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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 14, 2000

  • Ethnic Albanian extremists set Serb house on fire
  • Fires in Pristina
  • Ethnic Albanian extremists set Serb houses on fire
  • Concentration camp for the Serbs in Mitrovica
  • Serbs held in custody went on hunger strike
  • Arson attacks in Kosovo
  • Orahovac Serbs cut international contacts
  • The Serb Board in Orahovac asks for criminal charges
  • Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija's Orahovac sever ties with KFOR, UNMIK
  • Expelled Serbs from Istok and Klina ready to return their homes
  • Journalists left press conference
  • Post-NATO-War Yugoslavia has uranium levels 1,000 times above normal
  • KFOR will seek Yugoslav army's help
  • KFOR denies discussions on Yugoslav Army return to Kosovo
  • Metropolitan of Bosnia visits Kosovo and Metohija
  • NATO-Russia Council: "We’ll not tolerate provocation"
  • Criminals among the expelled ethnic Albanians
  • U.S. soldiers released
  • Ethnic Albanian extremists set Serb house on fire

    (Borba daily, 14. 4. 2000)

    Ethnic Albanian extremists threw late Wednesday Molotov cocktails at a Serb house in the village of Cernica at Gnjilane, populated by both ethnic Albanians and Serbs, in the east of Kosovo and Metohija, and a car parked in front of the house.

    The house and the car were soon consumed by the fire but, luckily, there were no casualties, local radio enthusiasts reported on Thursday.

    The incident occurred as two ethnic Albanian youths threw two Molotov cocktails passing by the house, the radio enthusiasts said.

    One of the cocktails went through one of the house's windows, while the other landed on the car.

    The owner of the house, who was at home at the time of the attack, tried in vain to put out the fire.

    Troops of the UN peacekeeping force KFOR appeared as late as Thursday morning only to state that the fire was set by ethnic Albanian extremists.

    Fires in Pristina

    (Blic daily, 14. 4. 2000)

    Pristina - In a large fire that occurred in six houses in Pristina the night before, 12 persons were left without a roof. Fortunately, however, nobody was injured, KFOR spokesman reported yesterday. He said the fire occurred by accident. British and Swedish KFOR soldiers assisted the firemen. UNHCR provided lodging for the people.

    A house and a car of Slobodan Simijanovic in the village of Cernica with mixed population disappeared in explosion caused by unknown attackers. KFOR soldiers reported that "Albanian extremists" threw explosive devices.

    The house of Ratibor Masulovic in Kosovo Polje was attacked in the same way. The house was partially destroyed while Masulovic was medically treated in Kosovo Polje.

    American KFOR soldiers reported explosion in Vitina near the church the evening before. The witnesses saw two men running away, KFOR spokesman said.

    Ethnic Albanian extremists set Serb houses on fire

    (Serbia info, 14. 4. 2000)

    April 13, 2000 - Gnjilane, April 13 - Ethnic Albanian extremists threw late Wednesday Molotov cocktails at a Serb house in the mixedly populated village of Cernica and at a car parked in front of the house. The house and the car were soon consumed by the fire but, fortunately, there were no casualties.

    According to the local amateur radio operators, the incident occurred as two ethnic Albanian youths threw two Molotov cocktails passing by the house of Slobodan Simijonovic.One of the cocktails went through one of the house's windows, while the other landed on the car. The owner of the house, who was at home at the time of the attack, tried in vain to put out the fire.

    Troops of the U.N. peacekeeping force KFOR appeared as late as Thursday morning only to state that the fire was set by ethnic Albanian extremists.

    The Serbs from Cernica are dissatisfied with the KFOR role and blame the U.S. Lieutenant Schroeder and the chief command of the U.S. KFOR contingent in Urosevac headed by the General Sanchez for their troubles.

    The meeting of the Serb representatives from Cernica with KFOR is scheduled for today, at which the Serbs will lodge a protest to the U.S. Lieutenant Schroeder who is in charge of security in the village.

    Concentration camp for the Serbs in Mitrovica

    (Blic daily, 14. 4. 2000)

    Nis - Marko Jaksic member of Serb National Council for the region of Kosovska Mitrovica said that he had indications about concentration camp for the Serbs in the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.

    Serbs held in custody went on hunger strike

    (Serbia info, 14. 4. 2000)

    April 13, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, April 12th - Serbs held in the ethnic Albanian district prison in Kosovska Mitrovica went on hunger strike because of the release of Kouchner's double standards of Albanian justice system.

    Serbs went on hunger strike because of release from prison Albanian Jeljalj Ademi who, was arrested for throwing two hand grenades on a Serbs in March 7th in Boshnjachka Mahala in north part of the Kosovska Mitrovica, when 22 Serbs and 14 French soldiers were injured.

    Judge, Nicola Kabasic of the Serbian National Council for the Kosovska Mitrovica District told a news conference Today, that by releasing an Albanian, who is suspected for grave criminal act and keeping Serbs in custody because of lesser criminal acts"Kouchner's Albanian justice system segregates the population and conducts court cases on an ethnic bases".

    Kabasic state precisely that Goran Kostic is held in custody for three months because of slashing tires on an UNMIK's automobile, that in jail are Serbs five or six months for possession of one pistol or a rifle, emphasizing that Albanian justice from Serbs extorts"ransom" of 10,000 German marks to release them.

    Kabasic said that according to the figures from March 20th 42 Serbs are in the ethnic Albanian prison , and added that there is no information if the number has risen, since the District Court in Kosovska Mitrovica and international community which appointed the ethnic Albanians to the court, are releasing no information about Serbs under the investigation or about offences they are charged with.

    "We are expecting new figures from international community about Serbs who are in custody, beginning from the numbers to acts which they are charged with",said Kabasic, emphesazing that "international community, when its about Serbs, is late constantly, and maybe don't won't to interfere in work of the Albanian justice system.

    Arson attacks in Kosovo

    (B2 - 92, 14. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Thursday – United Nations police and KFOR today reported eight cases of arson in Kosovo in the past three days. In each of the incidents, the buildings burnt belonged to members of ethnic minorities. On Wednesday night an explosion occurred near Gnjilane in the vicinity of an Orthodox Church. Witnesses reported seeing two people running from the scene. Two houses belonging to Serbs were burnt in Kosovo Polje, two in Orahovac and one in Babin Most. Romany houses were also destroyed in Urosevac. Six houses in Pristina burnt last night, destroying the homes of twelve people. KFOR representatives said today that the Pristina fire was not a case of arson.

    Orahovac Serbs cut international contacts

    (B2 - 92, 14. 4. 2000)

    Orahovac, Thursday – Serbs in the Kosovo town of Orahovac have announced that they will cut all contacts with international organisations and make a mass exodus from the town, amateur radio operators in Kosovo reported today. The Serbs in Orahovac say that the international community has shown a complete lack of interests in their safety, adding that the move has been directly prompted by the arson attack on four Serb houses in the town on Tuesday.

    The Serb Board in Orahovac asks for criminal charges

    (Politika Daily/Digest, 14. 4. 2000)

    The Serb Board in Orahovac warned that KFOR and UMNIK must bring criminal charges against Albanians who committed violence in Orahovac Serb enclave. (*)

    Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija's Orahovac sever ties with KFOR, UNMIK

    (Borba daily, 14. 4. 2000)

    The Serb Board in Orahovac in the U.N.-ruled Serbian (Yugoslav) province of Kosovo-Metohija on Wednesday decided to sever ties with international organisations over the latest attacks on Serbs.

    Amateur radio operators report that the Board held an emergency meeting prompted by the latest ethnic Albanian assaults on Serbs and their property and decided to sever ties with international organisations in this southern Kosovo-Metohija municipality.

    Unidentified ethnic Albanians set fire to a number of Serb homes in Orahovac late on Tuesday. The blaze spread to the whole area, gutting four Serb houses just 50 metres from an international force (KFor) checkpoint manned by German troops, who calmly looked on.

    Despite the Serb side's cooperative attitude, the international community shows no interest whatever in solving Serb problems, it was heard at the session.

    The Board instructed its representative to step down as vice president and permanent member of the multiethnic Administrative Board and Security Committee, respectively.

    The committee liaison with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was instructed to demand that a collective move be organised for the remaining Serbs to leave Orahovac.

    The Board is quoted by amateur radio operators as saying that "the method of work of the international institutions shows that their plan is quietly to move all Serbs out these parts, which coincides with the plans of the ethnic Albanian extremists."

    The Board has severed contacts with the UN civilian mission (UNMIK), the UN police, KFor and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

    Expelled Serbs from Istok and Klina ready to return their homes

    (Glas Javnosti/Digest, 14.4.2000)

    Expelled Serbs from Istok and Klina are ready to return their homes, but everything depends on KFOR and UMNIK, says Marko Jaksic, the President of recently established Board of Returnees to Istok and Klina. He adds, "if KFOR and UMNIK exert pressure on their allies Albanians and give us guarantees of safety - the Serbs will return. International community should care for expelled Serbs as it cared for Albanian refugees". (*)

    Journalists left press conference

    (Politika Daily/Digest, 14. 4. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica, 13.4. 2000. - Serb and foreign journalists left press conference of international organizations after a statement of Kosovo Albanian journalist Fadilj Miftari (Kosova press) that "every second Serb from northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica should be arrested as a criminal".(*)

    Post-NATO-War Yugoslavia has uranium levels 1,000 times above normal

    (Tanjug, 14. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - The Yugoslav government, at Thursday's session chaired by Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic, approved a report on the effects on the environment of NATO's air strikes on Yugoslavia last spring, a government statement said.

    Evidence collected and analyses made by local institutes have shown that the NATO aggressors used ammunition with depleted uranium, among others, which is a crime against humanity punishable under the international law of war.

    Analyses of individual samples showed contamination levels up to a thousand times above normal, the government said, noting that the use of ammunition with depleted uranium is in violation of the fundamental norms of international humanitarian and war law.

    The competent bodies and services have investigated and marked contaminated areas, and removed radioactive materials from all accessible locations, significantly lowering the threat of contamination.

    People in high-risk areas have been medically examined, while complete decontamination is yet to be done and necessitates huge financial outlays.

    However, no checks have been made at a hundred or so localities in the U.N.-ruled Serbian (Yugoslav) province of Kosovo-Metohija, where the number of depleted uranium warheads dropped was ten times higher than elsewhere.

    This puts the environment and the local population, including the international force (KFor) and the U.N. civilian mission (UNMIK), particularly at risk from radioactive contamination, the statement said.

    KFOR will seek Yugoslav army's help

    (Borba daily/Digest, 14. 4. 2000)

    Secretary of the Yugoslav Left (JUL) Directorate Srdjan Smiljkovic has said that the UN peacekeeping force KFOR in Kosovo and Metohija acts anachronistically.

    Smiljkovic told Belgrade's Radio KUL on Wednesday that the majority of KFOR troops acted in line with their own force and political option, saying that this had resulted in major scandals from which KFOR generals had decided to withdraw rather than intervene.

    He believes that "KFOR will soon ask Yugoslav army units to help it because it will not otherwise be able to deal with (ethnic Albanian) terrorist gangs, the situation and all that happening in the province".

    KFOR denies discussions on Yugoslav Army return to Kosovo

    (B2 - 92, 14. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Thursday – KFOR spokesman Philip Anido today denied reports that KFOR Commander Klaus Reinhardt had discussed the planned return of Yugoslav border troops and police to Kosovo with Yugoslav Army officials. The report was carried by media in Skopje after a recent visit by the army's Lieut. Gen. Svetozar Marjanovic. Anido emphasised that there had been no mention of Yugoslav troops' return during the April 7 meeting between Marjanovic and Reinhardt, saying that the meeting had only discussed the implementation of the Kumanovo agreement and the security situation along the Kosovo border.

    Metropolitan of Bosnia visits Kosovo and Metohija

    (Politika Daily/Digest, 14.4.2000)

    Metropolitan of Bosnia, Nikolaj, will spend 4 days (11.-14.4) in Kosovo and Metohija together with other members of the Interreligious coucil of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Metropolitan Nikolaj will visit Pristina, Prizren and Gracanica monastery. The aim of visit is to help the establishing of confidence and permanent peace in Kosovo and Metohija.(*)

    NATO-Russia Council: "We’ll not tolerate provocation"

    (Danas/Digest, 14. 4. 2000)

    The Ambassadors of NATO countries and Russia stated on Wednesday, during the meeting of NATO-Russia Council, that international community would not tolerate provocation and undermining of Kosovo peace process. (*)

    Criminals among the expelled ethnic Albanians

    (Serbia info, 14. 4. 2000)

    April 13, 2000 - Pristina, April 12 - Some 60 Kosovo Albanians, among which 15 hardened criminals, all expelled from Switzerland arrived today by plane on the Pristina airport Slatina, reports France Press.

    As soon as they had landed, the UN police fingerprinted and released around 15 ethnic Albanian criminals who were sentenced to prison in Switzerland for the committed criminal offences.

    This was the first group of Albanians who were expelled from Switzerland and deported to Kosovo.

    From February this year to date, some 4,500 Albanians without German residence permit, including 300 Albanians with criminal records in the German police were also transported to Kosovo.

    In this way, Switzerland and Germany turned a deaf ear to the recent warning by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) which said that the expulsion of the Albanians increases the number of criminals in Kosovo, in the situation when there is no adequate police and judicial system in the province.

    However, the authorities in Bern intend to expel between 20 and 25 thousands of ethnic Albanians till the end of the year and deport them to Kosovo, stated the Swiss representative in Pristina Andreas Wormser, reports AFP.

    According to AFP, the Albanians were hastily expelled from Switzerland after the police had taken them to a congregate center on Monday morning in order to transport them to Kosovo from Zurich.

    U.S. soldiers released

    (Danas/Digest, 14. 4. 2000)

    Skoplje, Macedonia - Five U.S. soldiers detained in Wednesday after a clash with residents that left a policeman seriously injured are released. Macedonian police and U.S. military police will conduct common investigation.(*)

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