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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 1, 2000

  • Group of Albanians attacks Serb near Gnjilane
  • Ethnic Albanian extremists torch another Serb house in Orahovac
  • Group of Albanians attacks Nebojsa Petkovic
  • 180 Kosovo Refugees Expelled from EPS Resort Houses in Budva (Montenegro): Night Outdoors
  • Plemetina near Vucitrn: Norwegian KFOR Arrested Two Serbs after Anonymous Albanian Call
  • KFOR's Statement: French Lieutenant Killed in Kosovska Mitrovica
  • After IKAC Regulations, Sava Janjic Warns: Kosovo Goes Towards Independence
  • US Warns Albanian Extremists to Lay down Weapons
  • Kosovo and Metohia SNC Decides on Sunday: Serbs Entering Interim Kosovo AC?
  • Pentagon decides to send reinforcements to KFOR
  • Yugoslav Army arrests KFOR troops
  • SNF office opened in Belgrade
  • Presevo Mayor Jailed for Three Months
  • Dienstbier's report on Kosovo and Metohia situation causes shock
  • Kouchner pursues anti-Serbian policy
  • There are Albanian camps for Serbs in Kosovo-Metohia
  • Vukicevic - Kosovo and Metohia problems accumulating since arrival of KFOR, UNMIK
  • Sainovic: Serbs in Kosovo-Metohia a contradiction for Kouchner

    (Borba daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    In the multiethnic village of Cernice, not far from Gnjilane, in east Kosovo and Metohia, a group of some thirty Albanians attacked Serb Nebojsa Petkovic in his front yard, local radio amateurs reported on Thursday.

    Petkovic was attacked Wednesday evening, before the curfew - around 21.00, and, radio amateurs reported, he managed to get away, while the assailants ran away.

    Also, a group of Albanians at the same time set fire to an abandoned house belonging to Serb Sava Simijonovic.


    (Serbia info, 1. 4. 2000)

    March 31, 2000 - Orahovac, March 31st - Ethnic Albanian extremists torched early on Friday a house belonging to a Serb in Orahovac, Kosovo and Metohia, radio enthusiasts reported. Fortunately, there were no casualties due to the fact that the house, which was consumed by the fire, was deserted, the radio enthusiasts said.

    Neighbours saw the fire and called fire brigade who managed to bring it under control around 5 a.m. local time. The house is located right on the line of division between the Serb- and ethnic Albanian-populated sections of Orahovac, the radio enthusiasts said.


    (Serbia info, 1. 4. 2000)

    March 31, 2000 - Gnjilane, March 30th (Tanjug) - In the multiethnic village of Cernice, not far from Gnjilane, a group of some thirty Albanians attacked Nebojsa Petkovic in his yard, local radio amateurs reported on Thursday.

    Petkovic was attacked on Wednesday evening, before the curfew - around 9.00 p.m., and, as radio amateurs reported, he managed to escape, while the attackers ran away.

    At the same time, a group of Albanians set fire on an abandoned house belonging to Sava Simijonovic


    (Danas, 1. 4. 2000)

    Budva - More than 180 refugees, among whom 46 children and very old and sick people, from Pec, Istok, Klina, Vitomirica and Djakovica spent last night outdoors, under blue sky in front of the "Elektroprivreda, Serbia" resort houses in Becici, near Budva.

    Bishop of Budim Joanikius, who spent the night together with the refugees, said that another expulsion of 120 refugees from "Elektrodistribucija, Kraljevo" resort houses in Tivat, is being prepared.

    "Judicial decision has been reached even in this case, so it is more than likely, that Kosovo refugees will be expelled from Tivat as well", said Bishop Joanikius. "Many children, the old and the sick spent the night outdoors, in the streets. (Srna) (*)


    (Politika daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica, March 31st

    After an anonymous Albanian call, KFOR soldiers have arrested Branko Stanojevic (22) and Igor Stanimirovic (20) from Plemetina, for suspicion of, supposedly, breaking into a car.

    "Norwegian KFOR soldiers have searched houses of Cedomir Vuksanovic and Nikola Tripkovic in Plemetina under excuse of searching for the hidden weapons. They took away golden jewellery they found in Vuksanovic's house, and only after UNMIK's report and international policemen from Ireland and the USA insistence, did the Norwegians give back the stolen jewellery to Vuksanovic", stated Ljubomir Jankovic, the village representative. (*)


    (Politika daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica, March 31st (Beta)

    "French lieutenant, a member of the Third Marine-Paratrooper Regiment, was murdered last night in the French KFOR camp, in the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica. He was killed by "a professional French soldier", stated spokesman of the Multinational Forces in the Northern Sector to Beta.

    The name of the murdered soldier has not been revealed. The French forces will investigate the case, but a parallel investigation will be carried out in France as well. (*)


    (Glas javnosti, 1. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - Interim Kosovo Administrative Council has adopted draughts for creating ombudsman, issuing travelling documents, forming post and telecommunication departments and the balanced Kosovo budget.

    When signed by Bernard Kouchner the regulations will be regarded as Laws.

    Hieromonk Fr Sava commented the significance and the seriousness of these regulations:

    "Regulations concerning travelling documents for the Kosovo Albanians are directly contrary to the SC UN Resolution 1244, which clearly states, until its status was defined alternatively, Kosovo has wide autonomy, but, within the FRY.

    The problem with passports directly concerns sovereignty of our country and there should have been a mechanism made with the FRY authorities, in order that regular FRY passports be granted for Kosovo Albanians as well. Aforementioned should be valid if they could prove they were FRY nationals, and have lived in FRY before the war.

    Unfortunately, to issue the passports without previously having checked the citizenship and other aforementioned facts, renders possibility to legalise status for many Kosovo citizens, as well as for a large number of illegally inhabited Albanians from Albania or Macedonia. The UN Resolution is thus overtly broken and a dangerous precedent is being introduced, which directly leads towards creation of a new and entirely independent country in which all Albanians who moved in Kosovo illegally, will be proclaimed Kosovo nationals.

    However, on the other hand nothing is being done to provide return of the Serbs and the safety conditions for them", emphasises Fr Sava Janjic. According to his words, the FRY Government should direct a sharp protest to UN Security Council. (*)


    (B2 - 92, 1. 4. 2000)

    Washington, Friday The US Administration today warned Albanian extremists in southern Serbia that they would face KFOR action if they did not lay down their arms. US State Department spokesman James Foley noted that KFOR had already intervened in mid-March in eastern Kosovo when it confiscated weapons from Albanian extremists and said that the international peacekeepers were ready for any similar reaction in the future. "We are ready to respond to any provocation," said Foley, adding that other NATO countries were also concerned about the matter.

    Washington has put its troops where its mouth is in terms of closing down the border between Kosovo and southern Serbia. Defence Secretary William Cohen has ordered that another 125 soldiers be added to the US KFOR contingent with the sole assignment of securing the border crossing in the Presevo Valley.


    (Glas javnosti, 1. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - Kosovo and Metohia SNC will reach a decision on Sunday's meeting (April 2) about Serbs' entering the Interim Kosovo AC, as observer, stated Bishop of Raska and Prizren Artemy Radosavljevic.

    Radmila Trajkovic will be a representative, if the decision is in favour of entering the Council. (*)


    (Borba daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    The Pentagon said late Thursday that it would send another 125 troops to Kosovo and Metohia to reinforce the UN peacekeeping force KFOR in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's southern province.

    The move is said to be prompted by the need to step up patrols near the line of the U.S. sector where ethnic Albanian extremists do whatever they want to and whence they cross the province's administrative boundary and launch attacks in Serbian localities situated close to it, which has also been confirmed by KFOR officials.

    The State Department warned armed ethnic Albanian extremists on Thursday that it would not tolerate their actions and crossings of Kosovo and Metohia's boundary. The warning was, however, very softly-worded.

    Referring to the Pentagon's decision to send reinforcements to the province, Pentagon Spokesman Kenneth Bacon failed, however, to condemn provocative actions by armed ethnic Albanian separatists.


    (B2 - 92, 1. 4. 2000)

    Podgorica, Friday Yugoslav Army soldiers yesterday arrested several KFOR members at the Carine checkpoint near Rozaje, the Podgorica press writes today. The troops were released after two hours of detention when the arresting soldiers established that they were Russians.


    (Borba daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    The Serbian National Forum (SNF) of Kosovska Mitrovica district has opened an office in Belgrade for registering Serbs who are interested in returning to Kosovo-Metohia, foremost, to the region of Metohia, on the axis Klina-Istok-Pec.

    In that office, SNF executive board president Oliver Ivanovic said, will work people who will give all the necessary information to those interested in returning and who will gather data from them.


    (B2 - 92, 1. 4. 2000)

    Presevo, Friday The president of the local government of the southern Serbian municipality of Presevo, Riza Halimi was today sentenced to three months' imprisonment for obstructing an authorised official in his duties. Halimi was convicted on March 29 after being accused of preventing the deputy commander of the Presevo police station, Dragan Mitic, from carrying out his duties during a civil protest in the town in March 1998.

    Mitic told the court that Halimi had arrived at the scene of the protest while police were intervening, and took his elbow, insisting on speaking to him, thus preventing him from supervising police as they dispersed the protesters.


    (Borba daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    A report on the situation in Kosovo and Metohia a year after NATO's aggression on Yugoslavia by the UN human rights commission's special reporter on former Yugoslavia Jiri Dienstbier has shocked participants in the commission's annual session.

    It is yet to be seen, however, whether this will lead to a greater and more objective engagement of the United Nations and other international factors in the resolution of outstanding problems in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's southern province.

    No ranking UN official has ever spoken of UN mistakes in Kosovo and Metohia and genocidal activity by the ethnic Albanian terrorist organisation calling itself Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) as Dienstbier did.

    In his report, Dienstbier said that the situation in Kosovo and Metohia could hardly be worse. He said that head of the UN civilian mission (UNMIK) Bernard Kouchner had done nothing in the province, stressing that he could no longer do anything there.

    Dienstbier criticised in much the same way the UN peacekeeping force KFOR.

    He said that the situation in the province was not only characterised by ethnic cleansing and murders but also by open tendencies to destabilise the entire region with a view to bringing about the years-old concept of a Greater Albania.

    He called for immediate steps to change such a state of affairs in the province, saying that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and its consistent implementation created the best basis for it. Also, it is vital that UNMIK and in particular KFOR take decisive measures against ethnic Albanian extremists, he said.

    Russia's representative, Assistant Foreign Minister Sergei Ordzhonikidze, spoke much in the same vein. He said that some of the countries objected to Russia's insisting on a multipolar world preferring instead the concept of 'humanitarian interventions.'

    He said that this concept concealed intentions by a number of countries to impose their policy on the entire international community by interfering in other countries' internal affairs. In this context, he referred to the situation in Kosovo and Metohia and NATO's March 24-June 10 1999 aggression on Yugoslavia.

    The aggression on Yugoslavia did not solve a single humanitarian problem, he said adding that, on the contrary, it had destroyed the country's economy and caused countless civilian casualties. He stressed Moscow's stance that universal human rights must be built and promoted on the respect for state sovereignty.

    Dienstbier's and the Russian diplomat's addresses reflect a growing number of reports in the world that the situation in the province has reached the critical point and that, if certain steps are not taken immediately, the situation in the entire Balkans could deteriorate drastically.

    Ethnic Albanian extremists and terrorists are most responsible for the Kosovo and Metohia crisis, while UNMIK and KFOR have shown through their activity to date that they act in collusion with them.


    (Borba daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    Head of the UN Civilian Mission in Kosovo-Metohia Bernard Kouchner unsuccessfully denied on Wednesday in French parliament that his position was anti-Serbian and that the expulsion of 350,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians from Kosovo-Metohia during his mandate - was in fact ethnic cleansing.

    Kouchner told parliamentary foreign policy and defence committees, French media reported on Thursday, that local elections in Kosovo-Metohia would be held without Serbs, "even if Serbian refugees are unable to vote."

    He tried to dismiss accusations about terrorism in Kosovo-Metohia, aimed at creating an ethnically clean Albanian society, assessing that misdoing against Serbs were the result of "the spirit of vengeance, which can be explained, although it cannot be justified."

    The statements came the same day when in Geneva the special UN reporter for human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia Jiri Dienstbier, after staying in Kosovo-Metohia, assessed that in Kosovo-Metohia were not present revenge and vengeance, but unconcealed tendencies for the destabilisation of the region and the 30-year-old idea of creating a greater Albania.

    In Kosovo is underway new ethnic cleansing, a well-designed policy pursued by Albanian extremists, Dienstbier warned, adding that that was confirmed by the fact that almost nowhere, with the exception of Kosovska Mitrovica, are there non-Albanians.

    The transitional UN administration is physically present, but the real power is exercised by the Kosovo Protection Corps and the mafia," he said, assessing that it was nonsense to even think that the "KLA" had been disbanded.


    (Serbia info, 1. 4. 2000)

    March 31, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, March 31st - Spokesman for the Serbian National Forum (SNF) of Kosovska Mitrovica district Nikola Kabasic said on Friday in Kosovska Mitrovica that in Kosovo-Metohia there are camps in which Albanians hold abducted Serbs.

    Kabasic said at a news conference that, according to information so far, camps run by former "KLA" members, now members of the "Kosovo Protection Corps," exist in Vucitrn (10 kilometres south of Mitrovica), in the village Strovce in Vucitrn municipality, and in the villages Glodjani and Izbica in Srbica municipality (central Kosovo).

    According to SNF information, in the region of Mitrovica, 50 Serbs have been kidnapped in the past two years, since the arrival of KFOR (June 1999) - 28, and the fate of the kidnapped is unknown.

    Kabasic said that the list of disappeared had been handed over to the UN officials Jiri Dienstbier, Bernard Kouchner, Sadako Ogata, senior KFOR and UNMIK officers, and that none of them have so far shown a readiness to solve the cases.


    (Borba daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    Stanimir Vukicevic, head of the Yugoslav Committee for Co-operation with UN mission to Kosovo and Metohia said on Thursday that problems in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's province had been accumulating since the arrival of the UN peace-keeping force KFOR and UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

    Vukicevic stressed that Yugoslavia was dissatisfied with the UN military and civilian missions, the violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and decisions made by UNMIK which he said were clearly aimed at breaking off Kosovo and Metohia's all ties with Serbia and Yugoslavia.

    Informing the University Left Committee (KUL) of the latest developments in Kosovo and Metohia, Vukicevic said that non-Albanians and their property were threatened. He pointed to the fact that Kosovo and Metohia's companies had been closed and that this had resulted in an unemployment rate of 70 percent.

    Crime and terrorising occur on a daily basis, while some 350,000 non-Albanians, including 250,000 Serbs and Montenegrins, have fled Kosovo and Metohia since KFOR's deployment to the province. There are practically no Serbs in urban areas except in Kosovska Mitrovica, he said.

    "UNMIK insists on census although we have not approved it but it has done nothing to ensure the return of Serbs, Montenegrins and other non-Albanian refugees to the province nor to send 200,000 Albanian nationals back to their country," Vukicevic said.


    (Borba daily, 1. 4. 2000)

    Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) main board executive council Nikola Sainovic said on Thursday on the occasion of March 24, the first anniversary of NATO's aggression on Yugoslavia, that throughout Serbia, on squares and in streets was condemned the aggression as a manifestation of national mourning for the victims and of pride for the heroic defence and the reconstruction in its wake.

    Sainovic at a regular press conference said that the world "also protested, criticised and analysed." And most analyses once again verified, he added, the failure and collapse of an aggressive policy.

    Calling attention to the activity of the Serbian opposition and the manoeuvres in Kosovo-Metohia, Sainovic assessed that "our fifth column has been placed in the service of KFOR." He recalled that in one village in Kosovo-Metohia, KFOR members unleashed dogs on a group of Serbian civilians , while Kouchner at the same time "commented ingeniously" that UN SC Resolution 1244 on Kosovo-Metohia was contradictory.

    "One hundred thousand Serbs who have remained in Kosovo are a contradiction for Kouchner," Sainovic warned.

    Speaking about the state of the media, Sainovic cited the fact that in 180 municipalities in Serbia there are as many as 670 electronic media, which are operating, although problems arise due to technical and financial irregularities.

    There have been instances of "arrogant lack of discipline" that turned into incidents, which NATO media reports called a campaign for the abolishing of the media in Serbia and served as an alleged argument for fresh pressure on Yugoslavia, he said, recalling that NATO bombed Radio Television Serbia after it destroyed 17 out of 19 transmitters.

    "They killed 17 journalists-technicians when they could no longer retransmit NATO programs," Sainovic said.

    Asked by a journalist about the timing of elections, Sainovic said that this year was a year of local and federal elections and that they would, therefor, be held this year.

    Sainovic, dismissing the accusations of Wesley Clark and George Robertson that Milosevic is isolating Montenegro, said that they were preoccupied by the problems of survival and functioning of NATO and where therefor forced to make up "imaginary attacks," in order to move their troops.

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