Information Service

SERBIAN ORTHODOX DIOCESE OF RASKA AND PRIZREN
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

INFORMATION SERVICE
Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren (Eparhija rasko-prizrenska ERP) is primarily working on documenting the human rights abuses against the Serb Orthodox community in the Yugoslav UN administered Kosovo and Metohija Province.

News - October 1 -2


Uncertain future of Kosovo Serb children

KFOR Suspends Escorts Of Serb School Bus In Pristina

Pristina, 1 Oct (Tanjug) - British troops of the international force in Kosovo and Metohija KFOR on Monday stopped escorting a school bus transporting Serb children from the YU Program building in Pristina to their school in Laplje Selo village, where they attend classes.
Authorized school organs confirmed the British troops now wait for the bus outside Pristina, so that the children must walk part of the way, where their safety is not secured. Before the British troops, Greek troops were in charge of escorting the school bus. However, these KFOR troops recently completed their mission in UN-administered Kosovo and Metohija province and left Yugoslavia.

Beta News Agency, Belgrade
October 2, 2002

Pristina - Approximately 30 Serb pupils from Pristina who are attending classes in Laplje Selo will stop going to school today because of the riskiness of transport without a KFOR or UNMIK escort. British KFOR soldiers who have taken over the escort from Greek troops agree to accompany the children only through the city center, leaving them to make the rest of their way to Laplje Selo - some ten kilometers - without protection. The organizers of the transportation will not accept responsibilility for the unprotected part of the road. Even though Greek KFOR troops escorted the Serb children all the way to Laplje Selo, their school bus was nevertheless stoned several times. (Beta)

Fr. Sava with the children in Pristina
Fr. Sava with Serb children in Pristina



UNFAIR DECISION OF KFOR

Fr. Sava Janjic, editor of the Info Service ERP KIM

Twenty Serb teenage children are the only Serb children who live in Pristina since the end of the war and the arrival of the UN Mission and KFOR peacekeepers. They belong to the group of around 200 Pristina Serbs (out of more than 20.000 of pre-war Serb inhabitants of Kosovo's capital) who mostly live in a block of appartments with free movement restricted only to the narrow area around the building. For three years the UN Mission has failed to provide basic freedom for Pristina Serbs who still live in a ghetto without basic human rights and free access to hospitals and other institutions which serve solely Kosovo Albanian community. Even the right of attending classes in Serbian was not provided for the children who had to travel daily to the neighboring Serb village to attend the classes in their mother tongue. During the most difficult times of pre-war Milosevic rule Kosovo Albanian teenagers attended elementary schools in Albanian while now under the UN protectorate that right has not been provided for the Serb community.

The latest decision of KFOR to susped escort is seen as an additional pressure on already traumatized Pristina Serb community to leave their town in which they live under severe ethnic repression and discrimination.

Albanians Abducted And Raped Two Teenage Girls - Serbian and Bosniak


Pristina, 2 Oct (Blic) - 'Two teenage girls, one of Serbian and one of Bosniac nationality were abducted on Saturday and raped in Kosovska Mitrovica. After that they were driven to Pristina and raped again', spokesman of UNMIK police in Pristina Barry Fletcher confirmed.

The same sources inform that the two girls went the evening before from the northern Mitrovica into the southern part of the city. They went into a mobile cultural container under patronage of UNMIK's Chief Michael Steiner opened for meeting and communication of young people of all nationalities from 14-21 years of age. Fletcher said that so far two Albanians had been arrested on suspicion to have abducted and raped the girls.

Steiner Condemn Abduction And Rape Of Two Young Girls
1 Oct (Radio Jugoslavija) - The Head of UNMIK, Michael Steiner, has most sharply condemned the abduction and rape of two girls from the northern, Serb part of Kosovska Mitrovica, and said that international police will investigate into the incident and arrest the perpetrators of the criminal offence.

The two girls, one of whom is 14 and the other 17 years of age, for whom Steiner said to be of Serb nationality, were kidnapped in Kosovska Mitrovica at the weekend, and then transferred to Pristina where they were raped by six Albanians. Following the kidnapping, it was announced that the girls were Albanian, only for UNMIK to announce later on that one of the girls is of Serb and the other of Moslem nationality.

International police announced that two Albanian kidnappers had been arrested.

O. IVANOVIC ON THE RAPE

Member of the CCK and the Kosovo Assembly Presidency Oliver Ivanovic has assessed that at issue is a loathsome act, for which Michael Steiner is responsible. "We demand a strong investigation, the rapists to be detected and punished, and Steiner to apologise to the parents who, believing him, allowed their children to take part in his program ‘multi-ethnic bringing together of young people’," said Ivanovic. (Vecernje Novosti; 2 October)

COVIC: UNMIK DID NOT SUCCEED

"This is a catastrophe and it speaks of the result achieved in Kosovo. You make multi-ethnic containers, and then from there you head towards rape, drugs...It is important that everything done there has a real result, and the result is not when you go there and make a cocktail and take pictures," said the Head of the CCK Nebojsa Covic. (Nacional; 2 October)

TRAJKOVIC: INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY RESPONSIBLE

KP caucus whip Rada Trajkovic is horrified with the kidnapping and raping of two minor girls at the ‘cultural container’. "Regarding this ghastly act," she expects the arrest of the perpetrators and responsibility of the international community that had organised association of young people in Mitrovica. The Chairman of the Serbian Assembly’s Committee for Kosovo Momcilo Trajkovic condemned the kidnapping and raping. He said that "in Kosovo there is still no peace and freedom nor will there be any until UNMiK and KFOR do not cope with Albanian extremists." (Nacional; 2 October)

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

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Information Service of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren
Kosovo and Metohija
erpkim@gmx.net