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Kosovo Flash News

Compilation from Belgrade daily newspapers, prepared by editorial staff of the Voice of Kosovo and Metohia

15. 2. 2000.

  • Bomb attack on Serbian house in the village of Lepina
  • Four Serbs wounded
  • Four Serbs wounded in clashes in Kosovska Mitrovica
  • Two KFOR soldiers, five Serbs and seven Albanians wounded in armed conflicts of the day before: 39 Albanians and 1 Serb arrested
  • Ethnic Albanians attack Serb houses
  • Kosovo Polje: Albanians Burning down Houses
  • Serb couple lightly wounded in bomb attack on their house
  • Serb-populated district of Obilic attacked
  • Attacks on Kosmet inhabitants loyal to Serbia continue
  • Ethnic Albanians attack KFOR French troops
  • UNMIK policeman wounded
  • Battle Deployment
  • Message of NATO Secretary General to the extremists in Kosovo: Our response will be even stronger
  • Pristina-Mitrovica road: Ambulance full of Ammunition
  • KFOR French troops in control in Kosovska Mitrovica
  • KFOR continues controls and searches in northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica
  • More policemen, wider security zone in Kosovska Mitrovica
  • Serb employees in UNMIK demand additional security
  • Serb assembly condemns ethnic-Albanian terrorist attacks on Serbs, French troops
  • Calm night in Kosovska Mitrovica
  • Yugoslavia calls for emergency UN security council session
  • Yugoslav committee for cooperation with UNMIK releases statement
  • Yugoslav letter to UN security council on violations of resolution 1244
  • Vukicevic: International forces responsible
  • Cuse: UN security council must react immediately
  • French KFOR troops are in extremely difficult position, minister Vedrine
  • Village Sentries in Merdare
  •  

    Bomb attack on Serbian house in the village of Lepina

    (Serbia info, 15. 2. 2000)

    February 14, 2000 - Lipljan, February 14th (Tanjug) - Novica Mitrovic and his wife were wounded in the village of Lepina near Lipljan, Kosovo and Metohia, in a bomb attack on their house early on Monday.

    Local radio amateurs reported that a hand grenade had been thrown into the couple's bedroom at around 1.30 a.m. local time. Grenade splinters totally demolished the bedroom, but flew over the bed, leaving the couple lightly wounded.

    The Serbs populate the village, with the only two ethnic Albanian families living at its outskirts. The radio amateurs also said that the local Serbs believed ethnic Albanian terrorists from nearby villages to be responsible for the attack.

    Four Serbs wounded

    (Serbia info, 15. 2. 2000)

    February 14, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, February 13th (Tanjug) - Four Serbs and two Frenchmen were wounded, and a Serb nurse was beaten up in Sunday's unrests in Kosovska Mitrovica, in an exchange of fire between ethnic Albanians and KFOR French troops, and a subsequent attempt by ethnic Albanian terrorists to seize some parts of the town.

    The Serbs and Frenchmen received wounds from firearms. The four Serbs were operated on, their wounds are serious, but not life threatening, Kosovska Mitrovica hospital Orthopedics chief Dr. Mirko Jaksic told Tanjug.

    One of the four wounded Serbs, Milos Mitic, was shot from a skyscraper in Kolasinska St. while trying to protect a woman with a child.

    According to Dr. Jaksic, the nurse, living in the same skyscraper, was beaten up by an Albanian neighbour and kept for treatment in the hospital. She suffered serious head and body injuries inflicted with rifle butt, said the doctor.

    The two Frenchmen, one of whom was seriously wounded in the stomach by sniper fire this morning, were taken to the French hospital in southern Kosovska Mitrovica by KFOR after they were administered emergency treatment in the hospital in northern, Serb-controlled Kosovska Mitrovica.

    In a part of the town, called Bosnjacka Mahala, the French are still holding street blockades and searching house by house, looking for weapons, ammunition and members of the so-called Kosovo Protection Corps.

    The situation is calmer, there are people in the streets, and sporadic gunfire can be heard from the southern part of the town.

    Kosovska Mitrovica, February 13th - An Albanian sniper was killed and five wounded in today's clash between KFOR and a group of terrorists, who opened fire from a shelter in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, reported AFP quoting KFOR report.

    "These snipers are all Albanian terrorists, whose aim is to undermine everything that the international community has achieved in Kosmet thus far", KFOR spokesman, lieutenant colonel Patrick Chanliau, told reporters in Kosovska Mitrovica.

    According to the AFP, another KFOR spokesman, Major Philip Anido, seriously wounded a sniper around 12.30 p.m., who later died in the KFOR hospital in the southern part of the town.

    AFP first reported on a killed Albanian sniper and than supplemented the report with the evidence about five wounded and arrested terrorists. Their names are still unknown, but it was confirmed that they were ethnic Albanians.

    Fierce clashes between French KFOR and ethnic Albanians commenced this morning around 10.30 a.m. in Bosnjacka Mahala, northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, and spread across other parts of the town.

    Around 2.00 p.m., French KFOR troops took over the control in Kosovska Mitrovica and started the search for remaining snipers.

    Kosovska Mitrovica, February 13th (Tanjug) - Fierce fighting between French KFOR and ethnic Albanians that started around 10.30 a.m. in Bosnjacka Mahala - northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica - and spread across other parts of the town, calmed around 2.00 p.m. and French KFOR troops took over the control in the town.

    However, the situation is still very tense, and there are fears that hidden terrorists could continue with their actions. The people are out of the streets patrolled by KFOR armed vehicles.

    Four Serbs wounded in clashes in Kosovska Mitrovica

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Four Serbs and two Frenchmen were wounded, and a Serb nurse was beaten up in Sunday's unrest in Kosovska Mitrovica, in an exchange of fire between ethnic Albanians and KFOR French troops, and a subsequent attempt by ethnic Albanian terrorists to seize some parts of the town.

    The Serbs and Frenchmen received wounds from firearms. The four Serbs were operated on, their wounds are serious, but not life threatening, Kosovska Mitrovica hospital Orthopedics chief Dr. Mirko Jaksic told Tanjug.

    The two Frenchmen, one of whom was seriously wounded in the stomach by sniper fire this morning, were taken to the French hospital in southern Kosovska Mitrovica by KFOR after they were administered emergency treatment in the hospital in northern Serb-controlled Kosovska Mitrovica.

    A KFOR spokesman said that French troops killed an ethnic Albanian sniper in Kosovska Mitrovica today.

    Two KFOR soldiers, five Serbs and seven Albanians wounded in armed conflicts of the day before: 39 Albanians and 1 Serb arrested

    (Blic daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Pristina - After serious conflicts between the Albanians and KFOR soldiers in Kosovska Mitrovica the day before, members of international forces have arrested 39 Albanians and 1 Serb, spokesman of KFOR information service reported.

    Arrested Albanians are suspected of shooting from snipers, illegal carrying of weapon and throwing of stones.

    In the conflicts one Albanian was killed and seven were injured. Snipers wounded two French soldiers. Six injured persons are in the Serbian hospital, five Serbs and one Moslem.

    The day before at 6.30 p.m. one Albanian threw a bomb on the Canadian patrol of UNMIK Police. The bomb did not explode and the attacker was arrested.

    The situation in Kosovska Mitrovica was peaceful yesterday

    Ethnic Albanians attack Serb houses

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Ethnic Albanian extremists attacked Serb houses in northern Kosovska Mitrovica during curfew late Friday.

    Two bombs were thrown at the Milutinovic family home in the Bosnjacka Mahala district at midnight, and automatic fire riddled their windows. None of the occupants were injured in this terrorist attack.

    Terrorists also showered the house of Serb Dragi Jovanovic with rocks and stones in another district, near the hospital.

    Dragica Jerotijevic, a Serb woman, was stoned at 4.30 p.m. Friday in the Bosnajcka Mahala district, where only four Serb houses remain.

    The perpetrators of these terrorist attacks have not been caught, even though strong forces of the KFOR and UNMIK police have been protecting the Bosnjacka Mahala district round the clock, not just during curfew, since it was introduced on Feb 4.

    Kosovo Polje: Albanians Burning down Houses

    (Vecernje Novosti, 15. 2. 2000)

    A group of terrorists has burnt down Milusa Sabanovic’s house in Svetosavska St. downtown Kosovo Polje. According to what two Russian KFOR officers, who live nearby, said three attackers set the fire and than escaped through the yard.

    The Centre for Peace and Tolerance in Kosovo Polje, regularly receives reports on Albanians breaking into and threatening the Serbs. They urge the Serbs to leave all their belongings, "since it belongs to the ‘KLA’", or else the Serbs would be killed. The Albanians even looted the brood of pigeons from the famous Kosovo Polje’s Pigeon Breeders. (*)

    Serb couple lightly wounded in bomb attack on their house

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    A Serb couple were lightly wounded in the village of Lepina at Lipljan, Kosovo and Metohia, in a bomb attack on their house early on Monday.

    Local radio enthusiasts reported that a hand grenade had been thrown into the couple's bedroom at around 1.30 a.m. local time. Grenade splinters that totally demolished the bedroom wounded the couple.

    The Serbs populate the village, with the only two ethnic Albanian families living at its outskirts.

    The radio enthusiasts also said that the local Serbs believed ethnic Albanian terrorists in nearby villages to be responsible for the attack.

    Serb-populated district of Obilic attacked

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    A Serb-populated district of Obilic was attacked with automatic firearms late Friday, but there were no casualties, radio-amateurs reported from this part of Serbia's southern Kosovo and Metohia province late Saturday.

    The attack went on for 20 minutes, resulting in shattered windows and riddled walls. International force KFOR troops observed the brutal attack on the remaining Serbs in this district.

    The Obilic KFOR command said it was continuing an intense search for the perpetrators and that it believed on the grounds of certain intelligence that the perpetrators are from the territory of Obilic.

    Attacks on Kosmet inhabitants loyal to Serbia continue

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Another Muslim loyal to the state of Serbia has been killed in Kosovo and Metohia.

    The body of Sezair Saiti of the village of Musnikovo, near Prizren, was found at around 1.30 a.m. Monday.

    According to the Centre for Peace and Tolerance, Saiti was killed because his brother has associated with members of the Serbian Interior Ministry.

    The latest killing is proof that not just Serbs, but other non-Albanians loyal to the state of Serbia, too, are being killed in Kosovo and Metohia by ethnic-Albanian terrorists.

    At about 3 a.m., terrorists abducted Adem Skenderi, a close relation of the Skenderi family who were recently massacred in their home.

    Skenderi was taken from his home in an unknown direction.

    The KFOR has been informed about the abduction and is reportedly searching for the perpetrator or perpetrators of the crime.

    Ethnic Albanians attack KFOR French troops

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Ethic Albanians clashed with KFOR French troops on the bridge over the Ibar River near the railway station in Kosovska Mitrovica at about 10.30 a.m. Sunday.

    French troops, which secure both sides of the bridge, came under strong fire from the Bosnjacka Mahala district in northern Kosovska Mitrovica, along the railway station, which is populated by several hundred ethnic Albanians.

    Serbs who guard the bridge on the northern side were caught in the crossfire. They said a Frenchman and two Serbs were wounded with sniper fire.

    Bursts of machine-gun fire still echo in this town in northern Kosovo and Metohia province.

    UNMIK policeman wounded

    (Serbia info, 15. 2. 2000)

    February 14, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, February 13th (Tanjug)- A US UNMIK policeman was wounded Sunday around 6 p.m. when shots were fired at a train which was entering Kosovska Mitrovica, radio amateurs reported late Sunday.

    After the attack, the train returned to Preoce, where Serbs offered first aid to the wounded UNMIK policeman before he was taken to the KFOR hospital in Kosovo Polje.

    The wounded UNMIK policeman was in uniform with clearly visible UN signs on it, ham radio operators said. There were no other casualties in the train attack.

    Battle Deployment

    (Vecernje Novosti, 15. 2. 2000)

    KFOR spokesman Philippe Anido stated that the KFOR soldiers were fully military equipped, positioned in personnel carriers in battle deployment in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, with their barrels pointed towards the Mitrovica southern part.

    He added that the soldiers are in high alert status "ready for the urgent action". (*)

    Message of NATO Secretary General to the extremists in Kosovo: Our response will be even stronger

    (Blic daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Brussels - NATO Secretary general George Robertson said that NATO would react even stronger to the attacks on its soldiers in Kosovo.

    "There should be no doubt. NATO peacekeeping troops will not tolerate anybody's attacks on its members. Robust reaction of KFOR soldiers is only top of an ice berg regarding our determination to protect our soldiers and stop violence in Kosovo", Robertson said.

    Pristina-Mitrovica road: Ambulance full of Ammunition

    (Politika daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica, February 14th(Tanjug) – UNMIK spokesman Philippe Pacault stated that an ambulance had been found near Vucitrn with no passengers, but large quantities of firearms and ammunition.

    The ambulance heading to Mitrovica had a car accident 150 m from the KFOR post. The KFOR soldiers came to help them.

    "When they approached the vehicle there were no passengers; instead, the soldiers found six boxes of ammunition, four grenades and clips for kalasnikovs", Pacault was precise.

    Not a Serb lives in, either near Vucitrn or in the whole its municipality. (*)

    KFOR French troops in control in Kosovska Mitrovica

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Fierce clashes between French troops and ethnic Albanians which broke out in the Bosnjacka Mahala district of northern Kosovska Mitrovica at 10.30 a.m. Sunday and later spread to other parts of this town in Kosovo and Metohia province, died down at about 2 p.m. and KFOR French troops are in control of the entire town.

    The situation is still tense, however, and actions by hidden ethnic Albanian snipers are feared. People have fled the streets, and only occasional KFOR armoured personnel carriers drive by.

    The unrests were triggered when ethnic Albanians from Bosnjacka Mahala first stoned an automobile driven by Serbs, then opened fire at it, and then also at French troops securing a nearby bridge adjacent to the railway station.

    In the ensuing exchange of fire, ethnic Albanian snipers wounded at least two French troops, one in the arm and another in the stomach. The two men are not in critical condition, KFOR sources said. Snipers also wounded at least two Serbs, said sources of the Serb National Council of Kosovska Mitrovica.

    The situation is calm on the main bridge across the Ibar. People are not rallying on either side, but shots can be heard coming from the southern side, populated by ethnic Albanians.

    Radio KFOR has said curfew would begin already at 6 p.m. because of the current situation. KFOR commander in chief, Gen. Klaus Reinhardt arrived in this Kosovo and Metohia town shortly after noon.

    The Serb National Council said today's attacks have been planned so as to cause wide-scale conflicts in the southern Serbian province.

    Large demonstrations have been called in southern Kosovska Mitrovica for Tuesday, which local Serbs await with apprehension, since French troops were not joined today by any Danish, German, English, or Italian troops, which have allegedly arrived here as reinforcements.

    KFOR continues controls and searches in northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    The French KFOR troops on Monday continued the control and search of Bosnjacka Mahala and three apartment buildings, mainly populated by ethnic Albanians, in the northern part of the city of Kosovska Mitrovica following Sunday's riots.

    Yesterday, 15 ethnic Albanian terrorists surrendered to the French troops and seven more this morning.

    The spokesman of the Serbian National Forum, Nikola Kabacic, quoted French sources as saying that KFOR had detained a total of 40 persons linked to yesterday's violence, of which 39 are ethnic Albanians and one a Serb.

    According to unconfirmed reports, the shootout between the French forces and the ethnic Albanians killed a French soldier and an ethnic Albanian sniper, and wounded four French peacekeepers and seven ethnic Albanians.

    More policemen, wider security zone in Kosovska Mitrovica

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    UNMIK head Bernard Kouchner has decided about new security measures in Kosovska Mitrovica, which will take effect next week.

    A statement distributed to Serb reporters late Saturday said the number of international police would be doubled. Three hundred new policemen will be deployed within the six municipalities of this region, the statement said.

    Most policemen will be stationed in Kosovska Mitrovica itself. The first 100 policemen will arrive next week. They will co-operate closely with KFOR troops, the statement said.

    The security zone established on both sides of the bridge over the Ibar River will be expanded, the statement said.

    The established checkpoints on both sides and mobile police teams will be manned by KFOR troops as well - French, Danish, German and English.

    Among the new measures, which should contribute to a calming of the situation in this town in Kosovo and Metohia province, is the proclamation of a no-demonstrations zone.

    The monitoring and control of the administrative border with Serbia proper will also be stepped up, the statement said.

    Serb employees in UNMIK demand additional security

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    UN Civilian Mission head Bernard Kouchner and Kosovska Mitrovica district administrator Mario Molconni will arrive in this city on Friday evening after some 60 UNMIK Serb employees refused to return to their jobs in the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.

    Tanjug learned from UNMIK sources that at a meeting this evening some kind of solution would be proposed to the UNMIK Serb employees who have not returned to work since last Friday after the ethnic Albanian terrorists demolished the building where their offices are located.

    Translators, drivers and other staff are demanding additional security measures when they are forced to cross the bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica, in the building itself and especially when their work takes them outside the city limits.

    At a meeting with Malconni held three days ago, one of the main objections of the Serbs was that about 150 ethnic Albanians (three times more than Serbs) also work in the same building and that they include proven terrorists, former KLA members.

    The Serb employees refused to be intimidated by Molconni's ultimatum, made three days ago, that they would lose their jobs unless they returned to work by Friday.

    Today the situation in Kosovska Mitrovica was very calm, without the usual crowds in the streets.

    The curfew is being respected and the French and Dutch peacekeepers (KFOR) are politely and without any harassment searching vehicles starting from 9:30 p.m.

    Serb assembly condemns ethnic-Albanian terrorist attacks on Serbs, French troops

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    The Serbian National Assembly of Kosovska Mitrovica held an emergency session Sunday and most severely condemned the latest crimes committed by members of the ethnic-Albanian terrorist KLA against Serbs and French KFOR troops.

    A released statement said that the Sunday clashes provoked by members of the terrorist KLA, in which six Serbs and four French KFOR troops were wounded, were part of a planned action, in advance co-ordinated between the terrorist KLA and KFOR General Klaus Reinhardt, who the statement set out had not at all accidentally announced his arrival in Kosovska Mitrovica for Sunday.

    Gen. Reinhardt wants to accuse the French of being incapable to control the sector and has replaced them with the British and German troops, who are to complete the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo and Metohia of Serbs, the Serbian National Assembly of Kosovska Mitrovica said and observed that it was well known how Serbs have fared in the British and German sectors.

    German Reinhardt wants to deal a heavy blow to the French foreign policy and accuse the French KFOR troops, who are consistently implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the Assembly set out.

    It is time that Gen. Reinhardt realises that Serbs are adamant to remain in their ancestral homes and he cannot endlessly ignore the task she has under Resolution 1244, the statement said.

    Calm night in Kosovska Mitrovica

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    In Kosovska Mitrovica, Sunday night was calm, after the shooting of the previous in which KFOR members prevented the violence of ethnic Albanian extremists.

    UNMIK spokesman Philip Pako said at a press conference that exceptional security measures undertaken by KFOR and UNMIK have given results. Both in the southern and in the northern parts of town, KFOR and UNMIK vehicles and patrols cruised the streets all night, and at crossroads and bridges have been deployed a large number of armoured cars.

    Pako said that the UNMIK policemen were ordered to ensure the security of citizens in Kosovska Mitrovica and its patrols entered buildings and high-rises, to check on them.

    He said that on Sunday at 18.30 an ethnic Albanian near a high-rise in the northern part of town threw a hand grenade on a Canadian patrol of UNMIK police, but, fortunately, it did not explode. That Albanian was arrested, Pako said.

    Pako said that this week will start arriving new policemen who, in conformity with Kouchner's decision on the introduction of new security measures, should number 300. All of them are expected to arrive within three weeks.

    According to eyewitnesses, at the southern end of the bridge near the railway station, where a fierce clash broke out Sunday between ethnic Albanians and the French have been deployed Italian carabinieri instead of the Germans.

    In the Bosnian-Muslim part of town French KFOR members are still conducting searches and controls, and sharpshooters have been deployed on high-rises around that part of town.

    Serbian sources said that outside the high-rise located across the street from the Technical School on Monday morning at 08.00 was noticed a bomb which fortunately did not explode. French members of KFOR quickly defused the bomb.

    In the Serbian hospital are six people seriously wounded in the shooting Sunday. Among them, doctors said, are five persons of Serbian nationality and one Muslim, and their condition is stable.

    Following the clashes on Sunday, in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica primary and high schools are not working.

    KFOR radio said that a curfew from 18.00 to 06.00 in the morning would remain in force in the next seven days.

    Yugoslavia calls for emergency UN Security Council session

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Yugoslav permanent representative to the UN Ambassador Vladislav Jovanovic Sunday sent a letter to UN Security Council President Arnoldo Manuel Listre of Argentina and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan calling for an emergency Security Council session due to the genocide terrorist attacks staged by the terrorist ethnic-Albanian KLA on the northern, predominantly Serb-populated part of Kosovska Mitrovica, a town in Kosovo and Metohia, the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

    Ambassador Jovanovic underscored in the letter that the planned and organised attacks by ethnic-Albanian terrorists had already had tragic consequences and taken human lives, and called on the Security Council urgently to take most energetic measures to put an immediate end to the attacks by ethnic-Albanian terrorists on the unprotected Serbian population and prevent far-reaching consequences.

    The behaviour of members of the British and German KFOR contingents is especially disturbing, as they have not only been passive but have actually encouraged criminal attacks by terrorist groups of the so-called KLA, designed to drive the Serbian population from their homes. The attack on Kosovska Mitrovica is part of an obvious scenario of the ethnic-Albanian terrorists to cleanse all of Kosovo and Metohia of Serbs and create an ethnically pure state on the territory of Serbia's southern province.

    Ambassador Jovanovic stressed that the dramatic developments in Kosovska Mitrovica were a consequence of the systematic violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the Military-Technical Agreement, the UNMIK and KFOR mandates and, especially, the obligation envisaged under Resolution 1244 to disarm and demilitarise the so-called KLA. He said that the violations made possible the terror pursued against the Serbian and other non-Albanian population, in which even heavy weapons are used, to continue daily.

    Apart from the letter sent to the UN Security Council President and Secretary General by the Yugoslav permanent representative to the UN, representatives of the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry have had talks with representatives of the UN Security Council member-countries, in which they called for an energetic and principled Security Council action to ensure a consistent implementation of Resolution 1244 and eliminate the daily terrorist operations which are taking place under the UN auspices, the statement said.

    Yugoslav committee for Co-operation with UNMIK releases statement

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    The Yugoslav Committee for co-operation with the UN mission in Kosovo and Metohia (UNMIK) Sunday held an emergency session in connection with the escalation of the ethnic-Albanian terrorism in Kosovska Mitrovica and most energetically protested against the destabilisation of the situation in the town.

    "Although we have warned the UNMIK and KFOR that ethnic-Albanian terrorists and separatists were preparing an attack on Kosovska Mitrovica, no adequate security measures have been taken," the Committee said in a released statement.

    Regrettably, it has been shown once again that the UNMIK and KFOR continue to tolerate and condone extremist ethnic-Albanian groupings, the statement set out.

    The latest ethnic-Albanian attack on Kosovska Mitrovica, in no way provoked by Serbs, reveals that the actual intention of the ethnic-Albanian separatists is ethnically to cleanse Kosovo and Metohia, not shunning numerous crimes and genocide in the presence of UN representatives. At the same time, the attack is proof that the terrorist KLA has not been disarmed and has won the support of a part of the international community for its actions through its transformation into the Kosovo Protection Corps, the statement said.

    The Yugoslav Committee energetically demands that the UNMIK and KFOR take all necessary measures to arrest the instigators of the unrest, terror, violence, killings, abductions and the like and the UNMIK and KFOR stabilise the situation in Kosovska Mitrovica and other parts of Kosovo and Metohia in the shortest possible time, the statement set out.

    Yugoslav letter to UN Security Council on violations of resolution 1244

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    The international community is well aware that the grave situation in Serbia's Kosovo and Metohia province is a consequence of the failure of the local United Nations mission, since facts which indicate this are more than obvious.

    Consequently, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has yet again reacted by pointing out who is violating Resolution 1244, and how.

    The latest government letter to the UN Security Council lists precisely and with irrefutable arguments all the resolution points, which have been violated most grossly.

    Head of the permanent Yugoslav mission sent the letter to the UN, Ambassador Vladislav Jovanovic, to UN Security Council President Arnoldo Listre and Secretary General Kofi Annan on Saturday.

    It unequivocally states that leading figures of the UN mission are responsible for the chaos in this southern Serbian province, in particular the secretary-general's High Representative Bernard Kouchner.

    Point by point, the letter shows the disastrous steps taken by the international community which have led into chaos - from failing to meet its obligation to disarm the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, to the complete failure to establish a secure environment for all Kosovo citizens.

    "As a result, terrorism in the province has escalated at an unprecedented pace, so that the number of terrorist attacks since the arrival of KFOR and UNMIK increased 11-fold. 4,249 terrorist attacks, mainly against Serbs and other non-Albanians have been committed in the period since June 12, 1999 to date, in which 889 persons have been killed, 784 wounded and 834 abducted," said the letter.

    The letter gives details and facts about brutal terrorist attacks in the latest period when they have launched a new wave of terror.

    By turning a blind eye to everything the terrorists did and are doing in Kosovo and Metohia, the international security and civilian missions have not escaped responsibility. On the contrary, such actions have contributed to the expulsion of 350,000 Serbs, Montenegrins, Romanies, Muslims, ethnic Turks, Goranians, and other non-Albanians from the province.

    The letter proceeds to give a long list of mistakes made by Kouchner and descriptions of his unprecedented actions, showing that the mission head is the most responsible for developments in the province.

    The series of so-called regulations, which he has imposed, are aimed at separating Kosovo and Metohia from the constitutional, legal, economic, customs, monetary, and banking systems of Yugoslavia and Serbia. Kouchner has thus acted contrary to the stand clearly taken by UN Security Council members - to preserve and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia.

    By constructing military bases and conducting military exercises in the sovereign territory of Yugoslavia without the consent of the Yugoslav government, the KFOR is in flagrant violation of the relevant resolution and provides support to Kosovo terrorists and separatists, destabilising in that way the entire region, the letter said.

    The letter came after council members announced a press statement after consultations held on Friday, in which they reiterated the council's determination and resolve to implement Resolution 1244 consistently and in its entirety.

    The Security Council has set a new closed session for Wednesday, Feb 16, to discuss the situation in Kosovo and Metohia.

    Vukicevic: International forces responsible

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    The attack on Kosovska Mitrovica is part of the scenario of ethnic Albanian terrorists and separatists, planned over a long time period and postponed until circumstances were more favourable, Yugoslav Committee for Co-operation with the UN President Stanimir Vukicevic said in Pristina on Sunday.

    It is hopefully clear even to the international forces at this point that the objective of ethnic Albanians is to cleanse all Kosovo and Metohia of Serbs and create an ethnically pure state in the territory of this southern Serbian province. "Unfortunately, all the warnings we gave to the KFOR and UNMIK leaderships were not taken seriously," Ambassador Vukicevic said.

    All the responsibility for the bloodshed in Kosovska Mitrovica rests with the leadership of the peace forces, which has become especially evident after French troops received alleged reinforcements from German, Italian and British troops. Ethnic Albanians took this decision and move to mean logistics support, and the French troops' standing aside was taken as a sign to launch an action of total cleansing of this part of Kosovo and Metohia of all that is Serb, Vukicevic concluded.

    Cuse: UN Security Council must react immediately

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    Kosovo and Metohia Temporary Executive Council member and Democratic Reform Party of Kosovo Albanians President Sokolj Cuse received representatives of the Turkish news agency Hurriyet and Danish reporters in Pristina on Sunday.

    Cuse said he was deeply concerned about the further course of the international mission in this southern Serbian province, and said the UN Security Council should meet immediately to take serious steps to stop an escalation of the violence.

    If this does not happen, a direct consequence will be an escalation of terrorism in the entire region, which will lead to the destabilisation of the Balkans and Europe, for which the United Nations Security Council will be solely responsible, Cuse said.

    French KFOR troops are in extremely difficult position, minister Vedrine

    (Borba daily, 15. 2. 2000)

    French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said Monday, a day after heavy clashes between French KFOR troops and ethnic Albanians in Kosovska Mitrovica, that the French troops in that Kosovo and Metohia town were in an "extremely difficult situation."

    Minister Vedrine told RTL radio that French troops had been deployed in Kosovska Mitrovica "as it was known that the situation would be extremely complicated" in that town.

    Kosovska Mitrovica is divided into the northern; predominantly Serb populated part and the southern, where ethnic Albanians mostly live.

    The French Foreign Minister set out that the mandate of the KFOR was "to safeguard the rights of the Serbs who have remained in Kosovo."

    Vedrine rejected the accusations that the French KFOR troops in Kosovska Mitrovica were favouring Serbs.

    The accusations were launched in the U.S. press last week in the form of claims that the French troops had declined to help the UN policemen and ethnic Albanians who were injured in clashes in Kosovska Mitrovica on the night of Feb. 3-4.

    The French Foreign Ministry has rejected the accusations as unfounded and ill-intentioned and published figures showing that the northern KFOR sector, which is under the French command, is relatively the most secure one in Kosovo and Metohia, i.e., that the number of killings and abductions there has been significantly smaller than in the other sectors.

    Ethnic-Albanians, using sniper rifles, fired at French troops in Kosovska Mitrovica on Sunday.

    In the subsequent clashes, French troops killed one and wounded four of the ethnic-Albanian attackers.

    Two French troops and four Serbs were wounded.

    Village Sentries in Merdare

    (Danas, 15. 2. 2000)

    Merdare – Since the incessant fire and detonations can be heard from the Kosovo side, the villagers of Merdare, administrative border with Serbia, are forced to keep sentries around the clock.

    The shootings and the detonations became even more frequent these days and the sentries had to follow.

    It is not clear whether the Albanians are "only" raising the psychological pressure or they actually prepare themselves for the new attacks. (Beta) (*)

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