THE UNITED STATES LOOKIG FOR AN EXIT
February 7, 2000
United States is moving to redefine its policy in Kosovo. The
immediate reason can be found in the deteriorating situation on the
ground. Last week, violence intensified between ethnic Albanians and
Serbs; this was not something that the United States bargained for when
it intervened last year. For this and a host of other reasons, it
appears that Washington is now in the process of redefining its role
quite possibly preparing to withdraw its forces.
there are signs that the United States is looking for a
way to reposition itself in Kosovo, nearly a year after leading NATO
forces into a conflict over the province. Last week in Europe, U.S.
Defense Secretary William Cohen suggested that U.S. forces are facing
mission creep which neither military commanders nor political
want. In addition, a case is building in Washington that blames Europe
for doing too little to help control Kosovo. And in the last week, the
city of Mitrovica in Kosovo has been the scene of the very violence
chaos that NATO has always sought to avoid.
since NATO intervened in Kosovo nearly a year ago, one of the most
interesting exercises has been the attempt of serious analysts and
Balkan residents to uncover the hidden reason behind the U.S.-led
intervention last March. The official reason for the conflict was that
the United States wanted to stop genocide in Kosovo. Particularly in
Europe, this was seen as a public justification masking a hidden agenda.
Theories suggested that hidden mines or even the control of the
telecommunications industry were the true reasons for intervention.
entire industry was spawned to uncover the motives behind the two and
half month-long conflict.
reality, however, is far more prosaic and, in some ways, more
alarming. The U.S.-led intervention was prompted precisely by what the
U.S. government said. There were reports of an impending holocaust in
Kosovo. Criticized for failing to prevent genocide in Rwanda and accused
of sitting idly by in Bosnia, the Clinton administration was afraid
another public relations nightmare at a time when domestic scandals
were tarnishing the administration anyway.
administration viewed Kosovo as a low-risk, high-yield operation.
The administration did not expect an extended conflict, having drawn
belief in Bosnia that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was
incapable of enduring an extended bombing campaign. Expecting a
repetition of events in Bosnia when a brief bombing campaign
followed by quick capitulation the administration was caught
flat-footed when the war dragged on. The United States had been suckered
into a war of limited strategic interest from which the United States
could not withdraw. Milosevic, after all, had been portrayed as a
monster. And the administration could not negotiate with a monster.
and the United States ultimately engineered a victory, of sorts,
last June when NATO forces occupied Kosovo. But their arrival did not
bring anything like closure. Quite to the contrary, the alliance began
an open-ended occupation in which the mission did not correspond to
reality on the ground. The mission of NATO forces was to ensure the
security of all residents. The reality was that NATO forces were, quite
against their intentions, acting as the agents of the Kosovo Liberation
Army (KLA). The ethnic Albanian guerrillas used the NATO peacekeeping
mission as a means for institutionalizing KLA rule in the province.
effect was to turn victims into victimizers and NATO peacekeepers into
unwitting tools of ethnic Albanian revenge.
this situation, NATO has never managed to find its balance or its
center of gravity. NATO troops have managed to alienate all sides
fact underscored by the ongoing violence in Mitrovica. On a larger
scale, neither Washington nor Brussels had ever faced a simple fact.
the region, the prevailing view is that neutral benevolence is
impossible; for NATO troops, there was no neutral standpoint from which
to mount their operation. It was inevitable that the peacekeepers would
find themselves caught in the crossfire between Albanians, determined
keep what they think they have won, and Serbs, increasingly determined
to recover what they have lost. Milosevic remains in control in
Belgrade. Nothing has been settled.
the United States, the Kosovo experience violates the key lessons of
the Vietnam experience. Withdrawing from Southeast Asia nearly 20 years
ago, the United States swore never to again become embroiled, on the
ground, in a civil war in another country. In Kosovo, the United States
has been involved in something worse: a civil war that offers no clear
exit strategy. The war, after all, cannot truly end until one warring
ethnic group, or the other, is completely expelled from the region.
Worse, this civil war is one in which the United States has no real
stake. In Vietnam, at least, some sort of strategic logic could be
asserted. But this has not been the case in Kosovo, where the driving
motive for U.S. involvement has been based on humanitarian motives.
humanitarian question is now cutting the other way as peacekeepers
are turned from saviors into confused bullies in the minds of even the
Albanians. This transformation is not the fault of the troops, who are
still mostly combat soldiers, trained to respond to threats with
overwhelming force. Keeping the peace, particularly in a chaotic
situation, requires a very different sort of training the sort
given to police, of which there are still precious few in Kosovo.
than having the right training, a policeman is someone who is
local. NATO has taken people who were never trained as police in the
first place, tossed them into an utterly alien culture and is
discovering that the solution is not working.
appears that the administration is slowly recognizing the insanity of
the situation. In Munich last week, Cohen reportedly said, I think
has reached the level of concern on the part of not only members of
U.S. Congress, but military commanders. They are concerned about the
possibility of mission creep that the military is being called
engage in police functions for which they are not properly trained and
we don't want them to carry out." The administration has acknowledged
that the situation is getting out of hand, that forces are not trained
for the mission and that no one now wants them to carry out the mission.
intriguing is Cohens reference to mission creep; there has, of
course, been none. The nature of the mission has remained the same.
increasingly, there is perception of creep: the administrations
perception has finally caught up with the reality of the mission it
enthusiastically undertook nearly a year ago.
a result, administration officials and Congress members are looking
for the exit. Since total withdrawal of NATO forces is impossible
without even more chaos, another solution is appearing: Blame the
Europeans and demand that they shoulder more of the burden. Sen. John
Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has claimed
that the real problem in Kosovo is that Europeans have not fulfilled
their obligations. They were supposed to send police, as well as $35
million for policing functions, but only a few of the former and none
the latter have arrived.
countries have agreed to take command of the peacekeeping
operation. By April, a Eurocorps contingent is scheduled to command
NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR). More than 350 personnel from the
five Eurocorps countries Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg
Spain are to take command of the 50,000 troops in Kosovo. This
course does not solve the core problem. It may even compound it. The
United States, desperately wanting to minimize exposure and casualties,
will now find its forces under the control of a headquarters with its
Europeans, however, are not eager to undertake full responsibility
for KFOR. Except for the British government, the rest of Europe was
than a little restrained in enthusiasm for the war. Most European
governments foresaw precisely the situation that has developed. The
European view has always been that the United States stumbled into a
situation for which they had counseled caution.
there are far deeper issues for European governments at this point.
One is Russia. The emergence of acting President Vladimir Putin and
much more assertive, anti-Western Russia is a result of last years
European governments regard the end game of Kosovo, in which the
Russians were outmaneuvered and humiliated, as a Pyrrhic victory. The
Germans in particular now must deal with an increasingly truculent
Russia in which they have invested billions that they will never
see and are not eager to be the flag-bearers of an operation
continues to irritate the Russians.
the Russian factor is likely one reason that the United States
wants out. Washingtons relationship with Moscow is increasingly
dangerous. Rhetoric aside, the upcoming Sino-Russian summit in March
presents a serious threat to global American interests. The United
States does not want to see a deepening of the Sino-Russian
relationship. Instead, Washington needs to signal that the U.S. presence
in Kosovo does not present a strategic threat to the Russians. Beginning
the process of withdrawal would help enormously. The problem with this
strategy is that Europeans are not likely to replace Americans as the
objects of Russian ire.
U.S. troops are caught in the crossfire between Kosovo factions, the
basic irrationality of the operation becomes apparent. Having entered
civil war, the United States lacks both the will and resources to impose
a settlement. The settlement at hand, a fully Albanian Kosovo, cleansed
of Serbs, is intolerable. A NATO withdrawal, and the re-entry of the
Yugoslav Army, is unthinkable. In addition, U.S. forces are strained
their dispersal around the globe with little strategic reason.
exit from Kosovo will emerge as an issue in the months to come,
particularly in the context of an American presidential election. The
Clinton administration is setting the stage for the withdrawal of at
least some forces from Kosovo, leaving the Europeans to handle it. It
far from clear that the Europeans will do it. With both strategic and
political considerations coinciding, Clinton seems likely to try to
the military commitment in Kosovo. However, having stumbled into it,
is not clear that he will now be able to stumble out. Nevertheless,
seems to be cranking up to give it his best shot.
NEW YORK TIMES
February 7, 2000
Group Says NATO Killed 500 Civilians in Kosovo War
Feb. 6 -- The NATO air campaign in
Kosovo led to the deaths of 500 civilians in 90
separate attacks, more incidents than the Pentagon has
acknowledged but a much lower toll than Yugoslavia said,
according to a human rights study issued today that
documents each incident and lists the names of the victims.
study, by Human Rights Watch, rejected any notion that
NATO committed war crimes. But it did argue that in waging a
war to stop Serbs from killing or driving out Kosovo
Albanians -- 90 percent of the prewar population of the ethnic
Serbian province -- NATO officials themselves violated the
Geneva Convention both in the selection of targets and the
use of cluster bombs.
a six-month investigation, including three weeks
interviewing witnesses in Kosovo, the Human Rights Watch
team determined that one-third of the number of lethal
episodes and half the casualties could have been avoided if
NATO nation forces had strictly followed the rules.
not saying there is any equivalency with the Serbs,"
remarked Bill Arkin, the author of the report, "but we are
saying that NATO made a fetish about minimizing civilian
casualties but the process was deficient."
examining Serbian and NATO actions, the report
emphasized an attack on May 21 by NATO forces that hit
Dubrava Prison. The government of Yugoslavia, of which
Serbia is the larger of two remaining republics, said 95
civilians died in blasts from NATO missiles. Mr. Arkin and his
colleague, Bogdan Ivanisevic, found that 19 of the prisoners
were killed in the NATO attack while the others were all
executed by prison guards afterward.
Pentagon officials said they were relieved that so few
civilians died in a bombing campaign that lasted 78 days and
included 38,000 sorties. The Yugoslav government had
contended that NATO bombing killed 5,000 civilians.
new study said Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen
and other top officials are wrong in concluding that civilians
were killed in no more than 20 to 30 NATO bombings.
disturbing aspect of the matter of civilian deaths is how
starkly the number of incidents and deaths contrast with
official U.S. and Yugoslav statements," the report said, citing
Gen. Wesley K. Clark, the NATO supreme commander, as well
as Mr. Cohen as testifying that only 20 to 30 incidents had led
to such deaths.
since the Vietnam War, when counting bodies of
Vietnamese on or near the battlefield became a way to avoid
admitting strategic failures, the Pentagon has been loath to
count the civilians or the enemy combatants who died during
a conflict with United States forces.
Pentagon has undertaken an extensive investigation of
the Kosovo campaign for a report to be presented by Mr.
Cohen to Congress this week. It will review the goals set for
the campaign and measure how they were achieved, but it
does not include a death toll for enemy soldiers or for
that report, officials say, Mr. Cohen will maintain that
NATO forces took utmost care in selecting targets and that the
targets selected were legitimate ones.
Human Rights Watch report also says that NATO erred by
dropping cluster bombs in urban areas, by bombing bridges
during daylight hours when civilians were most likely to be
crossing them (unlike in the Persian Gulf war, the report
says), by hitting targets like a Belgrade television station, and
by striking convoys without knowing with certainty that they
were made up of Serbian military forces.
NEW YORK TIMES
February 4, 2000
Ambush in Kosovo Costs NATO Faith of Serbs
GRLO, Kosovo, Feb 3. -- Serbs who survived a bus
attack in northern Kosovo on Wednesday huddled around a
wood stove in the village school today, saying they felt more
trapped and worried than ever.
day after two neighbors were killed in the ambush, the villagers
left their houses, clustered at the bottom of a steep slope of sheer
ice, down a remote country road, to seek support and comfort. The
130 Serbs live in the tiny enclave of Suvo Grlo, surrounded by
Albanian homesteads and villages. Behind them rises the wall of
mountains of Montenegro, and before them stretch the highlands
of Drenica, the heartland of the most determined Kosovo Albanian
escape this isolation, the Serbs had been using a weekly bus
service, operated by the United Nations high commissioner for
refugees. It was their one lifeline in recent months as it shuttled
from their village and another village, Banja, to the Serbian
district of Mitrovica some 20 miles away. The bus trip always brought
the villagers welcome freedom of movement, but on Wednesday it
proved a death trap.
was on the bus," said Milomirka Tomasevic, 47, crouching close
the stove. "I went to Mitrovica to buy a few things. I know when
they fired on us I threw myself on the floor but I do not remember
was not hurt in the attack but appeared to still be in shock.
She began to weep. "If I die there will be no one to take care
me, I have no father or sister or brother. You have to have
someone to cry after you, I have no one," she wailed.
Tomasevic, 28, was also on the bus, with his brother and
sister-in-law. They had gone to buy coffee and cigarettes in the
town. He escaped unhurt but his 24-year-old brother, Stojadin,
was badly wounded, he said. French soldiers, part of KFOR, the
NATO-led peacekeeping troops, had evacuated him to their
hospital and he was waiting for news.
was the most horrible thing that happened," he said. "We
trusted KFOR. Until now we were 100 percent convinced they were
guarding us and that's why we travelled on the bus. But after what
happened yesterday, I do not trust anyone anymore, absolutely no
one," he said.
Tomasevic complained that the peacekeeping troops, who
were escorting the bus in two armored vehicles, did not react to
the attack, neither firing on nor pursuing the attackers. "NATO
could bring in 200 soldiers here but the way they are acting it will
serve as nothing," he said.
and the others gathered in the schoolroom said peacekeepers
had to be tougher with ethnic Albanians, who they were sure were
responsible for the attack. "This is not the first killing that
happened and we can see the way it is going," Mr. Tomasevic
said. Two people have been killed and four wounded in the seven
months since NATO arrived, the head of the village said.
rocket attack on the United Nations bus was the worst case of
violence against any escorted Serbian convoy in Kosovo and came
as a blow to peacekeeping efforts to improve security.
attack could push more Serbs to leave the village and other
isolated Serbian enclaves. Already 40 percent of the population of
Suvo Grlo has fled to Serbia.
today, villagers said this latest attack might make them think
again about abandoning their homes. "No one will be fool enough
to stay, if there is one more incident," Mr. Tomasevic said.
United Nations has suspended its bus service to Serbian areas
in Kosovo while the attack is being investigated. The buses were
frequently portrayed as a sign that normality was returning to
Kosovo, but their future use is now in doubt. In fact, these
villagers said they would no longer use them.
claims by peacekeepers that ethnic violence is slowly
decreasing, the incident exposed the unceasing desire for revenge
among the ethnic Albanians who suffered at Serbian hands during
Albanian homes up the hill from the Serbian houses in Suvo
Grlo all show the damage of the burning and looting conducted by
Serbian forces during the war. Ten Albanians were killed from this
little hamlet and most houses burned, said a shopkeeper, Zenel
am sure it was not someone from this village, but it was done
by someone whose heart was burned, whose family was killed," he
Albanian youths who stopped today at the scene of the bus
attack, on a lonely hairpin bend near the village of Vitak, were
callous in their reaction. "Only two killed, I wish there had been
more," said one, before he ran off to hail a passing bus.
Albanian villager would be sad at the news that two Serbs had
been killed, his friend Artan Rustemi, 18, said. "How can they
by this way when they committed a big massacre of 14 people
here during the war?" he said. "We would not like to see them
anymore. They should leave. They have a place to go."
NEW YORK TIMES
February 3, 2000
Killed as Rocket Hits a U.N. Bus for Serbs in Kosovo
Kosovo, Feb. 2 -- A rocket attack on a bus
filled with Serbian civilians killed two elderly villagers and
wounded three more people today, just yards from their armed
Serbs were using a weekly bus service organized by the
United Nations high commissioner for refugees to their village in
northern Kosovo and were ambushed, NATO peacekeepers said. A
spokesman for the high commissioner's office said it was the
worst such attack on a Serbian convoy here and will set back
efforts to encourage peace and tolerance between Albanians and
rose in the divided city of Mitrovica, some 12 miles from
the scene, soon after the attack. French troops reported four
explosions in the Serb-dominated northern half of the city. They
quickly closed a bridge that connects the Serbian and Albanian
parts of the city, pulling across coils of barbed wire and planks of
wood studded with nails. Reinforcements arrived to take up
positions on the bridge as automatic gunfire sounded.
attack on the bus shook the office of the high commissioner,
which immediately suspended all similar bus services. Since
November, the office has introduced eight bus services in the
province to allow Serbs who are cut off and threatened by
Albanians to move freely. Until today, the bus trips had
encountered no problems beyond a few stones.
the attack today, an elderly man and woman were killed
instantly. French troops took two others to a hospital at the French
base in Mitrovica. A man in his 30's, with a severed leg and hand,
was being operated on in a Mitrovica hospital later in the evening,
said Lt. Col. Patrick Chanliau, a spokesman for the French troops.
80-year-old woman was also treated for a wound to her hand.
And a third woman was treated at the scene and taken home. The
remaining passengers, who numbered more than 40, were safely
escorted to their isolated village of Banja, about 18 miles from
Mitrovica. The driver, a Dutch worker, escaped unharmed.
assailant, who fired the antitank rocket from a spot off the
road, escaped with his weapon.
attack occurred about 4 p.m. as dusk was falling on a remote
foggy road. The bus was hit near the village of Vitak, in a
predominantly Albanian area.
Chanliau said the attacker must have been waiting for the
can say with certitude it was an ambush," he said. "The bus
was expected, it was very visible, with the letters U.N.H.C.R.
troops in light armored vehicles were driving ahead and
behind the bus, providing an escort. The rocket hit the side of the
bus, but neither of the escort vehicles.
deaths and injuries of the Serbs while under international
protection highlights a problem that has placed the high
commissioner's office at loggerheads with the commander of the
peacekeeping force in Kosovo, Gen. Klaus Reinhardt.
Reinhardt has been pushing to give Serbs more
movement around Kosovo and has sought to encourage Serbs
who fled the province to return. The high commissioner's office
has insisted on moving slowly on the bus services, however, and
has repeatedly insisted that conditions in Kosovo are, for now, too
dangerous for Serbs to be encouraged to return.
protection of minorities has been and remains a major
preoccupation, and this sort of incident sets us back enormously in
the whole area," said Dennis McNamara, head of the high
commissioner's office in Kosovo. "U.N.H.C.R. is certain in that
will not encourage Serbs to return to Kosovo at this stage because
of the security situation."
today, the bus service had been reasonably successful and
popular with the Serbs, said Peter Kessler, a spokesman for the
high commissioner's office.
gives them access to doctors, dentists, and a chance to sell
their cheese or other produce," he said. "Generally, the people
them are elderly."
McNamara said: "We know from Bosnia that these operations
are not without risk. We took time and care to set them up. But if
someone is determined to attack, they can."
LAW CENTER COMMUNIQUE
and violence main reasons for leaving Kosovo
7 February 2000
the end of January, displaced persons from Kosovo had submitted to
the Humanitarian Law Center 1,327 complaints against the violation of
their property rights. The HLC started receiving these complaints on
October last year, in the expectation that an ombuds office would be
established in Kosovo with a mandate to consider complaints lodged by
individuals against the violation of property rights.
percent of the complainants said they were made to leave their
apartments or houses under threat of death or were forcibly evicted
unidentified ethnic Albanians, who were most frequently armed and
wearing Kosovo Liberation Army uniforms. This group of displaced said
they were subjected to physical and psychological abuse even before
being thrown out of their homes. Many called the Kosovo Force or the
Mission in Kosovo police for help but neither were able to provide them
with adequate protection.
percent of the displaced said they left their homes and property
and fled to Serbia or Montenegro out of fear of reprisals, being
murdered or abducted, lack of confidence in KFOR, and a feeling of
personal insecurity after the withdrawal of the Yugoslav Army and
Serbian police force from Kosovo.
Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church
PRESS / STATEMENT
MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES UNDER ATTACK
June 17, 1999
Holiness Pavle, the Serbian Patriarch, has arrived today to Kosovo and
Metohia, with the intention to support the Serbian people, whose afflictions
have not ceased, and to encourage it to stay on its hearths.
Patriarch has visited Kosovska Mitrovica, Pristina, Gracanica monastery,
and other places. He has met general Michael Jackson, KFOR commander,
who has promised the Patriarch that the international peacekeeping forces
on Kosovo and Metohia will protect the Serbs as well. In Gracanica monastery
the Patriarch, accompanied by Rt. Rev. Artemije, the Bishop of Raska
and Prizren, and Rt. Rev. Atanasije, the Bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina,
has held a huge meeting with the Serbs living on Kosovo and Metohia.
The Patriarch's visit, as well as the conversation with the people,
has kept up the spirits of many despondent people.
his further staying in this Serbian province, the Patriarch will also
visit Devic monastery in Drenica. The nuns of this monastery, ten of
them, together with the Abbess -- Mother Anastasija, have been endangered
by the Albanians after the withdrawal of the Serbian army and police.
We could not obtain information about their afflictions until yesterday,
when Devic monastery, was, for the first time, after many unsuccessful
attempts, visited by the Abbess of Sokolica monastery, near Pristina,
-- Mother Makarija, and by the clergyman from Pristina -- Father Radivoje
Panic, with the escort and protection of the French soldiers. After
the Serbian army and the police had withdrawn from the vicinity of the
monastery, the Albanians invaded Devic monastery, robbed it completely,
broke into the monastery church, demolished it, ruined the altar, and
broke the reliquary -- the stone enwrapping the Saint's grave -- over
the grave of the Wonderworking Relics of Saint Joannicius of Devic,
in front of which even many Albanians were cured from various diseases.
The nuns from Devic monastery were enduring severe, fierce tortures
for many days, the tortures equal to those from the time of the pagan
Roman Empire. The Albanians beat, maltreated, and humiliated them
Only by the extreme, supernatural efforts, by an unanimous protection
of one another, and with the help of the Saint Joannicius, who represented
them before God during those imposed afflictions, did the nuns manage
to defend their monastic honor. The Albanians also beat hieromonk Serafim,
clergyman of Devic monastery, and forced him, night and day, to carry
and load for them heavy sacks, full of monastery food and of monastery
possessings. Frightened and harassed nuns wanted to leave Devic monastery
together with the visitors. But, since the visitors could not secure
their departure, another solution was found: the French soldiers, who
escorted Mother Makarija and Father Radivoje, are now providing continuous
protection to the nuns. Ten French soldiers have stayed in the monastery.
have obtained the information today that Saint Marco monastery, located
above the village Korisa, near Prizren, has been torn down.
Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church
PRESS / STATEMENT
of the Serb Orthodox Church and its People Continued
June 22, 1999
situation concerning the safety of the Patriarchate of Pec monastery,
and of the Serbs remaining in Pec and in the monastery, has been worsening
continually and progressively. The armed Albanians have been coming
in great numbers from the gorge of Rugova, and they have been crowding
in the vicininty of the monastery. The Albanians have been barging into
the apartments of the Serbs, and forcing those who have stayed, who
are very few in number, to move out.
is known for sure now that 21 Serbs have been kidnapped, 14 of which
are known by the name, and that 2 female Serbs were raped.
Rev. Amfilohije, the Archbishop of Crna Gora and Primorje, who has been
experiencing this new golgotha from the very beginning with Metohian
Serbs, has informed today Rt. Rev. Artemije, the Bishop of Raska and
Prizren, that the Serbian Metohia may disappear completely, unless the
international military forces intervene urgently against the Albanian
Artemije and Archbishop Amfilohije have turned to KFOR commanders asking
for help. No help has been provided up to midday.
position of the Serbs in Pristina has also been worsening day by day.
In this city too, the Albanians have been moving into empty Serbian
apartments; at the same time they have been forcing the Serbian owners
from those apartments which are inhabited to move out. The expelling
of the Serbs from the firms and from the hospitals has been done in
the same manner. Four male Serbs from the village Slivovo, and six male
Serbs from Milosevo, killed by the Albanians, have been buried today.
attacking the Orthodox church in Urosevac and its clergymen, the Albanians
have also destroyed the monument dedicated to Uros, the Saint King.
Fifty Serbs, who were kept in prison and beaten by the Albanians, together
with three Albanian families which incurred disfavour of their countrymen
due to their good relations with the Serbs, have moved in the seminary
from the Albanians, 21 Serbs from the vicinity and 35 Muslim Gipsies
have found refuge, in this difficult period, in Decani monastery, together
with the monastics living there.
have been informed that the representatives of the Diocese of Zahumlje
and Herzegovina, have visited Devic monastery today, bringing the most
necessary foodstuffs to the nuns; also, the Charity Fund of the Serbian
Orthodox Church "Philatrophy" dispatched yesterday, with the
help of KFOR soldiers, a truck of groceries into Pec.
June 28, 1999 Published at 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Church Attacks Milosevic
Patriarch Pavle: Marking 610th anniversary
of Serb defeat by Ottomans
The head of the Serbian Orthodox church has made his harshest and most
open denunciation of the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic.
a ceremony marking the anniversary of the medieval Battle of Kosovo,
Patriarch Pavle said the greatest blame for what had happened in Kosovo
lay with their president.
called on the United Nations to take urgent action to ensure the survival
of the Serb people, who are leaving the province in droves.
condemnation came as the first Kosovo Albanian refugees to be repatriated
under United Nations auspices arrived in Pristina. Their return is provoking
rising panic among Serbs in the province as stories of killings, kidnappings,
and the torching of homes by Kosovo Albanians multiply.
of violence led to the battle anniversary -- known as St Vitus Day --
being marked in a more low-key ceremony than usual.
Serb army was defeated by the advancing Ottoman Turks in 1389, and the
occasion has taken on mythological symbolism over the centuries as the
foundation of Serb nationhood. Ten years ago Mr Milosevic himself used
the 600th anniversary to launch his plans to create a Greater Serbia
across much of the then Yugoslavia. But this year the Orthodox church
distanced themselves from Serbia's political leaders.
before Patriarch Pavle spoke, another church leader, Father Sava, said
Mr Milosevic had "brought ruin on the Serb people".
Milosevic regime does not support the Christian values we are fighting
for and want to preserve," he said.
Orthodox church commands great respect inYugoslavia, and in recent years
there has been a growing rift between the clergy and the president.
BBC correspondent in Kosovo, Paul Wood, says Serbs will only hear about
the church attacks through the veil of a heavily censored state media.
clerics denounce Milosevic: "Not By Crime..."
CARLOTTA GALL in Gracanica
head of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the senior bishop of Kosovo
have denounced Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, describing his
policies as criminal and the root of the evil done in Kosovo.
at a news conference at the 14th-century Orthodox monastery in Gracanica,
the head of the Church, Patriarch Pavle, said that if Serbia could survive
only through crime then it should not survive at all.
the only way to create a greater Serbia is by crime," Pavle said,
"then I do not accept that, and let that Serbia disappear. And
also if a lesser Serbia can only survive by crime, let it also disappear.
And if all the Serbs had to die and only I remained and I could live
only by crime, then I would not accept that; it would be better to die."
Church delivered its most recent denunciation of Milosevic's policies
in Kosovo on the 10th anniversary of his famous speech in Kosovo that
set the course for a decade of conflict. Its message follows a call
two weeks ago by the Serbian Orthodox Holy Synod for Milosevic to resign.
the patriarch was Bishop Artemije, the most senior representative of
the Church in Kosovo, who was even more pointed in his criticism.
are both aware, as God knows, how much evil has been done in the course
of the last year and especially in the last three months," he said.
"The great part of the guilt lies with Milosevic."
Artemije also blamed separatist extremists of the Kosovo Liberation
Army for the violence, but he said the hatred and revenge exacted by
the Albanians was understandable.
is not understandable is the suffering caused by the undemocratic regime
of Milosevic," the bishop said. "The Orthodox Church has
called for the resignation of Milosevic, not because we lost the war
in Kosovo, but because we think the problem could have been resolved
rallies demanding Milosevic step down from power were expected to begin
in Serbia late yesterday.
thousand people were expected to heed opposition calls to rally in the
streets of the central Serbian town of Cacak, the first of several protests
fuelled by popular anger over the loss of Kosovo and an economy wrecked
by NATO bombs and international sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia for
its role in successive Balkan wars.
Belgrade, Serbia's only independent trade union expressed frustration
with the President and said it would join opposition rallies to demand
Milovanovic, leader of the Association of Autonomous and Independent
Unions, reacted angrily to official suggestions that workers, especially
those made jobless by NATO's bombing, might be asked to help in Serbia's
said the labour situation in Serbia was dire, with 600,000 jobless and
the lowest wages in Europe. He said he hoped Milosevic would be out
of power by the end of the year at the latest.
New York Times, Reuters]
Head of Serbian church condemns ethnic
a.m. Jul 02, 1999 Eastern
July 2 (Reuters) - The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church condemned
ethnic cleansing in Kosovo while saying NATO was equally responsible
for it with so few Serbs now left in the southern province, a Spanish
an interview with Spain's ABC daily, published on Thursday, Patriarch
Pavle condemned all ethnic cleansing -- that which caused ethnic Albanians
to flee the province and what he called another bout now that has sparked
an exodus of Serbs.
of thousands of ethnic Albanians fled or were expelled from Kosovo after
NATO began a bombing campaign on Yugoslavia on March 24. Those who fled
accused Serbian security forces and civilians of atrocities and forced
security forces pulled out of the province to be replaced by NATO-led
international peace troops, tens of thousands of minority Serbs in Kosovo
began their own exodus, fleeing in fear of reprisals from returning
Church, which has condemned the Yugoslav government and called on President
Slobodan Milosevic to resign, recently asked the United Nations and
other international officials to help improve security for Serbs in
accused NATO of having helped with ethnic cleansing of Kosovo, the birthplace
of the Serbian Orthodox Church and site of a 14th century battle which
shaped Serbian history.
one ethnic cleansing (while NATO was bombing), we're now watching another
one with Serbian houses burning and the persecution of the few Serbs
that have remained or those who try to return," he said. "One
crime leads to another."
authorities have accused the KFOR peace force of doing little or nothing
to prevent returning ethnic Albanians from assaulting and driving out
Kosovo Serb civilians.
the bombing, Serbs accounted for about 10 percent of the 1.9 million
population in Kosovo.
is certain that there will be no Serbs left in Kosovo and there is a
real danger that it will lead to an ethnically clean Kosovo," Pavle
told the Spanish newspaper.
U.N. refugee agency UNHCR says some 71,400 Kosovo Serbs, nearly half
the Serb population in the province, have fled since the army and police
started their withdrawal on June 10.
who said he had no political leanings even though the government always
interpreted his sermons as either supporting the administration or the
opposition, said he did not want to belong to a crime-ridden Serbia.
years ago...(I said)...if a Greater Serbia was going to be built with
crimes I would deny belonging to it. That if Serbia was going to be
like that it was better that it disappeared," he said. "I
would say the same if it's a small Serbia. I reject belonging to such
a country. This is the faith of our fathers: that on top of (something)
bad you cannot build the future of any nation."
85-year-old patriarch accused the international community of causing
more problems in the region by not trying hard enough to solve the Kosovo
crisis through peaceful means.
it is so much more difficult, in fact, to organise life and cure all
the wounds. The international community should have helped solve the
problem in peacetime, and not make new and deep wounds."
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, Sunday, February 06, 2000
The Chaos in Kosovo
many victories such as this can Americans stand?
a Christmas letter to family and friends, a senior executive of the
police academy the United States is running for the United Nations in
place is one big lawless s-hole. The Mafia is taking over and the
police are losing control of the population to the TMK/UCK. The U.N.
are about as effective as a fire in hell. . . . The Americans want to
something but are always rejected because some tree hugging bleeding
heart thinks we're too oppressive in our law enforcement tactics. We
want to do a good job, but politics and other things won't let this
happen. This place
will turn out like Haiti and Bosnia."
executive, who will not be named here in order to protect him from the
wrath of the Clinton administration, described in his letter the criminal
activities of the TMK/UCK, the Albanian guerrillas on whose behalf we
intervened in Kosovo.
went on to say: "Sometimes I think we backed the wrong side. We
should have just let Slobo take these idiots out . . . We now help the
Albanian Kosovars with their ethnic cleansing of the Serbs. Sometimes
I wonder what the hell we are doing."
police executive is not alone.
came here thinking we would help the Albanians, but it's been more of
defending the Serbs," Col. Stephen Hicks of the 82nd Airborne told
Washington Post reporter.
in Kosovo need more help than they've been getting, according to a
300-page report on human rights abuses in Kosovo since NATO troops entered
the province. The report, issued in December, was prepared by the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
rights violations . . . include executions, abductions, torture,
cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrests and attempts
restrict freedom of expression," the OSCE report said. "House
blockades restricting freedom of movement, discriminatory treatment
schools, hospitals, humanitarian aid distribution and other public services
based on ethnic background, and forced evictions from housing recall
some of the worst practices of Kosovo's recent past."
reporter for the Chicago Tribune watched a Serb woman, with tears
streaming down her face, complain to a patrol of 1st Infantry Division
soldiers that Albanians had driven her from her home.
didn't do anything to hurt them," she said. Her family was leaving
Kosovo, she said, because "no one wants to die." Nearly a
quarter of a
million Serbs have left Kosovo since we came to make peace.
Bissett, who was Canada's ambassador to Yugoslavia from 1990 to 1992,
thinks the Kosovo war was a tragic blunder.
bombing . . . can be seen as an unmitigated failure with far-reaching
implications for world peace," Bissett wrote in the Toronto Globe
the evidence shows that there were approximately 2,000 casualties in
Kosovo up to the time of the NATO bombing," Bissett said. "By
contrast, the number of Yugoslavian civilians killed by the NATO bombing
is reckoned to be well above 2,000."
observers "have publicly stated that in the weeks leading up to
bombing they witnessed no murders, no deportations and nothing that
could be described as systematic persecution," Bissett said.
of the observers, a former Czech foreign minister, testified that NATO
was fully aware bombing would force the Serbs to expel Kosovar Albanians
as a military tactic, Bissett said.
"Yet our political leaders continue to tell us the bombing was
prevent - not cause - ethnic cleansing," he said.
sovereign state could accept the conditions of the infamous Rambouillet
Accords, Bissett said. Serb refusal to sign the document was the pretext
illegal action has fractured the framework of world security that
has existed since the end of the Second World War," Bissett said.
destabilized the Balkans and alienated the other great nuclear powers.
. . .
By forsaking diplomacy and resorting to force, NATO has reduced the
democratic countries of the West to the level of the dictatorships it
created to oppose."
Clinton continues to describe Kosovo as a "great victory."
many more such "victories" can this nation afford?
Kelly is national affairs writer for the Post-Gazette and The Blade of
Toledo, Ohio. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
GLOBE AND MAIL, Tuesday, February 8, 2000
the peace in Kosovo
was NATO doing in Yugoslavia, asks Timothy Garton Ash, making the world
safe for anarchy?
this scene, which I witnessed recently in Kosovo. Cars speed down
the unlit, potholed main street of a small town. A Swedish soldier steps
into the road with an electrically illuminated red stick and a little
circular sign that says "30 kph." The cars ignore him, of
course. Across the street, a local man, unshaven, toothless, perhaps
a little drunk, holds his sides and bends almost double with uncontrollable
laughter at the wholly ineffectual efforts of the good Swede.
is Kosovo, and it's an almighty mess. Here is the place for which --
least, ostensibly for which -- NATO fought its first war. The place
more than 40,000 international troops, organized in a multilateral force
known as KFOR, supposedly achieve security. Where the United Nations
leads the most ambitious experiment in international administration
in its nearly 55 years of existence. Where the European Union, the Organization
for Security and Co-operation in Europe and innumerable non-governmental
organizations are heavily involved. Yet, after more than seven months
being there, the combined acronymic might of the so-called international
community presides over something close to anarchy.
Serbs have fled into enclaves, which they themselves describe as
"ghettos." Those that remain among the Kosovar Albanians go
in fear for
their lives. In Podujevo, British soldiers mount a 24-hour guard on
Serbian grannies -- "and the Albanians would shoot them if we didn't,"
British officer told me. But it's not just the Serbs. Albanian women
afraid to go out at night in Pristina, for fear of being kidnapped into
forced prostitution by the Albanian mafia, which has moved into the
with a vengeance. Drug consumption has soared among students, as the
mafia drug pushers move in. While the reported murder rate has come
down, as the result of the combined efforts of KFOR and the UN's international
police, there are still repeated cases of revenge killings and summary
executions. One of the 60 officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary
sent from Belfast to work for the UN international police told me, with
a wry smile, "It's just like home."
the lawless roads covered in ice and snow, cars without registration
plates are driven wildly by unshaven characters dressed in black. Many
the cars are reportedly stolen, and I have never in my life seen so
traffic accidents. There are still less than 2,000 international police,
critics say many of them don't do a serious job. (Those from Third World
countries, one is told, tend to sit in the cafés, while earning
four times what they do at home.) Of local graduates from the new police
academy, there are only a few hundred.
has taken the UN administration, known as UNMIK, more than six months
to secure agreement even on the law to be applied in the province, let
alone to apply it. They still have to recruit sufficient local judges,
who can earn much more working as interpreters or drivers for international
organizations. (I was driven around by a judge, who has no intention
returning to his former profession.)
more than six months, the place has had not only no effective police,
law or judges but also no government that Thomas Hobbes would recognize
as such. Last month, the head of UNMIK, Bernard Kouchner, finally secured
the agreement of his international masters in New York, and of the squabbling
local Kosovar politicians, for a structure of interim administration,
pending elections. Whether it will work remains to be seen.
last century ended with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and others
proclaiming a broader lesson from Kosovo. The international community,
certain extreme cases, should intervene to restore an essential minimum
respect for human rights, the rule of law, good government and democracy.
Friends of this principle call it liberal interventionism. Critics call
it liberal imperialism. Looking at Kosovo today, the critics are gloating:
See what a mess you get into when you try this thing!
of us who believe that such intervention is an important part of the
more liberal world we should be trying to build in the 21st century
tear at our hair and plead for the international community to do more.
like it or not, Kosovo is a test case. If things go wrong here, we'll
that much less likely to attempt it anywhere else. Yet how much do you
in the newspapers about Kosovo today? How much do you see on television?
Chechnya apparently precludes Kosovo. It's as if the whole world is
that American president who allegedly couldn't walk and chew gum at
the same time.
are various reasons why this historical experiment in the local
application of world government has not gone well. For a start, you
hardly think of a more difficult place to try it. More than a third
houses in Kosovo have been destroyed or damaged. It has taken a heroic
effort of the international community to get a million people back to
homes, and at least halfway prepared for the freezing winter. Then there's
the social and psychological devastation wrought by 10 years of oppression,
followed by war, exile and return.
is also difficult to find partners among the Kosovar Albanians. Five
years ago, there was one well-established Kosovar unofficial structure,
Democratic League of Kosovo, committed to peaceful change. But with
the war has come the KLA, believing it has the legitimacy of a victorious
partisan army, and now building up its own Sinn Fein to take power by
political means (helped by some strong-arm stuff by night). And the
planned elections -- toward which liberal imperialists, unlike earlier
ones, feel impelled to work -- will inevitably polarize rather than
there is the desperate ambiguity of the UN Security Council resolution
that forms the basis for the occupation. To secure Russian and Chinese
support, this promised virginity and motherhood in one. Formally, the
province is still under full Yugoslav sovereignty, yet, at the same
is meant to have far-reaching self-government. So every step to make
protectorate work -- a budget in German marks rather than Yugoslav dinars,
customs duties, separate identity papers -- has to be wrangled over
York. Then there is the sheer complexity of the undertaking, involving
endless acronymic international organizations -- KFOR, UNMIK, UNHCR,
OSCE, EU -- each with its own bureaucratic styles, institutional agendas
budget pressures. And behind that, of course, there are the myriad competing
national interests. It needs an administrative genius to pull this together.
Dr. Kouchner may be many good things -- passionate, eloquent -- I did
not have the impression that he is an administrative genius. Even KFOR
suffers from the competing pulls of the participating nations. Klaus
Reinhardt, the impressive German general who has succeeded Sir Michael
Jackson in overall command, tells me he has 34 nations in his force,
don't think they do something just because I order them to." I
headline in the KFOR Chronicle that read, "Greeks organize the
chaos." Well, exactly.
all this, lies the question of the political will of the major
Western governments involved, and their reluctance to put their money
where their mouth is. The critical failure to build up the international
for example, results from individual governments being unwilling to
contribute those police. (Dr. Kouchner, who asked for 6,000 police in
of 1999, observes bitterly that his own French government has not sent
civilian police.) The UN administration had to go round with a begging
to get the $250-million that it needs for its own central budget this
course, there are many competing priorities. All Africa cries, "What
about us!" Chechnya holds the headlines. But whether or not we
success of the peacetime administration of Kosovo will determine both
history's judgment on NATO's first war, and the prospects for more such
interventions in the 21st century. At the moment, we are throwing it
for the price of a few days bombing. The West won the war. We are losing
Garton Ash is a fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford, and the
author of History of the Present: Essays, Sketches and Despatches from
Europe in the 1990s.
No End to Ethnic Violence
February 8, 2000
NATOs bombing campaign in Kosovo
ended more than seven months ago, yet stability in the region remains
elusive. The United States participated in the campaign on the grounds
that it would prevent the genocide of the majority ethnic Albanian population,
yet there is no end in sight to the ethnic violence that kills both
Serbs and Albanians. Post-war resettlement has begun, but neither the
funding nor the promised manpower has fully materialized.
the end of NATOs bombing campaign, the United States and the European
Union (EU) agreed to form a civilian police force of 6,000 in the province.
The EU was to provide $35 million to support the police. But according
to U.S. Senator John Warner, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Forces
Committee, the EU has sent few police and none of the funds promised.
The foreign civilian police force in Kosovo now only stands at 2,000.
soldiers of NATOs multinational forces in Kosovo (KFOR) must compensate
for the small police force. But the soldiers are not necessarily trained
to carry out police actions, such as calming crowds, defusing ethnic
violence and conducting criminal investigations. Approximately 42,500
soldiers from 28 nations comprise KFOR; 7,500 are stationed in the surrounding
countries of Macedonia, Albania and Greece. Kosovo needs a stabilizing
force and the KFOR troops have not yet proven they can fulfill the task.
most volatile region, the northern sector, which includes the especially
explosive city of Kosovska Mitrovica, is most strongly guarded, with
8,000 troops led by the French. However, Mitrovica, due to its relatively
high Serb population, has been the site of recent protests and violence.
In response, KFOR announced Feb. 5 that it would re-deploy two KFOR
German infantry companies from the German-controlled southern sector
to the northern French sector as further security. Currently, Mitrovica
has a 24-hour visible KFOR presence in the streets and an enforced curfew
from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Another KFOR attempted deterrent is a public military
training exercise planned for Feb. 14 to remind both factions that NATO
is in charge.
far, none of this has prevented the ethnic violence in Kosovo. More
than half a year has passed since the wars end, and ethnically
motivated demonstrations, robberies, armed assaults and kidnappings
still threaten daily life. Ethnic Albanians, accounting for more than
90 percent of the population in Kosovo, are taking advantage of their
numbers to punish the remaining Serbs. According to Stanimir Vukicevic,
chairman of the Yugoslav committee for cooperation with the United Nations
in Kosovo, 1,400 Serbs have been either kidnapped or killed since the
end of the bombing in June 1999. KFORs numbers have been more
optimistic. As of mid-December, it reported 414 murders in Kosovo: One
hundred fifty of the victims were ethnic Albanians, 140 were Serbs and
124 were of unknown ethnicity.
international community seems uninterested in Kosovos future.
The EU is too apathetic to send funds or forces, and the United States
has made recent comments hinting at a decreased U.S. presence in the
war-torn province. Essentially, NATOs bombing campaign in Kosovo
merely reversed the main current of violence, giving the upper hand
to the majority Albanian population and allowing the ethnic violence
to persist. The real problem is that this situation is not likely to
change in the foreseeable future. Neither NATO, nor the United States,
has a solution or a way to back out.
Yugoslav public surprised by news about "exchanges" of
Serbs and Albanians
A Serb Private Detective Agency Exchanging
Kosovo Prisoners and Abductees
plans further exchanges
Belgrade, FR Yugoslavia, February 3 2000
Although families of the missing and
abducted from Kosovo have been trying for months
to get information about their loved ones from the
authorities, the private investigative agency
"Ozna" from Kragujevac has successfully conducted the
first exchange of Serb and ethnic
Albanian prisoners. The owner of the agency, Zivorad
Jovanovic, explained for Blic how and with
whose support this exchange had been organized.
Jovanovic is a former Police inspector for
property crimes. As one of the most respected
specialists for finding of missing persons and
property, in may 1999, after 30 years of Police work,
he started the agency and employed about ten
of his former colleagues.
year, an ethnic Albanian from Srbica contacted
me and offered DM 20,000 to find his son. I
declined money and said that I would accept the job if
in return he found some Serbs. He offered
ten Serbs for his son. That's how it started and with
time we earned the Albanians' trust. For
example, the Mishkari family offered the release of a
significant number of Serbs in exchange for
their sons. We sent an inquiry to the Ministry of
Justice and are now waiting for their reply," said
searches for missing persons all over the
world, and the data in connection with Kosovo
are forwarded by the agency to the Center for Peace in
the Balkans in Toronto and via this
organization to the International Red Cross, the
Albanian government and KFOR.
mechanism for exchanges, claimed Jovanovic, is
fully in accordance with Yugoslav laws.
a request from our ethnic Albanian clients, we
approach the Third Army, judicial institutions
and our secret contacts in order to find out where the
sought Albanians are," related Jovanovic,
adding that "the cooperation of state and military
bodies has been exemplary".
connections with the recent triple exchange, we
received information that the two Albanians
sought by us were in Pozarevac and one in Sremska
Mitrovica. First we established that they
hadn't committed war crimes, and then engaged the
services of our lawyer. All three were
sentenced to 12 to 14 months in prison. After they
served their sentence, we took them to Merdare
to be exchanged. In return we earned the release of
three Serbs," claimed Jovanovic.
the agency, they expect a successful exchange for
two policemen, Miodrag Krstic and Ljubisav
Biocanin. For them, the Albanians are demanding the
release of two compatriots with longer
prison sentences. "According to our information,
Biocanin was abducted by Fadilj Suljevic, a
former employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
[Police] in Pristina, also a student of the
UNMiK Police academy in Vucitrn," added Jovanovic.
is a lot of manipulation with the missing
Serbs. We have material evidence about the
murder of four soldiers and their families have been
informed. For other, there is no material
evidence. Ethnic Albanians are guarding the abducted
Serbs well, in order to exchange them for
true terrorists, because they are aware that 'foot
soldiers' who haven't committed war crimes, will
be released by the end of the year," said the owner of
"Ozna", but added that "there is a solution
for that as well". According to Jovanovic, KFOR
representatives have expressed readiness to react
to adequate information about imprisoned Serbs:
KFOR they could not believe that there is a
private investigative agency in the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia. They thought that we were a
state agency. However, now they are
prepared to assist us. The problem is with ethnic
Albanian translators. For example, KFOR was
informed that there were 160 Serbs imprisoned in
Musutiste, but by the time KFOR got there, the
terrorists had already been informed and there was
nothing there any more."
emphasized that the exchanged Serbs had said
that they had not been tortured or
mistreated in Albanian-run prisons in Kosovo and that
"the chances for the continuation of these
exchanges are high".
Exchange with Albanians conducted through mediation of
private investigative agency
Javnosti, Belgrade, Fr Yugoslavia, February 2
- Private investigative agency "Ozna"
successfully concluded its search for three
Serbs who were imprisoned in private jails in Kosovo.
This was stated by Zivorad Jovanovic, the
director and owner of the agency, at a press
to Jovanovic, two days ago, three Albanians
were handed over in the village of
Merdare, while the Serbs were released in Rozaje [in
do not want to reveal the identity of the released
Serbs because their close relatives are still
held in private jails in Kosovo; yesterday we received
a thank you note from the Third Army of the
Yugoslav Army. They congratulated us," stated
to Jovanovic, the Albanians found out via
Internet that "Ozna" was looking for three
Serbs (from Pristina and Djakovica regions). They
contacted the agency and offered an exchange.
lawyers established that the sought Albanians
were in our prisons and had not, so to speak,
'bloodied their hands'. All legal rules were observed
and the Albanian prisoners were released by
the court," stressed Jovanovic, adding that "Ozna" is
engaged in negotiations regarding the release
of abducted policemen Ljubisa Biocanin and Miodrag
Exchange after clashes in Kosovo
Exchanged Serbs for Albanians
Belgrade, FR Yugoslavia, February 2 2000
- Three Serb prisoners from Albanian-run
prisons in Kosovo were exchanged on
Saturday, January 29 2000, for three Albanians,
through mediation of the private investigative
agency "Ozna" from Kragujevac. The exchange was
conducted on the same day at two different
places and all applicable laws were respected.
1pm sharp at the KFOR base in the village of
Medare, three Albanians for whom it was
established that in the clashes with the Police and
the Yugoslav Army they hadn't 'bloodied their
hands', but had been mostly active in village guards,
were turned over to their relatives. At the
same time, three Serbs were released in Rozaje: two
from the Pristina region and one from
Djakovica. Thus, our agency successfully completed the
search for three missing Serbs that started
in October 1999," said owner of "Ozna" Zivorad
identity of exchanged Serbs, according to
Jovanovic, cannot be revealed for now because two
brothers and the father of one of released Serbs are
still held in Albanian-run prisons in Kosovo.
The exchange went without incidents. According to
Zivorad Jovanovic another exchange of
prisoners is to be expected soon. He also stated that
the "competent state bodies" were "offering
assistance" in these exchanges.
Kosovo Minorities Persecuted
By Elena Becatoros
Associated Press Writer
Friday, Feb. 11, 2000; 2:14 p.m. EST
-- Eight months after multinational peacekeeping troops moved into Kosovo,
ethnic minorities in the province still suffer severe discrimination
and are often violently attacked, an international report published
The report was released
by both the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
to be volatile and potentially dangerous, with ethnicity often remaining
a determining factor in the risk of falling victim to crime," the
report said. Kosovo's minorities include Serbs, ethnic Turks, Muslim
Slavs and Roma, or Gypsies, among others.
Hundreds of thousands
of ethnic Albanian refugees returned to the province after NATO's 78-day
air campaign ended a brutal crackdown by the Serb-led Yugoslav government
on ethnic-Albanian separatists. Numerous revenge attacks, mostly by
ethnic Albanians, have been reported since then.
Many Kosovo Serbs
and Roma have fled the province, while most of those
remaining live in enclaves heavily protected by peacekeepers.
As the report was
issued, U.N. police and peacekeepers reported new violence on Thursday
Four prisoners escaped
from the Pristina detention center Thursday night,
including a suspected murderer, U.N. police said. They also reported
unidentified male stabbed and killed a man in the village of Lajsure,
Pristina. The victim's ethnicity was not known.
Three to five masked
Albanian men entered an Albanian house in Urosevac on Thursday and tied
up a family of five. One family member was shot and killed before the
assailants fled. But the peacekeepers said in their report that witnesses'
statements did not agree.
A man was fatally
shot in the head in the southern town of Dragas, the
peacekeepers said. No other details were given.
Of an estimated
20,000 Serbs living in the provincial capital Pristina
during 1998, only about 700-800 remain, the report said.
The Albanians accuse
Roma of having participated in Serb-led attacks on them and in looting
and destroying property.
living in the northern, Serb-controlled part of the divided
town of Kosovska Mitrovica also suffer discrimination and often violence,
the report said.
"In stark contrast
to the majority population, some minorities have been so
cut off from the possibility of employment or agricultural production
that they have been reduced to the status of welfare cases," the
But the protection
of minorities "remains the litmus test of peace in
Kosovo," the document said.
RERUTERS REPORT (on the same issue)
minorities' plight still precarious
Feb 11 (Reuters) - The plight of ethnic minorities in
Kosovo remains precarious and has even deteriorated in many cases in
past few months, a report compiled by two major international agencies
The report, by
the United Nations refugee agency and the Organisation for
Security and Cooperation in Europe, also said a recent eruption of ethnic
violence in the Mitrovica region was a serious setback to attempts to
to be volatile and potentially dangerous, with ethnicity
often remaining a determining factor in the risk of falling victim to
crime," the report said.
The report was
the fourth in a series published every few months examining
the situation of minorities in Kosovo since a U.N. mission, known as
UNMIK, and NATO-led peacekeepers took over responsibility for the Yugoslav
province last June.
particularly Serbs, have been the frequent target of
violent attacks by members of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority, angry
years of Serb repression.
with some limited exceptions, the situation has not improved since
the last report was issued (in November) and in many instances deteriorating
conditions were noted," the new survey said.
The report called
on political leaders in Kosovo to accept more
responsibility in building a more tolerant society.
It also noted that
efforts to impose law and order were being handicapped by
the fact that Kosovo's international police service has only about 2,000
officers, less than half its authorised strength.
The latest outbreak
of ethnically motivated violence began on Wednesday of
last week, when a rocket attack on a U.N. bus carrying Serbs killed
wounded three near Mitrovica.
In clashes the
following night in the northern city, eight Albanians were
killed and more than 20 people were wounded, most of them Serbs.
represents a serious setback to UNMIK's efforts to promote
freedom of movement and to protect minorities," the report said.
(Blic daily, 12. 2. 2000)
Terror in Prizren Continued
in Prizren critical: A child raped and then stabbed
Pristina - The day before a 12 years old Turkish girl Izabela Tamniku
was killed downtown Prizren. The unknown attacker tried to rape the
and as she was trying to defend herself he killed stabbing her with
knife in the chest.
During the last 7 days 24 Serbian and 12 Turkish houses were burnt in
Prizren area. The house of Dragan Dosljak was first attacked by a bomb
and then by stones. The doors and windows were broken and Dosljak had
leave his home temporarily. A mine was found in the yard of Antic`s
house. Several tens of Albanian young men yesterday tried to beat about
20 Serbian school children. They broke several windows on the school
The day before an agreement was reached with UNMIK about restoration
of the monument of Milos Obilic destroyed by the extremists. Italian
Police had to return to Obilic due to increased number of terrorist
attacks after their departure.
THE TIMES (London)
February 13 2000
West abandons dream of a unified Kosovo
YEAR after Nato's intervention, the West's dream of Serbs and
Albanians living together in Kosovo is dead. Diplomats openly concede
that monoethnic cantons are the only solution to the province's
intractable hatred, with Serbs confined to the north and vulnerable
pockets in the centre and south.
Tit-for-tat bloodshed in Mitrovica, an industrial town where Serbs have
been allowed to drive thousands of Albanians from their homes, has illustrated
the stark choices facing a territory where Nato's Kfor troops and the
United Nations civilian administration have failed to beat the rule
of the gun and
Western policy-makers have decided that pragmatism must prevail
over notions of reconciliation and justice.
"There's no point banging on about it while you can't speak Serbian
in Pristina without having your throat cut," said a senior western
diplomat. "The Serbs have got to have somewhere to feel safe, and
looks like being Mitrovica."
Albanians have staged angry demonstrations against the tactics of
French Kfor troops in Mitrovica, and on Friday they were reinforced
by a company from the Royal Green Jackets. But the military
objective in the town remains to keep the two populations separated.
Yesterday there was more trouble for Kfor, as an American
peacekeeper recovered fron gunshot wounds he received while on
guard duty in Gnjilane, and three Albanians were arrested after
shooting at Norwegian soldiers near the Serbian community in Obilic.
A Russian vehicle also hit a Albanian landmine.
The diplomat, like many others, has run out of patience with the
Albanians, for whom the Kosovo Liberation Army continues to run
amok. Between 400 and 700 Serbs have been murdered since last
Even Bernard Kouchner, the UN special representative in Kosovo,
who has championed the concept of "peaceful co- existence",
confided to aides that he is "fed up" with the KLA leadership.
The current Serbian population in Kosovo is estimated at between
70,000 and 100,000, less than half its pre-war total. The UN believes
that municipal elections, planned for the late summer, will identify
handful of Kosovo's 29 municipalities where Serbs remain in the
majority, and that from these will be formed the Mitrovica canton and
two pockets - probably around the monastery of Gracanica in the
centre and the ski resort area of Strpce and Brezovica in the south.
The acceptance of a fundamental failure in the Kosovo mission
coincides with rising bellicosity in Belgrade. Slobodan Milosevic, the
Yugoslav president, and his generals have eagerly reminded the UN
that, under its charter for Kosovo, there is provision for the return
limited numbers of Yugoslav army and Serbian police units.
They have also pointed out that the UN's mandate runs out in June,
which the Milosevic regime is billing as a cut-off date for western
intervention. In a recent interview with the Politika daily, Milosevic
referred to Nato's presence as "temporary".
General Nebojsa Pavkovic, head of Yugoslavia's Third Army,
meanwhile said his troops would return to Kosovo, probably in June,
as authorised by an agreement signed with Nato last year. Diplomats
rule out any reimposition of authority from Belgrade, at least for as
long as Milosevic remains in power.
Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR), said he feared many more Albanians would leave
northern Kosovo as Serbian extremists there continued to push for
an ethnically "clean" chunk of territory.
Officially, 650 Albanians have left the area under Kfor escort, but
unofficial figure is much higher. Some western sources estimate
several thousand Albanians have moved over the past week.
If Serbian cantons are established, Kfor's work will become
considerably easier and more like that of its sister force in Bosnia,
where, despite five years of peace, the Serbian, Croatian and Muslim
communities remain resolutely divided.