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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

March 31, 2000

  • Kosovo Albanian terrorists attack Serb house in Obilic
  • Cernice near Gnjilane: 30 Albanians Attacked Nebojsa Petkovic
  • Villages in Kosovska Vitina Municipalities: Terrorists burning down Serbian Estates
  • Since 1998, 1,200 persons kidnapped in Kosovo and Metohia
  • Serbian Patriarchate: Film "Crucified Kosovo" on Internet
  • Registration of Kosovo and Metohia population by OSCE illegal
  • Serbs refuse registration of the population
  • Serbs in North of Kosovo and Metohia Urge Return of Expelled People
  • Kouchner: Kosovo Elections in Autumn
  • UNHCR official: Deportation of Albanians from Germany Increases Crime in Kosovo
  • Trial of murder suspect of Russian KFOR soldier starts
  • No proof of Yugoslav Army movements on Kosovo border
  • Representative Body of USA Congress: No Retreat
  • Conflict KFOR vs. "KLA" about to Happen
  • Bil Clinton: Kosovo Needs Time
  • Skopje: KFOR Soldier Died of AIDS
  • KOSOVO ALBANIAN TERRORISTS ATTACK SERB HOUSE IN OBILIC

    (Borba daily, 31. 3. 20000

    Ethnic Albanian terrorists carried out an armed attack on a Serb house in Obilic late Tuesday, said the Committee for Human Rights Protection of this town, located about 30 km north of Pristina, Serbia's Kosovo and Metohia province.

    The terrorists used automatic weapons. The Serb family fled from the house to their next-door neighbours.

    After riddling the house with bullets, the ethnic Albanian terrorists set it on fire.

    Members of the international force KFOR and UN civilian mission UNMIK were immediately informed about the incident, but, by Wednesday noon, they have not come to the area to investigate, the committee said.

    CERNICE NEAR GNJILANE: 30 ALBANIANS ATTACKED NEBOJSA PETKOVIC

    (Politika daily, 31. 3. 2000)

    Gnjilane, March 30th (Tanjug) - A group of 30 Albanians attacked Nebojsa Petkovic in the multiethnic village of Cernice, near Gnjilane, reported radio-amateurs.

    Petkovic has been attacked before the curfew began - around 9.00 p.m., and he managed to escape and run to his house; afterwards the attackers escaped as well.

    Another group of Albanians set on fir the house of a Serb, Sava Simijonovic around 9.00 p.m. as well. (*)

    VILLAGES IN KOSOVSKA VITINA MUNICIPALITIES: TERRORISTS BURNING DOWN SERBIAN ESTATES

    (Politika daily, 31. 3. 2000)

    Kosovska Vitina, March 30th (Tanjug) - Last night, Slobodan Djizic's stable and adjacent buildings were set on fire in Mogila village. Material damage was considerable for huge amount of cattle food had been stored in these objects.

    The arson attack has been carried out by Albanian extremists, who began organised terrorising of the Serbs after Sadat Fejza, the local terrorist came out of KFOR prison.

    Abandoned house of Svetozar Stankovic has been broken into; afterwards they set his stable on fire. After Svetozar has been severely beaten up a month ago, he moved out form his native village since he did not feel safe there any more.

    The stables of Stojan Stankovic and Zivka Sumakovic from the hamlet Sumaci has been also set on fire. Consequently, the families left the area.

    KFOR has been informed about all the three cases, but their investigation ran no further than stating the facilities had been set on fire. (*)

    SINCE 1998, 1,200 PERSONS KIDNAPPED IN KOSOVO AND METOHIA

    (Borba daily, 31. 3. 20000

    The Association of Families of Kidnapped Persons in Serbia's Kosovo and Metohia province has documents on 1,200 persons kidnapped by members of the ethnic Albanian terrorist organisation, the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), from 1998 until the present, association members told a press conference on Wednesday.

    Many of the association members have personally been kidnapped or abused by the KLA.

    "According to our research, 20 percent of all the kidnapped were abducted before the NATO aggression (March-June, 1999), five percent during the aggression itself, and as many as 75 percent since the arrival of the UN mission in Kosovo and Metohia in June last year," association head Ranko Djinovic said.

    He specified that 472 cases of kidnapping have been completely processed, with all data and witness statements, many of whom wish to remain anonymous since "they still live in Kosovo and Metohia and are mostly of other nationalities."

    "We have solid evidence for the 472 cases that the people are alive and in camps, which we have determined are of three kinds and divided according to regions controlled by various groups for private interests, most often money," Djinovic said.

    The association will present the lists of kidnapped persons to the international force KFOR and UN civilian mission UNMIK and ask them to conduct investigations at the given locations, he said. The association has also knowledge that there are mobile camps, but also permanent ones, and that former members of the KLA control them, now members of the so-called Kosovo Protection Corps.

    The association has teams for co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNMIK, KFOR, as well as non-governmental and other organisations, said Djinovic, since the objective is to discover the fate of the kidnapped, regardless of nationality.

    SERBIAN PATRIARCHATE: FILM "CRUCIFIED KOSOVO" ON INTERNET

    (Borba daily, 31. 3. 20000

    The new edition of the film "Crucified Kosovo," a documented testimony about the devastation of Serbian shrines, monasteries and monuments, can be seen on the Internet presentation of the Serbian Orthodox Church (www.spc.yu), the church information service said on Thursday.

    "Crucified Kosovo" speaks about how the international mission in Kosovo-Metohia allegedly brought peace and defended human and other rights.

    In the past eight months alone, in spite of the presence of nearly 40,000 KFOR and UN civilian mission members, more than 85 Serbian Orthodox shrines, churches and monasteries were levelled, damaged or desecrated, the statement said.

    The 35-minute film with images of destroyed or damaged Serbian shrines, monasteries and monuments, traces of a thousand years of Serbian existence in Kosovo and Metohia, was recently made upon the order of the Raska Prizren Diocese.

    REGISTRATION OF KOSOVO AND METOHIA POPULATION BY OSCE ILLEGAL

    (Borba daily, 31. 3. 20000

    Spokesman for the Serb National Forum for the Kosovska Mitrovica district Nikola Kabasic said Wednesday that Serbs would agree to no registration of the population in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's province announced by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) unless all Serbs expelled from the province returned to it.

    Kabasic said that the registration of the population at this point would only reflect the current state of affairs and would legalise all that ethnic Albanian extremists and the international community had done in the province over the past nine months.

    "Two thirds of the province's Serb population or at least 250,000 Serbs have been expelled from Kosovo and Metohia and we are nevertheless expected to take part in some registration," he said.

    SERBS REFUSE REGISTRATION OF THE POPULATION

    (Serbia info, 31. 3. 2000)

    March 30, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, March 30th (Tanjug) - Spokesman for the Serb National Forum for the Kosovska Mitrovica district Nikola Kabasic said Wednesday that Serbs would agree to no registration of the population in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's province announced by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) unless all Serbs expelled from the province returned to it.

    Kabasic said that the registration of the population at this point would only reflect the current state of affairs and would legalise all that ethnic Albanian extremists and the international community had done in the province over the past nine months.

    "Two thirds of the province's Serb population or at least 250,000 Serbs have been expelled from Kosovo and Metohia and we are nevertheless expected to take part in some registration," he said.

    Serbian population in the villages of Kosovska Mitrovica region - Gojbulja, Slatina, Banjska, Grace, Miroce, Priluzje, Banja and Suvo Grlo - is living on reservations. They can go from village to village only escorted by KFOR, cannot cultivate the land, food and medical supplies reach them irregularly, while school instructions are being given in very difficult conditions.

    SERBS IN NORTH OF KOSOVO AND METOHIA URGE RETURN OF EXPELLED PEOPLE

    (Borba daily, 31. 3. 20000

    Serbs in the north of Kosovo and Metohia, Kosovska Mitrovica included, will boycott the registration of the population and consider it illegal if international officials do not first adopt a clearly-defined plan on the return of all people who have been expelled from the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's province, a local Serb official said Thursday.

    Spokesman for the Serb National Forum for the Kosovska Mitrovica district Nikola Kabasic said that international officials were making wrong moves by insisting on the registration of Kosovo and Metohia's population in order to make it possible to hold elections in the province in the autumn of 2000, and on the Serbs' participation in Kosovo's provisional administrative council.

    At the same time, they are trying to present in the positive light the activity by the UN peacekeeping force KFOR and the UN civilian mission (UNMIK) that has proved to be unsuccessful, he said.

    "We take the view that, now that nine months have passed since the start of the major exodus of Serbs and other non-Albanians from Kosovo and Metohia, it is high time a clearly-defined plan on the return of people expelled from the province were adopted. To begin to implement such one project would convince the Serbs of the international community's good intentions," he said.

    Until then, Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica and other localities in the north of Kosovo and Metohia will boycott the registration, consider it illegal and illegitimate and will refuse to join the Kosovo provisional administrative council, he said.

    According to figures released by the Forum, Serbs have been expelled from 34 villages in the Vucitrn area that belongs to the district, since the deployment of international presence to Kosovo and Metohia.

    Over the past nine months, 23 Serbs have been killed in Kosovska Mitrovica, while 28 Serbs, one Moslem and two Romanies have been abducted. Also, at least 70 Serbs have been wounded in ethnic Albanian terrorist attacks.

    Residents of the town's northern section have for nine months been living in conditions of permanent crisis and daily tensions, with local Serbs deciding to defend their families and property by themselves.

    Serbs in the villages of Gojbulja, Slatina, Banjska, Grace, Miroce, Priluzje, Banja and Suvo Grlo, all in the Kosovska Mitrovica district, lead a ghetto-like life.

    They can visit other villages only if escorted by KFOR but cannot do any fieldwork. Food and medicine are delivered to these villages with difficulty and on an irregular basis, while school classes are held under extremely difficult conditions.

    These villages have no electricity, water supply or phone links and are the target of continual pressure by ethnic Albanian extremists.

    KOUCHNER: KOSOVO ELECTIONS IN AUTUMN

    (B2 - 92, 31. 3. 2000)

    Paris, Thursday Elections will be held in Kosovo in the autumn regardless of whether Serbs displaced from the province were able to vote or not, the head of the United Nations civilian mission, Bernard Kouchner, said today. Kouchner said that he hoped that displaced Serbs would be able to register to vote from their present place of residence, but that the elections would not be abandoned if they could not. Kouchner, addressing the French Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission in Paris added that he hoped the international community would find a democratic solution for Kosovo's two million inhabitants despite the difficulties which existed.

    UNHCR OFFICIAL: DEPORTATION OF ALBANIANS FROM GERMANY INCREASES CRIME IN KOSOVO

    (Politika daily, 31. 3. 2000)

    Pristina, March 30th

    UNHCR expressed concern for the Germans' decision to deport thousands of Albanians to Kosovo. Out of 160 Albanians, transported by Albanian plane from Carlsrue to Pristina, 50 have criminal records, the rest did not have permission to reside in Germany.

    The individuals in question had their fingerprints taken by UN police and have been released to be free, and UNIP does not have their criminal records, stated Capetain Wagner UNIP official. Germany has deported them in a rather careless manner, he added.

    UNHCR spokesman Peter Kessler stated:

    "I am very concerned about the forcible return of Albanians", and underlined "Kosovo has a quite restricted capacity of absorbing the newcomers". "Deportation of the persons accused of committing crimes is a rather dangerous one, since the appropriate police and judicial system does not exist in Kosovo". [...]

    According to last year estimation of German Ministry of Interior, 180.000 Albanians were recorded to be there. 14.614 arrived during the NATO air raids. (Tanjug) (*)

    TRIAL OF MURDER SUSPECT OF RUSSIAN KFOR SOLDIER STARTS

    (Borba daily, 31. 3. 20000

    UNMIK spokesman in Kosovska Mitrovica told reporters that in the district court in Kosovska Mitrovica started on Thursday the preliminary hearing of an ethnic Albanian, suspected of murdering a Russian KFOR soldier.

    He added that data was gathered from witnesses on Thursday.

    The Russian soldier was wounded in early March, outside the municipal building in Srbica, a place inhabited by ethnic Albanians.

    NO PROOF OF YUGOSLAV ARMY MOVEMENTS ON KOSOVO BORDER

    (B2 - 92, 31. 3. 2000)

    Pristina, Thursday The Joint Commission for implementation of the military-technical agreement between KFOR and the Yugoslav Army yesterday determined that there was no evidence for army vehicles having entered the Kosovo border security zone on March 25. KFOR spokesman Philip Anido said today that Joint Commission representatives had investigated the border area but found no trace of tank movements in the area where the multinational Brigade North had reported seeing the vehicles.

    REPRESENTATIVE BODY OF USA CONGRESS: NO RETREAT

    (Glas javnosti, 31. 3. 2000)

    Washington - Representative Body of the USA Congress refused a proposal that American troops retreat from Kosovo, unless the European allies began increasing the funds for the peacekeeping mission.

    The score was close: 219 vs. 200 against the proposal. The Congress members refused the document. In case of being accepted it would mean the retreat of US soldiers in June. (*)

    CONFLICT KFOR VS. "KLA" ABOUT TO HAPPEN

    (Glas javnosti, 31. 3. 2000)

    Uzice

    - Throughout the past 10 years, not a one of the basic problems ending up in conflicts in former Yugoslavia has been solved. The fact is relevant for Croatia, FRY, BH and Macedonia. Every reason (economic, social, political, territorial etc) that caused the conflict, actually, still exists, stated Miroslav Hadzic, director of Civilian-Military Centre in Belgrade.

    - De facto, the Bosnian SFOR has trapped itself, since it has not been able to solve none of the crucial problems. They cannot withdraw, for there is a danger of conflicts arising again.

    KFOR found itself in a position to have the "KLA", their war rabbit, turning against them. There is a great jeopardy of conflict taking place between them, in which "KLA" would have the advantage, since technological achievements cannot be efficacious against guerrillas, not to mention that this could inflame the whole region, concludes Hadzic.

    BIL CLINTON: KOSOVO NEEDS TIME

    (Danas, 31. 3. 2000)

    Washington - American president Bil Clinton called international community to continue its work in Kosovo, although he admitted it would take time to overcome "fear and hatred", which still divide the Albanian and the Serbian community. [...]

    Although a year passed after the NATO intervention against FRY, Clinton admitted that normalisation of the life cannot be established "within a year or two": it will take time.

    He also admitted, "some radical elements within Kosovo Albanian community, continue to perform some actions we do not approve of" and added he denounces violence being carried out against Serbs. However, it was added, "some Serbs try to provoke incidents in northern part of Kosovo". (Beta, AFP) (*)

    SKOPJE: KFOR SOLDIER DIED OF AIDS

    (Glas javnosti, 31. 3. 2000)

    Skopje (Tanjug) - Skopje daily "Macedonia Today" alleges that KFOR soldier, S.M. from Zimbabwe died of AIDS few days ago at the Surgical Clinic in Skopje.

    The journal editorial staff has complete documents on that, as it is stated in the article titled "KFOR spreads AIDS Through Macedonia"

    The soldier S.M. has been transported from Kosovo to Macedonia on March 22nd. Although the KFOR did not enclose the necessary documents, the doctors at Clinic suspected of S.M. having AIDS, tested him and received the positive HIV test. (*)

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