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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 11, 2000

  • KFOR tries to justify intervention against Serbs in Gracanica
  • Today PAVK with a Serb observer
  • Warrant for 40 Serbs
  • The inhabitants of Gorazdevac wait for the return of their neighbours
  • European troops, new KFOR commander, arrive in Kosovo
  • UN Policemen from Pakistan in Kosovska Mitrovica
  • After the agreement with KFOR Serb convoy arrived to Strpce
  • No ethnic discrimination among Kosovo citizens: Taqi
  • Ethnic Albanian terrorists threaten the Serbs
  • UN: The escalation of violence in Kosmet, victims "non-albanian" population
  • KFOR tries to justify intervention against Serbs in Gracanica

    (Borba daily/Digest, 11. 4. 2000)

    Troops of the UN peacekeeping force KFOR distributed early Friday leaflets among residents of Gracanica near Pristina, Kosovo and Metohija's chief city, in an attempt to justify their shooting at Serb demonstrators late Thursday when they seriously wounded a Serb who was in his yard. KFOR had informed the residents through the leaflets that every rally in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's southern province must be announced at least 72 hours in advance. All other rallies would be considered illegal and that the force would use all means available to prevent them.

    KFOR intervened on Thursday afternoon in order to disperse Serb demonstrators protesting against a decision by Serb National Council representatives to join Kosovo's provisional administrative council.

    Today PAVK with a Serb observer

    (Blic daily, 11. 4. 2000)

    Pristina-Susan Manuel, the UNMIK spokesman, announced that the first meeting of the Provisional Administrative Council of Kosovo, at which a representative of Serb National Council of Kosovo would be present as an observer, would be held today.

    Yesterday in Gracanica, the UN mission Chief Bernard Couchner talked with the Serb representatives about their participation in PAVK. The final decision about participation in PAVK, Serb Nation Council of Kosovo and Metohija should reach in three months.

    Warrant for 40 Serbs

    (Blic daily, 11. 4. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica- Council for human rights with the Serb National Council sent the letter of protest to the regional centers of UNMIK, OSCE, UN police and KFOR in Kosovska Mitrovica. In that letter it requires an urgent meeting with the international representatives at which it will demand punishments for the Albanians who issued the warrants with pictures for 40 Serbs.

    The group-warrant was put in shopwindows in Mitrovica, Srbica and Vucitrn. It was even placed at the building of the Albanian Republican Party in Bosnjacka mahala. The Council for human rights reports that the Serbs are frightened, since the international community did nothing about this warrants. The Council writes that the main initiator of all actions against the Serbs is Skender Hoti, the president of the Albanian Republican Party. Two months ago KFOR found certain quantity of weapons in his house.

    The Albanians made the warrant, using the files of identity cards, driving licences and passports that were officially taken by UNMIK from the former building of Serb Home Ministry. UNMIK did not let the representatives of Serb Home Ministry take over these files although it was stipulated by Kumanovo agreement.

    The Serb National Council requires that the international community punishes and removes from duty persons responsible for the abuse of personal documents.

    The inhabitants of Gorazdevac wait for the return of their neighbours

    (Blic daily/Digest, 11. 4. 2000)

    Gorazdevac- 950 Serbs from Gorazdevac sent an invitation to expelled Serbs to return to Gorazdevac and to the nearby villages. The invitation was sent despite the fact that everything was destroyed in villages Vragovac, Babici and Milanovac. Houses were demolished. Woods and orchards were destroyed. Momcilo Djurjovic, a Serb from Gorazdevac, explains that they did not rely on the Serb Government promises about provided building material and aseembling houses. They organised by themselves and prepared accomodation for all those that will return.

    European troops, new KFOR commander, arrive in Kosovo

    (B2 -92, 11. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Monday A group of officers from Eurocorps, headed by the future commander of international forces in Kosovo, Juan Ortuno, has arrived in Pristina, KFOR spokesman Hoening Philip said today. Senior officers from the European military unit have been in training under retiring commander Claus Reinhardt for the past two weeks. Ortuno is to take over command of international peace forces in the province on April 18.

    UN Policemen from Pakistan in Kosovska Mitrovica

    (Danas/Digest, 11.4.2000)

    The first complete special police unit of 114 policemen from Pakistan should start to work in Kosovska Mitrovica during this week, UN civil mission announced today. (*)

    After the agreement with KFOR Serb convoy arrived to Strpce

    (Danas/Digest, 11.4.2000)

    The convoy, comprising two buses, three lorries and seven passenger cars arrived today to Strpce. The convoy carried women, children and several ill people returning from treatment outside that U.N. administered Serbian province.(*)

    No ethnic discrimination among Kosovo citizens: Taqi

    (B2 -92, 11. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Monday The president of the Kosovo Party of Democratic Prosperity, Hashim Taqi, said today that he made no ethnic differentiation among citizens of Kosovo. "We are waiting for every Kosovo citizens to return and we ask that Serb citizens also return, except, of course, war criminals and Milosevic's puppets," the former political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army told Belgrade media. Taqi added that it was hoped that Serbs who stayed in Kosovo would be able to get their lives back on track, saying that the aim of Kosovo Albanians at the moment was the establishment of autonomy but that in the long term the province should become independent.

    Ethnic Albanian terrorists threaten the Serbs

    (Serbia info, 11. 4. 2000)

    Orahovac, April 11 - Ethnic Albanian terrorists keep on mistreating the Serbs from Orahovac and the surrounding villages, who face threats and physical attacks on daily basis, report today amateur radio operators.

    Last night at around 10 p.m. a group of ethnic Albanian bandits opened fire at the house of a Serb Ivan Simic when all the members of his family were in it. No one was injured in the attack, but considerable material damage was caused. The windows broke into peaces, the door and the faзade were damaged.

    While conducting the investigation, KFOR soldiers found a threatening letter dedicated to Ivan Simic, in which ethnic Albanian terrorist demand that Simic moves out of the house at once. Many other Serbs who live in the vicinity of Simic's farm received similar threats.

    UN: The escalation of violence in Kosmet, victims "non-albanian" population

    (Serbia info, 11. 4. 2000)

    April 10, 2000 - Pristina, April 10TH - The Spokesman of the UN Mission in Kosmet (UNMIK), Susan Manuel, reported today that in the previous week in Kosmet began the escalation of violence, whose victims are "non-albanian" citizens, the agencies report.

    French Agency "France Press" (AFP) cites as well that Serbs and other non-albanian population is exposed to violence by ethnic Albanians every day since the withdrawal of Yugoslav army and police and the arrival of multinational forces (KFOR) to Kosmet, in June the previous year.

    Susan Manuel pointed out that in the previous week in Kosmet 10 people were murdered, in contrast to 3 the week before. The victims are, according to her words, 4 Serbs and 4 Romanies, 1 Albanian and one unidentified person.

    Among the Romanies victims murdered in Pec are 2 young men aged 17 and 18, and one woman.

    Among the identified victims is one Serbian woman, aged 70, whose body was found in the remains of a burned house in Pec.

    On Saturday, in the same town, a group of ethnic Albanians beat down a Bosnian woman aged 70, only because she spoke Serbian, Manuel said.

    She stated that last week the UN police identified the body of a man aged 84, who was found tied down after being shot in the head previously. He was a Czech, who lived in Pristina for a longer period, Manuel said.

    The AFP reminds that, according to the evaluations of the High Commission of UN for the Refugees, around 240 000 Serbs and non-albanians left Kosmet since the arrival of KFOR.

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