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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 25, 2000

  • Kosovo Albanians fire nine shells at Gorazdevac
  • UNMIK police find body of slain Serb from Badovac
  • Still nothing is known about the destiny of kidnapped Serbs
  • Serbian Church and 100 gravestones destroyed in Pantina
  • Archpriest Nojic visited the confined Serbs
  • The European Union obstructs the return of Serbs in Kosmet
  • KFOR apologized to Jovanovic
  • SNF chairman Oliver Ivanovic meets with gen. Ortuno
  • KOSOVO ALBANIANS FIRE NINE SHELLS AT GORAZDEVAC

    (Borba daily, 25. 4. 2000)

    Ethnic Albanians fired nine shells at the Serb village of Gorazdevac, municipality of Pec in Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province, late Saturday, from the direction of the ethnic Albanian village of Grabovac.

    There are no reports of casualties in the attack, said amateur radio operators.

    The local Serbs believe the attack was an act of revenge in retaliation for efforts by international force KFOR Italian troops to prevent constant plundering and destruction of abandoned Serb houses in this village.

    The attack was the third major incident in the past week in this part of the region of Metohija, the report said.

    UNMIK POLICE FIND BODY OF SLAIN SERB FROM BADOVAC

    (Borba daily, 25. 4. 2000)

    UN civilian mission UNMIK police found the body of Srdjan Markovic, a Serb from the village of Badovac, municipality of Gracanica in Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province, near the village Mramor by Lake Gracanica on Saturday, amateur radio operators said on Sunday.

    Markovic on Friday left for the village of Slivovo to visit with friends. He was alone in his Zastava 101 automobile, when he was intercepted by ethnic Albanian terrorists and killed, the radio operators quoted relatives as saying.

    STILL NOTHING IS KNOWN ABOUT THE DESTINY OF KIDNAPPED SERBS

    (Blic daily, 25. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - Pavle Kostic from the village of Retina near Orahovac heard nothing about his 14 relatives as of July 18, 1998. His relatives were kidnapped by armed members of "KLA" immediately after funeral of his father Andjelko killed two days before. The funeral ceremony was without priests since Albanians did not allow them to come. Immediately after the funeral Albanians kidnapped 14 Krstices and 2 Nikolices, ordered them to board a truck and drove them into the direction of Malisevo.

    Pavle Kostic saved himself by being late due to blocked Orahovac at that time. He first tried to find out something about his relatives from William Walker then chief of OSCE verifiers. He contacted various humanitarian organizations. He wanted to speak with Demaci, but unsuccessfully. Today he is member of Executive board of Association of families of kidnapped and missed persons in Kosovo. He believes his relatives are alive and he is doing everything possible to have them released.

    More than 500 cases have been elaborated. Nobody knows the actual number of the kidnapped. Relatives of the kidnapped or missing persons frequently do not know that this association exists. Sometimes they cannot come to Belgrade. Many Kosovo Serbs have nobody to report their kidnapped or missing relatives to. The association is collecting data now and will forward the documentation to UNMIK. It cooperates with the Church, city and republican authorities, government and non-government humanitarian organizations and others. Last week representatives of this association had meeting in Pristina with Redza Sukrija president of such Albanian organization looking for missing Albanians.

    Large number of kidnapped is in concentration camps in the north of Albania. Many of them are dressed in "KLA" uniforms. If a camp is found, it can be moved within several hours.

    SERBIAN CHURCH AND 100 GRAVESTONES DESTROYED IN PANTINA

    (B2 - 92, 25. 4. 2000)

    Kosovo, Monday – The Serbian Orthodox church and 100 gravestones from the local graveyard in the village of Pantina have been destroyed, Tomislav Zivkovic told the press today. This information has been confirmed by UNMIK police in Vucitrn, Beta reports today.

    KFOR troops stopped Serbian National Council for Kosovska Mitrovica President Oliver Ivanovic’s car and detained Mr. Ivanovic for a short time yesterday. Ivanovic told the press that he had received an apology from KFOR but that he did not accept the explanation that it had been a misunderstanding. Ivanovic added that this incident may have far reaching consequences.

    ARCHPRIEST NOJIC VISITED THE CONFINED SERBS

    (Serbia info, 25. 4. 2000)

    April 24, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, April 23rd (Tanjug) - Head of the Sveti Sava church in Kosovska Mitrovica, the Archpriest Svetislav Nojic, visited today 40 Serbs in the District prison in Kosovska Mitrovica, the prisoners being on hunger strike for 13 days.

    The archpriest said to the families of the confined Serbs, who gathered today in front of the prison to support their dear with one-hour protest, that the prisoners were exhausted, some of them even in serious health conditions.

    In spite of that, according to his words, they decided to persist in their justified requests.

    The prison office has previously allowed priest Nojic two-hour visit to prisoners on Sundays.

    THE EUROPEAN UNION OBSTRUCTS THE RETURN OF SERBS IN KOSMET

    (Serbia info, 25. 4. 2000)

    April 24, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, April 24th - The European Union (EU), through its Humanitarian bureau (ECHO), in bordering Serbian districts towards Kosovo-Metohija recently offers financial help for building housing objects for the evacuated population. In that way they directly influence Serbian people so that they do not return to their homes, and that the southern Serbian province remains the area with Albanian majority.

    Thus ECHO, through its perfect partner, The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), in Kraljevo area concludes "contracts" with individuals "with the aim of securing housing help for the temporarily evacuated persons from Kosmet". On their "humanitarian" activities they do not inform nor consult the Federal Ministry for Refugees, Refugee Department of Serbia or other authorities and Ministries of Serbia.

    If the ECHO intentions were really humanitarian, that agency would insist in the European Council that the return of all Serbs and Montenegrins be realized, and that the means for mending their houses and building other objects be provided - but in Kosmet only.

    In this way, short deadlines for finishing the building works, and especially obligation to house the entire family of the evaded person, shows European "concern" about maintaining and housing the evacuated in Serbia and out of Kosmet.

    Thus the EU, through ECHO, "certifies" ethnical cleansing of Serbs in Kosmet, in realization of which from June last year, its members, especially the NATO members, "keep courage" for Albanian terrorists and separatists.

    The list of evacuated population from Kosmet, according to the preliminary information, shows that there are 240000 evacuated people in Serbia, although all indexes from past months show that more than 350000 non-Albanian populations left the southern Serbian province.

    ECHO action for helping the evacuated in housing, but engaging 19 international humanitarian organizations in Kraljevo area as well, is obviously helping to spread EU idea of preventing the evacuated from returning to Kosmet. Every effort of the authorized Federal and Republican organs was to be undermined.

    Due to such obstructions of the international humanitarians, the authorized organs for refugees and evacuated people requested urgent meeting with the representatives of those international humanitarian organizations.

    KFOR APOLOGIZED TO JOVANOVIC

    (Glas Javnosti/Digest, 25. 4. 2000)

    KFOR representatives have apologized to Oliver Jovanovic for yesterday's incident. Jovanovic, the president of Serb National Forum for the Kosovska Mitrovica District, was stopped at a checkpoint outside the village of Socanica on the Kosovska Mitrovica-Leposavic road, and harassed for more than an hour. (*)

    SNF CHAIRMAN OLIVER IVANOVIC MEETS WITH GEN. ORTUNO

    (Borba daily, 25. 4. 2000)

    New KFOR commander in Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province, Spanish Gen. Juan Ortuno made his first working visit to Kosovska Mitrovica on Saturday, where he met with Oliver Ivanovic in the northern, Serb, part of this divided town later in the day.

    After talks which were held behind closed doors, Ivanovic told reporters that they had discussed security for Serbs and the return of the expelled non-Albanian population. He said both subjects were given equal treatment.

    "The matter of expanding the so-called confidence zone in the north of the town, imposed by Ortuno, is an issue which we will probably resolve in the future, and only after these zones are the same on the northern and on the southern side of the Ibar river," Ivanovic said.

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