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Belgrade Media Monitoring

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

April 26, 2000

  • Five bodies found in Kosovo
  • Serb village Pantina near Vucitrn razed
  • Serbian houses blasted in Kosovska Vitina
  • Detained Serbs, Romanies in 14th day of hunger strike
  • Health of striking Serb prisoners increasingly worsening
  • Detainees send letter to Bernard Kouchner
  • Bishop Artemije and Momcilo Trajkovic about visit to Russia and Greece: Kosovo has to find its place in Yugoslavia
  • Representatives of SNF met KFOR high-ranking officer: Permanent Albanian provocation
  • KFOR soldier tragically died
  • 659 caught tularemia
  • Independent: Serbs seriously suffer
  • U.S. officer wants to serve in Yugoslav army
  • Dimitrov warns KFOR commander in Macedonia
  • Ministers of Montenegro and Albania signed yesterday: Memorandum on cooperation
  • Albania and Montenegro sign trade agreement
  • FIVE BODIES FOUND IN KOSOVO

    (B2 - 92, 26. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, Tuesday Four bodies were found by military police in Decane yesterday afternoon, a KFOR representative said today. The body of an Albanian male was also found in Vitina. The bodies have not been identified. KFOR also reported today that 25 people had been arrested in the past 24 hours during a search for illegal weapons.

    A strong explosion damaged several Serb-owned houses in the village of Kosovska Vitina in Eastern Kosovo last night, amateur radio operators from the province report. The same sources say that there were no casualties.

    SERB VILLAGE PANTINA NEAR VUCITRN RAZED

    (Borba daily, 26. 4. 2000)

    Ethnic Albanians have completely destroyed all Serb houses and other objects in Pantina village, municipality of Vucitrn in Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province, some 10km south of Kosovska Mitrovica.

    All 30 Serb houses have been razed in this village which had once been populated by Serbs and ethnic Albanians, reporters were told on Monday by Serb Tomislav Zivkovic, who used to live in this village but is now a refugee in Kosovska Mitrovica.

    He said ethnic Albanian extremists have also destroyed about 100 gravestones and monuments at the Christian Orthodox cemetary, where Serbs from this and neighboring villages have been buried for centuries.

    SERBIAN HOUSES BLASTED IN KOSOVSKA VITINA

    (Serbia info 26, 4. 2000)

    April 25, 2000 - Kosovska Vitina, April 25 (Tanjug) - On Monday evening at around 9 p.m. in Kosovska Vitina exploded a strong explosive device planted between two Serbian houses, damaging both, radio amateurs reported Tuesday morning.

    The bomb was planted on the plateau between the houses belonging to Vladimir Mitrovic and Vesko Piric, and the powerful blast damaged both houses and several others.

    Both houses have been abandoned for many months, so it was easy for the ethnic Albanian terrorists to plant the explosive.

    The most damaged was the house of Nenad Zivkovic. Fortunately, the family members were not near the windows, so there were no injured.

    Last night, ethnic Albanian terrorists set fire to farm buildings belonging to Zivojin Simic and the fire soon spread to the barn.

    The house, after a break-in of a group of ethnic Albanians who molested the owner, was abandoned some time ago by the owner.

    KFOR troops arrived at the scene only to affirm that a fire had been started by unidentified persons, and as there was no danger of the fire spreading they did not even call the firemen, the report said.

    DETAINED SERBS, ROMANIES IN 14TH DAY OF HUNGER STRIKE

    (Borba daily, 26. 4. 2000)

    Some 40 Serbs and Romanies detained in the prison in Kosovska Mitrovica have been on a hunger strike for 14 days in protest against the double standards of the district court in this town in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo and Metohija.

    Mothers, wives, sisters, and children of the prisoners rallied again outside the prison at noon today, to express solidarity with their kin and protest against the overstepping of all legal deadlines for raising indictments and setting trials.

    The Serb women told reporters they would continue one-hour protests tomorrow as well, and every day after that, until the authorities meet the demand of the detained Serbs and Romanies for correct legal proceedings.

    The purely ethnic Albanian court and prison administration show extreme favoritism for Kosovo Albanians, the prisoners said when they began their protest.

    HEALTH OF STRIKING SERB PRISONERS INCREASINGLY WORSENING

    (Borba daily, 26. 4. 2000)

    A team of doctors of the Medical Faculty of the University of Pristina on Monday visited and examined Serbs who are on a hunger strike in the Kosovska Mitrovica prison over the discriminatory stand against non-Albanians manifested by the court and prison administration.

    Stevan Baljosevic, one of the doctors, said the Serb detainees showed signs that their entire organism was exhausted and said a continuation of the hunger strike would lead to damages of many internal organs, primarily the cardio-vascular, gastro-intestinal and nervous systems.

    The striking Serbs are also showing signs of depression and anxiety, with a tendency of deterioration, he said.

    The medical team said it was necessary to remove the cause - the long-term uncertainty over the unjustified stay in prison without proven guilt.

    Since all legal deadlines for raising indictments and setting trials have expired long ago, the detainees demand that the district court, run exclusively by ethnic Albanians, finally begin legal procedures for settling their cases.

    DETAINEES SEND LETTER TO BERNARD KOUCHNER

    (Serbia info 26, 4. 2000)

    April 25, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, April 24 (Tanjug) - The detained Serbs who have been on a hunger strike at the Kosovska Mitrovica prison for 14 days over the discriminatory stand of the court against them, sent today a letter to the U.N. civilian administrator of Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province Bernard Kouchner in order to acquaint him with the reasons of their hunger strike.

    The letter demands that all Serbs who have been in detention for over six months, and against whom no indictments have been raised, to be released pending trial. The detainees demand that trials be set according to emergency procedure, that they must be neutral, unbiased, based on law, facts and material evidence, and without politicization, regardless of the ethnic structure of the court.

    The detained Serbs demand that representatives of the Yugoslav legislature, delegated by the Yugoslav committee for cooperation with the United Nations, take part in the revision of their cases.

    They demand that all the detained Serbs throughout Kosovo and Metohija be transported to the Kosovska Mitrovica prison and that all pre-trial investigation records of all the detained Serbs be located on one place in Kosovska Mitrovica in order to be accessible for the defense attorneys of some 40 detained Serbs and Romanies in the Kosovska Mitrovica district prison.

    The detained Serbs demand that doctors, appointed by the Yugoslav committee for cooperation with UNMIK, be allowed to follow the health condition of the Serb detainees, and that members of all ethnic communities be given equal treatment during the entire court proceeding.

    BISHOP ARTEMIJE AND MOMCILO TRAJKOVIC ABOUT VISIT TO RUSSIA AND GREECE: KOSOVO HAS TO FIND ITS PLACE IN YUGOSLAVIA

    (Blic daily, 26. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - "Our visits to Russia and Greece in the past 10 days were the missions of peace. We can say with pleasure that they were very successful. Today we are returning to Kosovo encouraged morally and spiritually to endure in performing our task", Bishop Artemije and Momcilo Trajkovic president of executive board of Serb National Council said at yesterday`s press conference.

    Commenting discussion with Greek Foreign Minister Papandreu, Trajkovic said that the parties clearly concluded that independent Kosovo was out of question and that nobody of the international community would support such proposal.

    "Kosovo has to find its place in Yugoslavia and that issue can be settled only with just implementation of UN Resolution 1244", Trajkovic pointed out.

    According to Trajkovic the most difficult problem is split with Serb National Council of Kosovskomitrovacki District.

    "We have to overcome all conflicts and act with joint efforts if we want to return the Serbs in Kosovo. I appeal that all democratic forces of Kosovo Serbs unite for this cause. Cooperation with the international community in this matter is absolutely necessary, since without it the problem cannot be solved", Trajkovic concluded.

    Bishop Artemije confirmed arrival of UN Security Council mission on April 28. "Our duty will be to prove with facts failure of international community in implementation of resolution 1244 and to require that Kosovo problem is solved strictly within this Resolution", Bishop Artemije said.

    REPRESENTATIVES OF SNF MET KFOR HIGH-RANKING OFFICER: PERMANENT ALBANIAN PROVOCATION

    (Danas/Digest, 26. 4. 2000)

    Gracanica A Member of the Executive Board of The Serb National Forum (SNF), Rada Trajkovic and protosingel Sava Janic met two days ago KFOR commander of the multinational brigade "Center" and talked about permanent Albanian attacks on Serbs. KFOR high-ranking officer said that one of the main tasks of his brigade is protection of Kosovo Serbs. (*)

    KFOR SOLDIER TRAGICALLY DIED

    (Glas javnosti/Digest, 26. 4. 2000)

    Pristina - A Norway KFOR soldier tragically died in a car accident when his armored vehicle turned over. (*)

    659 CAUGHT TULAREMIA

    (Danas/Digest, 26. 4. 2000)

    Pristina Director of Kosovo Institute for Health, Skender Bosnjaku, announced that 659 persons in Kosovo caught tularemia so far. (*)

    INDEPENDENT: SERBS SERIOUSLY SUFFER

    (Danas/Digest, 26. 4. 2000)

    London London Independent warned yesterday that Kosovo Serbs seriously suffer in last one year. "This is ethically wrong and politically dangerous", stressed Independent. "Because of that injustice Kosovo still remains poisoned and will explode again in the future", Independent added. (*)

    U.S. OFFICER WANTS TO SERVE IN YUGOSLAV ARMY

    (Tanjug, 26. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade - Retired lieutenant-colonel of the U.S. armed forces Harold Raffe recently sent a letter to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, federal Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic, federal Defense Minister General of the Army Dragoljub Ojdanic, and Chief of General Staff Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, seeking permission to be admitted to serve in the Yugoslav Army.

    Raffe said he wanted to contribute to Yugoslavia's defense through media from unjustified attacks by NATO countries, or in any other way.

    Raffe said he was certain the knowledge and skills which he acquired during his 20-year career as a professional soldier (serving in Germany, South Korea, Egypt, Jordan) could serve the Yugoslav defense forces, especially at the present time, when United Nations forces (KFOR) are deployed in Kosovo and Metohija, forces which have not managed to realize a single of the proclaimed goals of their peace mission.

    The retired U.S. officer, who wants to join the Yugoslav Army at a time when the ruling political and military circles of the United States lead NATO member-states in the continuous non-armed aggression on Yugoslavia, believes his experience as a liaison officer in foreign armies, his college education, as well as his open sympathies for the Serbian people, make him suitable for service in the Yugoslav Army.

    DIMITROV WARNS KFOR COMMANDER IN MACEDONIA

    (Borba daily, 26. 4. 2000)

    Macedonian Foreign Minister Aleksandar Dimtrov has asked KFOR to enhance control on the Macedonian-Yugoslav border in order to prevent "illegal transfers" from Kosovo-Metohija to the territory of Macedonia, it was said in Skopje Tuesday.

    Dimitrov, in talks with KFOR commander in Macedonia, said that pending problems in Kosovo-Metohija were threatening stability and security in Macedonia, the statement said.

    Macedonian Defense Minister Nikola Kljusev, also warned that that section of the state border, since the arrival of KFOR in Kosovo-Metohija, represents a "huge problem," because across it arrive large quantities of arms into Macedonia.

    Macedonian border guards are unable to control by themselves that section of the border, Kljusev said, adding that a major problem was also that Albania is not undertaking anything to protect its section of the border towards Macedonia.

    On the northern section of the border, near Tanusevci, Albanian terrorists recently kidnapped four Macedonian soldiers and took them to Kosovo-Metohija. The border guards were returned to the country only after from Skopje investigative prison, on a 200,000 D mark bail, was released Dzevad Hasani, who is said to be one of the leaders of the terrorist "KLA."

    MINISTERS OF MONTENEGRO AND ALBANIA SIGNED YESTERDAY: MEMORANDUM ON COOPERATION

    (Blic daily/Digest, 26. 4. 2000)

    Podgorica - Foreign Ministers of Montenegro Branko Lukovac and Albania Paskal Miljo yesterday signed in Podgorica Memorandum on cooperation thus making, as they themselves said, institutional basis for future cooperation. Two ministers informed the journalists that they agreed to sign in the near future a series of other agreements in the field of tourism, traffic, education and health. They also intend to mutually candidate certain projects within the Stability Pact. They also talked about opening of another border crossing between the two countries.

    ALBANIA AND MONTENEGRO SIGN TRADE AGREEMENT

    (B2 - 92, 26. 4. 2000)

    Podgorica, Tuesday Albanian Foreign Minister Pascal Millo said today that there was a basis for successful collaboration between Montenegro and Albania. Millo was speaking in Podgorica after signing a memorandum of economic, trade and cultural cooperation between the two states. He told media that his visit had historical significance because he was the first Albanian foreign minister to visit Montenegro in fifty years. While in Montenegro Millo also held discussions with the Albanian Democratic Union of Montenegro.

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