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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 24, 2000

  • UNMIK found the body of the Serb from Badovac
  • Nine shells fired at Gorazdevac
  • Nine bombshells on Gorazdevac
  • Further incidents in Kosovo
  • Ethnic Albanians again set fire to Serb houses
  • Incidents in Zubin Potok and Devic
  • Group of Kosovo Albanian hooligans attack Serbs in Susica with bats
  • KFOR troops harass local Serb activist in Kosovo-Metohia
  • Orahovac Serb under permanent surveillance
  • Local priest gave Mitrovica prisoners Communion
  • Women protest outside prison where innocent Serbs are languishing
  • Journalists visit Albanians imprisoned in Yugoslavia
  • Ortuno pledges support for the return of Serbs to Kosovo
  • Ivanovic met with Ortuno
  • SNF: No conditions for Kosovo census
  • KFOR: No jail for Kosovo Serbs in Slivovo
  • Kouchner: I am not an anti-Serb
  • Dangerous platform of AASA

    (Serbia info, 24. 4. 2000)

    April 23, 2000 - Badovac, April 23 - Yesterday morning in the vicinity of the village of Mramor near Gracanica Lake, UNMIK police found the lifeless body of Srdjan Markovic from the village of Badovac, report today the amateur radio operators.

    According to the relatives' statement, Srdjan Markovic went to visit his friends in the village of Slivovo on Friday around 5 p.m. He was alone in his car type "Zastava 101" when ethnic Albanian terrorists stopped his car and killed him.

    One UNMIK policeman stated that Srdjan Markovic had been killed 12 hours before his body was found. That is why they assume he was killed while he was leaving the village, on Friday around 5.30 p.m.


    (Serbia info, 24. 4. 2000)

    April 23, 2000 - Pec, April 22 - Around 6 p.m. this evening, ethnic Albanians fired nine shells at the Serb village of Gorazdevac in Pec municipality. The shells were fired from the direction of the ethnic Albanian village of Grabovac.

    According to amateur radio operators, one shell hit the yard of an abandoned house, the second one hit the walnut tree in front of the house, while the others fell on untilled ground near the house. Fortunately, there were no casualties in the mortar attack.

    The Serbs think that this mortar attack was launched out of revenge for the Italian KFOR members' attempt to prevent unceasing destroying and looting of the abandoned Serb houses.

    Recently, a shell has been fired at the vehicle on the Pec-Kula-Rozaje road. The Serbs in the vehicle were waiting for KFOR escort on their way to Gorazdevac. The escalation of terror was continued when the ethnic Albanians attacked the Serb priest after the meeting in the municipality administration building. The ethnic Albanians did not want to allow the priest to return to Pec Patriarchate. The shell attack on the village of Gorazdevac was the third major incident in that part of Metohia over the last week.


    (Blic daily, 24. 4. 2000)

    Pristina - On Saturday at about 6 p.m. nine bombshells fell on the village of Gorazdevac near Pec. This was the second attack of this kind on this village in the last 30 days. Presently about 1,000 Serbs are living in this village protected by Italian KFOR soldiers.

    The situation in this village is complicating because Albanians extremists are trying to prevent return of the Serbs. Provocation has become more frequent after delivery of construction material for renewal of the ruined or burnt Serb houses. Nevertheless, the Serbs are determined to return.

    KFOR reported there were no injured persons in this attack.

    A group of Albanians attacked with sticks Serbs in the village of Susice near Gracanica also on Saturday at about 9.30 p.m. Before the attack Albanians were passing through the village provoking the Serbs. The Serbs exchanged verbal provocation. Half an hour later a larger group of Albanians returned with sticks. The Serbs returned the attack and the hooligans ran away. The Serbs reported this incident to KFOR and UNMIK Police.

    On Friday evening at about 8 p.m. Albanian criminals threw stones on flats in Radomir Putnik Street in Obilic. About 50 Serbs live in this building. Material damage is large, however, nobody was injured. Permanent KFOR checkpoint is very near, but KFOR soldiers did not react.

    On Saturday at 8.30 p.m. the house and all accessory objects of Stajko Sumakovic disappeared in fire in the village of Bostane near Novo Brdo. KFOR soldiers did not call fire brigade because they estimated that the fire had destroyed everything already.

    Burning of deserted Serb houses in the area of Novo Brdo began 20 days ago. So far KFOR and UN Police have not arrested anybody.

    KFOR reported fire opened at Russian camp in Devic. Nobody was injured in that attack.


    (B2 - 92, 24. 4. 2000)

    Kosovo, Sunday – Nine explosions were heard in the vicinity of Gorazdevac last night, KFOR Spokesperson Major Frank Benjaminsen reports today. Three craters were found near a KFOR checkpoint, and six other craters were found near a group of Romany houses. No damage or injuries were reported.

    A Serbian male fired a gun at other Serbs in a restaurant in Zubin Potok yesterday evening. One person was killed and six injured during the incident. The injured were transported to hospital in the northern part of Mitrovica.

    UN police stated that 32 Serbs and 5 Romanies from Kosovska Mitrovica prison have been on hunger strike since 10th April and that two of them are in a serious condition. Reuters reported today that 6 of them have refused medical treatment.


    (Serbia info, 24. 4. 2000)

    April 23, 2000 - Bostane - Obilic, April 23 - last night, at around 8 p. m. in the village of Bostane, southeast of Pristina, in the hamlet of Sumaci ethnic Albanian terrorists set fire to the house of Stajko Sumakovic, report today amateur radio operators.

    KFOR members refused to call the firemen, saying that the flame has already caught the house and that there was no danger that the fire will spread. After half an hour, they left the hamlet.

    The local Serb residents said this was the fourth case of setting fire to Serb houses and that the KFOR members, in charge of security in that region, have not arrested any of the culprits.

    Serb Stajko Sumakovic, whose house was set on fire, is on the list of displaced persons who found safety in a sheltering center in the Serbian town of Jagodina.

    Some 20 days ago, ethnic Albanian terrorists started attacking the Serbs and setting fire to their property in Bostan, southeast of Pristina.

    Ethnic Albanian arsonists have previously set fire to the houses of Stojan Stankovic, Svetozar Stankovic and Srboljub Djordjevic.

    The arsonists come from the Milinac district of the neighbouring village of Klobukar and the Bostan village residents are familiar with them. The culprits are still free, though the local Serbs have confirmed the identity of the Kosovo Albanians responsible for setting fire to the Serbian property, and they continue setting fire to the remaining abandoned Serb houses.

    Recently, two groups of ethnic Albanians have brutally beaten up more than ten, mostly old persons, which is one of the reasons why the Serb houses are abandoned.

    After the incident, KFOR promised to tighten security measures, but all ended up on promises, since the militant ethnic Albanian groups still attack the local Serbs.

    Ethnic Albanian terrorists stoned an apartment house in Vojvoda Radomir Putnik Street in Obilic, report amateur radio operators. The apartment house was inhabited by Serbs.

    Almost all the windows were broken, but fortunately no one was injured.


    (Danas/Digest, 24. 4. 2000)

    Pristina – KFOR Spokesman, Major Frank Benjaminsen, said that a Serb fired a gun against other Serbs on Saturday evening in a restaurant in Zubin Potok. One person was killed, four were seriously wounded and two lightly wounded. He added that two automatic bursts were shot from a car against a Russian camp in Devic. No one was injured. (*)


    (Tanjug, 24. 4. 2000)

    Susice - A group of ethnic Albanians attacked Serbs with bats in the village of Susica near Gracanica late Saturday, amateur radio operators said on Sunday.

    Before the attack, the ethnic Albanians passed through the village, provoking local Serbs, who did not react physically. The hooligans returned by van after half an hour with more ethnic Albanians, all wielding bats. They rushed out of the vehicle and immediately started hitting Serbs who were in the street.

    The attacked Serbs fought back, some of them seizing bats. This discouraged the attackers, who fled and immediately reported the incident to the international force KFOR and U.N. civilian mission UNMIK police in Gracanica.

    Susica Serbs have repeatedly complained to the KFOR and UNMIK police about provocations by ethnic Albanians, but the complaints were never taken seriously.


    (Tanjug/Digest, 24. 4. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica - Belgian troops on the international force (KFor) in Kosovo-Metohia harassed a local Serb activist in that U.N.-ruled Serbian (Yugoslav) province late on Sunday.

    According to the Serb, Oliver Ivanovic, who chairs the Serb National Forum for the Kosovska Mitrovica District, he was stopped at a checkpoint outside the village of Socanica on the Kosovska Mitrovica-Leposavic road, and harassed for more than an hour.

    Ivanovic said the Belgian KFor troops had stopped only his car out of a long line of cars, checked his papers and searched his car. Although they had found nothing illegal or suspicious, they asked to take snap-shots of him from several angles, which he refused.

    Passengers travelling on the route informed local villagers of the incident and they soon gathered on the scene, so that a clash developed between some 200 assembled Serbs and the Belgian Kfor troops.

    Ivanovic told reporters after the incident that this had been a deliberate operation, because he had been kept for an hour and a half, although he had regular papers and a KFor pass.

    He added that, as far as he could see, several Serbs and one or two Belgian soldiers were hurt in the clash triggered by his harassment by the Belgians.


    (Glas javnosti/Digest, 24. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade – About 1.000 Serbs from Orahovac are under permanent surveillance of KFOR troops. Serbs are afraid of arresting and destiny of 15 Orahovac Serbs already charged with war crimes. An Orahovac Serb said it appears that each Orahovac Serb has own executioner among Orahovac Albanians supported by KFOR. (*)


    (Politika daily/Digest, 24. 4. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica, April 23 – A local Serb priest from Kosovska Mitrovica, Svetislav Nojic, visited Serb prisoners who went on hunger strike 13 days ago and gave them Communion. Nojic said for Politika that Serb prisoners were exhausted, but would continue with hunger strike. (*)


    (Tanjug, 24. 4. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica - About 20 women and as many children on Saturday rallied outside the district prison in Kosovska Mitrovica run by U.N. administrator Bernard Kouchner to express support to some 40 imprisoned Serbs who went on a hunger strike 12 days ago.

    The mothers, wives and children of the imprisoned Serbs said they would continue daily one-hour protests outside the district prison until the demand of the imprisoned Serbs was met. The Serbs have demanded that ethnic Albanian judges in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohia, appointed by Kouchner, be unbiased in their work.

    The majority of the 43 imprisoned Serbs went on a hunger strike because not a single case has been given a hearing, while ethnic Albanians are released from prison even though they are suspected of grave criminal acts.


    (B2 - 92, 24. 4. 2000)

    Pozarevac, Sunday –There are still 960 Albanians in Yugoslavian prisons while 1,071 have been released since the end of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavian Minister of Justice Dragoljub Jankovic told the press yesterday. Minister Jankovic was with foreign and Serbian journalists visiting Albanian prisoners including the leader of the Albanian Women’s League Flora Brovina and student leader Agim Kurti. Kurti told journalists in English that he had been arrested for his political beliefs and activities and refused to give an interview to Serbian journalists. Mrs. Brovina who has been sentenced to 12 years said that she is a poet and pediatrician and has no connection with terrorism. In response to Minister Jankovic’s comment that she looked very well, Brovina said that she had prepared herself for this occasion.


    (B2 - 92, 24. 4. 2000)

    Kosovo, Sunday –KFOR Commander General Juan Ortuno held talks with Serbian National Council for Kosovska Mitrovica President Oliver Ivanovic during his visit to Kosovska Mitrovica yesterday. General Otrunjo told Ivanovic that they could count on KFOR’s full commitment to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, adding that KFOR supported the return of Serbs to the province. The conditions for the integration of Serbs into the new Kosovo society is a clear signal from UNMIK and KFOR that they will be as impartial toward Serbs as they are toward Albanians, Ivanovic told general Ortuno.


    (Serbia info, 24. 4. 2000)

    April 23, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, April 22 - In his first working visit to Kosovska Mitrovica, new KFOR commander in Kosovo and Metohia, Spanish General Juan Ortuno met with Oliver Ivanovic in the Serbian sector of this divided town.

    After the talks behind closed door Ivanovic told the reporters that they talked about the security of the Serbs and the return of the expelled non-Albanian population, stressing that both issues were equally important.

    "The issue of widening 'the confidence zone' in the northern part of the town, on which Ortuno insists, is the issue which we will be resolving in the future, but only when the zones become the same both on the northern and southern side of Ibar River", Ivanovic underscored.


    (Danas/Digest, 24. 4. 2000)

    Gracanica – The Executive Board of The Serb National Forum (SNF) of Kosovo and Metohia estimates that there are still no conditions for a census and registration of electors in Kosovo and Metohia. (*)


    (Danas/Digest, 24. 4. 2000)

    Pristina - After a request from the Serbian authorities that claimed that Kosovo Serbs were being illegally detained in a house in the Slivovo area, KFOR announced that search was conducted by Swedish and British soldiers and all investigations have proven that rumours were without foundation. (*)


    (Danas/Digest, 24. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade – In interview for Belgrade’s Radio B2-92, U.N. administrator Bernard Kouchner said that he was not an anti-Serb. (*)


    (Politika daily/Digest, 24. 4. 2000)

    Albanian Academy of Sciences and Arts (AASA) published a platform that "will solve Albanian national question". In that platform AASA claims that half of "Albanian ethic territories" are still under reign of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece. AASA reminds on creation of "Greater Albania" during the second world war and Nazi German and Italian role and asks for Albanian autonomous province in Montenegro, equal official status of Albanians in Macedonia and education for Albanians in Greece in their mother tongue. (*)

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