16 below) with articles from the newspapers and wire services at the time. US foreign policy was led astray.

The Kosovo Question is vastly more two-sided than we have been led to believe in the last two years of buildup to the NATO Air War against Yugoslavia.

Benjamin Works

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Census Data; 1981

2. Extract From SIT-7-6-98, Strategic Issues Today; Kosovo Minorities in Census Data:

The following data were provided in March by a Professor Batakovic to Bob Djurdjevic, a computer industry consultant and independent journalist from Phoenix, AZ. Mr. Djurdjevic forwarded the following note, which I have edited and added percentage breakdowns for Prof. Batakovic's census figures:

"According to Prof. D. Batakovic, member of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU), who has done extensive demographic studies of Kosovo, the following are the Kosovo population stats in 1981, when the manipulation of the numbers was not as blatant as it is now:"


Kosovo Population (per Prof. Dusan Batakovic, SANU, 11-Mar-98):



Other Muslims…………..71,075 .……….4.5%..(Turkish and Slavic Muslims)

Serbs……………………209,497. ……...13.2%

Montenegrin Serbs……....27,028 ………..1.7%

Others (Gypsies, etc.)…...50,104………....3.0%



Note: The Census data do not reflect that some 50,000 Serbs had left the province by the time of this census, as confirmed by The New York Times article preceding this item. The data do not do a particularly good job of reporting the other 18 minorities which are neither Serb nor Albanian.

Now the population has grown over the last 17 years and some non-Albanians have moved out, being tired of this political nonsense, but the Muslim and Christian communities of non-Albanians remain strongly entrenched in Kosovo as do the Albanian Catholics. So what we have is Albanian Geg neo-fascists and drug lords against virtually everybody --and anybody-- else.

At the same time, it is reasonably estimated that some 300,000 Albanians have left Kosovo for Switzerland, Germany and the US since the Milosevic crackdown, which qualifies these emigrants as refugees.

The International Roma organization militating for Gypsy rights estimates the Kosovo Gypsy population as high as 400,000 and others estimate the Kosovo Roma at 100-150,000. -BCW, Feb. 27, 1999.

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The Articles:

The Washington Post; April 3, 1981, Friday, Final Edition

SECTION: First Section; World News; A17

1. Yugoslavs Take Emergency Steps In Face of Ethnic Disturbance

By Michael Dobbs, Washington Post Foreign Service


Yugoslavia's communist authorities today imposed emergency measures in an attempt to quell mounting disturbances among the country's politically sensitives ethnic Albanian minority.

Serious clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the province of Kosovo, which borders on Albania, have triggered the first crisis in Yugoslavia since president Tito's death 11 months ago. The gathering unrest reached a climax yesterday when, according to official sources, several hundred people were injured as police firing tear gas broke up a march of at least 10,000 protesters through the provincial capital of Pristina.

Under the emergency measures, all public gatherings and movement by "group of people" are banned in the province -- Yugoslavia's poorest region. Army units have been called into protect public buildings, including Pristina's town prison that was the target of yeaterday's march.

The protesaters, who included university students and miners, were demanding the release of people detained following riots over the last month. Officials said that demonstrators, some of them armed with guns and firing at the police, pushed children in front of them to make it more difficult for the security services to disrupt the march.

Kosovo has long been regarded as one of the weak points in post-Tito Yugoslavia because of its economic backwardness and rivalry between the province's ethnic Albanian majority and Serb minority. Years of what Kosovo's million Albanians considered repression by the Serb elite last boiled over in 1968 when violent demonstrations had to be quelled by the Army.

In a nationwide television broadcast, Kosovo's president, Dzavid Nimani, accused the demonstrators of being manipulated by "enemy forces" wanting to destroy Yugoslavia -- a federal state made up of many different national groups. Some of the marchers are said to have chanted slogans calling for unity with Albania, a militantly communist neighbor state, but the main demand was for Kosovo to be upgraded from a province into a republic.

A complicating factor is the reported serious illness of Albania's isolationist leader, Enver Hoxha, 72, who succeeded in breaking away from Soviet domination in 1961. One of the "nightmare scenarios" for post-Tito Yugoslavia is of the Kremlin somehow regaining control over Albania after Hoxha's death and fomenting unrest among the Albanian minority here.

The latest round of disturbances began March 11, when about 2,000 students at Pristina University rioted over poor living conditions and inequality. The riots were suppressed by police and the discontent has now spread both to other sections of the population and other parts of the province.

Serious incidents have been reported in half a dozen towns in Kosovo over the past three weeks, including Pec, where the refectory of a Serbian monastery was burned in mysterious circumstances. This created the danger of a backlash among Serbs, Yugoslavia's largest national group, for whom the patriarchate of Pec has great historical and emotional significance.

Taken together, the latest events reflect the two gravest problems confronting Tito's successors: ethnic differences in the complex multinational state and an increasingly serious economic crisis. Inflation is running at more than 40 percent, there are 800,000 unemployed in a total population of 22 million, and Yugoslavia is heavily in debt.

The economic problems are most pronounced in poor provinces such as Kosovo, despite a program of large scale investments over the last 10 years. One fear of Yugoslav leaders is that economic strains in less developed parts of the country could trigger new political tension.

The comparison with Poland springs to mind, but Yugoslavia is very different. Its multinational make up virtually precludes a protest from a largely united population, as in Poland. Tito, during his 35-year rule, excelled in playing one nationality against another.

In addition, there are more outlets for tension than in Poland. Yugoslavs are free to travel abroad and, to a limited extent, participate in political and economic decision-making through the system of workers' self-management.

Nevertheless, the latest disturbances do represent the most serious ethnic unrest to have erupted in Yugoslavia for a decade. In his televised speech, President Nimani said the authorities were determined to use all necessary measures to safeguard public order.

A statement from the provincial Interior Ministry said the emergency restrictions would remain in force "as long as the extraordinary situation in the province continues." Territorial reserve units, normally intended to serve against an external enemy, have been mobilized to assist the police and security services.

Officials said meetings were being held in factories throughout Kosovo to drum up support for the firm stand taken by the authorities. Local Communist Party branches have sent telegrams to Yugoslavia's collective leadership condemning the disturbances and pledging their loyalty.

Last week officials said 21 students were detained following a 24-hour occupation of Pristina University.

The flare-up coincided with the arrival in the province of a ceremonial baton that youths carried around the country to mark Tito's birthday. The annual event is intended to demonstrate unity and brotherhood among the south Slav nations.

Copyright 1981 The Washington Post

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The Economist; April 11, 1981

SECTION: World politics and current affairs; EUROPE; Pg. 67 (U.S. Edition Pg. 49)

2. Jugoslavia; Home-grown bother

Kosovo, Jugoslavia's poorest region, is behaving in an un-communist fashion. Trouble began with student demonstrations on March 11th in Pristina, the capital of the mainly Albanian-inhabited province. They were put down by the police with relative ease but two subsequent bouts of rioting, on March 26th and April 1st and 2nd, were more serious, and spread to a number of Kosovo towns besides Pristina.

Mr Stane Dolanc, a member of the Jugoslav Communist party's top body, on Monday said that 11 people had been killed in the riots so far, two of them policemen, and 57 wounded. Unofficial estimates put the numbers higher. Whatever the figures, nobody denies that the Kosovo riots were a serious affair. Overnight curfews were imposed in a number of Kosovo towns, and foreign journalists were not allowed into the province. Those who managed to get there before the ban were told to leave because the authorities said they ''could not guarantee their safety''. A ban on all public gatherings remains in force.

Mr Fadil Hoxha, a member of Jugoslavia's collective state presidency and a Kosovo Albanian (not to be confused with Albania's leader across the border, Enver Hoxha), spoke the day after the last and most serious of the riots of a ''counter-revolution'' in Kosovo aimed at creating a rift between the province's Albanians on the one hand and its Serbs and Montenegrins on the other. Montenegrins and Serbs are Orthodox Christians and Slavs; most of the Kosovo Albanians are Moslems and non-Slavs. Mr Hoxha called the organisers of the riots ''the darkest servants and agents of various intelligence centres and agencies''. Mr Dolanc was more circumspect on Monday, saying that the authorities would have to be deaf and blind to blame the trouble entirely on ''outside factors''.

Indeed Albania, one potential ''outside factor'', has remained reserved throughout. Frontier posts between Albania and Jugoslavia have remained closed. Official announcements from Tirana have merely noted the outbreak of disturbances in Kosovo. Clearly the Jugoslav policy of keeping on good-neighbourly terms with Albania has paid off.

Could the Russians have been stirring it? Mr Hoxha did speak of Marxist-Leninist slogans used in the Kosovo demonstrations that were strongly reminiscent of ''Cominformism'', which is a Jugoslav term for pro-Sovietism. But it seems unlikely that the Soviet Union would choose this moment to kindle a crisis in Jugoslavia to add to the other crises on its hands. The west, for its part, is doing nothing more inflammatory than praying for post-Tito Jugoslavia to stay stable and united. Clearly the trouble in Kosovo is home-grown.

What the Kosovo Albanians appear to want is not necessarily secession from Jugoslavia but concessions within Jugoslavia: more economic aid and, more awkwardly for the authorities, the upgrading of Kosovo's status. At the moment Kosovo is an autonomous province of the Serbian republic. Kosovo nationalists want it to become a fully-fledged republic on a par with Serbia, Croatia and the other four. Albanian nationalists in Kosovo have argued for years that it is a nonsense for Montenegro, with only a third of Kosovo's population, to be a republic while Kosovo is not. But this demand has been resisted by Serbs unhappy that in Kosovo, once the heartland of the medieval Serbian kingdom, the Serbs are now a minority (18% at the time of the 1971 census and almost certainly less now).

So rather than yield on the demand for republic status, the Jugoslav government will try to offer more economic aid, especially more investment for the development of its lignite and other mineral riches. The university of Pristina, which now has 35,000 students, has been promised more facilities. But all this will cost money, and Jugoslavia will not find it easily in the present tight financial squeeze. Besides, Kosovo already gets nearly half of all internal Jugoslav development aid. If it were to get more still, there would be grumbles from elsewhere, not least from Serbia, which has poor areas bordering on Kosovo which would not be eligible for aid.

* * * *

The New York Times, April 19, 1981, Sunday, Late City Final Edition

SECTION: Section 4; Page 4, Column 1; Week in Review Desk




Josip Broz Tito has not been dead a year, but the Yugoslav ''brotherhood and unity'' he nurtured for 35 years has already developed fissures on a sensitive flank, the mostly Albanian province of Kosovo.

What started March 11 as an isolated, seemingly insignificant protest - a student at the University of Pristina dumped his tray of cafeteria food on the floor - escalated by April 2 into riots involving 20,000 people in six cities. Nine people died and more than 50 were injured. Only last week did authorities relax a state of emergency in the province, lifting a curfew and reopening schools.

There are other multi-ethnic countries with sizable minorities. But none equals Yugoslavia for ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity and is so vulnerable to centrifugal forces. Hence the concern of Marshal Tito's successors over the explosion of resentment among Yugoslavia's predominantly Moslem Albanian minority of 1.4 million, most of whom live in Kosovo. After the riots, Stane Dolanc, a member of the Communist Party Presidium, warned of ''the danger of the growth of other kinds of nationalisms'' in Yugoslavia - a thinly veiled allusion to the traditional and still virulent rivalry between the dominant Serbs and Croats.

The Kosovo rebellion was bad enough news for the Belgrade leadership; it coincided with setbacks that have put Yugoslavia's economy in its worst straits in decades. Industrial production dropped 0.6 percent from February 1980 to February 1981 (Kosovo's dropped 2 percent), while the cost of living rose 40.5 percent, according to official figures. Exports now constitute only 10 percent of the gross national product - the lowest proportion in Europe - and are sinking. The Yugoslavs also spent $1.2 billion more in 1980 for oil imports, despite such conservation measures as gasoline rationing. The foreign debt stands at $17 billion.

''Evidently our economy does not function well,'' acknowledged Milos Minic, a member of the collective party leadership, in a speech to party activists in Zagreb last month. ''Stop the uncontrolled rise of prices!'' demanded Cvijetin Mijatovic, the current President in the revolving succession to Tito, in another grim assessment of the economy before a gathering in Nis.

The Government, having just authorized sharp price increases for alcohol and tobacco products, declared that price rises would have to be held this year to 30 percent at the producer level and 32 percent at the retail level. Belgrade is also looking to revitalize Tito's vaunted system of factory self-management, which has ''deteriorated'' under the pressure of inflation, according to Mr. Mijatovic. He and other leaders have described cases of economic anarchy arising when worker councils have raised prices for their products without considering the common good.

The collective leadership, created by Tito partly because he did not want to be succeeded by one prominent figure, has functioned adequately despite its Rube Goldberg construction. Yet its very dispersal of authority has deprived it of the charisma required to persuade a nation of independent spirits that it is really leading Yugoslavia.

Of course, Tito is a hard act to follow. According to Belgrade officials, the leadership took pains after his death last May to maintain a low profile, but this soon may change. One official said he expected the next Prime Minister, to be elected next year, to play a more prominent role. He also noted that all but one of the eight members of the collective presidency will be replaced in 1983 and he suggested that this might encourage the current leaders to ''become more inspirational because they have nothing to lose.''

Serbs, Turks and Albanians

Outsiders sometimes forget that socialist Yugoslavia was born not only of the war against Hitler, but also of a raging civil war that pitted nationality against nationality and church against church, at a cost of 1.7 million lives.

The nationality problems of the Kosovo region, desperately poor despite considerable mineral wealth, are centuries old and were exacerbated in both world wars. Originally the home of Serbia's founding dynasty in the 12th century, Kosovo lost most of its remaining Serbian population in the 17th century when the Serbs, Orthodox Christians, fled northward to distance themselves from the Ottoman Turks. Albanian tribesmen filled the vacuum; they now constitute more than four-fifths of the province's population.

When the great powers agreed in 1913 to make Albania independent more or less within its present borders, they ceded Kosovo to the Serbian monarchy. It was a blow the Albanians have never forgotten, the more so because their own independence movement had begun in the Kosovo town of Prizren in 1878.

World War II brought more upheavals when Kosovo was handed to Mussolini's Italy by Germany and some Albanians enlisted out of gratitude on the Italian side. Retribution came when Tito's partisans entered the area, massacring suspected collaborators before the horrified eyes of their own Albanian Communist comrades in arms.

Tito Partisans Once Ruled Albania

For a time, Tito's dominant forces ruled Albania and a permanent Yugoslav-Albanian federation was even contemplated. One holdout was Enver Hoxha, who had earlier called for a plebiscite in Kosovo. In 1948, the reversals caused by Tito's ouster from the Cominform lofted Mr. Hoxha into the Albanian leadership he still holds today.

For two succeeding decades, Tito's Yugoslavia held down the Albanians of Kosovo, denying them proper schooling and arresting or killing outspoken Albanian teachers. The repression ended in 1966 with the fall of the Serb leader who was Tito's number two, Aleksandr Rankovic. Since then, federal money has poured into Kosovo at a higher rate than into any other part of the country. Pristina University has grown to become one of the country's largest with 48,000 students. Most of the region's administrators, and its police, are ethnic Albanians. The Kosovars are even allowed to fly the Albanian flag, a black eagle on a red field.

Yet this ''tremendous dynamic of development,'' as Mr. Dolanc described it, ironically has fed unrest. There were riots in 1968 and again in 1975. This time the youths of Kosovo shouted ''We want a republic'' (their semi-autonomous province has almost all rights of a Yugoslav republic except the right to secede) and some even demanded annexation by Mr. Hoxha's Albanian fatherland.

Copyright 1981 The New York Times Company

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THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR; May 7, 1981, Thursday, Midwestern Edition


4. Kosovo sparking a Yugoslav purge?

By Eric Bourne, Special correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

One year after they assumed office, members of Yugoslavia's collective presidency are facing the first post-Tito jolt to the unity of this multinational state.

The nationalist riots that erupted in Kosovo province, which has an ethnic Albanian majority, in mid-March have shaken the confidence of the new leaders, who seemed to be enjoying smooth sailing as they held to such Tito-established policies as nonalignment.

The unrest also prompted an outcry from a public concerned that officials had supporessed evidence of impending trouble and done nothing to prevent its developing into a full-fledged threat to the federation as a whole. Now the Communist Party chief in the province has resigned amid calls for a purge. Mahmut Bakali accepted much of the responsibility for not heading off the extremist nationalist riots.

Ever since 1945, this backward, onetime Serb "colony" has been the problem child in the effort to forge and maintain a stable Yugoslav union of so many differing peoples, languages, and religions. Anti-Serb demonstrations have flared periodically. Steady federal aid since the 1950s, and the "Albanianization" of the police in 1966, have made little real difference.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Tito's successors are preoccupied with this first menacing threat to his dream of security through "brotherhood and unity." It has even overshadowed massive economic problems --ports still not competitive in the West despite closer ties to the European Community, and a consequent 44 percent dependency on Comecon trade. Since 1974, Kosovo has had autonomy in all domestic affairs. Why not then republican status? It seems a simple enough solution.

The latest unrest repeated the demand that Kosovo be made a republic and incorporate Albanian populations in the neighboring republics of Macedonia and Montenegro.

A Belgrade newspaper calls it absurd to speak of exploitation (as Kosovo) extremists do) of a region that has had so much aid from the rest of the country. But economic gain s have not moderated acute nationalist sentiment or the underlying sense of social-political inferiority.


* * * *

AP; October 23, 1981, Friday, PM cycle

ADVANCED-DATE: October 17, 1981, Saturday, PM cycle

SECTION: International News

5. Minorities Leaving Yugoslav Province Dominated by Albanians

By KENNETH JAUTZ, Associated Press Writer


Hundreds of Serbs and Montenegrins are leaving Kosovo Province in the aftermath of rioting that erupted last spring over demands of the ethnic Albanian majority for greater autonomy.

Nine people were killed and 260 others injured in the disorders, during which extremists proposed making Kosovo part of neighboring Albania, Eastern Europe's most-orthodox Communist nation.

Local officials say security has been restored to the province, but the minorities leaving are said to fear for their future in the area.

"We have the situation under full control, but this does not mean hostile activity has totally ceased," Azem Vlasi, president of the Kosovo Socialist Alliance, told visiting journalists recently.

Reports on the number of those leaving Kosovo vary widely. But the newspaper Politika of Belgrade, the national capital, estimated that as many as 4,000 people have left or are planning to leave the province, which has a population of about 1.5 million, 77 percent of whom are ethnic Albanians. Officials here downplay the reports of departures, saying citizens have a right to move about the country as they please.

Nevertheless, a municipal commission, set up in this provincial capital after the rioting to help those moving obtain job transfers and new housing elsewhere, recently has been turning down requests for such assistance. Enver Redzepi, deputy president of the provincial legislative assembly, said 882 Serbs and Montenegrins have formally applied to move from the area since the riots.

"There may have been some other cases of people leaving our area, perhaps nearly a thousand," he said.

Most of those asking to leave say new jobs, better living conditions and family considerations prompted their move, but Redzepi said 147 requests had been turned down.

"We will not assist in departures that are not justified," he said without elaboration.

Politika indicated that many do not give "true reasons," fearing they will not receive official help with their move.

The departures from the province could prove significant for Yugoslavia, since the nation is made up of areas inhabited by various ethnic groups with long histories of rivalry.

In Kosovo, relations have long been poor between the province's Albanian majority and the Montenegrins and Serbs, who used to hold the most important political and economic jobs.

The province is in the southern part of the Republic of Serbia, one of Yugoslavia's six constituent republics. In view of Kosovo's large non-Serbian population, however, the province enjoys a greater degree of autonomy than provinces in other constituent republics.

"It's a real worry for them," one Western diplomat said of the departing Serbs. "It's a part of Serbia, but over the years there's fewer and fewer Serbs."

Serbs have been gradually leaving the province for years. This trend, coupled with an ethnic Albanian birthrate three times the national average, could raise the likelihood of increased Albanian nationalism in the area.

Diplomatic analysts say the Pristina commission, although advertised as a government body to assist in moving, is a way of hindering people from leaving. "The net effect is that it shows they want to keep Serbs there," one diplomat said in Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital.

Authorities here emphasize the trouble-free reopening of Pristina University, where student unrest first sparked the demonstrations, but say there have been isolated cases of "nationalist-oriented grafitti." "Nationalism is a state of mind, an ideology," said Vlasi. "One does not fight it quickly, with hostile measures, but over time and with education."

© 1981, The Associated Press

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THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR; December 15, 1981, Tuesday, Midwestern Edition

SECTION: Yugoslavia; Pg. B2

6. Why turbulent Kosovo has marble sidewalks but troubled industries

By Elizabeth Pond

DATELINE: Zagreb, Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia's poorest region, Kosovo, never seems to catch up with the rest of the country no matter how much money is poured into it.

This is because the area's energy and transport facilities are so much poorer than those in the north - and because the birthrate (the highest in Europe) is so much greater in the south. In fact, one unit of investment in northern Croatia is 71/2 times as productive as one in southern Kosovo, the Zagreb Economic Institute calculates.

It is Yugoslavia's own north-south problem in microcosm. And it can lead to ominous political consequences, as shown by last spring's nationalist demonstrations by the Kosovars (ethnic Albanians) that left eight protesters and one policeman dead.

For the Kosovars, it's a cause of constant resentment that they still trail far behind the rest of the country in economic development 35 years after the launching of postwar Yugoslavia with its dreams of economic equalization. For the Serbs, it's a cause of constant exasperation that the Kosovars turn the donations from the rich parts of the country into marble sidewalks and the handsomest university library in all of Yugoslavia (as one disgruntled northern taxpayer expressed it), while never seeming to get their own industry past the handout stage.

The task of getting a laggard economic region to a takeoff point is not impossible. Bosnia, another Yugoslav hinterland, has made the transition, even though no one admits this yet officially. For the rest of the 1981-85 five-year plan, Bosnia will still receive federal development funds. But by 1985 it will be considered mature enough to continue on its own economic strength, leaving Kosovo and Montenegro as the main underdeveloped regions.

Kosovo's problems seem more intractable, however, for historical and geographic as well as demographic reasons. Kosovo, unlike the once Austrian-ruled Slovenia and Croatia in the north, was for centuries under

the rule of an Ottoman empire that cared very little for industrial development. The deeper one went into the Ottoman Balkan provinces, the more primitive the economy. Kosovar was among the most primitive of all. Even the unification of Yugoslavia after World War I did little to modernize the region.

In the post-World War II period there has been a conscious attempt to bring Kosovo into the 20th century. But setbacks have included (besides the birthrate) politically guided investment in prestige projects rather than in a sound economic base, a draining of population away from farms to the glamorous city, and overeducation of an unemployable Kosovar intelligentsia in the 10-year-old university in Pristina.

The urgent question must therefore be how Kosovo can get out of the vicious circle of underdevelopment. And just about the only answers that have come up that go beyond more-of-the-same are energy and raw-materials investment and direct investment.

The former is promising because of Kosovo's concentration of lignite, nickel, lead, zinc, and other resources - and Yugoslavia's push in the current five-year plan to reduce imports, especially energy. One of the investment priorities between now and 1985 is coal, and it is hoped that accelerated lignite production could stimulate the overall Kosovo economy. The idea of having prosperous northern enterprises invest directly in kosovo.netpanies (rather than funneling money through the more politicized development fund) has long been a pet proposal of the Slovenes. Now the Slovenes have won Belgrade's approval for half of their mandatory contribution to Kosovo's development to come in this form.

There are precedents for such direct cooperation. Fifteen years ago Slovenia's big wine enterprise took an active interest in developing Kosovo vineyards and marketing Kosovo wine in West Germany and Britain. There has been similar cooperation in pharmaceuticals, and Slovene companies are now investing heavily in the expansion of lignite production and in construction of a thermonuclear power station in Kosovo. Proposals are also circulating for Slovenia's labor-short textile industry to farm out work to Kosovo's underemployed population.


* * * *

Financial Times (London); February 5, 1982, Friday

SECTION: SECTION I; European News; Pg. 2

7. Police fail to crush resistance in Kosovo

By Paul Lendvai in Vienna

POLICE in Yugoslavia claimed to have destroyed 33 secret Albanian nationalist groups in the southern Yugoslavian province of Kosovo, and to have seized arms caches and large amounts of propaganda material. They admit, however, that the situation there remains "serious."

Students are continuing to cause trouble at the University in Pristina, the capital, and elsewhere, despite the severe jail sentences of up to 15 years handed out to demonstrators.

Mr Mehmet Malici, the provincial police chief, revealed that 280 people have been sentenced, more than 800 fined and some 100 are still under investigation. Nevertheless, "minor incidents" still occur. So far this

year, for instance, almost 300 hostile slogans have been daubed on buildings. The authorities blame the unrest on the "internal enemy in collusion with foreign forces, above all with the Albanian intelligence service." The autonomous province of Kosovo is part of the republic of Serbia but almost 80 per cent of the 1.6m population are ethnic Albanians.

It has been under virtual military rule since last April, when successive waves of violent demonstrations shattered public order.

Latest reports confirm the situation to be still highly volatile, with the great majority of the ethnic Albanians refusing to co-operate with the police. "Nin," the Belgrade weekly publication, has recently revealed that Serbs and Montenegrans are being attacked, their wives and daughters occasionally raped and their property destroyed.

Such "Fascist type" intimidation methods, it said, is forcing them to migrate to other parts of Yugoslavia.

There are sporadic reports about the unrest spreading to Montenegro and Macedonia, where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians live in compact groups. The demonstrators, primarily young people, last year demanded republic status for the province. The Belgrade leadership has rejected this, seeing it as a prelude to a merger with neighbouring Albania.

The entire political leadership of Kosovo, from the party secretary to the police chief and television director, have been removed and the Serbian republican authorities have tightened their control over the province. But in view of the severe unemployment -- only 176,000 are employed, against 72,000 officially registered workless -- young ethnic Albanians are likely to remain a serious cause for concern.

The Belgrade newspapers also admit that ethnic Albanian officials and politicians in the province are often physically threatened and their cars and houses damaged by the nationalists, who regard them as collaborators.

The eruption of national hatred and the accelerated migration of Slavs has provoked an equally dangerous nationalist backlash in Serbia and other parts of eastern Yugoslavia. The crisis in Kosovo has also whipped up nationalistic sentiments among the estimated 35,000-40,000 Albanians working in the West.

In recent months, several Yugoslav diplomatic and trade offices have been attacked by Albanian extremist groups and three politically active Albanian residents in West Germany were murdered in mysterious circumstances last month.

Copyright 1982 The Financial Times Limited

* * * *

Financial Times (London); June 1, 1982, Tuesday

SECTION: SECTION II; Financial Times Survey; Yugoslavia III; Pg. 29

8. Kosovo riots jolt the regions

David Buchan / D.B.

Problems are compounded by a lack of unity in the Yugoslav market

AS FAR back as 1960, Marshal Tito claimed to have solved Yugoslavia's nationalities question. In a way he had. It has been a remarkable feat that the 19 different nationalities recorded in the Yugoslav census (including the small proportion which actually declared themselves "Yugoslavs") have lived together in more or less continuous peace for 37 years now in a federation of six republics and two autonomous provinces.

But the nationalities issue will never be really settled until the regional problem is. With the poorest region (Kosovo) having one-sixth of the average income of the richest (Slovenia), vast differences remain. The problem is compounded by lack of unity in the Yugoslav market.

To let the nationalities "do more of their own thing," wide economic powers -- from investment planning to foreign currency allocation -- have been devolved on republics and provinces. The result is something like eight economies. This has left the federal authorities in Belgrade a thin line to tread: between appearing to hold back a relatively rich region, which sparked the 1971 outbreak of Croatian nationalism and which frets Slovenes now, and letting a poor region fall too far behind, which underlay the outburst in Kosovo last year.

Kosovo has given many Yugoslavs a nasty jolt that the nationalities-cum-regional problem may be getting worse, not better. The bloody riots that erupted in March-April 1981 in the streets of Pristina, Kosovo's capital town, have not been repeated since. But the calls by some of the province's million ethnic Albanian majority for Kosovo to be a full republic have not totally subsided either. With a couple of smaller protests this spring, police and militia are still in force there, and a total of 280 people have been locked up in the past year or so.

The elevation of Kosovo from a province loosely attached to Serbia to full republican status might seem a harmlessly small step to most non-Yugoslavs. Kosovo already largely runs itself. As a province it has slightly fewer representatives at the federal level than a republic, but has a blocking veto over most major decisions.

But fears by other Yugoslavs of such a change are also easy to see. Albania, with its powerful radio Tirana transmissions and whirring presses, has weighed in to accuse "Great Serb chauvinism" of once again trying to deny Kosovan Albanians their just rights.

This has confirmed many Yugoslavs in their suspicion that "republican" demands are the thin end of a wedge that would split Kosovo off into the waiting grasp of President Enver Hoxhas of Albania. Short of that, it is probably the case that a change in Kosovo's status would set off other centrifugal forces in Yugoslav society.

Wide gap

The root, however, of Kosovo's discontent is economic, and its plight is but the severest of these less-developed regions, which are very roughly to the south of the Sara and Danube rivers, the limit of the old Turkish occupation. Thus, Kosovo has a per capita gross national product of 31 per cent of the Yugoslav average, Bosnia-Hercegovina 66 per cent, Macedonia 65 per cent, Montenegro 80 per cent, Serbia 96 per cent. Roughly to the north of those rivers formerly under Austrian rule, is Voyvodina with 121 per cent of the national average, Croatia with 126 per cent and Slovenia with 198 per cent.

The gap was not always this wide. Between 1947 and 1980, the underdeveloped regions rose from 30 to 37 per cent of the population, but their share in national net social product (a measure of physical output that excludes services) fell from 23.4 per cent to 21.6 per cent and in per capita terms this meant a drop from 77 per cent to 58 per cent of the national average. This is despite a transfer of resources from richer areas to poorer by means of the Yugoslav regional fund set up in 1966. All Yugoslav companies pay 1.8 per cent of their income into this fund which then backs investment projects in the under-developed regions. The federal government also creams off 0.8 per cent of republics and provinces incomes to boost social

services for the poorer areas.

In fact, Kosovo's particular problems have not gone unnoticed by the regional fund's administrators who have steadily increased the share going to the province, from 30 per cent of the total in 1966-70 to 42 per cent in 1981-5. But the effort clearly failed -- for reasons, some of which are special to Kosovo and others typical of the whole underdeveloped region. In the opinion of Mr Dragan Vasiljevic, the fund's assistant director, they include diversion of capital investment funds into operating social services for an expanding population, investment into energy and extractive industries, products from which were kept artificially low in price by the federal government, and production of other goods poor in quality and design.

Perhaps another reason for Kosovo's current problems might be added. For cultural reasons relatively fewer Albanian Kosovans have felt inclined to up sticks and move to richer pastures. Migration has been Yugoslavia's traditional safety valve -- both to western Europe, and to other parts of Yugoslavia.

The biggest internal migration has, for instance, been from Bosnia to Slovenia. But there is now a net "reflow" of some 25,000 Yugoslavs a year from countries like West Germany, and with housing shortages and slowing economies, the richer Yugoslav republic no longer want fresh labour in the quantities they once did. So, if the labour cannot go to the jobs, the jobs must come to them.

But that is precisely the problem. A unified market, in terms of a free flow of capital and goods, barely exists in Yugoslavia, as countless officials and businessmen will attest. The republics and provinces have used, or misused, their economic autonomy won in the 1970s to try to create the infrastructures of mini-states.

Mr Edo Rasberger, a Slovene, for instance, says it makes sense for each region to have its own separate oil products distribution to ensure its fair share; he runs Petrol, a company that does just that for Slovenia. But he points out that it makes no sense for each Republic to try to build its own refinery, as they are doing, when the country's existing refineries are working way below capacity. Mr Ivan Racan, a leading Croatian communist, complains of the economic nationalists in his republic who wanted to build an unneeded Zagreb-Split highway (in preference to a vital new Zagreb-Belgrade route) simply because it was within Croatian boundaries. He sees in the current climate of austerity a welcome chance to axe similar prestige follies.

Dr Ljubisav Markovic, a leading federal parliamentarian, notes that republic contracts often do not get out to competitive tender but go to local companies, creating local monopolies. Mr Pavle Gazi, secretary of the federal communist central committee, says that in present circumstances, key raw materials like iron ore or coal have stopped circulating freely because some companies would rather export them than ship to another republic. Major effort

On top of this, the country's foreign exchange market had virtually collapsed as companies hoarded foreign exchange even when they did not need it, for fear of not being able to get it back again to buy imports.

This Balkanisation of the economy has serious national consequences in terms of competitivity and inflation, and the flow of resources from "have" to "have-not" regions inside Yugoslavia.

Luckily, something is being done about it. First, there is a major effort under way to reform the foreign exchange market by requiring a compulsory pooling of foreign exchange so that the poorer regions of the country which do less exporting get some share. Second, half of the regional fund is now available on very easy terms (14 years repayment at 4.2 per cent for most underdeveloped regions and 17 years at 3 per cent for Kosovo) to back joint ventures between companies in the rich north and poor south of the country.

The aim is to get the more efficient companies from Yugoslavia's richer areas to lend a direct hand to those in Kosovo and elsewhere and in the process to get both to think more "nationally."

Copyright 1982 The Financial Times Limited

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The New York Times, Monday, July 12, 1982

9. Exodus of Serbians Stirs Province in Yugoslavia

By MARVINE HOWE, Special to the New York Times


Danilo Krstic and his family are hardworking wheat and tobacco farmers, Serbs who get along with their Albanian neighbors.

"You have to love the place where you live to stay on the land here," Marko Krstic, the oldest son, told visitors to the farm at Bec, a few miles from the Albanian border. There have been no serious troubles between Serbians and Albanians in Bec, but Serbs in some of the neighboring villages have reportedly been harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region.

The exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems that the authorities have to contend with in Kosovo, an autonomous province of Yugoslavia inhabited largely by Albanians.

Rioting Brought Awareness

Last year's riots, in which nine people were killed, shocked not only the troubled province of Kosovo but also the entire country into an awareness of the problems of this most backward part of Yugoslavia, which is made up of many ethnic groups.

In June a 43-year-old Serb, Miodrag Saric, was shot and killed by an Albanian neighbor, Ded Krasnici, in a village near Djakovica, 40 miles southwest of Pristina, according to the official Yugoslav press agency Tanyug. It was the second murder of a Serb by an Albanian in Kosovo this year. The dispute reportedly started with a quarrel over damage done to a field belonging to the Saric family.

The local political and security bodies condemned the murder as "a grave criminal act" that could have serious repercussions, according to the press agency. Five members of the Krasnici family have been arrested and investigations are continuing.

The authorities have responded at various levels to the violence in Kosovo, clearly trying to avoid antagonizing the Albanian majority. Besides firm security measures, action has been taken to speed political, educational and economic changes.

Past Errors Acknowledged

Privately, some officials acknowledge that the rise of Albanian nationalism in a society that is based on the principle of the equality of nationalities is the result of past errors - at first neglect and discrimination, and more recently failure to act against divisive forces or even recognize them.

"The [Albanian] nationalists have a two-point platform," according to Becir Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo, "first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania. "

Mr. Hoti, an Albanian, expressed concern over political pressures that were forcing Serbs to leave Kosovo. "What is important now," he said, "is to establish a climate of security and create confidence."

The migration of Serbs is no ordinary problem becuase Kosovo is the heartland of Serbian history, culture and religion. Serbs have been in this region since the seventh century, long before they founded their own independent dynasty here in 1168.

57,000 Serbs Have Left Region

Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last decade, and the number increased considerably after the riots of March and April last year, according to Vukasin Jokanovic, another executive secretary of the Kosovo party.

Mr. Jokanovic, former president of the Commission on Migration set up after last year's disturbances, said the cause of Serbian migration was "essentially of a political nature."

The commission has given four basic reasons for the departures: social-economic, normal migration from this underdeveloped area, an increasingly adverse social-political climate and direct and indirect pressures.

Mr. Jokanovic, a Serb, called the pressures disturbing and said they included personal insults, damage to Serbian graves and the burning of hay, cutting down wood and other attacks on property to force Serbs to leave.

The 1981 census showed Kosovo with a population of 1,584,558, of whom 77.5 percent were ethnic Albanians, 13.2 percent Serbs and 1.7 percent Montenegrins.

The population in 1971 of 1,243,693 was 73.8 percent Albanian, 18.4 percent Serbian and 2.5 percent Montenegrin.

Ex-Defense Minister Concerned

In a recent visit to Kosovo, Nikola Ljubcic, head of the Serbian Presidency and a former Minister of Defense, expressed particular concern about the continuing exodus of Serbs.

"An ethnically clean Kosovo will always be cause for instability," Mr. Ljubicic said, adding that Yugoslavia "will never give up one foot of her land."

Conversations with Serbs and Albanians in different parts of the province showed that that they were generally troubled about the Serbian migration but did not know what to do about it. Some people described it as "psychological warfare" but were at a loss to explain who was at fault.

In Pristina, the provincial capital, with its skyscrapers and bustling streets, people said they felt relatively secure because the authorities maintained "a close watch." Although the army remains at a distance and has not had to intervene, there is a strong militia presence.

Things appear relaxed on the Corso, Pristina's main street. As in other Yugoslav cities, every night from about 6 to 10 the main thoroughfare is closed to traffic and practically everyone turns out for a stroll, encounters and discussions.

Different Sides of Street

What is special about Pristina is that it has always been Serbs on one side of the street and Albanians on the other. Residents say Albanians have been encroaching on Serbian "territory" since the disturbances.

After the crackdown on Albanian nationalists - about 300 have been sentenced - they are said to have changed tactics, moving to the villages, where there is less security control.

In some mixed communities, there were reports of [Serbian] farmers being pressured to sell their land cheap and of Albanian shopkeepers refusing to sell goods to Serbs.

"We don't want to go because we have a large farm," a Serbian farmer's wife said in a village near Pristina. "Our property hasn't been touched, but there are the insults and the intimidation, so we feel uncomfortable." Several neighbors have left, she said, and her own sons who were planning to build a new house have stopped "to see how things will turn out."

There have been many changes since the riots, but most people in Pristina agree with Mr. Ljubicic that more could be done. The main thrust of the changes is economic. "We're going to change the economic structures with more emphasis on agriculture, the processing industry, small business and handicrafts," Aziz Abrashi, the Economics Minister, said in an interview.

"Ninety-nine percent of the Albanians have no wish to live in Albania," Mr. Abrashi, an Albanian, said, "but they view the rest of Yugoslavia and are aware of the higher living standards. Our young people want the same good life, the nice houses and cars, and they can't get them if they can't get jobs."

* * * *

Facts on File World News Digest; September 10, 1982


10. Serbs in Kosovo Exodus

Some 57,000 Serbs had left the Yugoslav autonomous province of Kosovo within the past decade, it was reported July 12.

A great number had left after the riots of March and April 1981, according to local officials. The region's economic problems and the ethnic Albanian nationalism that had sparked the riots were mentioned as the principal reasons behind the Serbian migration. [See 1981, p. 261G1]

"The nationalists have a two-point platform, first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania," said Becir Hoti, a kosovo.netmunist Party official and an ethnic Albanian.

Officials cited widespread harassment of Serbs by Albanians, including two recent murders, personal insults, defacing of graves, burning of hay and other attacks on property.

Economic problems in the country's poorest region were also stressed. "Ninety-nine percent of the Albanians have no wish to live in Albania," Aziz Abrashi, the economics minister, was quoted as saying. "But they view the rest of Yugoslavia and are aware of the higher living standards. Our young people want the same good life, the nice houses and cars, and they can't get them if they can't get jobs," Aziz added.

Copyright 1982 Facts on File, Inc.

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The New York Times; November 9, 1982, Tuesday, Late City Final Edition

SECTION: Section A; Page 6, Column 3; Foreign Desk


By DAVID BINDER, Special to the New York Times


In Belgrade, three muscular men in black windbreakers boarded a night train to Kosovo, the southern province where nearly all of Yugoslavia's more than 1.5 million ethnic Albanians live.

In a conversation with a visitor in the aisle, the three men said in Serbian that they were headed for the provincial capital, Pristina, for a few days of what they called ''service work.''

On arrival near dawn, they were picked up by a van marked ''Militia.'' The three were plainclothesmen of the Yugoslav Federal Security Service, apparently sent here to help prevent acts of violence by Albanian nationalists.

An official in Belgrade, 150 miles to the north, said that since the rioting in March 1981 when nine people were killed, the Yugoslav Government had spent more than $30 million to maintain order in the Kosovo Autonomous Province, which abuts Albania. The province, which is dominated by ethnic Albanians, contains only about 180,000 Slavs.

Both the Yugoslav Army and the militia maintain a large visible presence here. Yet acts of violence, mostly attacks on Kosovo Serbs or their property, continue to be reported every week in the Belgrade press.

Non-Albanians Flee Area

A few days ago a newspaper reported that a young Albanian had splashed gasoline in the face of a 12-year-old Serbian boy and ignited it with a match. The boy avoided serious injury by pulling his sweater over his head, extinguishing the flames.

Such incidents have prompted many of Kosovo's Slavic inhabitants to flee the province, thereby helping to fulfill a nationalist demand for an ethnically ''pure'' Albanian Kosovo. The latest Belgrade estimate is that 20,000 Serbs and Montenegrins have left Kosovo for good since the 1981 riots. The hatred that has developed between ethnic Albanians and the Slavic inhabitants is reflected in slogans painted overnight on walls here. In an interview, Ismaili Bajra, a husky 53-year-old ethnic Albanian who is a member of the province's Communist Party presidium, spoke with pride of progress in the industrialization of the province, but he spoke scornfully of the Kosovo nationalists as ''traitors.''

Terming the political situation good, he said it was getting ''more stable'' every day. ''Now the school year has begun,'' he said, adding that, with ''500,000 youngsters enrolled,'' there have been ''no hostile actions, though of course you do find slogans painted here and there.'' The ethnic turmoil in Kosovo has origins that go back more than five centuries when the Serbian nation developed in this region and created a brief-lived empire that was ended by the Ottoman Turks in 1389. As the Turkish grip tightened, Serb peasants gradually migrated northward, and Albanians moved in.

Tito Ruled With Strong Hand

After Serbia became independent again in the 19th century, Belgrade asserted dominance over the Albanians of Kosovo. After Marshal Tito's Communists took power in the 1940's, Kosovo's Albanians were ruled with an iron hand by the Serbian authorities of Belgrade for nearly 21 years. A minority in Serbia as a whole, the Albanians were already a majority in Kosovo.

Copyright 1982 The New York Times Company

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BBC Summary of World Broadcasts; May 4, 1985, Saturday


12. Serbian Presidency discusses emigration from Kosovo

Belgrade home service 1300 gmt 29 Apr 85

Today's debate [29th April] on the emigration of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo has in many respects gone beyond the schematic framework according to which the situation in Kosovo is better, but emigration has not been curbed. Or, as Presidency President Dusan Ckrebic put it, it is good that the discussion is not held within familiar formulae, because what is at stake is equality of peoples and nationalities, and that is, according to him, an issue that goes deep into the foundations of the Constitution; so, in this context, emigration from Kosovo is Yugoslavia's most difficult problem, which is casting a dark shadow on the democratic achievements of socialist self-management.

Nobody calls into question the efforts of the subjective forces in Kosovo that are fighting against Albanian nationalism and irredentism, but practice and results in curbing emigration are the only measure of efficacy.

Therefore, the statements on positive trends in Kosovo can be understood as efforts on the mobilisation

of forces, but by no means as a definite evaluation of the situation.

True, Ckrebic said, there are no demonstrators in the streets, but a heavy atmosphere of pressure has been created on a broader front. Therefore, new forms of struggle and support against the irredentists' intentions must be sought in the municipalities, local communities, work organisations and among the intelligentsia.

All these communities, without exception, have to be preoccupied by questions of equality, and efficacious measures have to be undertaken against any form of discrimination. Dusan Ckrebic then pointed out that the Kosovo political leadership must concern itself with cadre policy, which is now such that entire spheres have been covered by Albanian cadres, especially in culture and education, spheres that are most sensitive in view of equal expression of national identity. Serb and Montenegrin cadres should especially contribute to bettering the situation in Kosovo. The forthcoming elections should be used for disposing of careerists and those who do not enjoy confidence in the ranks of their own peoples.

Copyright 1985 The British Broadcasting Corporation

* * * *

The Economist; November 9, 1985

SECTION: World politics and current affairs; EUROPE; Pg. 66 (U.S. Edition Pg. 62)

13. Yugoslavia; Is fair unfair?

Yugoslavia has run into trouble with what some people in the West call reverse discrimination. The problem involves Kosovo, an autonomous province of the Serbian republic, where nearly 80% of the population are ethnic Albanians. (The rest are mainly Serbs and Monte negrins.) For several years the provincial government's policy has been to share out jobs among the nationalities in Kosovo by means of ethnic quotas. Now the constitutional court of Serbia has struck down this practice as unconstitutional.

The court's president, Mr Radosin Rajovic, a Serb, held that proportional representation was contrary to the principle of equality embodied in Yugoslavia's 1974 constitution, "because it facilitates the suppression of

members of numerically smaller nations and nationalities." The court's decision was not unanimous; one judge, a non-Serb, argued that proportional representation of nationalities was needed to put the principle of equality into practice.

Behind this dispute lies a bitter conflict about the future of Kosovo. Yugoslavia's Serbs think that they are being deliberately squeezed out of Kosovo, once the centre of Serbia's medieval state. There has been a steady emigration of Serbs and Montenegrins from the province, particularly since the riots there in 1981.

The Albanians retort answer that positive discrimination hasn't gone far enough. In 1966, before the policy was introduced, Serbs and Montenegrins occupied just over half the public-sector jobs in Kosovo, although their share in the population was 27%. Now 22.5% of those employed in the public sector are Serbs, but this is still far greater than the Serbian share of Kosovo's population, which has fallen to 13.2%. The Albanians say Serbs and Montenegrins tend to emigrate in search of better opportunities outside Kosovo, Yugoslavia's poorest province.

What happens now? It is unlikely that the authorities in Kosovo will pay much heed to what the Serbian constitutional court says. But Serbia's party leaders are under strong pressure from Serbian public opinion to demand a closer integration of Kosovo into Serbia. Ironically, the Serbs who have emigrated from Kosovo to Serbia proper are not finding life easy. According to the Belgrade weekly Nin, the old (also Serbian) residents accuse them of getting preferential treatment for jobs and housing. They are even called

"Siptars", a pejorative Serbian word for Albanian.

Copyright 1985 The Economist Newspaper Ltd.

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The New York Times; April 28, 1986, Monday, Late City Final Edition

SECTION: Section A; Page 13, Column 1; Foreign Desk


By HENRY KAMM, Special to the New York Times


The ethnic Albanian majority in the autonomous province of Kosovo is feared by the minority population of Serbs and Montenegrins, who believe the Albanians are seeking to drive them out of the province. A 1981 fire that gutted the medieval nunnery of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate in Pec, a center of Serbian national feeling, has been officially ascribed to bad construction.

An aged nun at the Patriarchate said she and her sisters were convinced that the fire had been set to chase them from Kosovo. But she said the nuns would never leave, and three Serbian or Montenegrin visitors agreed with her. The provincial leadership, dominated by ethnic Albanians, has said it believes that a Serb grossly mutilated last May by a broken bottle inflicted his injuries himself while performing an auto-erotic act. The maiming of Djordje Martinovic, a 56-year-old farmer and father of three, has become the most widely discussed Yugoslav criminal case in years, debated in Parliament and covered in full detail by television and the press.

Yugoslavs Blame the Albanians

The case remains unsolved, but Yugoslavs' minds seem mainly made up on both incidents. They blame ethnic Albanians. They also blame them for continuing assaults, rapes and vandalism. They believe their aim is to drive non-Albanians out of Kosovo.

''A legitimized genocide against the Serbian people is being carried out in Kosovo,'' said Dobrica Cosic, a dissident novelist published here and in the United States, in an interview in Belgrade. ''More than 200,000 Serbs have been forced to leave their home in the last 10, 20 years.'' A steady exodus continues.

Since Albanian nationalists went on a rampage in 1981, leaving at least nine people dead, the level of violence has declined. But enough agitation continues, punctuated by acts of violence, to make a burning issue of the antagonism between the 1.4 million ethnic Albanians and the little more than 200,000 Serbs.

Under the federal Constitution, Kosovo is part of the Serbian Republic. In effect, it is as self-governing as the six republics of the nation. It is also the poorest region of Yugoslavia. Men in their 20's line the main street of Pristina - a stretch of grandiose modern buildings that separates near-slums on either side - offering to shine the shoes of passers-by who can hardly afford such luxury. Begging children accost diners in restaurants.

Use of Funds Criticized

The overambitious buildings, such as a recent, prematurely rundown, 300-room hotel with 3 restaurants in a little-visited town of 100,000, sustain criticism of the provincial leadership a a misuse of federal development funds. To many, the aid represents a futile effort to solve an intractable problem through financial bounty.

Mohammed Mustafa, director of the Provincial Economic Planning Instititute, said there were 115,000 registered unemployed out of a potential work force of 804,000. The economic growth rate has been 1.5 percent a year since 1980, while the population is growing at 2.5 percent, he said. The average wage is 20 percent below the national average.

''Kosovo is Yugoslavia's single greatest problem,'' said a Western diplomat. ''They can pay off their huge debt, but Kosovo defies solution.'' Serbs and Montenegrins feel beleaguered. Communists and non-Communists express distrust of the provincial leadership and chagrin over the federal and Serbian authorities who in their opinion do nothing to halt increasing Albanian domination over a multi-national population and lands that are historically inseparable from Serbian national identity.

Restrictive Atmosphere

Non-Albanian Yugoslav residents and visitors characterize the atmosphere of Kosovo as frighteningly restrictive and its Communist leadership as so dogmatic as to resemble the rigorously Stalinist regime that holds power in nearby Albania.

In contrast to officials elsewhere in Yugoslavia, who readily acknowledge problems and errors and de-emphasize ideology in favor of pragmatism, a leading Kosovo official, Ekrem Arifi, offered an entirely ideological explanation of Kosovo's problems.

In prepared statements that took the place of replies to questions, he blamed outside forces for all difficulties -agents of Albania and emigres in the West. Mr. Arifi, executive secretary of the provincial party, spoke in Albanian and in stock phrases long out of use in Yugoslavia, such as ''proletarian internationalism,'' ''the class enemy'' or ''the solidarity of the working class.''

They are not echoed by the non-Albanian population. Asked whether the nuns felt safe in their rebuilt convent, the old nun replied, ''Yes, with God's help.''

Copyright 1986 The New York Times Company

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Reuters; May 27, 1986, Tuesday, BC cycle

SECTION: International News


By Peter Humphrey


Ethnic conflicts are boiling again in Yugoslavia's wayward Kosovo Province, reviving nightmares that the country's federation may split at the seams. In recent months serious nationalist tension has resurfaced between Kosovo's 1.7 million majority of ethnic Albanians and the region's minority of 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins.

Authorities have smashed a plethora of separatist groups, and scores of Albanians have been jailed for activities allegedly aimed at bringing about Kosovo's secession from Yugoslavia.

The subject has filled the Belgrade press and dominated public debate, with fears expressed that the tensions could lead to a repeat of the kind of fierce nationalist riots which broke out here in 1981. Troops were then put on the streets and martial law was clamped on Kosovo.

Over 1,000 people have been convicted here since 1981 on charges of activities aimed at illegally changing Kosovo's status in the Yugoslav constitution, according to police figures.

Western diplomats are watching the troubled region, along the sensitive border with Albania, with great interest. "It's Yugoslavia's 'Northern Ireland' -- a powder keg," one diplomat said, "and they're struggling to keep the lid on."

He echoed a view aired in official circles that Kosovo is Yugoslavia's single most pressing problem and will be one of the thorniest issues for the Communist Party Congress in June.

Some of the secessionist groups recently uncovered here were hoarding guns and explosives, official reports said. Yugoslav officials have blamed Albanian and overseas emigres for funding such groups in the region, where ethnic Albanians outnumber the other nationalities eight to one.

Tensions rose to a peak this year over alleged Albanian harassment of Serbs and Montenegrins, who sent petitions to Belgrade or flocked there to protest and seek official help. Protesters said Albanians were trying to create a pure Albanian Kosovo by driving others from their homes and land. Belgrade, anxious to hold the fragile balance of races making up

Yugoslavia's hodge-podge federation of six republics and two autonomous provinces, has played down the conflict.

It urged restraint among both Serbs and Albanians, warning that Serb militancy could solve Kosovo's problems no more than Albanian militancy could.

Last month, at Kosovo Polje, near Pristina, it was Serb nationalism that almost sparked the prairie fire, when Kosta Bulatovic, a popular Serb leader, was arrested on "hostile propaganda" charges after organizing petitions.

Some 6,000 Serbs flocked to protest at Bulatovic's home and Belgrade had to fly down Serbian Communist Party leader Ivan Stambolic to defuse the tense confrontation with local police.

"If one Albanian policeman had opened fire on those Serbs, it would have been 1981 all over again," a Yugoslav said here.

Thousands more Serbs, meanwhile, organized protest trips to Belgrade and poured out their complaints to the authorities.

An official inquiry later found their grievances justified and a purge of the Kosovo judiciary and police was ordered.

It was found that local security and justice bodies had let Albanian offenses against Serbs go unchecked, including rape, assault, arson, intimidation and property offenses.

At ground level here it is hard to get to the truth. Both Serb and Albanian citizens told Reuters of similar charges against each other. The other side, each group said, was taking land and jobs.

Albanians said Serbs took the best farmland and got all the plum jobs. The region has around 50 per cent unemployment and a poll of local residents showed it was mainly Albanians who were out of work, while unemployment was rare among Serbs.

Belgrade argues it has in recent years poured funding amounting to millions of dollars into the region, Yugoslavia's poorest, to subsidize development and raise living standards.

As a result, Pristina is one of Yugoslavia's most impressive cities, with mosque minarrettes blending in among modern skyscrapers.

A few years ago, Albanians out for an evening stroll would stay on one side of the street and Serbs on the other, a tense line of animosity dividing them. Today it is in the cafes.

"Serbs don't drink in Albanian cafes and we keep away from theirs," said one Albanian. "We want a republic," said his unemployed friend, sipping Turkish tea with a group of colleagues.

It is Belgrade's great nightmare because federal authorities fear that if Kosovo wins republic status, it will break away.

Kosovo is a heartland of the Serbs who originally populated it but many moved north after Ottoman onslaughts in the 14th century, leaving a vacuum filled by Turks and Albanians.

It became part of Serbia in 1945 and won autonomous status after widespread rioting in 1968.

"We know they will drive us out completely if they get their republic," said a middle-aged Serb whose ancestors have lived for centuries at Kosovo Polje, the site of the landmark 1389 battle when the Serbs were defeated by the Turks.

The Serbs' present battle seems faced with defeat also -- in the long term. The Albanian population is multiplying rapidly, while several thousand Serbs quit the province each year.

"It's just a question of time," said one Albanian. "It's dangerous to talk about this. But we will get a republic."

Copyright 1986 Reuters Ltd

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Page 14439 (Vol. 132 Part 10, June 11-19, 1986)


Mr. DOLE submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

S. Con. Res. 150

Whereas there are more than two million ethnic Albanians living within the borders of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;

Whereas the ethnic Albanians constitute one of the largest ethnic groups within Yugoslavia;

Whereas there are reports that several hundred ethnic Albanians have been killed in communal violence and the Government's efforts to control it

Whereas there is evidence that several thousand more have been arrested by the Yugoslavian Government for expressing their views in a non-violent manner;

Whereas most political prisoners within Yugoslavia are ethnic Albanians;

Whereas many of those arrested have been sentenced to harsh terms of imprisonment ranging from one to fifteen years;

Whereas many ethnic Albanians have been denied access to full economic opportunity because of alleged "Albanian nationalist" activities;

Whereas Amnesty International, a respected international human rights organization, has published allegations of torture and assassination of ethnic Albanians in exile by the Yugoslav secret police;

Whereas the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is a signatory to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe [CSCE, now OSCE], known as the Helsinki Final Act;

Whereas one of the provisions of the Act states that "the participating States on whose territory national minorities exist will respect the rights of persons belonging to such minorities to equality before the law, will afford them full opportunity for the actual enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and will, in this manner, protect the legitimate interests in this sphere;"

Whereas the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has failed to protect fully the rights of ethnic Albanians, in accordance with its obligation under the Act;

Resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives Concurring, That Congress:

    1. is deeply concerned over the political and economic conditions of ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia and over the failure of the Yugoslav Government to fully protect their political and economic rights;
    2. urges the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to act so as to ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms as expressed in the Helsinki Final Act and the Concluding Document of the Madrid CSCE Follow-Up Meeting are respected in regard to persons from all national and ethnic groups in Yugoslavia;
    3. calls upon the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to review in a humanitarian spirit the cases of all ethnic Albanians currently imprisoned on political charges and to release all of those who have not used or advocated violence;
    4. requests the President of the United States to direct the Department of State to convey the contents of this Resolution to the appropriate representatives of the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
* * * *

Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I rise today to submit a concurrent resolution expressing the concern of the Congress about the conditions of ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia. Congressman DIO GUARDI of New York has introduced a similar resolution in the House, and I am pleased to be working with him to focus attention on this important matter.

Mr. President, there are approximately two million ethnic Albanians living in Yugoslavia, making them the third largest ethnic group in that country. They have extensive ties of ancestry and common culture with the growing ethnic-Albanian community in the United States.

Regrettably, the Yugoslav Government has not granted to the Albanian community the full protection of their political and economic rights. While many ethnic groups in Yugoslavia have suffered at the hands of the government, the Albanian community has been singled out for particularly harsh treatment.

Under the guise of responding to the greatly exaggerated threat that ethnic Albanians might try to assert political independence from Yugoslavia, the government in Belgrade has arrested thousands of Albanians, hundreds this year alone, often for doing no more than peacefully expressing their commitment to the preservation of Albanian culture. In fact, the Helsinki Commission and other knowledgeable, independent observers have reported that more than one-half of all political prisoners in Yugoslavia are Albanian.

And when arrested these ethnic Albanians face the harshest kind of penalties. Prison sentences of from 1 to 15 years are common for offenses that may be no more than holding up a placard at a public gathering pledging to uphold elements of Albanian culture.

Many Albanians have also been fired, or denied access to particular jobs, because in some way they have expressed their Albanian heritage or manifest some element of Albanian culture. A number of university professors, for example, have been fired solely for teaching courses on Albanian history or culture.

Finally, and most disturbing of all, hundreds of ethnic Albanians have died in recent years as a result of communal strife and the government's often violent efforts to put down communal unrest. These dead have become martyrs within the ethnic Albanian community. Even admitting that the government's actions in all cases were not unprovoked, the strong evidence is that the government has vastly overreacted, as part of a conscious campaign to stamp out even any sign of Albanian ethnocentrism or any inclination for ethnic Albanians to develop a stronger political self-identification.

Mr. President, as I noted, the Albanian populations [sic!] is not the only group that suffers. But it appears that it may well be the group that suffers the most.

For that reason, I believe we have a responsibility to express our deep concern about the plight of these suffering people, in the hope that the influence we can bring to bear will encourage the Yugoslav Government to meet its solemn commitments under the Helsinki Accords to grant ethnic Albanians --and all other ethnic groups in Yugoslavia-- their full rights and freedoms.

Mr. President, I send the concurrent resolution to the desk and ask for its appropriate referral.

* * * *

The New York Times; July 27, 1986, Sunday, Late City Final Edition

SECTION: Section 1; Part 1, Page 6, Column 1; Foreign Desk


By HENRY KAMM, Special to the New York Times


The Yugoslav Government is keeping a watch on Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo Autonomous Province to prevent them from staging protest marches on Belgrade. The two groups charge that the region's Albanian ethnic majority is trying to force them from their ancestral homes.

The Serbs and Montenegrins of Kosovo began agitating during a Communist Party convention in June. The police blocked roads to forestall planned marches to dramatize the issue.

But even without marches, ethnic tension in Kosovo was a topic of debate at the convention. Speakers said that Albania was fomenting agitation in the autonomous province with the intent of detaching it from Yugoslavia. The convention also heard an attack on Bulgaria and Greece over the longstanding issue of Macedonian nationality. Macedonians, a Slavic group with historical links both to Bulgaria and to Greece, form one of the constituent republics of Yugoslavia.

Turkish Minority in Bulgaria

Along with the persecution of the Turkish minority in Bulgaria and resentment among ethnic Hungarians in Rumania, ethnic issues that have marked Balkan history are returning to the fore.

''We have to say how dangerous the Kosovo problem is to the integrity of our country,'' said Ivan Stambolic, President of the Serbian Republic, which includes Kosovo Autonomous Province. Kosovo's population of 1.6 million is 78 percent ethnic Albanian.

''It is the most delicate problem we have ever had,'' said Mr. Stambolic in a meeting with Western reporters at the convention hall. ''It is a problem of long duration that cannot be solved overnight.''

Since earlier this year, hundreds of Serbs living in Kosovo have staged marches in Belgrade to protest what they consider the failure of the Government to protect them from attacks and threats by Albanians against them and their property.

'Unfavorable Trends'

Vidoje Zarkovic, head of the party's collective presidency, spoke at the convention about ''continuing unfavorable trends in the province'' and said, ''We have not succeeded in stabilizing the disturbed interethnic relations and in developing trust.''

In a resolution, the convention accused Albania of fomenting ethnic conflict. ''Albania has continued to openly and blatantly interfere in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia,'' the resolution declared. ''Irredentist and

nationalist indoctrination of our citizens by Albania constitutes a serious threat to peace and security in the Balkans and beyond.''

Despite a perceptible thawing of Albania's isolationist attitude since the death last year of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian leader, its hostility to Yugoslavia has grown.

''Albania is intensifying its anti-Yugoslav campaign,'' said Dobrivoje Vidic, a member of the Yugoslav party's presidency. ''It unrelentingly attacks all the values of our society, expresses unconcealed territorial aspirations, flagrantly interferes in the internal affairs of our people and extends open support to the counterrevolutionary goals of the Albanian separatists in Yugoslavia.''

Copyright 1986 The New York Times Company

* * * *

The Christian Science Monitor; July 28, 1986, Monday

SECTION: International; Pg. 10

18. Tensions among ethnic groups in Yugoslavia begin to boil over

Yugoslavia Tensions. Part 1 of 2 part series.

By Eric Bourne, Special to The Christian Science Monitor

DATELINE: Batuse, Yugoslavia

A flare-up in a tiny Yugoslav village spotlights longstanding animosity between Albanians and Serbs. The government is trying to lessen tensions, but leaders know they have a potentially explosive situation on their hands.

This dusty little village a few miles from Pristina, the capital of Kosovo Province, is quiet again. But only relatively so.

One night in mid-June, most of its 700 Serbian families packed their belongings onto tractors and trucks, in cars and buses, ready to emigrate. Batuse's threatened ''diaspora'' was sparked by the arrival of Albanians in

what had long been a ''Serbian village.'' It was only five families, but to the villagers it was the start of a process that had already obliterated the established Serbian character of other such communities.

The Serbs had planned a ''long march'' to Belgrade to present their grievances to the federal government. But the column had not gotten far from the village when armed riot police and Army vehicles blocked the highway.

Officials told the convoy it could not proceed. The authorities, they said, were aware of their problems and were working hard to solve them. Although the people remained unconvinced, most were persuaded to abandon their journey. Several hundred, however, walked doggedly on, past the roadblock, bent on reaching a train station to journey on to Belgrade.

A newspaper here vividly described an extraordinary scene in which young and old, veterans and tiny children, trudged along, mothers pushing strollers or carrying a child or bundles in their arms.

They covered 25 miles before a police line stopped them again. This time, it was said, truncheons were used in the first moments of confrontation. But according to subsequent accounts, the police were restrained and obviously aware of what the use of force might provoke.

Well they might be, given the explosive potential of this startling episode in the life of a humdrum Balkan village and of the Kosovo problem in general. Moreover, the threat is not confined to Kosovo. It is seen as involving ethnic relations throughout this multinational country.

Batuse dramatically highlights an emigrant movement in process for some years. A fast-diminishing Serbian minority in this south Yugoslav province feels itself increasingly menaced by a mushrooming takeover by the more than 1C million Albanians who make up 77.5 percent of its population. The immediate official follow-up to Batuse was an announcement that a radio-parts factory is to be established in the village in cooperation with a Belgrade enterprise. It is to provide 150 jobs. It is the first in a series of ''joint ventures'' that the Kosovo provincial government is negotiating with firms all over Yugoslavia in a program to relieve unemployment. The jobless rate in the province stands at 30 percent, compared with a national average of 11 to 12 percent.

Seventy percent of Kosovo's unemployed are 25 years or younger. And many of these young people seem willing enough to support nationalist extremists among the Albanian population, who call for a separate Kosovo republic, enlarged by slices of Serbian and Montenegrin territory (where Albanians also live).

There is a historical background of former Serbian colonialism. The Albanians' language and literature were suppressed under Serbian and Yugoslav monarchies. With the new postwar republic, Albanians regained useof their language in Albanian schools, and in due course in a university, in libraries, newspapers, radio broadcasts, and later, on television. But with old antipathies so deep-seated, 40 years was not enough for them to be forgotten. The Belgrade regime's pro-Serbian hard-line behavior in Kosovo up to the mid-1960s did nothing to help.

Thus it was not surprising when strong Albanian passions boiled over in 1981, a year after President Josip Broz Tito had died, and were rapidly aggravated by the economic slump that hit all of Yugoslavia - and backward Kosovo much more than anywhere else.

''Even in Tito's time, the volcano was always there,'' says a Kosovo TV journalist. ''Albanians and Serbs have never gotten along. Now, however, even normal minimal contacts between them are broken. In the long run, it will not help the Albanians. Nor will it help Yugoslavia, if things go on like this.''

But in trying to satisfy Kosovo's restless Albanians, the federal government finds itself increasingly in conflict with Serbian national feeling. GRAPHIC: Picture, Village in Kosovo Province: Serbs feel threatened by Albanian population.

Map, Kosovo, Yugoslavia indicated. JOAN FORBES -- STAFF

Copyright 1986 The Christian Science Publishing Society

* * * *

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts; November 10, 1986, Monday


19. Group of Citizens from Kosovo Received in SFRY Assembly

SOURCE: Yugoslav News Agency in Serbo-Croat (i) 1609 gmt 3 (ii) 1437 gmt 4

(iii) 1852 gmt 7 and (iv) 1736 gmt 7 Nov 86

Excerpts from report Tanjug in Serbo-Croat 1052 gmt

The recent attempt by a 17-year-old Albanian to rape a 10-year-old girl from the Jakovljevic family in the Kosovo village of Plemetina was the direct cause of today's [3rd November] arrival by a group of more than 150 locals of Serbian and Montenegrin nationality from this and surrounding villages in Pristina Municipality at the SFRY Assembly. This group was joined by individuals from Smederevo and other places where Serbs who have moved there from Kosovo live in large numbers. The conversation, which was chaired by Nedjo Borkovic, Vice-President of the Assembly, was attended by Veselin Djuranovic, member of the SFRY Presidency, Milan Pancevski, member of the LCY Central Committee Presidium, Branislav Panic, [presumably Branislav Ikonic; Panic untraced] President of the Serbian Assembly, and Petar Vajovic, Federal Secretary for Justice and Organisation of the Federal Administration.

The first to take the floor were members of the Jakovljevic family who, not concealing their extreme bitterness, spoke of the disagreeable incident. The rape was attempted during our wedding celebrations, said the uncle of the assaulted girl, Jovica Jakovljevic, and wondered what would have happened if the tipsy wedding guests had taken their revenge. The father of the little girl, Petar Jakovljevic, sought a significantly more severe punishment for the perpetrator of these and similar crimes.

What the people from Kosovo said, as could be expected, also extended to the most important problems in Kosovo. It is a sorry state of affairs when a tractor driver like me, Svetislav Tanaskovic said, must speak about the difficulties of Serbs and Montenegrins from the floor of the Federal Assembly. Today, he said, we feel as if we are living in the middle of Albania. . . It is impermissible that while children throughout the country are sleeping peacefully, the little ones of Serbian and Montenegrin nationality in Kosovo are afraid, Tanackovic said.

There were also a number of direct criticisms of members of the highest leadership in Kosovo and it was stressed, some of whom regardless of whether they were Albanians, Serbs or Montenegrins, were not seen as guaranteeing a settlement of the situation or providing protection from injustice. There had been plenty of political arguments. We have had enough of these, Zagorka Jakovljevic stressed, and added that this visit to the Assembly would not have come about had provincial leaders wanted to come for talks to the village of Plemetina when they were invited. As a member of the LC, I maintain, she stressed, that the situation in Kosovo will not be sorted out if we remain silent about the problems.

Typically, almost no speakers failed to mention the emigrants from Albania as the chief exponents of the counter-revolution and separatism and the instigators of the emigration of Serbs and Montenegrins from the province.

Complementing Velimir Andjelkovic, chairman of the local community of the SAWP of the village of Plemetina, who demanded that at this gathering a guarantee be given for a concrete solution to the problems of Kosovo, Dimitrije Jakovljevic in effect even said that if this were not done there would be nothing else for Serbs and Montenegrins to do but to defend themselves with arms or emigrate. . .

Many participants in the debate agreed with the view of Ljubisa Djordjevic that far more severe measures should be taken against those who were doing everything to ensure that as few Serbian and Montenegrin families as possible remained in Kosovo. We are here, Milika Aleksic said, for you to help us to implement consistently the constitution and legal equality. Expressing their distrust of the work of the provincial law enforcement and judicial organs, it was also pointed out that it was still difficult to track down perpetrators of crimes which violated national equality and that those that were found were being punished with inappropriately mild sanctions. Hence the reserve shown towards the results recently achieved by the working groups of the federation and Serbia in Kosovo. . .

The request was stressed a number of times today for the convocation of an extraordinary session of the SFRY Assembly, at which there would be a detailed discussion of the situation in Kosovo and measures adopted which should not be allowed to be disregarded.

The Assembly and Presidency of the SFRY will soon consider the implementation of the conclusions of the Presidium and the Presidency on Kosovo, the implementation of which has been worked on intensively since their adoption in March, Veselin Djuranovic, a member of the SFRY Presidency, stressed in his address to the group of citizens from Kosovo, 30 of whom had spoken earlier.

I am not saying, Djuranovic said, that there are no major problems and that there is no need for us to be more effective, but irredentism in Kosovo cannot be rooted out in a short time. We are not deceiving ourselves that the irredentists are defeated and we are using all constitutional and legal measures against them. All those, however, who think that Kosovo will fall to someone else are deceiving themselves, for this country knows what the gains of the revolution are and it will defend them with all its might, he stressed. . .

[Djuranovic outlines measures being taken to investigate and right situation in Kosovo. Notes success of ban on trade in immovable property in Macedonia]

Practical moves towards integrating organisations from Kosovo, Serbia, Vojvodina and Belgrade should not be underestimated as part of the political action we wish to implement.

Djuranovic categorically refuted the harsh words directed at the leaderships. In particular, he stressed that repression should not be the main way to stabilise the situation in Kosovo, but joint political action by all socialist forces, and that this loathsome attempted rape in the village of Plemetina should be politically and morally condemned and not just criminally, he added, after recalling that in the last five years in Kosovo more than a 1,000 people had been sentenced and 7,000 punished for minor offences .

Djuranovic then warned that all Albanians should not be equated with the irredentists and that the same resolve should be displayed in confronting all hostile forces, regardless of whether they were Ballists, Chetniks or Ustashas, or anyone seeking to break up the country.

Accepting as justified the criticisms and dissatisfaction over the slowness of individual organs in solving many of t he problems and inconsistencies, Djuranovic stressed that there had to be a decisive stand against these phenomena, as well as a consistent policy and effective action.

Stating that many of the assessments made in the debate coincided with the stances of the Presidium and the Presidency, Djuranovic pointed out that in Kosovo the process of ideo-political differentiation had not been fully implemented. We must create more resolute measures of differentiation regardless of people's positions, Djuranovic stressed.

Turning to the forthcoming constitutional changes, which received considerable mention in the discussion, Djuranovic rejected demands that the SFRY Constitution of 1974 and the Serbia and Kosovo Constitutions be ''abolished''. This would not, he stressed, be accepted by the majority in Yugoslavia. By the end of the year the SFRY Presidency will submit a proposal for changes to the constitution which will not be formal but will be an important stage in the development of self-management, democracy, the consolidation of equality and greater efficiency and cohesion in our Federation. The changes will be aimed at removing the sensitive points in the political system and creating the conditions for the concentration of all the social forces on solving the economic crisis, which is the worst to affect the country.

Veselin Djuranovic dissociated himself from the harsh political judgements which individual participants in the debate had made at the expense of Azem Vlasi, President of the Kosovo LC Provincial Committee Presidium. Pointing out that Vlasi was working in difficult conditions in which more experienced cadres would not easily be able to orientate themselves either, Djuranovic stressed that people should not be disqualified politically in the absence of a firm conviction and sufficient arguments. Vlasi's work as

a youth leader and this in Tito's time had been valued. This was not to justify, Djuranovic stressed, a single action taken by the leadership in Kosovo, including the failure to respond to [the invitation of] talks with citizens, because every Serb, Montenegrin or Albanian could have talks with the most senior leaders. If mistakes had been made and they had the question should be raised in a resolute manner, he added.

The guarantee which we can give is that we will fight with all our might for the implementation of the conclusions of the Presidium and the Presidency and try to mop up any negligence, weakness, error or injustice. But we must all join forces to fight resolutely and effectively along these lines, Veselin Djuranovic concluded.

Stressing that the LCY Central Committee would be informed about today's discussion, Milan Pancevski, a Presidium member, stressed that the fight against the irredentists would be fought with full vigour and that this included the halting of the emigration of Serbs and Montenegrins and the realisation of the rights of all citizens in Kosovo. . .

Nedjo Borkovic, the Vice-President of the SFRY Assembly, concluding the talks, announced that the so-called petition of the 2,011, mentioned separately in these talks, would be sent for consideration in the regular proceedings of the Assembly.

[Note: Another attempted rape by an Albanian youth of a young girl of Serbian nationality had come to light, Tanjug reported on 8th November (in Serbo-Croat 1052 gmt). The 15-year-old assailant, R.S., had attacked the girl on 4th November between the villages of Donja Sipasnica and Carakovce in Kosovska Kamenica Municipality. He had been detained and criminal proceedings were to be taken against him. Meanwhile, the boy's father, Hamdi Sabanija, had been sentenced to 60 days' imprisonment and fined 4,000 dinars for supporting his son, who, he said, had been forced to admit the offence by the security organs, and for neglecting his upbringing.]

(ii) Text of announcement by Pristina LC Municipal Committee: The public information media was today [4th November] sent the following e xplanation by the Pristina LC Municipal Committee:

''As some newspaper reports of the visit by a group of citizens of Serbian and Montenegrin nationalities to the SFRY Assembly on 3rd November, have created the impression that leading officials in the province did not want to address the group at its meeting in the village of Plemetina, we feel obliged to give the following explanation:

The Plemetina village community structures invited a number of officials to the meeting convened on 30th October. Among those who attended were Bozidar Lazic, President of the [Pristina] Municipal Assembly; Daut Jasanica, President of the Pristina SAWP Municipal Conference; Izet Sehu, President of the TU federation municipal council; Jordan Stanojevic, President of the municipal veterans association; Sulj Rama, member of the Presidium of the Pristina SAWP Municipal Conference; Hiljmi Ismaili, Executive Secretary in the Pristina LC Municipal Committee; and Milos Kovacevic, member of the Pristina political aktiv.

It is true that invitations were also extended to a number of provincial officials, among them Azem Vlasi, President of the Presidium of the Kosovo LC Provincial Committee, and Svetislav Dolasevic, President of the Kosovo Assembly.

However, responsible officials in the municipality were of the opinion that as they were better informed about the situation and relations in the village and could therefore give assistance, provide insight into the

events and point to further actions and measures, their presence alone at the meeting in Plemetina convened to discuss the political and security situation after the attempted rape of an 11-year old girl (on 19th October) would be enough.

The officials from the municipality informed the meeting that the comrades from the provincial leaderships were absent for objective reasons and that owing to their other duties were unable to attend the meeting. The meeting of the Plemetina SAWP local organisation of 30th October was frustrated and disrupted by the provocative behaviour of individuals from other localities who attended the meeting uninvited,'' the announcement by the Pristina LC Municipal Committee states.

(iii) Text of report:

In the village of Preoce near Pristina, a meeting was held this evening [7th November] of the branch of the SAWP, at which it was explained to the local people who had gathered why their fellow citizen Svetislav Tanaskovic had been detained and why he had been sentenced by the municipal court for minor offences in Pristina to 60 days imprisonment. At the same time it was announced to the locals that the Higher Court for Minor Offences had deferred the decision of the municipal court that the sentence be upheld. Consequently, Tanaskovic, who had been detained last night, had been released from detention today and allowed to conduct his own defence whilst at liberty.

Svetislav Tanaskovic was sentenced because on 30th October, at a meeting of local people in the village of Plemetina, he had spoken out from unacceptable positions, sought the replacement of all leaderships in the country and in the republics and provinces, disparaged their reputation, insulted individual leaders and blamed them for everything which is happening in Kosovo. At this evening's meeting Tanaskovic himself admitted that he had made a mistake.

The detention of Svetislav Tanaskovic provoked a reaction amongst local people of this and surrounding villages and in this connection about 500 people of Serbian and Montenegrin nationalities gathered at this evening's meeting. The classroom of the village school in Preoce was too small to take them all so a significant number remained outside. Although it was held in an atmosphere at times irascible and polemical, the meeting, which lasted two hours, was completed thanks above all to the persistence and patience of those socio-political workers of the province and the municipality present and activists from the local community. The meeting was also attended by Nebi Gasi, a member of the Presidency of the SAP of Kosovo, Slobodan Dimic, a member of the Presidium of the Pristina LC Municipal Committee, and Momcilo Trajkovic, Executive Secretary in the municipal committee. (iv) Text of report of 8th November Belgrade 'Politika' article, ''Endless discussions'':

The latest meeting between high-ranking Yugoslav officials and quite a large group of Serbs and Montenegrins will be remembered, inter alia, for the fact that this was the first time that these people felt the need to link their personal position and collapse of intra-national relations in Kosovo with relations in Serbia and constitutional solutions writes 'Politika' in tomorrow's [8th November] commentary entitled ''Endless discussions''.

Noting a series of important events connected with the problems of the constitution ever since the 1960s, commentator Slavoljub Djukic writes that as time went by every discussion on the situation in Kosovo led to a discussion on relations in Serbia as well. Enumerating all the political documents adopted on Kosovo and relations in Serbia and stating that the political leadership of Serbia never explicitly demanded constitutional changes, but a ''re-examination of the constitutional practice'', the commentator, inter alia, writes:

Unfortunately, besides the logic of democratic practice and the principle of ''general good'', which does not recognise fetishes and taboos, the great topic of the constitution of 1974 remained intact. Every attempt to

come face to face with certain truths was greeted with arrogance and intolerance. This is, in fact, a shocking fact in a democratic society, because whether the constitution and other matters in need of change will

in fact be changed remains to be seen. In any case, it has been put together in such a way that it cannot be altered without general consent. But to reject a discussion in advance, in the manner of ''it is out of the question'', provides a good illustration of the political situation in Serbia and Yugoslav society.

There are proper objections, for example that the discussion on

constitutional changes cannot be reduced to a conversation about the position of Serbia, as some like to think. The problems are much deeper and more delicate in the Yugoslav community. We can also attempt to estimate the extent in which disorderly relations in Serbia and the constitutional position of the republic have hindered the political stabilisation of Kosovo. There is no doubt about the fact that they have hindered it. Only people with misconceptions or politically dubious interests can ignore the fact that relations in Serbia directly reflect events in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. The very fact that the Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo turn to the federation, and not their respective republics, illustrates the real state of affairs.

Finally, the fact that in the fifth decade of the existence of the republic of Serbia this topic is being raised, when such topics are usually discussed at the initial stage of every community, is an additional argument about the degree of sensitivity of the problem and its seriousness for the entire Yugoslav society. Those who think that it can be resolved by a compromise and delays in facing the whole truth only add fuel to the already heated atmosphere and create fresh grounds for the awakened forces of dark and unrest.

It is easy to abuse the statements of the Serbs and Montenegrins on the constitution of 1974 in the SFRY Assembly. But this would be of no use. We cannot expect people who bear their burden and who are not gifted orators to be precise in their statements and to be able to read between the lines.

It would be better to ponder about their statements and the reason why they felt the need to come to the SFRY Assembly.

Copyright 1986 The British Broadcasting Corporation

* * * *


By Jackson Diehl

Washington Post Foreign Service

Saturday, November 29, 1986 ; Page A14

PRISTINA, YUGOSLAVIA -- Growing tension between lbanians and Serbs here this year has converted this poor southern region from a chronic local trouble spot into the potential flash point of a country increasingly divided by national rivalries.

Since the outbreak of riots here in 1981, authorities of the autonomous province of Kosovo have faced a steady challenge from separatist and nationalist groups among the dominant Albanian population. More than 1,000 people have been jailed for seeking Kosovo's independence from Serbia, the Yugoslav republic to which Kosovo nominally belongs, or unification with the neighboring nation Albania.

The significance of this conflict has been multiplied this year by the emergence of concern among Yugoslavia's Serbs, the country's largest ethnic group, about the "forced emigration" of Serbs from Kosovo under pressure from the Albanians.

Small farmers, tradesmen and professionals have been steadily leaving the province's cities and the small Serbian villages around them, raising the prospect that a historic seat of the Serbian nation will soon be populated only by Albanians. More than 20,000 have emigrated since 1981 out of a total Serbian population of about 220,000. Meanwhile, the Albanian population of over 1.2 million is expanding at the fastest pace in Europe.

The local Serbs, arguing that Albanian-dominated provincial authorities have offered them no protection from violent attacks, have signed petitions and staged several demonstrations outside Pristina this year. To the embarrassment of authorities, they have also sent three delegations to press their case in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and of Yugoslavia.

The acts have inflamed nationalist feeling among Serbians outside Kosovo and prompted demands by intellectuals and even Serbian communist political leaders for constitutional changes and other drastic action to stop the emigration and restore Serbia's control over Kosovo. The Serbian outbursts, in turn, have provoked concern by leaders of Yugoslavia's five other, smaller republics, who sympathize with some complaints but are wary of Serbian national aspirations.

The last delegation of Serbs to visit Belgrade early this month, meanwhile, warned that they would take up arms against their perceived tormentors among the Albanians.

"This should be very seriously considered. This is a warning, and we understand it that way," said Vukasin Jokanovic, a Serbian member of Kosovo's governing executive council. "We must take urgent measures to win back the confidence of these people."

The official receptivity to complaints from Kosovo increased this year following local and national congresses of the Yugoslav League of Communists that purged many Kosovo leaders, and the inauguration of a new federal government under Prime Minister Branko Mikulic. Three federal delegations visited Kosovo last summer to examine Serbian complaints about the courts, local administration and police force. A package of measures was adopted to slow emigration, including a ban on land sales by members of one ethnic group to members of another.

Even a brief visit to Kosovo, which is about half the size of Maryland, quickly reveals seemingly intractable roots of ethnic tension.

"Laws will never stop the emigration," remarked Jokanovic in an interview. "The law {on land sales} is only accepted by people who really don't want to emigrate."

The broadest cause of Kosovo's troubles, officials and residents say, is its pervasive poverty. Living standards here are comparable to those in Africa or Latin America and are less than one-third the level of those in Yugoslavia as a whole. About 124,000 workers, or more than 35 percent of the work force, are unemployed.

Development programs here have repeatedly failed, pouring money into inefficient industrial projects and rickety, quickly rusting skyscrapers in Pristina.

"For a long time we were wrong in our policy. We were afraid of investing in agriculture and the private sector," said Aziz Abrashi, the provincial economy secretary. "We tried to put peasants from the countryside straight into modern factories."

Meanwhile, much of the rapidly expanding Albanian population has come to view Kosovo as its homeland. Albanians felt oppressed by the rule of Serbians, imposed by former president Tito's police chief, for two decades after World War II. A relatively small minority in multinational Yugoslavia, the Albanians say they are discriminated against outside the province. In Albania itself, the world's most rigid Stalinist government has kept the nation so isolated and poverty-stricken that about 5,000 refugees have fled across the heavily guarded border to Kosovo. A powerful tradition of close-knit clans has bound the community together, raised the birth rate and discouraged emigration to other parts of Yugoslavia.

The result, said economists and government officials, has been pressure for land in Kosovo even from those Albanians who are neither separatist nor anti-Serbian.

"Let me explain the psychology of an Albanian farmer about the land," said Abrashi, himself Albanian. "For centuries these people have been defining their existence and their worth only through land. They are ready to make great sacrifices, to work 30 years, to go and work abroad, to live in terrible conditions so as to collect, dinar by dinar, the money to buy a piece of land. And the land must be near that of the rest of the family. For that they will pay almost any price."

Land prices in Kosovo, despite its poverty, are five times those in Serbia and typically range around $35,000 for an acre of good farm land, Abrashi said. Newspapers have reported sales of farms for over $1 million. As a result, Serbs, who unlike the Albanians have attractive alternatives outside the province, have had a powerful economic incentive to sell their land to Albanians.

For the Serbs who have remained, frustrated Albanian youth have kept up a steady harassment ranging from the painting of hostile slogans on Serbian homes and vandalism of Serbian graveyards to beatings and rapes.

"One cannot speak of these developments as being only the deeds of individual {Albanian} groups anymore," said Serbia's interior minister Svetomir Lalovic in a recent speech. "At issue are seriously disturbed inter-ethnic relations."

Few killings have been recorded since the 1981 riots. But in the three months of July, August and September, authorities recorded 34 assaults by Albanians on Serbians. Two instances of rape provoked outraged demonstrations near Pristina and motivated the last, angry delegation that marched on the federal parliament in Belgrade.

Yugoslav officials predict that it will take many years to resolve the tensions in Kosovo, and dissidents are even less sanguine.

"We did not deal with the emigration for a long time, and now that it has reached this stage it is very difficult to break the chain of events," said Jokanovic.

* * * *

Reuters; April 25, 1987, Saturday, AM cycle

SECTION: International News



Thousands of Serbs demanding better treatment in Yugoslavia's Kosovo region staged an all-night vigil after the area's worst reported clashes since nationalist riots in 1981.

The incidents in the town of Kosovo Polje rekindled ethnic tensions in the region between majority Albanians and other nationalities who say they are being forced to leave.

They also dealt a further blow to Yugoslavia's Communist authorities, already facing a major economic crisis and labor unrest.

A crowd of about 15,000 Serbs and Montenegrins hurled stones at police after they used truncheons yesterday to push people away from the entrance to the town's cultural center.

The disturbance took place as Slobodan Milosevic, Communist Party chief in the republic of Serbia, was meeting a delegation of local Serbs and Montenegrins in the center to discuss their grievences.'

The newspaper Vecernje Novosti said many people, including women, were injured when police advanced on the crowd only to be pushed back by demonstrators demanding to see Milosevic. Local reporters earlier told Reuters that police took away at least 20 demonstrators.

The official Tanjug news agency today quoted Milosevic as saying that those ordering the use of truncheons against citizens would be disciplined. The violence was the worst reported since the army was dispatched to Kosovo in 1981 to quell Albanian nationalist riots in which at least nine people were killed.

Kosovo, which borders Albania, has a population of 1.7 million ethnic Albanians and 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins. Thousands of non-Albanians flee the area every year amid charges of harassment and claims that the Albanians want to create an ethnically pure Kosovo.

Hundreds of Serbs came to Belgrade last year to complain to senior state and party officials of alleged brutality, including rape and murder, by the Albanian majority. Some threatened to take up arms unless they were provided with better protection.

Television yesterday called Kosovo "Yugoslavia's number one problem" amid the current economic crisis.


Tanjug later ran a full report of Milosevic's speech, which included an emotional appeal to the Serb and Montenegrin delegation to end emigration from the area bordering Albania.

"The migration of Serbs and Montenegrins under economic, political and physical pressure is probably the last tragic exodus of a European people," he said. The last such processions of desperate people were in the Middle Ages."

He told the Kosovo Serbs: "This is your land. These are your houses, fields, gardens and memories. You can't leave your land because its hard to live here, because you're pressured by injustice and degredation."

He added: "Our goal is to overcome hatred, intolerance and distrust. We want all people in Kosovo to live together. The first step towards that is you have to stay here."

Yugoslavia, grappling with 100 per cent inflation and falling exports, was hit last month by a wave of strikes by workers denouncing a law rolling back wages to average levels of the last quarter of 1986.

New strikes were reported this month at the country's biggest steel complex, Smederevo, and at a rolling stock plant in Kraljevo in Serbia. Coal miners in Istria in northwest Yugoslavia have entered the third week of Yugoslavia's longest-recorded strike, demanding 100 per cent wage increases and better living conditions.

* * * *

The New York Times; June 28, 1987, Sunday, Late City Final Edition

SECTION: Section 1; Part 1, Page 12, Column 5; Foreign Desk

22. Belgrade Battles Kosovo Serbs

BYLINE: Special to the New York Times

DATELINE: BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, June 27

The police clashed here early today with about 1,000 Serbs and Montenegrins protesting what they called terrorism against them by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo Province.

The clash occurred shortly after a meeting of the country's Central Committee during which there were 16 hours of debate on ways to ease tension between Kosovo's 1.7 million ethnic Albanians and 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins.

Witnesses said squads of policemen seized demonstrators and forced them into buses to be driven back to their homes in Kosovo. Some protesters were detained for several hours.

The Central Committee meeting was the first in six years dedicated solely to Kosovo problem.

Tensions have been high in the province in southwestern Yugoslavia since the Albanians rioted there in 1981 to back demands for higher status as a republic.

Since then, more than 22,000 Serbs and Montenegrins have fled Kosovo. The Government asked people from Kosovo not to come to Belgrade during the Central Committee meeting, but hundreds came here overnight. Published excerpts from the debate showed continued splits in the party ranks, and no decisive action was considered likely.

The police also prevented large groups of Belgrade residents from joining the protesters by cordoning of the entire center of the city.

Serbs have said the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo have committed atrocities against them, including murder, rape, desecration of graves and churches and blinding of cattle.

Copyright 1987 The New York Times Company

* * * *

Reuter Library Report; August 16, 1987, Sunday, PM cycle



About 5,000 Serbs and Montenegrins staged a protest rally in Yugoslavia's ethnically-divided Kosovo province against alleged attacks by the region's Albanian majority, Tanjug news agency reported.

Yesterday's protest followed a series of incidents, including an attack on an 11-year Serbian boy who was hit by a brick thrown by an Albanian teenager, and the burning of a Serbian Orthodox cemetery in the village of Gornje Dobrevo.

Tanjug said that Zoran Sokolovic, secretary of the Serbian party's central committee, promised the crowd at Kosovo Polje that ethnic Albanian separatists will be dealt with severely.

The Belgrade newspaper Vecernje Novosti said Sokolovic was frequently interrupted by hecklers who shouted that no action had been taken since the Yugoslav ruling party plenum in June on the troubles in the province.

Others protested at the absence of the Yugoslav state president and Yugoslav and Serbian party chiefs who had been invited to the rally. Sokolovic urged the crowd to have confidence in the communist party and assured them a decisive blow would be struck at Albanian separatists, Tanjug said.

The June plenum pledged action against Albanian nationalists and seperatists and to see that Serbs and Montenegrins who had been forced to abandon their land and property and leave Kosovo province returned home. Serbs and Montenegrins are outnumbered eight to one by Albanians in Kosovo, Yugoslavia's poorest province bordering Albania. Tension has been high since riots in 1981 killed at least nine people were killed.

© Reuters, 1987

* * * *

The Xinhua General Overseas News Service; OCTOBER 17, 1987, SATURDAY

24. Thousands of women demonstrate in Kosovo, Yugoslavia

Byline: Belgrade, October 17; ITEM NO: 1017070

Thousands of Serb and Montenegro women participated in a demonstration Friday in Pristina city of the province of Kosovo. They were denouncing a wave of rape crimes and sex discrimination remarks made by a former Kosovo leader of Albanian nationality. Tanjug, the Yugoslav news agency, reported that the women, chanting slogans for freedom and security, marched to the local party committee headquarters and asked for a meeting with the committee chairman, Azem Vlasi. The angry women read an open letter, sharply criticizing Fadilj Hodza for his insulting remarks on Serb and Montenegro women. Hodza is the former leader of the province of Kosovo. He is now a member of the Yugoslavia federation council.

The province of Kosovo is dominated by Albanian people. It has long been plagued with racial conflicts between majority Albanian people and minority Serb and Montenegro peoples. The Albanian population has asked for a republic status. But it was rejected by the Yugoslavian authorities. Violence and riots initiated by Albanians took place regularly since 1981.

An Albanian soldier recently shot dead several Serb soldiers in a military camp in Serbia. to drive minority women out of the province, Albanians have pressured them in many ways, including rape. Hodza allegedly said last November that non-Albanian women should work as waitresses in order to avoid to be raped. Prostitutes often work in bars and cafes. This is why Hodza's remark trigged waves of strong protest among Yugoslavian women.

The executive of the Yugoslavia conference on the status of women held a meeting Friday and condemned Hodza's remarks. The executive called for the dismissal of Hodza from the Yugoslavia federation council.

© 1987 by Xinhua

* * * *

The Associated Press;. October 21, 1987, Wednesday, AM cycle

SECTION: International News

25. Serb, Montenegrin Pupils Boycott Classes in Kosovo


Students of Serbian and Montenegrin nationalities boycotted classes in the capital of Kosovo province Wednesday to protest alleged harassment by the Albanian ethnic majority, a news agency reported.

The Tanjug news agency said the boycott was also spreading in schools at three villages close to Pristina, the provincial capital.

More than 22,000 Serbs and Montenegrins have left the southern province since ethnic riots in 1981. They alleged harassment by ethnic Albanians, who are about 85 percent of the province's population.

Kosovo is Yugoslavia's poorest region and offers little economic opportunity. Some Albanians seek either more autonomy for Kosovo or unity of the province with Albania. Kosovo is administered as part of the republic of Serbia.

The central committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party held its first meeting on Kosovo in June, but ethnic tension in the province apparently has not eased.

Thousands of Serb and Montenegrin women demonstrated throughout Kosovo over the weekend against alleged insults by Fadilj Hodja, a former high ranking ethnic Albanian official and vice president of Yugoslavia in the late 1970s. Another demonstration by about 5,000 people took place Wednesday at a Pristina suburb to protest alleged harassment by the Albanian majority. Protesters repeated calls for Hodja to be tried, Tanjug said.

Yugoslav newspapers recently reported Hodja stated last year that prostitution by Serbian women could halt frequent cases of alleged rapes in Kosovo.

Belgrade newspapers have often reported alleged sexual assaults against Serbian and Montenegrin women by Albanians in Kosovo.

The presidium of the ruling Communist Party on Tuesday expelled Hodja, now retired, from the party for his alleged support of Albanian nationalism in Kosovo.

The Ekspres Politika daily quoted Serb and Montenegrin pupils as saying they fear going out after dark in Pristina because of what they said were possible attacks by ethnic Albanian nationalists.

© The Associated Press, 1987

* * * *

The Xinhua General Overseas News Service; OCTOBER 26, 1987, MONDAY

26. Federal police sent to troubled Kosovo, Yugoslavia

DATELINE: Belgrade, October 26; ITEM NO: 1026058

Yugoslavia's state presidency, worrying about a possible fresh flare-up of ethnic disputes in Kosovo, has sent a special unit of federal police to the troubled southern province to establish control there. the move, which was announced Sunday, is obviously designed to forestall a possible attempt by "Albanian nationalists and separatists" to fuel ethnic tensions in Kosovo to revenge the sacking of a number of ranking provincial officials for their role in fostering nationalism and separatism in the province.

Six senior officials of Kosovo have been expelled from the ruling communist league and some others sacked from provincial posts, according to press reports here last week. The reports said the case of Fadilj Hodza, an ethnic Albanian and long influential leader in Kosovo, is being handled by the league central committee, in the same action which would likely upset the Albanian community.

The introduction of "extraordinary measures" by the presidency has been in the wake of mounting ethnic tensions in Kosovo, where thousands of Serbs and Montenegrins have staged demonstrations in recent weeks, protesting against alleged harassment by ethnic "Albanian nationalists and separatists" to force them to leave their homes. Reports said more than 22,000 Serbs and Montenegrins have left the Albanian-dominated southern province since 1981, when the ethnic dispute flared up.

The Albanian ethnic majority want the ethnically-torn Kosovo to be upgraded to the status of a full republic within the Yugoslav federation and become part of neighboring Albania. last weekend, thousands of Serb and Montenegrin women demonstrated in Kosovo's Pristina city, denouncing a wave of rape crimes and reported remarks by Hodza who said prostitution of Serbian women could halt allegedly frequent rapes in Kosovo.

The state presidency, the country's collective leadership, in a statement issued Sunday by the official Tanjug news agency, said, "danger exists for the further worsening of the situation in Kosovo which could seriously endanger the security of Yugoslavia." similar measures were introduced in 1981 when ethnic Albanians rioted in the streets of Kosovo's cities and towns, demanding more autonomy for the province.

The ruling Yugoslav communist league devoted a special plenum in late June to seeking ways of defusing ethnic tensions in Kosovo. The meeting urged "more forceful and effective actions" in the effort. However, tensions there have continued unabated since and are even threatening to trigger a fresh ethnic dispute. Yugoslav authorities accused ethnic Albanian "nationalists and separatists" of fanning class boycotts and demonstrations, assaulting police, murdering, poisoning, and even preparing for an armed rebellion.

The presidency's statement, issued after a one-day meeting Saturday which discussed the situation in Kosovo, said federal police were called out to the region because of "increased organized hostile activity from the positions of Albanian nationalism and separatism and organized activity of Serbian and Montenegrin nationalists."

"The federal ministry of the interior is entrusted to directly organize and exercise certain measures particularly concerning state security on the territory of Kosovo province," the statement said.

© The Xinhua News Agency.

* * * *

The New York Times

November 1, 1987, Sunday, Late City Final Edition

SECTION: Section 1; Part 1, Page 14, Column 1; Foreign Desk

27. In Yugoslavia, Rising Ethnic Strife Brings Fears of Worse Civil Conflict

BYLINE: By DAVID BINDER, Special to the New York Times


Portions of southern Yugoslavia have reached such a state of ethnic friction that Yugoslavs have begun to talk of the horrifying possibility of ''civil war'' in a land that lost one-tenth of its population, or 1.7 million people, in World War II.

The current hostilities pit separatist-minded ethnic Albanians against the various Slavic populations of Yugoslavia and occur at all levels of society, from the highest officials to the humblest peasants.

A young Army conscript of ethnic Albanian origin shot up his barracks, killing four sleeping Slavic bunkmates and wounding six others.

The army says it has uncovered hundreds of subversive ethnic Albanian cells in its ranks. Some arsenals have been raided.

Vicious Insults

Ethnic Albanians in the Government have manipulated public funds and regulations to take over land belonging to Serbs. And politicians have exchanged vicious insults.

Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls.

Ethnic Albanians comprise the fastest growing nationality in Yugoslavia and are expected soon to become its third largest, after the Serbs and Croats.

Radicals' Goals

. The goal of the radical nationalists among them, one said in an interview, is an ''ethnic Albania that includes western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, part of southern Serbia, Kosovo and Albania itself.'' That includes large chunks of the republics that make up the southern half of Yugoslavia.

Other ethnic Albanian separatists admit to a vision of a greater Albania governed from Pristina in southern Yugoslavia rather than Tirana, the capital of neighboring Albania.

There is no evidence that the hard-line Communist Government in Tirana is giving them material assistance.

The principal battleground is the region called Kosovo, a high plateau ringed by mountains that is somewhat smaller than New Jersey. Ethnic Albanians there make up 85 percent of the population of 1.7 million. The rest are Serbians and Montenegrins.

Worst Strife in Years

As Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for years, and especially strongly since the bloody rioting by ethnic Albanians in Pristina in 1981 - an ''ethnically pure'' Albanian region, a ''Republic of Kosovo'' in all but name.

The violence, a journalist in Kosovo said, is escalating to ''the worst in the last seven years.''

Many Yugoslavs blame the troubles on the ethnic Albanians, but the matter is more complex in a country with as many nationalities and religions as Yugoslavia's and involves economic development, law, politics, families and flags. As recently as 20 years ago, the Slavic majority treated ethnic Albanians as inferiors to be employed as hewers of wood and carriers of heating coal. The ethnic Albanians, who now number 2 million, were officially deemed a minority, not a constituent nationality, as they are today.

Were the ethnic tensions restricted to Kosovo, Yugoslavia's problems with its Albanian nationals might be more manageable. But some Yugoslavs and some ethnic Albanians believe the struggle has spread far beyond Kosovo. Macedonia, a republic to the south with a population of 1.8 million, has a restive ethnic Albanian minority of 350,000.

''We've already lost western Macedonia to the Albanians,'' said a member of the Yugoslav party presidium, explaining that the ethnic minority had driven the Slavic Macedonians out of the region.

Attacks on Slavs

Last summer, the authorities in Kosovo said they documented 40 ethnic Albanian attacks on Slavs in two months. In the last two years, 320 ethnic Albanians have been sentenced for political crimes, nearly half of them characterized as severe.

In one incident, Fadil Hoxha, once the leading politician of ethnic Albanian origin in Yugoslavia, joked at an official dinner in Prizren last year that Serbian women should be used to satisfy potential ethnic Albanian rapists. After his quip was reported this October, Serbian women in Kosovo protested, and Mr. Hoxha was dismissed from the Communist Party.

As a precaution, the central authorities dispatched 380 riot police officers to the Kosovo region for the first time in four years.

Officials in Belgrade view the ethnic Albanian challenge as imperiling the foundations of the multinational experiment called federal Yugoslavia, which consists of six republics and two provinces.

'Lebanonizing' of Yugoslavia

High-ranking officials have spoken of the ''Lebanonizing'' of their country and have compared its troubles to the strife in Northern Ireland.

Borislav Jovic, a member of the Serbian party's presidency, spoke in an interview of the prospect of ''two Albanias, one north and one south, like divided Germany or Korea,'' and of ''practically the breakup of Yugoslavia.'' He added: ''Time is working against us.''

The federal Secretary for National Defense, Fleet Adm. Branko Mamula, told the army's party organization in September of efforts by ethnic Albanians to subvert the armed forces. ''Between 1981 and 1987 a total of 216 illegal organizations with 1,435 members of Albanian nationality were discovered in the Yugoslav People's Army,'' he said. Admiral Mamula said ethnic Albanian subversives had been preparing for ''killing officers and soldiers, poisoning food and water, sabotage, breaking into weapons arsenals and stealing arms and ammunition, desertion and causing flagrant nationalist incidents in army units.''

Concerns Over Military

Coming three weeks after the ethnic Albanian draftee, Aziz Kelmendi, had slaughtered his Slavic comrades in the barracks at Paracin, the speech struck fear in thousands of families whose sons were about to start their mandatory year of military service.

Because the Albanians have had a relatively high birth rate, one-quarter of the army's 200,000 conscripts this year are ethnic Albanians. Admiral Mamula suggested that 3,792 were potential human timebombs.

He said the army had ''not been provided with details relevant for assessing their behavior.'' But a number of Belgrade politicians said they doubted the Yugoslav armed forces would be used to intervene in Kosovo as they were to quell violent rioting in 1981 in Pristina. They reason that the army leadership is extremely reluctant to become involved in what is, in the first place, a political issue.

Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life in the autonomous province of Kosovo, including the police, judiciary, civil service, schools and factories. Non-Albanian visitors almost immediately feel the independence - and suspicion - of the ethnic Albanian authorities.

Region's Slavs Lack Strength

While 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins still live in the province, they are scattered and lack cohesion. In the last seven years, 20,000 of them have fled the province, often leaving behind farmsteads and houses, for the safety of the Slavic north.

Until September, the majority of the Serbian Communist Party leadership pursued a policy of seeking compromise with the Kosovo party hierarchy under its ethnic Albanian leader, Azem Vlasi.

But during a 30-hour session of the Serbian central committee in late September, the Serbian party secretary, Slobodan Milosevic, deposed Dragisa Pavlovic, as head of Belgrade's party organization, the country's largest. Mr. Milosevic accused Mr. Pavlovic of being an appeaser who was soft on Albanian radicals. Mr. Milosevic had courted the Serbian backlash vote with speeches in Kosovo itself calling for ''the policy of the hard hand.''

''We will go up against anti-Socialist forces, even if they call us Stalinists,'' Mr. Milosevic declared recently. That a Yugoslav politician would invite someone to call him a Stalinist even four decades after Tito's epochal break with Stalin, is a measure of the state into which Serbian politics have fallen. For the moment, Mr. Milosevic and his supporters appear to be staking their careers on a strategy of confrontation with the Kosovo ethnic Albanians.

Other Yugoslav politicians have expressed alarm. ''There is no doubt Kosovo is a problem of the whole country, a powder keg on which we all sit,'' said Milan Kucan, head of the Slovenian Communist Party.

Remzi Koljgeci, of the Kosovo party leadership, said in an interview in Pristina that ''relations are cold'' between the ethnic Albanians and Serbs of the province, that there were too many ''people without hope.''

But many of those interviewed agreed it was also a rare opportunity for Yugoslavia to take radical political and economic steps, as Tito did when he broke with the Soviet bloc in 1948.

Efforts are under way to strengthen central authority through amendments to the constitution. The League of Communists is planning an extraordinary party congress before March to address the country's grave problems.

The hope is that something will be done then to exert the rule of law in Kosovo while drawing ethnic Albanians back into Yugoslavia's mainstream.

© 1987, The New York Times

* * * *

The Christian Science Monitor; March 11, 1988, Friday

SECTION: International; Pg. 11

28 Yugoslav groups struggle for same land

William Echikson, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

DATELINE: Pecs, Yugoslavia

HIGHLIGHT: Serbs, Albanians in tug of war over Kosovo province

When two peoples fight over the same piece of land, tragedy too often results. Everyone knows about the disputes wracking Ireland, Sri Lanka, and Israel. A new name should now be added to the unfortunate list - the southern Yugoslav province of Kosovo.

In Kosovo's case, the belligerents are Serbs and Albanians. The Albanians are Muslim and proud of their Illyrian ancestry. The Serbs are Orthodox Christians and Slavs. A few months ago, tensions between the two groups boiled over, forcing Belgrade to dispatch 380 special militia to Kosovo.

For Albanians, who used to be a minority but now are a growing majority in Kosovo, the issue is self-determination. As an autonomous province within the republic of Serbia, Kosovo now enjoys considerable local self-rule. But many Albanians want their own republic, and the noisiest want to unite with Albania. For Serbs, Kosovo is their sacred heartland. Here are located their loveliest medieval monasteries and the sites of their struggles against the Turks. Serbs, the largest ethnic group in Yugoslavia, also fear that Kosovo's secession would lead to similar demands by other Yugoslav nationalities.

''If Yugoslavia is going to disintegrate into different national states, the process will start in Kosovo,'' worries Milovan Djilas, the country's most celebrated dissident.

Kosovo's conflict so far has avoided widespread bloodshed. Albanians rioted in 1981, but since then the struggle has largely been fought with intimidation and verbal violence, not guns. Angry Serbs complain that Albanians are forcing them to leave Kosovo by destroying their cemeteries, vandalizing their fields, killing their animals, pouring disinfectant down their wells, even raping their daughters.

The tactics have had a powerful impact. In the last two decades, thousands of Serbs have moved out of Kosovo. Those who remain feel increasingly besieged. ''Kosovo's Serbs are the Palestinians of Yugoslavia,'' says Slavko Djumic, a Serb nationalist. ''We're being forced from our land.''

Albanians also feel oppressed. In prewar Yugoslavia, the Albanians were kept out of influential positions in Kosovo. Albanians still complain that they must do too much to accommodate the non-Albania speaking Serbian majority.

''This is our homeland,'' says Haki, a hotel clerk, ''but if there are eight Albanians working here and one Serb, we all have to speak Serb.'' Tensions are aggravated by a high Albanian birthrate. Jobs, or rather the lack of them, add to the population problem. Kosovo is Yugoslavia's poorest province. Hajrula Zahiti, Kosovo's economics minister, reports that of the Province's 2 million or so inhabitants, only 200,000 are employed.

Large Albanian families live in miserable conditions. The Komoni family from the village of Brezanik numbers six sons and two daughters. All crowd into a small two-room shack. Only one, 30-year old Gani, has a job - in the local shoe factory. The rest mind the family's meager three hectares (7 acres) of land.

''I don't care much about politics,'' says the father. ''But look, I have no job, no hope for my children.''

Kosovo Serbs suffer similar poverty. Miso Dugandzi, from the village of Gorazdevac, is unemployed. So are his two sons, who live with him in a small stove-heated shack. ''Only a strong Serbia can save us,'' he says. In an effort to stem Serb emigration and calm these explosive feelings, Belgrade recently announced a program to construct new factories in Kosovo. Serbs are to receive preference for jobs.

Money to pay for the plan is to come from taxes on the richer northern provinces. But in the past, northern Slovenes and Croats complained that their donations were invested in showy projects such as luxury hotels instead of productive factories. Perhaps even more, northerners fear strengthening feelings for a Greater Serbia would let the Serbs try, as in the past, to dominate them.

Albanians aren't happy about plans to favor Serbs, either. Hazer Susri of the Kosovo Central Committee admits that 1,200 people in Kosovo have been arrested for political offenses since 1981, mostly Albanians on charges of inciting illegal nationalism.

''Nationalist actions no longer take the form of demonstrations,'' Mr. Susri says. ''There are just pamphlets, graffiti.''

But beneath this surface calm, fear reigns. Albanians stay in their own neighborhoods and restaurants, Serbs in their own enclaves. The two nationalities trade few words. They only exchange angry glances. There are worries that glances could turn into full-fledged violence.

Copyright 1988 The Christian Science Publishing Society

* * * *

Reuters; July 30, 1988, Saturday, PM cycle


By Andrej Gustincic


As Serbs in strife-torn Kosovo province threatened to stage one of the biggest protests in Yugoslavia's history, state leaders and parliament on Friday called for more federal control over the province.

Parliament asked all federal bodies to take immediate steps to stem migration of non-Albanians from the area because of alleged persecution by its ethnic Albanian majority.

The Yugoslav Communist Party Central Committee on Friday began a heated plenary session to defuse the ethnic crisis in Kosovo. The meeting continued late into Friday night.

"The Federal Assembly (parliament) and the government will take steps to establish the personal and joint responsibility of those who fail to carry out tasks embodied in the Yugoslav program on Kosovo," the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said.

"The measures employed against them will include recalls and removals from office," it said, indicating a major shake-up of the political establishment may come soon.

Kosovo, an autonomous province of Yugoslavia's biggest republic Serbia, has a population of 1.7 million ethnic Albanians and some 200,000 non-Albanians, mostly Serbs.

Thousands of Serbs flee the area every year, alleging that the ethnic Albanians are persecuting them in order to drive them out and create an ethnically pure, all-Albanian Kosovo.

Serb activists in Kosovo said that if the plenum failed to meet their expectations, they would mount massive protests on a scale that would dwarf anything seen so far in this country.

Belgrade television quoted people throughout Yugoslavia as saying they believed the plenum was the most important political meeting in Yugoslavia for decades.

Vice-President Stane Dolanc told the plenum the country's collective State Presidency might soon boost the role of federal bodies in Kosovo including a special paramilitary unit.

"The presidency is increasingly worried about the escalation of nationalism," Dolanc said. He said recent protests threatened state security and the presidency might expand the role of a heavily armed 380-man special federal police unit sent to Kosovo last November after mass protests by Serbs in Kosovo.

Yugoslavia's six republics and two provinces enjoy great autonomy and tend to resist control by the federal authorities.

Serbian Communist Party leader Slobodan Milosevic is pushing constitutional reforms to give Serbia direct control over its provinces -- Kosovo in the south and Vojvodina in the north.

He has sparked a conflict with provincial leaders by encouraging Serbs to stage mass protests in Vojvodina to pressure local leaders there into adopting the changes.

At the plenum, he said their protests were justified and against humiliation. "When part of the population in Kosovo is suffering because it's a minority, accusations that they pressure and threaten others amount to great political cynicism," Milosevic said.

He said the protests had proven that the proposed changes in the constitutional position of the provinces were the wish of the Serbian people.

© 1988, Reuters

* * * *

The New York Times; September 23, 1988, Friday, Late City Final Edition

SECTION: Section A; Page 12, Column 4; Foreign Desk

30. 70,000 Serbs Vent Anger at Officials

By HENRY KAMM, Special to the New York Times

DATELINE: KRALJEVO, Yugoslavia, Sept. 22, 1988

About 70,000 Serbians braved a steady rain and fields of mud after the factories closed in this Serbian industrial town this afternoon to cheer speakers and shout slogans.

It was perhaps the largest of a rash of rallies held since July over the ethnic conflict in Kosovo, an autonomous province of Serbia south of here. Serbs contend that Kosovo's ethnic majority of 1.7 million Albanians has terrorized a minority of 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins with the aim of driving them out of Kosovo and turning it into a purely Albanian province.

The plight of the Kosovo Serbs was the official subject of the demonstration. But much of the speeches, and many of the slogans that were chanted throughout the meeting, made evident why the rallies are viewed with great unease by the authorities.

Leaders Under Fire

In a country with an annual inflation rate approaching 200 percent, a sinking standard of living and rising unemployment, economic problems are as prominent as the deeply emotional ethnic problem of Kosovo. The speeches and slogans today reflected that.

''We don't want imposing villas, planes, yachts and private beaches,'' said Vojislav Radunovic, the union leader at the railroad car factory that is this town's main industry, alluding to recent disclosures of high living among Government and Communist Party leaders.

''You are not our comrades because you do not line up at dawn to buy 'people's bread,' '' he continued. He was referring to the low-quality bread that bakeries must provide at low cost to cushion the shock of repeated increases in the price of better bread.

''You don't share our destiny on the first, second or third shift,'' he said. ''You don't go down in the mine shafts; you don't climb high to build bridges. You are not our comrades.''

''The people should judge them!'' was a shout that rose from the crowd, which responded enthusiastically throughout the meeting. ''Thieves!'' the crowd roared. ''Down with those who sit in armchairs.''

One of the hundreds of homemade posters being held high proclaimed, ''Down with the socialist bourgeoisie!''

Yugoslavia is composed of six republics and two provinces, each with parallel government and party bureaucracies. Because of its federal governmental and party system, this nation of 23 million people has an extraordinarily high density of bureaucrats, and government and party officials have become targets of particular ire.

''Return all you have taken from the working class!'' the union leader continued. ''You with your privileged pensions, which are bigger than the pay of entire brigades of steelworkers, do you ever blush when you collect them?''

A Shift in Emphasis

Yugoslavs who have attended several of the rallies over the Kosovo conflict noted a shift of emphasis today, with speeches and slogans paying greater heed to Yugoslavia's economic plight than at earlier meetings. They explained this by Kraljevo's working-class character.

Nonetheless, the crowd's nationalist anger was equally evident. Serbs are Yugoslavia's largest population group, numbering more than eight million. Increasingly, they are expressing frustration over a perception that because of a distrust among fellow Yugoslavs based on their numbers they do not enjoy the share of national power that they feel should be theirs.

The mounting agitation over Kosovo is the clearest expression of the sense of Serbian frustration. ''Down with those who betray the Serbian people!'' a poster proclaimed. And many in the crowd burst into an old patriotic song: ''Who says, who lies, that Serbia is small?''

Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia's party chief, commands mass support for his demand that the two autonomous provinces, Kosovo and Vojvodina, be stripped of much of their autonomy and more fully integrated into Serbia.

Copyright 1988 The New York Times Company

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By Jackson Diehl
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, October 7, 1988; Page A25

BELGRADE, OCT. 6 -- BELGRADE, OCT. 6 -- A volatile political power struggle in this communist-ruled country escalated here today as more than 100,000 demonstrators surrounded the ruling party's headquarters in Vojvodina, one of Yugoslavia's eight constituent jurisdictions, and forced the resignation of the entire provincial leadership.

The unprecedented mass demonstration in the city of Novi Sad, about 40 miles north of Belgrade, represented a major victory for Slobodan Milosevic, the communist leader of Serbia, Yugoslavia's largest republic. Milosevic, in an aggressive drive for power, is seeking to establish Serbia's political control over Vojvodina and another jurisdiction, Kosovo, that nominally are its provinces but in practice have been autonomous.

The forceful ouster of the provincial leadership, which began when a crowd marched on the capital late yesterday, came after months of mass demonstrations orchestrated by the Serbian leader on the basis of nationalistic appeals to Serbians, the most populous of the seven major national groups that coexist uneasily in Yugoslavia.

Milosevic and his supporters say they are seeking to reassert Serbia's rights within Yugoslavia and force the ouster of politicians they blame for ethnic strife in Kosovo and for the country's economic crisis. But opponents charge that the 47-year-old Serbian chief is embarked on a dangerous course in a country that has been badly divided and practically leaderless since the death of postwar ruler Tito eight years ago.

"Something about these rallies reminds people of our bad past, of that which brought out extreme nationalistic hostilities," said Stanislaw Marinkovic, the editor of the national newspaper Borba. "If that is allowed to thrive, the consequences for the country could be grave. Some people are afraid there could be civil war."

So far there have been no major incidents of violence in the Serbian campaign. But the mass rallies, which began in Vojvodina in July and have been staged in cities and towns around Serbia, evoke for many Yugoslavs the virulent nationalism that led to some of Europe's bloodiest fighting here during World War II.

The rallies, organized at first by a committee of ultranationalist Serbs from Kosovo, originally focused on the issue of alleged persecution aganst Serbs in Kosovo by the province's majority ethnic Albanian population. More recently, however, the campaign has been taken over by the communist-run Socialist Alliance in Serbia and demands have expanded to include increasing Serbia's direct control over the provinces and purging their political leaderships.

Milosevic, who took power in Serbia 13 months ago and has since established strong control over the Belgrade-based party apparatus and media, also has been pushing for major changes in the top ranks of the Yugoslav League of Communists at a plenary meeting due to be held in 10 days. Party officials, including Presidium President Stipe Suvar, have said that more than 30 percent of the Central Committee and most of the 25-member party presidium could be replaced.

Serbian party officials, in an apparent attempt to increase the pressure on the plenary meeting, are planning a rally in Belgrade that they say will attract more than 1 million people, crowning what already has been the largest popular mobilization in the country since the war.

"Things have to change," said Vladimir Stambuc, a member of the Serbian party presidium and Milosevic supporter. "If working people are not satisfied with the leadership, then they have the right to change it. The end of the rallies will come only when the working people see that the changes are in process."

Already, the mobilization has led to a string of political successes for Milosevic in the last week as Yugoslavia's political elite has given in to his demands.

Last week, Vojvodina's representative on the federal party's collective presidency, Bosko Kunic, resigned after weeks of harsh attacks by Milosevic's suporters. Then, last Friday, the presidency voted to endorse changes in the Serbian constitution that will increase Belgrade's control over the provinces in the areas of security, the judiciary, foreign policy and social planning.

In practice, the changes, which still must be approved by provincial legislatures, will mean that the Serbian leadership will have the authority to dispatch its own police forces to Kosovo in the event of ethnic strife and that Belgrade's prosecutors and judges may be able to intervene in key court cases in the southern province.

Today's events appeared to position the Serbian leadership to control Vojvodina's communist apparatus for the first time. Through the postwar period, the province's communist organization has operated independently of Serbia and often has opposed it in intraparty debates. The leadership ousted today had struggled to prevent Milosevic from expanding his power.

The power play began yesterday when local party and union officials in the town of Backa Palanki organized about 10,000 workers to march on the party headquarters in nearby Novi Sad, nominally because top provincial officials had tried to expel two critics from the organization.

The crowd swelled as it reached Novi Sad, and soon tens of thousands of protesters surrounded the party headquarters, demanding the immediate resignation of the 14-member presidium and chanting "Slobo, Slobo," Milosevic's nickname.

Early this morning, with a crowd estimated by the Yugoslav news agency at more than 100,000 surrounding the building, local party chief Milovan Sogorov gave in to the demand. Today, the party met to accept the resignations and the provincial government leader also announced he would step down.

The resignations were quickly supported by Milosevic's Serbian leadership, which, after an emergency meeting today, issued a statement harshly criticizing the Vojvodina officials and supporting the popular protest.

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