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The Information Service of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija
Daily press briefing of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija
Gracanica, September 16, 2000
Bishop Artemije speaks with Bernard Kouchner
SNC strongly condemns attempted kidnapping of Radio Free Europe reporter
BISHOP ARTEMIJE SPEAKS WITH BERNARD KOUCHNER
Today in Gracanica Monastery Episcope Artemije spoke with the chief of
the UN mission in Kosovo, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, and his associates. The
main topic of the talks was the current situation in Kosovo and Metohija
in the light of the upcoming Yugoslav federal and Kosovo local elections.
The position of the Serb National Council remains that conditions have
not been created enabling the free participation and expression of the
political will of the Kosovo Serbs in either elections. Unfortunately,
the elections in Kosovo are increasingly becoming a cause for intensified
violence, especially between Albanian political groups, said Episcope Artemije.
The SNC accepts the position adopted by UNMIK with respect to the federal
elections. Because Kosovo remains an integral part of FRY in accordance
with Resolution 1244, no one can stop the citizens of that country from
participating in elections; however, because the Belgrade regime will attempt
yet another electoral theft in Kosovo,! these elections cannot be an indicator
of the true political will of the citizens.
In the continuation of the talks, separate consideration was given to
the topics of improving security for the Serb people especially in the
endangered enclaves of Lipljan and Obilic. Episcope Artemije once again
emphasized that the signed Joint Understanding represents a formal obligation
on the part of the international community and that the process of refugee
returns and the engagement of a larger number of Serbs within the framework
of the Kosovo police needs to be speeded up. It is especially significant
that the process of forming local community offices for Serbs be intensified
since security conditions do not exist for Serb representatives to freely
participate in municipal structures which are dominated by Albanians.
SNC STRONGLY CONDEMNS ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING OF RADIO FREE EUROPE REPORTER
Only a day after the publishing of the commentary on the verbal duel of
Dr. Rada Trajkovic and Hashim Thaci at the meeting of the Interim Administrative
Council of Kosovo, unknown attackers attempted to kidnap Bojan Bozovic,
a reporter of the international Radio Free Europe. On Thursday, September
14, Bozovic headed out in his personal automobile without an escort along
the main road from Pristina toward Mitrovica in order to report on the
visit of Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) candidate Dr. Vojislav Kostunica.
Not far from Vucitrn, a white Volkswagen vehicle began to overtake Bozovicís
automobile and push him to the side of the road. When Bozovic stopped his
vehicle, two Albanians got out of the other vehicle and began to drag Bozovic
from his vehicle by force. Fortunately, at that very moment, Dr. Rada Trajkovic,
a member of the Interim Administrative Council of Kosovo and a representative
of the Serb National Council, who was also travelling in the same direction
ha! ppened to pass by. UNMIK security responded immediately by stopping
all traffic and seriously beating up the two Albanians who were mistreating
Bozovic on the spot. Since it became unsafe to remain in the road, the
vehicles of Trajkovic and Bozovic, accompanied by UN special police, immediately
continued on their way to Mitrovica while the attackers fled the scene.
The SNC most strongly condemns this attack which was a classic attempt
to kidnap an independent journalist for the sole reason that he openly
reported on the terror being carried out by extremist Albanians. The day
before this incident, Bozovic received information from a confidential
source in Pristina that he was being followed by Thaciís men and that he
should exercise caution. Only a few days ago, reporter Marjan Melanesi
(from a mixed Serb-Albanian marriage) was kidnapped in Pristina and the
international police still has not learned anything about his fate. Attacks
on reporters, politicians, respected Serb citizens and democratically oriented
Albanians are an increasingly frequent occurrence before the elections
in which extremist Albanian forces may face a loss of political power which
they gained through violence and terror after the war.
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