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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 6, 2000

  • KFOR US Troops Provoke Incident in Sevce Village
  • KFOR Troops Clash with Serbs in South of Kosovo and Metohia
  • After conflict between the Serbs and KFOR soldiers the day before: Americans retreated
  • Incident in Gracanica
  • After 6 Days Spent Outdoors in Montenegro: Kosovo Refugees Placed in Kamenovo
  • Serbian Parties' Reactions to KFOR Actions in Strpce Municipality: Penalty Expedition of US Soldiers
  • Macedonian Border Guards Released
  • UNIP Confirmed: Xjavit Hassani Released - Rejoicing in Vitina
  • USA Welcomed Serbs` Decision
  • Reinhardt: Danger of Armed Conflict Escalations in South of Serbia: No Activities to be Performed from Kosovo
  • On Krajisnik's Arrest:Terror against Serbs Continues
  • Srdja Bozovic, SNP Vice-president: Soc's "Political Nonsense"
  • Poland's Rakowski: Serbs still dying in UN-ruled Kosovo-Metohia

    (Borba daily, 6. 4. 2000)

    Sixteen villagers and 14 KFOR troops were injured on Tuesday in an intervention by UN civilian mission UNMIK police and international force KFOR US troops in the Serb village of Sevce, near Strpce, amateur radio operators said in a report from Serbia's Kosovo and Metohia province late Tuesday.

    At about noon, UNMIK police and KFOR US troops started conducting a search in the village, allegedly looking for furniture and other items stolen from summer cottages in the municipality of Strpce. As soon as the first houses were searched, the villagers realised the troops were not looking for any furniture but for arms.

    The arrest of Zoran Janicevic, and the way the young man was escorted and treated as a war criminal further provoked the Serbs, who immediately rallied in the village.

    The indignant villagers then blocked the road along which the troops had to pass, and about 3,500 Serbs quickly rallied in the area to demand Janicevic's release.

    Reinforcements soon began to arrive in the form of special assault units to assist the blocked troops. The special units came with bloodhound dogs, which they released at the villagers. However, the Serbs managed to fend off the police dogs with sticks.

    The KFOR US troops fired at the rallied citizens with rubber bullets, directly aiming at the people. This inflicted injuries to some villagers, and others were injured when struck by rifle butts.

    On the side of the KFOR, the injured were marines, the amateur radio operators said.


    (Borba daily, 6. 4. 2000)

    Petar Saric of Kosovo and Metohia's Serb National Parliament said Wednesday that a true small war had been waged between local Serbs in the Sirinicka zupa area, on northern slopes of Mt Sar separating the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's province from Macedonia, and over 600 troops of the UN peacekeeping force KFOR late on Tuesday.

    Saric told Yugoslavia's Tanjug news agency that the KFOR troops, equipped with state-of-the-art materiel, had seized the Serb villages of Jazince and Sevce, some 30km southwest of Urosevac, in the southeast of the province, claiming that they had come to disarm local Serbs.

    Having searched two houses, KFOR arrested a Serb and took him to Strpce. Local Serbs, however, soon raised the alarm in all 12 villages in the area; blocking Jazince and Sevce and cutting off the KFOR troops from the force's other units.

    "All Serbs, including women, children and the elderly, took part in the action armed with hay-forks, rakes, hoes and stones," Saric said.

    Reinforcements in armoured personnel carriers were sent from the US base Bondsteel at Urosevac but could not reach the villages by road because of the blockade.

    Only reinforcements transported by helicopters could reach the villages and, consequently, something very much resembling an airborne assault was launched on Sevce resulting in clashes in which scores of KFOR troops and local Serbs were injured, he said.

    The local Serbs allowed the KFOR troops to go only after the arrested Serb had returned to the village.

    Saric said that the local Serbs had been singing patriotic songs urging the US KFOR troops to leave Kosovo and Metohia, saying that Poland's KFOR troops had responded by applauding them.

    "It would be good for ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and Metohia to know that the US might will be defeated and, if they had realised that on time, there would not have been a single casualty, neither a Serb nor an ethnic Albanian, in Kosovo and Metohia," he said.


    (Blic daily, 6. 4. 2000)

    Strpce - After conflict with KFOR the day before, the situation in the villages of Sevce, Gotovusa, Jazince and Strpce was calm, but tension can still be felt among the people. Serb sources report that there was no considerable presence of KFOR in above villages yesterday. Military protection for the regular convoy of Serbs from Strpce going to Macedonia was not organised yesterday.

    American military representatives say that today they are supervising this region from the air.

    In conflicts that lasted ten hours, several tens of Serbs and KFOR soldiers were injured. Conflict occurred when Serbs raised barricades on roads entering the villages in order to protest because of arrest of Zoran Janicevic from Sevce. After he was taken away, Serbs blocked KFOR soldiers in Sevce and requested release of Janicevic.

    After informative conversation Janicevic was returned to the village to tell his neighbours that he would stay in custody two days according to military procedure. In a sudden crowd a group of women took Janicevic from the hands of KFOR soldiers. In conflict that followed, KFOR soldiers used tear gas and dogs against the Serbs. American soldiers fired rubber bullets. Serb replied letting their dogs against KFOR soldiers. Janicevic ran away and has not been arrested again.

    Serb sources reported that 16 people were injured. Representatives of American forces reported that 11 American soldiers were injured. The Pentagon reported that 10 American soldiers were medically treated in military hospital in "Bondsteel" camp, while one soldier with broken arm was transported to Germany for hospitalisation.

    American Ministry of Defence said after yesterday conflicts in the south of Kosovo that American soldiers would no more be involved in "extraordinary situations" outside their sector.


    (Blic daily, 6. 4. 2000)

    Gracanica-Yesterday at 12 a.m. more than l00 Serbs gathered in front of the Monastery of Gracanica to protest because of the entrance of Serb representatives in PAVK and in the Interim Council of Kosovo. They tried to enter the yard of the monastery, but were prevented by the KFOR forces. After a few minor incidents, KFOR allowed a group of 50 people to enter the Monastery, but they were stopped by the prioress Teodora. After a short conversation they agreed to address a written requirement to the Bishop Artemy and Momcilo Trajkovic.

    "Work in Kouchner`s government represents amnesty of NATO`s and KLA`s crimes. It is acceptance of the situation in Kosovo," the letter of protest reads.


    (Glas javnosti, 6. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - After six days that the Kosovo refugees had to spent outdoors, on the streets of Becici and Budva (Montenegro), the drama has been ended by placing them in resort houses in Kamenovo, near Becici.

    As the refugees told reporters, the accommodation has been obtained by endeavours of Metropolitan of Montenegro and Littoral Amphillochius and the Budim Bishop Ioanikius.

    Just to recall, following a demand of "Electrosystem of Serbia" (owner of resort houses in Becici), the Montenegrin special police forces expelled more than 150 Kosovo refugees, among whom 50 children, to the streets. (*)


    (Politika daily, 6. 4. 2000)

    Democratic Party of Serbia - Unprecedented zealousness, by no means ever displayed towards the Kosovo Albanians. Judging from the manner the activity has been executed, we can only say it was a penalty expedition and we sharply denounce it.

    The action carried out in Strpce municipality, for centuries exclusively Serb populated area, presents a confirmation of the NATO Secretary General George Rotbertson's estimation, although he said it shyly: -The mission is about to collapse. Someone from the Mission should impartially look back and unequivocally say who was guilty for its self-evident failure.

    Serbian Renewal Movement - Despite everything, KFOR and UNIP are still arresting Serbs who were anonymously and falsely reported to have broken the law. On the other hand, the Albanians are either walking freely throughout Kosovo and Metohia, or joining the Kosovo Protection Corps.

    It is a premeditated way of carrying out the genocide against non-Albanians. All relevant international factors responsible for the current Kosovo situation must be fully familiarised with the numerous documents proving the statements above. (Tanjug) (*)


    (Borba daily, 6. 4. 2000)

    The Macedonian Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that four border guards, members of the Macedonian Army, "have been released and returned to the country."

    They, the statement said, were abducted by "unidentified persons" on April 1, near the watchtower Ravne, not far from the Kosovo-Metohia part of the Yugoslav-Macedonian border, and taken to Kosovo-Metohia. When the kidnappers found out that the soldiers were members of Macedonian border units, they let them go and they returned with their gear to their country.

    Skopje television A1 announced on Tuesday, citing unofficial sources, that Macedonian border guards were hostages of members of the terrorist "KLA," or of the "Kosovo Protection Corps" and that they were exchanged for Javid Hasani, who was recently arrested in Kosovo-Metohia by KFOR members and extradited him to Macedonian authorities.

    Hasani was wanted under an international warrant, because he ran away from Macedonia two years ago, after wounding a Macedonian policeman. He joined the terrorist "KLA", and now, it was said, he was exchanged for the four Macedonian border guards.

    Hasani will defend himself from freedom, and has lain as bail 200,000 D marks.

    The exchange was conducted with the mediation of the American Embassy in Skopje, electronic media said


    (Danas, 6. 4. 2000)

    Vitina - UN Police in Vitina , confirmed that Kosovo Albanian, Xjavit Hassani, whose extradition to Macedonian authorities provoked protests, was released and returned to Kosovo on Monday. He is accused of attempt of murdering the authority officials in Macedonia, but in Kosovo, he is considered a 'war hero'.

    Vitina UNIP Chief Burhard Plica stated to France press, he was dissatisfied with Hassani's return. His return to Vitina lead to rejoicing and celebration manifestations on the streets.

    According to Macedonian Defence Ministry, Hassani was released with 200,000 DEM bail. (Beta) (*)


    (Blic daily, 6. 4. 2000)

    Washington-USA saluted the decision of Serb representative to take part in joined governing structures under the patronage of UN at Kosovo, the State Department spokesman said. He said that the Serb representatives would occupy the places, reserved for them in PAVK and in the Transient Council of Kosovo.

    -Participation of Serbs is very important for the mission of UNMIK. It confirms the right of all inhabitants of Kosovo to have a joined role in the governing, Ruben said. He also added that Bishop Artemy had talked about this with Madeleine Albright, during his visit to Washington.

    -US Secretary is very satisfied with the success of Bishop Artemy. We understand that the Serb representatives will participate only as the observers at the beginning, but we hope that they will take an active role when they realise the advantages of full membership, Ruben concluded.


    (Glas javnosti, 6. 4. 2000)

    Madrid (Beta) - KFOR Commander Klaus Reinhardt warned:

    "There is a great danger of armed conflicts escalation in the south of central Serbia, along the administrative line"

    In his interview for the Spanish "Pais", he said all those who want to take part in the conflicts should be stopped, the border should be closed as well in order to prevent anyone from going to Serbia and fight there.

    "The following is to be executed: closing of the training camps for those we consider that will rebel, confiscation of weapons and uniforms, destroying the confiscated weapons and detaining the people we find there, in order to make it clear for them, that not an activity may be performed from the Kosovo territory", said Reinhardt.

    Reinhardt concluded with the following statement:

    "There should be a possibility for the Serbs to live in the safe conditions (in Kosovo), which cannot be guaranteed to them, for the time being". (*)


    (Glas javnosti, 6. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - Arrest of Momcilo Krajisnik encountered sharp criticisms even among the Kosovo Serbs. One of the founders of Kosovo Serbs resistance against the Albanian terror in the 80s, Kosta Bulatovic from Kosovo Polje stated: "It is a crime yet unheard of".

    "To put it briefly, the Serbs are guilty of everything that goes wrong in the world. Personally, I think it could not have been carried out without Vladimir Putin and Moscow's consent. Instead of protecting the Serbs and preventing terror against them to take place in the Balkans, the president of Russia directly supports it". (*)


    (Glas javnosti, 6. 4. 2000)

    Podgorica (Beta) - President of Council of Federal Assembly and SNP vice-president, Srdja Bozovic, called NS president Dragan Soc's statement a "political nonsense". Soc said FRY president Slobodan Milosevic gave "green light" for the arrest of Momcilo Krajisnik, the former president of Republika Srpska Assembly.

    "This statement is a daily-politic-function one, or better put, its function is a creation and taking up of the space within the Montenegro political scene, which this margin political party tends to obtain", said Bozovic at the press conference.

    "Actually, he wanted to pander the Montenegrin government", he concluded. (*)


    (Borba daily, 6. 4. 2000)

    Poland's one-time Prime Minister on Wednesday blasted the local press for whole-heartedly supporting NATO's air strikes on Yugoslavia last spring and continuing a year later to ignore the disastrous results of the intervention.

    Veteran political and media figure Mieczyslaw Rakowski said that nearly a whole year had elapsed since the bloody intervention ended and no peace had come to the region, with Serbs still being killed in the UN-governed Serbian (Yugoslav) province of Kosovo-Metohia.

    Rakowski made his remarks in an article in the Trybuna newspaper, which according to him is the only Polish paper to have stood apart from the throng of supporters of the west's allegedly humanitarian armed mission from the start.

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