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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

March 28, 2000

  • Albanian Terrorists Committed Two Attacks near Bujanovac: With Rocket on Lorry
  • Another explosion in Kosovska Mitrovica
  • KFOR soldiers set dogs on Serbs
  • After explosion six people arrested
  • Serbs held in Concentration Camps in Kosovo: Helsinki Committee
  • Helsinki Board possesses proofs for raising of charges against Besim Cheku: Six concentration camps for kidnapped Serbs
  • "Glas" Reports: Rada Trajkovic Entering Interim Kosovo Administrative Council
  • KFOR Does not Want OSCE's Report about Serbs Moving out from Novo Brdo
  • Ethnic Turks also jeopardised in Kosovo and Metohia
  • French troops confiscate weapons
  • German Soldiers To Be Under Uranium-Dust Protection Programme: Victims Of Their Own Bombs
  • Kosovo Albanians released from prison
  • NATO manoeuvres enter operational phase
  • British Press on "Neutral Kouchner" - Overt Benevolence Towards Albanians
  • Serbia's assistant interior minister - KFOR, UNMIK faced with fiasco
  • Yugoslav committee chief meets with UN high commissioner for refugees
  • ALBANIAN TERRORISTS COMMITTED TWO ATTACKS NEAR BUJANOVAC: WITH ROCKET ON LORRY

    (Glas javnosti, 28. 3. 2000)

    Vranje - Investigating Judge from Vranje County Court, Slavoljub Mihajlovic, stated that Albanian terrorists attacked the Bujanovac municipality twice. Fortunately, there were no wounded people.

    A lorry driven by Aziz Malici has been fired at from bazooka, on Veliki Trnovac - Brezovica road. The driver is from Veliki Trnovac.

    The Albanians thought it was an official vehicle, launched a rocket at it, but the rocket went through the vehicle and ended up exploding in the hill. Unfortunately his co-driver Adnan Malici has been injured.

    The second attack was carried out by the Albanians at 04.20 p.m. on Sunday, at the control post in Konculj, Bujanovac municipality as well. A "ford sierra", owned by a customs-officer, has been parked nearby. The man has been controlling the "BMW" vehicle, heading from Gnjilane to Bujanovac, together with his colleague. The "BMW" vehicle was driven by Selani Dzemailovic, and three grown up Albanians and three children were in it.

    The attack has been carried out from the KFOR controlled territory, but the 12,7 mm calibre bullet only went through the tin and the "ford's" glass destroying the motor. (*)

    ANOTHER EXPLOSION IN KOSOVSKA MITROVICA

    (Serbia info, 28. 3. 2000)

    March 27, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, March 27th (Tanjug) - Last night around 9.30 p.m., a strong explosion was herd in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, in Bosnjacka Mahala residential area, in the vicinity of the Firefighters Club, the reporters learnt in the Serbian National Forum of the area of Kosovska Mitrovica.

    There were no casualties.

    This morning between 7.00 and 10.00 a.m., the members of French KFOR searched the houses in the northern part of Mitrovica, exclusively populated by the Muslims and Albanians, and, according to unofficial data, found a large quantity of arms.

    As the reporters were told, yesterday around 6.30 p.m., a group of some 30 Albanians crossed the eastern bridge to the northern, Serbian, part of the town. The group was not searched by the French KFOR troops

    KFOR SOLDIERS SET DOGS ON SERBS

    (Serbia info, 28. 3. 2000)

    March 27, 2000 - Lipljan, March 26th (Politika) - KFOR soldiers from the Finish contingent set their search dogs on Serbs protesting against the last-night's brutal arrest of Dejan Slavic from the village of Lepine in the Lipljan municipality, who was taken in for an alleged car theft, stated today the local radio-amateurs.

    A large number of residents from Lepine suffered dog bites, and among the seriously injured were Slobodan Rasic, mother of the arrested Dejan, Miroslava Slavic, Mladjan Mitrovic and Zoran Slavic, whom the KFOR soldiers forbid to go to the Russian hospital in Kosovo Polje, where he was not driven until the UNMIK police insisted.

    Lieutenant Peter Ramstel hit Predrag Slavic in the back of his head with a rifle butt, who is currently under medical treatment in a hospital due to the received injuries and bone fractures.

    Serbs from the surrounding villages, after the brutal beating, held an assembly and decided to fight for the people of the highest KFOR command to be dissolved of their duties. Negotiations on this Serb request with the KFOR command started around 3 p.m., and it was concluded that the residents of this village, in the case that the KFOR command does not fulfil these requests, would treat the infamous officers and soldiers as occupiers and would confront them in every way possible, it was added in the report.

    AFTER EXPLOSION SIX PEOPLE ARRESTED

    (Blic daily, 28. 3. 2000)

    Pristina - KFOR soldiers yesterday arrested six people in Kosovska Mitrovica after the explosion of the day before. The explosion occurred in the part of the city under the Serb control. As Srna agency reports, there were no casualties. French KFOR soldiers blocked that part of the city and searched the houses for hidden weapon.

    Yesterday at 4 a.m. south of the central bridge in Mitrovica a firing was heard. Details have not been established so far.

    The evening before "celebration" of anniversary of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began in Kosovo Polje. About 10,000 Albanians gathered downtown. They marched through city streets with lit candles. "They stopped by every Serb house on the right side of Pristina-Pec road, cried threats and oaths and threw stones", "Blic" daily was informed by the Centre for peace and tolerance.

    About 3,000 of Albanian pupils and students from Kosovo Polje gathered yesterday at 11 a.m. for supposed celebration of the change of the name of Tzar Dusan Street.

    In Stimlje hand bombs were thrown on two Serb houses near to KFOR station. Fortunately, however, the bombs have not exploded.

    A Moslem house in Donji Streoc was also attacked by five grenades.

    One Serb from Lepina was arrested after the search of his house performed by Finish KFOR soldiers.

    Barricades on Vodice-Obilic road have been removed since Major Andersen fulfilled requests of local Serbs about increased security, Centre for peace and tolerance reported. The same source reported about attack on Serb houses in Obilic. One house was set on fire while several were attacked by stones.

    SERBS HELD IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS IN KOSOVO: HELSINKI COMMITTEE

    (B2 - 92, 28. 3. 2000)

    Novi Pazar, Monday The Helsinki Committee in Novi Pazar today announced that it had discovered six camps in which Albanians were holding Serb citizens. Committee President Sefko Alomerovic accused Besim Ceku, the brother of Kosovo Protection Corps Commander Agim Ceku, of being the head of what he described as the Kosovo Liberation Army's secret police, adding that there was evidence of him being responsible for the murder of Serbs in Kosovo.

    HELSINKI BOARD POSSESSES PROOFS FOR RAISING OF CHARGES AGAINST BESIM CHEKU: SIX CONCENTRATION CAMPS FOR KIDNAPPED SERBS

    (Blic daily, 28. 3. 2000)

    Novi Pazar - President of Helsinki Board for protection of human rights in New Pazar Sefko Alomerovic said that his organisation had "with no doubt located six concentration camps in which Albanians keep kidnapped Serbs.

    "We also determined the names of some of the people in charge of the camps. We also found out the name of the person, chief of the secret police, who is in charge of all camps in Kosovo", Alomerovic said in his interview with Beta agency. "We have documentation for three cases sufficient for starting of serious investigation. There are witnesses, material proofs. For example two men from Plav were killed at the order of Besim Cheku, brother of Kosovo Protection Corps commander Agim Cheku", Alomerovic says.

    "Cheku was chief of KLA secret police housed in the premises of "Raj Banka" bank in Pec. Alomerovic said that representatives of Helsinki Board informed KFOR officials about the name of the man in charge of the camps. "After that KFOR representatives got very excited and left the office. They wanted to know who gave us all these details".

    Alomerovic says that the Red Cross International Committee has also been informed about the concentration camps. "We suggested to it to initiate the procedure of exchange of all kidnapped persons in the concentration camps in Kosovo with the Albanians held in the prisons in Serbia".

    Helsinki Board also has data about the situation with the Moslems in Kosovo. "Since the arrival of KFOR 65 Moslems have been killed and according to estimations about 100,000 Moslems have been expelled from Kosovo.

    "GLAS" REPORTS: RADA TRAJKOVIC ENTERING INTERIM KOSOVO ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL

    (Glas javnosti, 28. 3. 2000)

    Belgrade - At the end of this week Kosovo and Metohia SNC will propose Dr Rada Trajkovic to be the observer of the Interim Kosovo Administrative Council, as "Blic" found out from the excellently informed circles.

    This information has been also confirmed by Dusan T. Batakovic a SNC adviser and the president of the Council for Democratic Changes.

    - The Serbs from Kosovo, especially from the enclaves southwards from Kosovska Mitrovica, are seeking at least for an indirect way of supervising the IKAC activities and plans, since there are reasons to believe that the Serbs' stances and interests will be ignored completely. (*)

    KFOR DOES NOT WANT OSCE's REPORT ABOUT SERBS MOVING OUT FROM NOVO BRDO

    (Politika daily, 28. 3. 2000)

    Gnjilane, March 27th (Tanjug)

    Tino Valentio Head of Gnjilane Regional OSCE Centre, Human Rights Department demonstratively left the meeting of KFOR and UNMIK with the Serbian representatives today, since he was not allowed to present this report about the problem of the Serbian families leaving Novo Brdo in large numbers.

    KFOR Major Speiser interrupted Valentin while he was submitting the first part of the Serbian exodus taking place from March, 18th: 18 families left the area. Speiser asked him to finish the presentation of his report after the meeting. KFOR was being asked to protect their real estates from the plundering while the Serbs are away.

    Valentin insisted on doing it publicly in the meeting and since he was not allowed to continue, left the session.

    Three days ago armed Albanian (Shqiptar) gangs attacked the Serbian part of Labljane, Novo Brdo municipality. The attack lasted for two hours, but KFOR did not react.

    According to Cernica Serbs testimonies, Albanians have been stoning Serbian children and women. There was a three-year-old child among the attacked. 32 cars owned by Serbs have been stoned in the last two weeks.

    Bekim Hodza and Fatos Hodza caused the severest evil to the Serbs. Despite the fact that the men mentioned have been reported to KFOR and UNMIK, the latter did nothing concerning the matter. (*)

    ETHNIC TURKS ALSO JEOPARDISED IN KOSOVO AND METOHIA

    (Borba daily, 28. 3. 2000)

    Member of Kosovo and Metohia's provisional executive council and leader of the ethnic Albanians' Democratic Reformist Party Sokolj Cuse has received representatives of ethnic Turks and the Turkish theatre in Prizren.

    A statement issued Monday said that the situation in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's southern province remained critical not only for Serbs and Montenegrins but also for members of all other ethnic communities and in particular ethnic Turks.

    Moreover, ethnic Albanians who refuse to back ethnic Albanian extremists are increasingly becoming the target of terrorising organised by chief of the UN civilian mission (UNMIK) Bernard Kouchner, ethnic Albanian terrorist leader Hashim Thaqi, and the UN peacekeeping force KFOR and UNMIK, Cuse said.

    The representatives of the Turkish minority warned against the bad security situation in the Prizren district, in the southwest of Kosovo and Metohia, saying that the ethnic Turks' only chance lay in the restoration of the province's multiethnic character and full equality of all ethnic communities who had lived there before NATO's March 24-June 10 1999 aggression on Yugoslavia.

    The arrival into the Prizren area of a large number of Albanians who have seized houses belonging to Serbs and Montenegrins but also members of other ethnic groups, forcing them to flee the area, has resulted in an explosive situation there.

    FRENCH TROOPS CONFISCATE WEAPONS

    (B2 - 92, 28. 3. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica, Monday French KFOR troops this morning confiscated a number of weapons in the Bosnjacka mahala settlement in northern Kosovska Mitrovica. A representative of French Command in Mitrovica told media that three rocket launchers, one Russian rifle, one automatic rifle and one Kalashnikov had been confiscated. KFOR also said that gunfire had been heard early this morning south of the central bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica but its source had not yet been determined.

    GERMAN SOLDIERS TO BE UNDER URANIUM-DUST PROTECTION PROGRAMME: VICTIMS OF THEIR OWN BOMBS

    (Danas, 28. 3. 2000)

    Belgrade, Bonn - German Defence Ministry has started a programme for protection of German KFOR soldiers from the possible consequences of the uranium ammunition used in last year's NATO bombing on FRY and Kosovo.

    - Any German soldier wishing to undergo medical test, for the fear of getting cancer caused by ammunition with depleted uranium, may do so. Uranium is said to cause cancer, writes Berliner Morgenpost.

    Defence Ministry confirmed precaution measures had been taken against, the so-called uranium dust. The German soldiers are forbidden to approach any of the tanks or other VJ vehicles, under the slightest suspicion of being hit during the NATO campaign.

    The German Demo-Christian opposition accused Defence Minister Rudolph Sarpinga of "deliberately deceiving the public and the Parliament, thus irresponsibly breaking the duty of taking care of the German KFOR soldiers' well-fare.

    The paper cites the Bundesver Health Service last autumn's report, issued by Defence Ministry, that NATO used ammunition with depleted uranium.

    George Robertson NATO Secretary General confirmed last week that uranium missiles had been used for annihilating the targets in FRY and Kosovo. (*)

    KOSOVO ALBANIANS RELEASED FROM PRISON

    (B2 - 92, 28. 3. 2000)

    Pristina, Monday Fifteen Kosovo Albanians were released from Serbian prisons during the weekend, the International Red Cross announced in Pristina today. The Red Cross told media that it had collected the prisoners in Serbia proper and transported them to Kosovo. Quoting incomplete data the International Red Cross said that five hundred Albanian prisoners had so far been released from Serbian prisons while about another 1,500 remained in detention.

    Serbian President Milan Milutinovic has granted presidential pardons to a number of convicted criminals, according to a statement issued by his office today. No further details were given.

    NATO MANOEUVRES ENTER OPERATIONAL PHASE

    (B2 - 92, 28. 3. 2000)

    Pristina, Monday The NATO military exercise Dynamic Response 2000 which began on March 19 entered its operational phase this morning according to KFOR spokesman Hoening Philip. Philip told media in Pristina that troops and vehicles from the strategic reserve forces under the tactical control of KFOR would be included in the exercise in several areas of Kosovo, adding that real ammunition would not be used during the exercise.

    BRITISH PRESS ON "NEUTRAL KOUCHNER" - OVERT BENEVOLENCE TOWARDS ALBANIANS

    (Glas javnosti, 28. 3. 2000)

    Belgrade (Beta) - British journal "Daily Telegraph" writes about the arrest of French Colonel Jean-Michelle Maissane, suspected of giving confidential information to the French Press concerning criticisms of French KFOR on the account of UNMIK Chief Bernard Kouchner.

    Two French newspapers have published articles with military-report facsimile, containing overt embittered attitude of high French officers to the Mr Kouchner's "benevolence" towards Kosovo Albanians.

    "Daily telegraph" states the French Military Security Service suspects Colonel Maissane, withdrawn from the position of legal adviser to French KFOR five weeks ago, of giving the documents to the papers. (*)

    SERBIA'S ASSISTANT INTERIOR MINISTER - KFOR, UNMIK FACED WITH FIASCO

    (Borba daily, 28. 3. 2000)

    Serbia's Assistant Interior Minister Lt. gen. Obrad Stevanovic has said that international forces evidently neither want to prevent ethnic Albanian terrorism in Kosovo and Metohia nor can do that.

    Speaking in an interview published Saturday by the Belgrade daily Borba, Lt. Gen. Stevanovic said that it was absolutely clear that the UN peacekeeping force KFOR and the UN civilian mission to Serbia's southern province (UNMIK) were faced with a fiasco.

    As long as Yugoslav army troops and Serbian police do not return to Kosovo and Metohia, problems in the province will not be seriously dealt with but will become more complex, he said. It is clear to all now that the Kosovo and Metohia issue does not arise from relations between the state and one ethnic community but from the ethnic Albanian terrorists' attitude towards the state, he said.

    Despite the responsibility taken by the United Nations, the security of the people living in Kosovo and Metohia and their property is at this point threatened more than ever before, he said.

    Hundreds of thousands of people expelled from the province, murders, rape, abductions and destruction of property and cultural, historical and religious landmarks speak of it in the most eloquent manner, he said.

    Lawlessness, autocracy and the fact that the Kosovo and Metohia section of Yugoslavia's border is not protected create an ambience in which only ethnic Albanian terrorist and criminal gangs move freely, delivering their criminal justice very often before the very eyes of KFOR and UNMIK personnel, he said.

    It is evident that the international presence neither wants to prevent the ethnic Albanian separatists' terrorist activity and to ensure order, peace and freedom of work and movement to all living in the province, nor can do so, he said.

    "They do not want to do that also because they protect themselves by being in collusion with the terrorists since they are incapable of opposing them. Even if they wanted to do that, they would not be able to in the light of their present formation structure because the Kosovo and Metohia issues are security issues, while the international forces' structure and equipment are basically military in nature although they should be security in nature under the relevant UN Security Council resolution and the Military-Technical Accord, rather than military or peacekeeping in nature," he said.

    Stevanovic said that, instead of protecting those whose lives and property were jeopardised, which was their basic mandate, the international forces were only protecting themselves at this point.

    In the light of all that, it is quite evident that KFOR and UNMIK are faced with a fiasco, he said adding that things were even worse because instead of ensuring security, the force and the mission were a threat to it, he said.

    KFOR and the international community must bear responsibility for such a state of affairs in Kosovo and Metohia, he said.

    "Problems in Kosovo and Metohia will not be seriously addressed as long as the Yugoslav army and Serbian police do not return to the province, but they will only multiply and become more complex," he said.

    He said that this return would unequivocally be in the interests of all, regardless of whether the international forces were deployed to the province or not.

    YUGOSLAV COMMITTEE CHIEF MEETS WITH UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES

    (Borba daily, 28. 3. 2000)

    Head of the Yugoslav committee on co-operation with the UN mission to Kosovo and Metohia Ambassador Stanimir Vukicevic met here Saturday with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata.

    Vukicevic informed Ogata about the situation in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's southern province, stressing that 350,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians had been expelled from the province since the deployment of the UN peacekeeping force KFOR.

    He said that the security situation in Kosovo and Metohia was very bad, saying that the position of the Serbs remaining in the province was critical because they had no conditions for a normal life and a life in safety.

    He said that it was vital to ensure immediately the return of refugees and displaced persons to the province, saying that he expected UNHCR to offer assistance in the process. He said that speedy efforts to this effect must be made because spring fieldwork had already begun so that further delay would mean that the whole year would be lost.

    Ogata said that a large number of people had returned to Kosovo and Metohia, saying that an obligation had been taken to ensure the return of those who were still sheltering outside the province. She said that their return must be carefully organised in the light of the current security situation in the province.

    In this context, she stressed that talks between Serbs and ethnic Albanians would greatly help ensure the safe return of refugees to the province but would also help create normal and safe conditions there in future.

    Ogata informed Vukicevic that she had met with ethnic Albanian representatives earlier in the day and that she had pointed to them the need for the return of Serbs and other non-Albanians because there must be room for all in the province.

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