Kosova Communication (Aug. 15)

From: "Steve Iatrou" <siatrou@cdsp.neu.edu>


  • [01] Rugova on Croatian developments

  • [02] Tens of thousands Kraina refugees to settle in Kosova

  • [03] Albanians condemn plans to colonize Kosova with Krajina refugees

  • [04] US Warns Serbia

  • [05] CDHRF monthly report on Serbian regime terror

  • [06] News in Brief

  • Kosova Communication

    Bulletin of the Ministry of Information

    of the Republic of Kosova

    4th year, No 230 , 15 August 1995

    [01] Rugova on Croatian developments

    Commenting on the latest developments in Croatia, the President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova stated: the key thing now is to see that the civilian population does not suffer", adding that now everything goes towards pursuing a speedier settlement for all the problems in the former Yugoslavia, a comprehensive settlement for all the crises in this area, including Kosova "We have even earlier, on the occasion of the tragic developments in Croatia and Bosnia, pressed for the prevention of such tragic events in Kosova", Dr. Rugova said. "The recent developments in Croatia have implications for Kosova. The first repercussions are demands and announcements for the settlement of Serb refugees in Kosova". Commenting on EU mediator Carl Bildt's statement, in which Kosova and the Krajina region in Croatia are compared, President Rugova said that Sweden was well-acquainted with the Kosova issue. He expressed his belief that Mr. Bildt might have lacked due information, or else Bildt's statement was an "expression of fear" that Kosova undergo such a scenario [Milosevic cracking down militarily on Kosova, KIC]. No analogy can be made between Kosova and the Krajina region. Advancing such a comparison means confusing things, for "Kosova has had its territorial and political integrity in the now defunct Yugoslav federation, and our movement is recognized as a nonviolent resistance, and not a movement that pursues its goals through violence and military force". President Rugova said he hoped he would soon meet Mr. Carl Bildt and have an opportunity to address the issue.

    Dr. Rugova said he believed the international community would prevent such a thing from happening. In this context, he recalled the USA warning and the stance of the international community on the prevention of conflict breaking out in Kosova.

    [02] Tens of thousands Kraina refugees to settle in Kosova

    The Serbian state-run media have announced the Serbian regime is set to settle as many as 20.000 Serbs from the now former Krajina region in Croatia in Kosova, thus boosting its long-standing colonization schemes aimed at changing the ethnic distribution of Kosova in favor of the Slavic population. The entire Serbian machinery has been set motion to ensure the settlement of Serb colonists throughout Kosova. The Serbian-installed authorities in Prishtina, Prizren, Gjilan, Ferizaj, etc., have reported plans of accommodation of Serbs refugees in Kosova public school buildings, in hotels and motels, student dormitories, as well as local prison houses!

    Locations for the settlement of a number of Croatian Serbs have already been designated in Vushtrri and Mitrovica, Serb media stated. Uros Stojanovic, a Chairman of the Serbian-installed local government in Vushtrri told the Belgrade Politika newspaper that a number of people could be offered shelter in school buildings, including the town secondary school premises, and neighboring villages.

    According to Serb announcements, in the so-called 'Mitrovica District' as many as 2000 refugees would be settled.

    Radio Belgrade on 8 August said some 6,000 Serb refugees from the Croatian territories could be settled in Kosova. On the following day Belgrade TV reported that 2,000 Krajina Serbs would be settled in Gjakova, southern Kosova, while preparations are underway to ensure that Serbs be resettled in Suhareka, Rahovec, etc. Schools buildings and dormitories from which Albanians have in the past few years been denied access to have been reported as possible locations for the accommodation of the Serbs.

    [03] Albanians condemn plans to colonize Kosova with Krajina refugees

    President of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova urged the international community and the 'great powers' to pressurize the Serbian regime into giving up its announced aim to settle thousands of Serbs refugees from Croatia to Kosova. "Their deployment in Kosova would be a manipulation of the misfortune of those people", he said in a press conference on 11 August. Dr. Ibrahim Rugova revealed that the Serbian regime has already 'forcefully resettled' 5000 refugees from Croatia, Bosnia, and even Slovenia and Albania, to Kosova, while [Kosova] Albanians refugees in Western countries have been prevented from returning to Kosova. "By exploiting the misfortune of Croatian Serbs, Serbia wants to see its centenary-long plans of colonization of Kosova completed now", President Rugova said.

    "The announcement of moves to see Serb refugees installed in Kosova constitutes one of the extreme provocations, while a systematic repression has been waged by Serbia for five years now, the Kosova President said, noting that "Kosova is among the most densely populated territories in Europe".

    Dr. Rugova called on local Serbs and the Serbian-installed authorities in Kosova to bear in mind that planting new Serb refugees in Kosova does not invite anything good for them, and urged the UNCHR to use all its powers not to allow the settlement of new refugees here.

    [04] US Warns Serbia

    The United States has warned Serbian officials over their plans to settle Serb refugees fleeing Krajina region to Kosova, the Voice of America (VOA) Albanian Section reported.

    The U.S State Department is concerned over reports on Serbia's plans to settle Serb refugees from Croatia to Kosova, and have requested that American diplomats in Belgrade clarify the intentions of the Belgrade government, VOA said.

    The State Department spokesman, Mr. David Johnson, is quoted to have said that any attempt on behalf of the Belgrade authorities to change the ethnic composition of Kosova by bringing in Serb refugees would only further deteriorate the situation.

    "The situation in Kosova is tense", Mr. Johnson said, adding that Kosova has for a long time now been referred to as a powder keg, whose explosion could lead to an extension of the Balkan conflict.

    [05] CDHRF monthly report on Serbian regime terror

    The Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) issued a monthly report on human rights abuses carried out by the Serbian regime/police in Kosova during July this year. One ethnic Albanian, Shefki Latifi (1930) from Podujeva died under Serbian police torture, while as many as 784 other persons were subjected to diverse forms of Serbian police and regime maltreatment in Kosova within the last month, says the report.

    Over the past month, 216 persons were arrested or detained by the Serbian police; 135 were summoned to report for so-called police 'informative conversations'; 118 Albanian families had their homes raided on by the Serbian police, commonly carried out under the pretext of arms searches; 110 persons were sentenced to imprisonment; 7 Albanian families were forcibly evicted from their apartments; 58 Albanians were beaten up by the Serbian police forces, while 7 draft-age Albanians were forcibly conscripted into the Serbian army, says the CDHRF report.

    The report also makes mention of other practices of the Serbian regime, such as harassment and intimidation of persons in public places, seizure of valuables and personal belongings, interventions against cultural, sports and other gatherings, persecution of political, human rights and educational activists, etc.

    [06] News in Brief

    On 2 August, at about 15:00, Islam Rexhepi from Shipashnica e Poshtme (Kamenica) was arrested in Gjilan. He was immediately sent to Belgrade. His family was informed by a Belgrade solicitor that he is to be sent to the Serbian Army several days later.

    On 3 August, Murat Shefki Ibrahimi , a US citizen of Albanian origin, was arrested, his American passport seized and was sent to Nis prison. He was visiting his family that lives in Pleshine (Ferizaj)

    During July in the commune of Malisheva, police expeditions from Malisheva, Rahoveci, Kijeva and Suhareka searched 35 families, on various ways ill- treated 40 individuals, brutally beating 12 of them. The population of the villages Panorc, Llapceve, Morali and Ostrozub were particularly targeted. During the raids police caused much destruction to the properties.

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