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Kosova Daily Report #1427, 98-05-12

Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Kosova Information Center <http://www.kosova.com/>

Kosova Information Center
KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1427
Prishtina, 12 May 1998

First Edition: 11:00 CET
Second Edition: 14:00 CET
Third Edition: 20:15 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] Holbrooke and Gelbard Meet with President Rugova for the Third Time Since Sunday
  • [02] Two People Killed by Serb Police in Prishtina Tuesday Morning
  • [03] President Rugova Meets with U.S. Envoys Holbrooke and Gelbard
  • [04] Serb Police Opens Fire on Several Villages in Rahovec Today Afternoon
  • [05] Isuf Hajdari Was Killed by Police in His Yard in Prishtina, Son Says
  • [06] Kosova Tops Nato, WEU Agenda
  • [07] New Sanctions on Belgrade Backed by EU Associates
  • [08] Serb Army Officers Shoot at Soldiers Attempting Desertion Near Sllatina
  • [09] Serb Forces Shoot at People Working on Their Farms in Kijeva
  • [10] Kosova on the Verge of Humanitarian Catastrophe, Rugova's Aide Warns
  • [11] At Least Two Albanians Killed, Four Wounded, in Serb Attack on Rahovec Villages
  • [12] Albanian House Shelled in Leshan Village of Peja, One Heavily Wounded
  • [13] Unidentified Gunmen Fire at House of LDK Activist at Qyshk Village

  • [01] Holbrooke and Gelbard Meet with President Rugova for the Third Time Since Sunday

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - Ambassadors Richard Holbrooke and Robert Gelbard, special envoys of the President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright, arrived today morning in Kosova's capital Prishtina The two U.S. ambassadors have been meeting with the President of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, since 9:30 today.

    Richard Holbrooke and Robert Gelbard met twice on Sunday with President Rugova and his Advisory Group of Fifteen.

    The U.S. envoys met also twice in three days (Saturday and Monday, respectively) with the 'FRY' President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, as well as with Albania's leadership in Tirana on Sunday in a bid to press for negotiations to resolve the Kosova crisis.

    [02] Two People Killed by Serb Police in Prishtina Tuesday Morning

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - At least two Albanians have been reported killed by Serb forces in Lagjia a Muhagjer&ve quarter in Prishtina early in the morning today (Tuesday).

    Witnesses in Lagjia a Muhagjer&ve quarter in Prishtina have identified one of the killed Albanians as Isuf Hajdari (55), resident of Prishtina.

    KIC could not learn the identity of the second man, also killed this morning.

    Residents of the Lagjja e Muhagjer&ve neighborhood told KIC that heavy Serb police forces sealed off the area since the small hours.

    Isuf Hajdari was reportedly gunned down at around 4:00 a.m., at time ha was leaving his home to go to work. His body was collected by the Serb police.

    The LDK Information Commission in Lagjia a Muhagjer&ve neighborhood said another man, in his early thirties, was killed in the area this morning. Many residents of the neighborhood had their homes raided on and were arrested by the Serb police. The Commission said among the Albanians who were arrested in their homes today were Jahir Gashi with his two sons, Fatmir and Faruk, and Ilir Januzi.

    Dr. Zekeria Cana, a human rights activist from Prishtina said three students from Drenica were also arrested. The three students named as Ilir, Agron and Naim, were tenants in one of the houses in the quarter.

    Dr. Cana said that the whole neighborhood was kept under Serb police curfew from around 3:30 through 10:00 a.m. today.

    Some residents of the neighborhood said they could hear firearms shooting and police roaming in the area.

    Still unconfirmed reports said that scores of other people, mostly university students, have been arrested.

    [03] President Rugova Meets with U.S. Envoys Holbrooke and Gelbard

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova met today for talks on the situation in Kosova with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Ambassador Robert Gelbard, envoys of the U.S. President and Secretary of State.

    The President and the American diplomats discussed about the most recent developments in Kosova and the prospects for an early initiation of an unconditional dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade so as to defuse tensions and pursue a negotiated settlement for the Kosova issue, President Rugova's Office said.

    After the meeting in Rugova's residence in Prishtina, Ambassador Holbrooke and the President spoke to the press.

    This is what Holbrooke had to say: "We've completed another session with Dr. Rugova and some of his colleagues. We have nothing to say about its content, except that we are, as always, impressed by Dr. Rugova's commitment to peaceful, non-violent solutions of the problem that is enveloping Kosovo and this region. It was very useful. We will return to see President Milosevic now, and we have nothing to say further this time, except to emphasize that the distance between the two sides is still very substantial."

    President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova emphasized the special role of the United States in the resolution of the Kosova issue by political means. "What I have been pressing for is freedom and independence for Kosova", he said, adding that he urges for self- restraint on behalf of the Kosova citizens. "At the same time, I call for an end to Serbian police provocations, which are adding to the already grave and volatile situation in Kosova", President Ibrahim Rugova concluded.

    [04] Serb Police Opens Fire on Several Villages in Rahovec Today Afternoon

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - Serb police forces deployed earlier today (Tuesday) in the vicinity of Radosta village of Rahovec have been firing this and the neighboring village of Ratkoc since noon, sources said.

    Rahovec (in Serbian 'Orahovac') is a municipality in south-west Kosova, bordering on Gjakova and Malisheva municipalities.

    The chapter of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) in Rahovec said Serb police forces on board armored personnel carriers reached the area earlier today building in an upland about 1-1.5 miles far from Ratkoc village.

    A police helicopter has been flying overhead half a dozen villages in the area.

    Meanwhile, the LDK Information Commission in Rahovec said fresh Serb police forces coming from Prizren and Gjakova reached the area at around 14:25 this afternoon. Part of the forces were deployed in the vicinity of Malsia e Vog&l village, while most of them have been building up in between the villages of Ratkoc and Radosta.

    Serb police has been firing from diverse weaponry in the direction of the villages Ratkoc, Vrajak, Bratatin, Dejn, Dibidol, Qifllak, Polluzha etc.

    Fresh Serb forces garrisoning at the police checkpoint at Xerxa village have been reported since noon. An ambulance car has been parked near the checkpoint for a couple of hours now, LDK sources said.

    Neither the human rights chapter in Rahovec nor the local LDK branch could so far learn the pretext of the Serb police operation in the villages of this municipality.

    There has been no word about possible casualties yet.

    [05] Isuf Hajdari Was Killed by Police in His Yard in Prishtina, Son Says

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - An ethnic Albanian, Isuf Hajdari (58), was killed today morning in the yard of his house in the Lagjja e Muhaxher&ve neighborhood in Prishtina, capital of Kosova.

    The Albanian was killed during a terrorist action launched by the Serbia police.

    Serbian sources have not said anything about the pretext or consequences of this operation in the Prishtina neighborhood.

    Mentor Hajdari, Isuf's son, told KIC his father was shot dead in the yard of their house today morning. After hearing the sound of police shooting, Isuf went out twice in the yard to see what was going on. A policeman asked him the second time approach him. Isuf was shot while he was doing that, Mentor said.

    "All of us, family members, woke up when we heard the arms shooting, and saw several policemen coming, and hitting the father again, while he was lying on the ground", Mentor said.

    He went on to say that the family did not dare get out to help the father, or even see his dead body. After half an hour, the police searched the house, found a revolver belonging to Isuf in his room, and placed it on the hand of the killed man on the scene.

    The family were forces to stay indoor till the Serb police took a photo of the body. The police took the body away.

    The Albanian family collected the body of Isuf Hajdari in the Prishtina town morgue at midday.

    This latest victim of the Serb police will be buried late in the afternoon today in the Prishtina cemetery.

    [06] Kosova Tops Nato, WEU Agenda

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - Javier Solana, the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said on Monday the Western alliance had not ruled out any option for dealing with the situation in Kosova.

    Speaking on the margins of a Western European Union (WEU) ministerial meeting on the Greek island of Rhodes, Solana said NATO was watching developments in Kosova closely, Reuters reported.

    "We have not ruled out any possibility if the situation deteriorates," Solana told reporters.

    Solana confirmed that NATO ambassadors would discuss options at the weekly ambassadors' meeting on Wednesday.

    News agencies quoted German Defence Minister Volker Ruehe, attending the same WEU meeting, as saying that options could include such things as imposing a no-fly zone or sending observers into Kosova.

    Mr. Ruehe told reporters NATO, and not the WEU, had to be the main organization dealing with the Kosova situation for the international community because it included the United States and had formal relations with Russia.

    Even Greek Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos admitted there can be no WEU initiative without the cooperation of other institutional bodies. "We have no illusions that the WEU can do this alone,", he was quoted as saying.

    Italian Defense Minister Beniamino Andreatta told Italian reporters the WEU talks had included the idea creating "a security belt around Kosovo." It is not clear what this means in practice.

    Meanwhile, the High Representative of the international community for Bosnia, Carlos Westendorp, was quoted as saying the SFOR forces, currently in Bosnia, could be sent to Kosova in case the conflict escalates.

    [07] New Sanctions on Belgrade Backed by EU Associates

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - - The central European states and Cyprus, countries that have lined up to join the European Union (EU), gave on Monday their backing to further sanctions against the 'FRY' (Serbia and Montenegro) which were adopted earlier this month by the EU member states and major powers, an EU statement was quoted as saying.

    The decision to freeze funds held abroad by the governments of the 'FRY'and Serbia was supported by Cyprus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Norway and Iceland.

    [08] Serb Army Officers Shoot at Soldiers Attempting Desertion Near Sllatina

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - A fifteen-minute shooting was reported Monday morning in the vicinity of a Serbian military base near Sllatina village of Fush&-Kosova ('Kosovo Polje'), along the Prishtina-Peja roadway.

    The area was blocked by Serb forces for over two and half hours, from 6:30 t 10 a.m. Monday.

    Referring to statements by residents at Rrafshi neighborhood of Sllatina, some 200 meters away from the scene where the shooting occurred, LDK sources in Fush&-Kosova said it was Serb army officers who shot in the direction of a couple of soldiers attempting to desert from the army.

    The LDK Information Commission in Fush&-Kosova has failed to learn about possible casualties or the fate of the soldier who were allegedly running away.

    The Rrafshi neighborhood is situated between the villages of Harilaq and Sllatina, about 1 mile away from the Prishtina airport.

    There are about 20 Albanian family compounds and half a dozen Serb family compounds in the neighborhood.

    Members of an Albanian family (Qeriqi) in Rrafshi neighborhood were quoted as saying a Serb neighbor had opened fire from his hunting rifle too at around 6:50 in the morning Monday.

    [09] Serb Forces Shoot at People Working on Their Farms in Kijeva

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - Serbian forces deployed in Kijeva shot Monday in the direction of farmers while working in their farmsteads around Kijeva, LDK sources in Malisheva reported.

    Yesterday (Monday) between 13:00 and 17:00, the Serbian forces shot from their positions in various directions, and in particular towards scores of farmers working on their land around "Eximtours" motel, which is situated between Kijeva and Mleqan, along the Prishtina-Peja highway.

    Serbian forces based in Kijeva launched an attack against the neighboring village of Cerovik Monday afternoon. They reportedly used heavy weapons and launched grenades against several Albanian neighborhoods of Cerovik.

    Meanwhile, LDK sources said Serb residents of Kijeva transported various supplies into the village during last night.

    Local sources said the Serbian forces often seize supplies from Albanian merchants and local humanitarian associations.

    LDK sources reported of frequent movement of Serbian APCs on the main street of Kijeva. A Serbian helicopter flew overhead the village of Balinca Tuesday morning, a report said.

    Serbian forces killed three Albanians and wounded several others during an attack on the Balinca village last Friday. Most Albanian families were reported to have fled their homes in panic.

    [10] Kosova on the Verge of Humanitarian Catastrophe, Rugova's Aide Warns

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - "The brutal attacks of the special Serbian police forces and the 'Yugoslav' army against the Albanian innocent population, and the blocking of the key roads which link Kosova's capital Prishtina with the central and western Kosova is leading to a humanitarian catastrophe," Dr. Alush Gashi, health and humanitarian policy advisor to President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova said Monday.

    In a statement to the KIC, Dr. Gashi said there was a necessity for an immediate and substantial intervention of the international community, and pressure to bear on the Belgrade regime.

    The worst-hit areas in Kosova are the Drenica and De^an regions, which have been kept under a tight siege by Serbian forces for more than two months, he said.

    The recent blockade of the Prishtina-Peja highway has added to the difficult humanitarian situation, Rugova's aide warned.

    The Mitrovica - Sk&nderaj - Gllogovc - Komoran road and the Mitrovica - Sk&nderaj - Klina roadway have become extremely dangerous routes to travel as a result of the threat which comes from Serbian snipers who have taken up positions along these roads.

    In the aftermath of the recent Serbian attacks on several villages in south- western Kosova, the free movement along Peja - De^an - Gjakova - Prizren roadway has become very dangerous, Dr. Alush Gashi said.

    As a result, the delivery of basic necessities (food and medical supplies) to the Kosova residents has become extremely difficult, he told KIC. Many sick persons are no longer in a position to receive due medical assistance, he added.

    Dr. Alush Gashi, himself a University Medical Professor, said the number of people affected by infectious diseases is on the rise.

    The infant mortality rate was already high, he stressed, adding that the most endangered patients appear to be newborns and pregnant women.

    President Rugova's aide urged the UN World Food Program to intervene urgently with food and medical supplies in Kosova the first week of May.

    In a letter sent to Tun Myat, Director of Resources and External Relation Division, and Robert Hauser, Director of East European Division of the UN World Food Programme, Dr. Alush Gashi warned that due to the prevailing situation in Kosova and the apartheid instituted by the Serb regime, which amounts to a crime against humanity, the lives of many people in Kosova have been seriously jeopardized.

    He recalled that over the past years, as many as 60.000 families in Kosova have lived from the humanitarian support "provided to them by both domestic solidarity funds and international humanitarian organizations based in Kosova".

    "In the wake of massacres Serb forces committed against the Kosova Albanians in different parts of Kosova over the past couple of months, there are many internally displaced persons living in very bad conditions," Dr. Alush Gashi said.

    The Bujku daily reported Monday around 40.000 Albanians have been registered in Kosova as displaced people. The number is considerable higher, as many people have found shelter with relatives and/or not reported themselves as displaced people, the Albanian-language daily concluded.

    [11] At Least Two Albanians Killed, Four Wounded, in Serb Attack on Rahovec Villages

    PRISHTINA, May (KIC) - Two Albanians, Elmi Morina (50), resident of Vranjak&, and Melaim Krasniqi (31), resident of Postosell& village, were killed today (Tuesday) during an attack launched by Serbian forces against the Rahovec villages of Vranjak&, Postosell&, Ratkofc and Bratotin&.

    The LDK Information Commission in Rahovec ('Orahovac') said four Albanians were wounded during the attack. Two of the wounded were said to be Ratkofc residents, two others residents of Drenoc village. Their names have not been made known yet. The number of killed and wounded is feared higher.

    At 19:00 hrs, the Serb attack on the villages of Ratkofc, Vranjak& and Bratotin& was still going on, local sources said.

    These villages came under attack from Serb positions at Kramovik of neighboring Gjakova municipality, where as Serb police checkpoint is, and the village of Mal&si e Vog&l. The local population has been fleeing homes in panic.

    Serb forces launched a large-scale attack at 9:30 in the morning today.

    As the area under Serb attack has been sealed off, it has been impossible to learn about the pretext of the attack.

    LDK branch activists in Rahovec said they had information indicating that all this started when local Serbs of the Bratotin village attacked Albanian villagers of the Vranjak& village. The Serb police then came to the aid of local Serbs. It is assumed that the killed and wounded Albanians are victims of civilian Serbs.

    The targeted villages are situated 15 kilometers away from the small town of Rahovec. The road to these villages departs from the Rahovec-Gjakova roadway at the Ura e Shejt& (Sacred Bridge) location, near the village of X&rx&.

    Serb sources reported this afternoon that a Serb police patrol was attacked earlier in the day by armed Albanians at Ratkofc village.

    A policeman was killed and two other wounded, Serb regime sources said.

    Meanwhile, two ethnic Albanians were killed by Serb police in Prishtina, capital of Kosova, in the early morning hours today.

    [12] Albanian House Shelled in Leshan Village of Peja, One Heavily Wounded

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - Serbian forces shelled today (Tuesday) morning the house of Murat T. Berisha at Leshan Village of Peja, LDK sources in Peja reported.

    The shelling was carried out at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. Murat Berisha was reported to have received heavy wounds. He was wounded in his head, and was immediately taken to the Peja town hospital, unconscious.

    His wife Mrs. Haxhere Berisha was in the house too.

    LDK sources could not obtain detailed information about the case.

    Reportedly, the Serbian police had targeted the Berisha family in 1992 also, on which occasion they killed Murat Berisha's nephew, Tahir Berisha.

    [13] Unidentified Gunmen Fire at House of LDK Activist at Qyshk Village

    PRISHTINA, May 12 (KIC) - Yet unidentified gunmen fired Monday 10 p.m. at the house of Uk& Kelmendi at Qyshk village of Peja, LDK sources in Peja ('Pec') reported.

    The Kelmendi family told LDK sources in Peja they heard the noise of a car which stopped on the street in front of their house.

    "Fifteen minutes later unidentified gunmen began shooting from automatic guns in the direction of our house, in particular the room windows," said one of the members.

    There were 17 members of the family inside the house. Fortunately, no one was injured.

    The gunmen run away with their car after the shooting.

    Kosova Information Center

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