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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 13, 2000

  • New wave of violence in Orahovac
  • Serb houses disappeared in fire
  • Serbs from Orahovac announced collective emigration
  • Serbs in ethnic Albanian jail in Kosovo-Metohija go on hunger strike
  • Rada Trajkovic observer in Transient Council of Kosovo, too: Serb observers at the session of Transient Council of Kosovo /PSK/
  • Hunting season on Serbs
  • Kosovo and Metohija 10 months after
  • Ronghi could face a death sentence
  • Exhumations resume in Kosovo
  • Organized crime in Kosovo
  • Monitor: Germany seeks way to withdraw from Kosovo and Metohija
  • New wave of violence in Orahovac

    (Borba daily, 13. 4. 2000)

    Unidentified ethnic Albanian arsonists set fire to several Serb houses in Orahovac, and the blaze spread to an entire district, amateur radio operators in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija said on Wednesday.

    Four Serb houses were burned to the ground and one was partly damaged in the fire which was planted at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, they said.

    The houses are located just 50 m from a checkpoint manned by international force KFOR German troops. Eyewitnesses said the troops observed the fire disinterestedly.

    A large group of Kosovo Albanians rallied in the ethnic Albanian part of Orahovac to provoke Serbs, and the KFOR again failed to react, the report said.

    Preparations are under way to move out more Serbs under the pretext of organizing an alleged humanitarian convoy for the sick and elderly, the sources said. A bus line from Orahovac to Kosovska Mitrovica was also recently abolished in order to prevent displaced Serbs from returning to Orahovac or Velika Hoca, the amateurs said.

    Serb houses disappeared in fire

    (Blic daily, 13. 4. 2000)

    Orahovac - Four Serb houses in Orahovac disappeared completely in fire the evening before at about 9 p.m., Serb radio amateurs report. One house was partially damaged. Nobody was injured. Houses of Blagoje Simic and his son Goran, Tihomir Simic and Nebojsa Dedic were completely destroyed in the fire. The house of Djordje Soric was only partially damaged.

    Serb prisoners in Mitrovica prison started the day before hunger strike because of release of Albanian Dzeljal Ademi who threw a bomb in Bosnjacka mahala on March 7 when 20 Serbs were injured.

    Serbs from Orahovac announced collective emigration

    (Politika daily/Digest, 13. 4. 2000)

    Wednesday, 12.4. 2000 - Serb council of Orahovac announced collective emigration and decided to break off contacts with UNMIK administration and police, OSCE, KFOR and other international organizations. (*)

    Serbs in ethnic Albanian jail in Kosovo-Metohija go on hunger strike

    (Borba daily, 13. 4. 2000)

    Serbs held on remand in the ethnic Albanian district prison in Kosovska Mitrovica went on hunger strike on Wednesday because of the release of an ethnic Albanian jailed for bombing attacks.

    Xhejal Ademi was arrested for throwing two hand grenades on a cafe in the north, Serb-populated part of Kosovska Mitrovica and on the international force (KFor) securing that ethnically divided city in the U.N.-ruled Serbian (Yugoslav) province of Kosovo-Metohija.

    Twenty-two Serbs and 14 French KFor troops were injured in the outrage.

    By releasing an ethnic Albanian jailed for a grave crime while keeping in jail Serbs on lesser charges, UN mission (UNMIK) chief "Kouchner's Albanian justice system segregates the population and conducts court cases on an ethnic basis," a Serb official said.

    Nikola Kabasic of the Serbian National Council for the Kosovska Mitrovica District told a news conference that a Serb has been held on remand for three months now for slashing tires on an UNMIK vehicle.

    Also, Kabasic added, Serbs found in possession of a pistol or a rifle have been held on remand for six months, and the ethnic Albanian-run justice department extorts "ransom" of 10,000 German marks.

    According to Serb figures, there were 42 Serbs in the ethnic Albanian prison as of March 20.

    Kabasic said there was no information if the number has risen, since the District Court in Kosovska Mitrovica and the international community which appointed the ethnic Albanians to the court are releasing no information about Serbs under investigation, or about offences they are charged with.

    Rada Trajkovic observer in Transient Council of Kosovo, too: Serb observers at the session of Transient Council of Kosovo /PSK/

    (Blic daily, 13. 4. 2000)

    Pristina - Representatives of Kosovo Serbs Randjel Nojkic and Rada Trajkovic yesterday participated as observers and for the first time in the work of PSK, transient council of Kosovo. Kosovo Serbs set three requests that were discussed at the session: urgent beginning of court proceedings for all arrested, return of all non-Albanians that left Kosovo and settlement of the problem of disappeared Serbs parallel with settlement of the same problem when Albanians are concerned.

    Hunting season on Serbs

    (Serbia info, 13. 4. 2000)

    April 12, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, April 11th 2000, (Glas Javnosti) - Since there is less and less Serbs for shooting, and those from the north part of the region are inaccessible, ethnic Albanians have resorted to a new method.

    In the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, a list of Serbs suspected for war crimes was hung out and it was expanded from recent 50 to 300 names.

    That list contains the names of respectable citizens who live in the northern part of Kosmet and who are members of the Serbian National Council, school principals, professors, doctors, intellectuals and agricultural producers. In order to be more convincing, the list was "enriched" with names of the Serbs who are imprisoned in Mitrovica, and with names of Serbian politicians as well.

    In Kosovska Mitrovica prison, 50 Serbs have been waiting for their trials for months. Most of them are suspected of war crimes only according to the anonymous reports from ethnic Albanians and completely without evidence.

    "All that is part of a well-planned tactic for Serb frightening. If only 10% of people from that list leave Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zvecani or Zubin Potok and exit from Kosmet, this cheap propaganda trick will attain its goal", says member of the Serbian National Council for Kosovska Mitrovica, Dr Marko Jaksic, whose name is on the list as well.

    Members of KFOR and UNMIK are not taking any measures for removing these lists and APBs from the streets in the southern part of the town. If they continue with such behavior, Serbs will practice similar methods.

    "We will create our own lists with names of ethnic Albanians who participated in murdering and kidnapping of Serbs during the previous year. I remind you that more than 70 Serbs were murdered in that region last year, and number of the kidnapped persons, who have never been heard of ever since, is well over 50. KFOR and UNMIK have not suspected a single ethnic Albanian, let alone arrested one of them, which gives us the moral right to create real lists of criminals", Jaksic stressed out in his report to "Glas".

    Kosovo and Metohija 10 months after

    (Glas Javnosti/Digest, 13. 4. 2000)

    Since the arrival of KFOR, 250.000 Serbs were expelled from Kosovo and Metohija. Serbs from mainly Serb municipalities of Istok and Klina, the heart of Metohija, are also ethnically cleansed. Today, in Istok municipality, Serbs live only in the village of Crkolez. (*)

    (Politika daily/Digest, 13. 4. 2000)

    Since the arrival of KFOR, 50.000 houses and homes, 150 parochial homes, more than 80 churches and monasteries were blown up and burnt, 10.000 icons destroyed and more than 300.000 non-Albanians expelled. (*)

    Ronghi could face a death sentence

    (Danas/Digest, 13. 4. 2000)

    Vilseck - Staff Sgt. Frank J. Ronghi, 35, a U.S. soldier accused of raping and killing an 11-year-old Kosovo girl, could face a death sentence if convicted. A medical expert testified that the girl died of suffocation and had wounds consistent with a struggle. (*)

    Exhumations resume in Kosovo

    (B2 - 92, 13. 4. 2000)

    The Hague, Wednesday The Hague Tribunal will resume the exhumation of graves in Kosovo next week, Tribunal spokesman Paul Risley said today. Before winter brought a halt to the work, 2,108 had been found in 195 graves in Kosovo. Risley told media that a morgue near Orahovac had been adapted by Dutch Army engineers and would be put at the Tribunal's disposal from next Monday. The Tribunal's team of forensic experts will begin excavation at three locations the following day. A special UN team will work on identification of bodies.

    Organized crime in Kosovo

    (Danas/Digest, 13. 4. 2000)

    The Chief of the Vienna Security Bureau who recently visited Kosovo as a member of international delegation, Max Edelbacher, an expert for organized crime, emphasized that smuggling of gasoline, cigarettes, drugs, weapons and white slavery leads via Kosovo. (*)

    Monitor: Germany seeks way to withdraw from Kosovo and Metohija

    (Borba daily, 13. 4. 2000)

    The Bulgarian daily Monitor said on Wednesday that Germany was looking for a way to withdraw from Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province.

    The fragile consensus in Germany in support of its military participation in the international forces in the province has begun to topple, the daily said, quoting the latest research by the independent U.S. reporting-intelligence agency Stratford of Austin, Texas.

    German statesmen and politicians do not have a clear stand on the future of this province and thus any serious pressure on the government on this issue will bring about rapid changes in the German stand on participating in the entire operation, the daily said.

    Germany will be forced to seek a strategy for a quick withdrawal from Kosovo and Metohija in order to arrest unfavorable developments both at home and in international affairs, Monitor said.

    "The truce which lasted for one year between the opposition and the government was broken (in the Bundestag on April 5 this year) when a Christian Democrat Alliance MP proposed the partition of Kosovo and Metohija. The proposal was met with protests from deputies and it was found to be untenable," Monitor said.

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