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Kosova Daily Report #1443, 98-05-28

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 #1443
Prishtina, 28 May 1998

First Edition: 11:00 CET
Second Edition: 16:00 CET
Third Edition: 16:45 CET
Fourth Edition: 20:30 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] Serb Forces Kill Three Albanians, Wound One at Bellacerk& Village of Rahovec
  • [02] President Rugova Will Have High Level Meetings in Washington, Rubin Confirms
  • [03] LDK Presses for Urgent Nato Engagement in Kosova
  • [04] Nato Statement on Kosova - Issued at the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council held in Luxembourg on 28th May 1998
  • [05] Serb Sniper Kills Elderly Albanian at Rastavic& Village of De^an
  • [06] Two Albanians Wounded from Serb Fire on Llaush& Village
  • [07] LDK Activists in Gjakova Threatened to Be Used as Human Shield by Serb Police
  • [08] Heavy Buildup of Serb Forces on Suharek&-Rahovec Roadway
  • [09] Albanians Harassed Routinely for Alleged Support for U^K
  • [10] Heavy Gunfire Reported in Downtown De^an Thursday Afternoon, Serbs Shell Rastavica and Beleg Villages
  • [11] President Clinton to Receive President Rugova in the White House Friday
  • [12] President Rugova Meets with Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott Thursday

  • [01] Serb Forces Kill Three Albanians, Wound One at Bellacerk& Village of Rahovec

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - Serbian forces killed three Albanians and wounded one late Wednesday evening near the village of Bellacerk& in Rahovec ('Orahovac').

    So far the identity of two killed people - Feim Gashi, resident of Drenoc village, and Sakib Bellaqa, resident of Pata^an - has been established, the LDK Information Commission in Rahovec said.

    The identity of the third killed and the one wounded person has not yet been made known.

    Serbian forces carried the crime at around 21:50 Wednesday on the unpaved Bellacerk& - X&rx& roadway, local sources said.

    Over 210 Albanians have been killed by Serb forces in less than five months in Kosova.

    [02] President Rugova Will Have High Level Meetings in Washington, Rubin Confirms

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - President Ibrahim Rugova's visit to the U.S. "will be an opportunity to exchange views on the situation" in Kosova, James Rubin, the State Department spokesman said Wednesday.

    Rubin recalled that this will not be President Rugova's first meeting with senior Administration officials.

    The President of the Republic of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova met previously with both Secretary Albright and Secretary Christopher.

    The key agenda item is "how can the United States be helpful in trying to prompt progress in the discussions between the Kosovar Albanians and Serbian President Milosevic", Rubin said. "There has been a procedural delay in the planned discussions this week, precisely because Rugova will be in Washington remainder of the week".

    State Department spokesman referred during his press briefing to continued reports of "fighting in several locations in Kosovo".

    The Embassy reported increased presence of both special police and regular police in Kosova, Rubin said, adding that travel restrictions in Kosova have also increased.

    James Rubin could not say whom President Rugova will be meeting in Washington. "I am sure he will meet at high levels here at the State Department, at least".

    Dr. Ibrahim Rugova will be received by U.S. President Bill Clinton in the White House on Friday, the Voice of America reported Wednesday.

    [03] LDK Presses for Urgent Nato Engagement in Kosova

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - The Presidency of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), the main political force in the country, pressed today for an urgent engagement of Nato in Kosova to "prevent the flare-up of a war" that would have grave implications for the entire region.

    The LDK Presidency said the continued Serbian military-police attacks on Albanian villages in Kosova is swiftly degenerating towards "an all-out war".

    The LDK condemned today in the strongest terms the extrajudicial killings of Albanians by Serb forces as well as staged political trials of Albanians and hostage-taking of Albanians by police.

    "It is evident now that Serbian actions are resulting in an ethnic cleansing of Kosova", a statement said, adding that the LDK sees the actions of the Serb military and police as "state genocide against Albanians".

    The Presidency of the LDK is appreciative of the current U.S. trip of President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova, the statement said.

    Rugova is expected to meet with President Clinton and other senior Administration officials in Washington this week.

    [04] Nato Statement on Kosova - Issued at the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council held in Luxembourg on 28th May 1998

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - Foreign meetings of the NATO member countries started a two-day meeting in Luxembourg today.

    Following is the text of the long statement on Kosova.

    (Begin text)

    1. We are deeply concerned by the situation in Kosovo. We deplore the continuing use of violence in suppressing political dissent or in pursuit of political change. The violence and the associated instability risk jeopardizing the Peace Agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina and endangering security and stability in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is particularly worrying that the recent resurgence of violence has been accompanied by the creation of obstacles denying access by international observers and humanitarian organizations to the affected areas in Kosovo.

    2. We are firmly convinced that the problems of Kosovo can best be resolved through a process of open and unconditional dialogue between authorities in Belgrade and the Kosovar Albanian leadership. The status quo is unsustainable. We support a political solution which provides an enhanced status for Kosovo, preserves the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), and safeguards the human and civil rights of all inhabitants of Kosovo, whatever their ethnic origin.

    President Milosevic has a special responsibility to ensure that steps are taken to achieve a political solution in Kosovo. The Kosovar Albanian leadership, represented by Dr. Rugova, also has a crucial part to play in bringing about a political solution. We therefore urge both sides to ensure that the dialogue that has now begun leads rapidly to the adoption of concrete measures to lower tensions, stop the spread of violence and open the way to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. The dialogue process should take into account the views of all communities in Kosovo. We welcome all efforts of the international community to these ends.

    3. We support strongly the continuation of an international military presence in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia after the end of the current mandate of UNPREDEP. We support the continuation of the mandate of UNPREDEP, which has contributed significantly to stability in the region.

    4. We have two major objectives with respect to the situation in Kosovo:

    - to help achieve a peaceful resolution of the crisis by contributing to the response of the international community; and

    - to promote stability and security in neighbouring countries, with particular emphasis on Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    5. We have decided to enhance and supplement PfP activities in both Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to promote security and stability in these Partner countries and to signal NATO's interest in containing the crisis and in seeking a peaceful resolution:

    - We are launching NATO-led assistance programmes to help Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to secure their borders, based on enhanced PfP activities and on bilateral assistance.

    - We are upgrading a PfP exercise in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, scheduled to take place in September.

    - We are scheduling by the end of August a PfP exercise in Albania involving ground and air forces.

    - We are establishing a NATO/PfP Cell in Tirana, which will play a direct role in the implementation of Albania's Individual Partnership Programme and which, with the other measures we are taking, will help to enhance the capabilities of Albania's armed forces to ensure the security of its borders.

    - We are elaborating a concept for the establishment of PfP training centres, including the possible future use of the Krivolak training area in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    - We are authorising the visit of NATO's Standing Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED) to the port of Durres in early July.

    - We will prepare to support the UNHCR in the event of a humanitarian crisis in the area.

    6. In addition, in order to have options available for possible later decisions and to confirm our willingness to take further steps if necessary, we have commissioned military advice on support for UN and OSCE monitoring activity as well as on NATO preventive deployments in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on a relevant legal basis, in order to help achieve a peaceful resolution of the crisis and to strengthen security and stability in the region.

    7. We will continue to monitor closely the situation in and around Kosovo and we task the Council in Permanent Session to consider the political, legal and, as necessary, military implications of possible further deterrent measures, if the situation so requires.

    8. We are in close consultation with the governments of Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia about the measures involving their countries. We have informed Partners of the development of NATO's thinking prior to this meeting. With Russia, we have consulted in a special meeting of the PJC. We will use the meetings of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, both here in Luxembourg and in the future, with a view to seeking the cooperation of Russia, Ukraine and our other Partners with our efforts to help achieve a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Kosovo. We have invited the Secretary General to inform the UN Secretary General, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the WEU Secretary General and other appropriate international organizations with a view to suggesting the coordination of the activities of the various international organizations involved in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    9. We call upon President Milosevic to agree to the re-admission of the OSCE Long-Term Mission, and to accept the mission of Mr. Felipe González, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and the EU Special Representative.

    10. We are determined, through the ongoing activities of the Alliance through Partnership for Peace and the additional measures we have decided today, to contribute to the international efforts to solve the crisis in Kosovo and to promote regional security and stability.

    (End text)

    [05] Serb Sniper Kills Elderly Albanian at Rastavic& Village of De^an

    Rastavic& and Baballoq shelled by Serb forces Wednesday and Thursday

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - An Albanian, Tahir Kadrijaj, 75, was killed by Serb sniper fire at his native Rastavic& village of De^an yesterday (Wednesday) evening, local sources said.

    The local chapter of the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said the situation in De^an and the villages under Serbian attacks continues to be extremely grave.

    Serb military shelled the village of Rastavic& from their position at "Kodra e Rastavic&s" (The Rastavic& Upland) till 19:00 hrs yesterday. Considerable material damage was reported.

    No reports about casualties, excepting the fact that Serb snipers shot at Tahir Kadrijaj from this position, too.

    The CDHRF said the village of Baballoq has come since early morning today under renewed Serb artillery attack.

    Reportedly, Serb snipers have been targeting the village of Lluk& e Ep&rme since 6 a.m. today.

    Serb snipers opened fire on a number of cars at the village of Beleg, which were getting children out of De^an.

    Meanwhile, the De^an LDK Information Commission head Osman Cacaj said Serb snipers have taken up positions on top of buildings in the town of De^an, ready to target those who dare move in town.

    There has been a huge population movement in the municipality of De^an, he said, adding that the population of the village of Isniq has been swollen into 13.000 from 5.000 it has.

    [06] Two Albanians Wounded from Serb Fire on Llaush& Village

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - Raza Geci (f) and Sahit Zejnullahu (70) were wounded yesterday (Wednesday) at the village of Llaush& in the municipality of Skenderaj ('Srbica'), local sources said.

    The village was shelled by Serbian forces yesterday. Among the houses hit was also the farmstead of Halit Geci, the Albanian who was killed by Serb police in the autumn of 1997.

    LDK sources reported Serb shooting on the village of Llaush& today, too.

    Meanwhile, Serb pro-government Politika daily said a Serb, Radomir Smigic, 54, was abducted by Albanian groups yesterday at Leo^in& village near Skenderaj. His cousin, Dostana Smigic, was abducted last week and has been missing ever since, Politika added.

    There has been no word by Albanian sources on these reports.

    However, the LDK sub-branch at Llaush& refuted Serb-run Media Center allegations that a car of the Serb nuns travelling to the Devic monastery in Drenica was fired upon yesterday.

    The nuns pass through Llaush& en route to Skenderaj, but to this day they have never been targeted, nor has the Devic monastery itself, LDK said. "The aim is to discredit the village", the Llaush& LDK sub-brunch said.

    [07] LDK Activists in Gjakova Threatened to Be Used as Human Shield by Serb Police

    Besa Arllati and Dr. Fehmi Vula were told their children would be taken hostage if two Serbs allegedly abducted are not released by tomorrow

    PRISHTINA, May (KIC) - Two members of the local LDK leadership in Gjakova have been repeatedly detained and harassed by the Serbian police over the past two days in connection with an alleged abduction by Albanians of two Serb policemen in the area.

    Ms Besa Arllati, chairwoman of the LDK Information Commission, was held in Serb police custody for about thirty hours since Tuesday.

    She was released Wednesday afternoon but was ordered to report back to the police station in town today morning.

    Dr. Fehmi Vula, a surgeon with the town hospital in Gjakova and member of local LDK Presidency, was detained for at least four times since Monday.

    Serb police has demanded that the two LDK activists secure the release of two Serb police officers, allegedly abducted and held hostage at Smolica village.

    Both Besa Arllati and Fehmi Vula have been held in Serb police custody for two hours today, too. At around 11:30, they were reportedly let go home but were ordered to report back at the police station with their sports shoes on so they could walk together with the police in the area where the two Serbs are supposedly being held.

    The LDK Information Commission said the two LDK activists have refused going in the field with the Serb police as they were meant to be used as human shield.

    A member of the local LDK branch in Gjakova told KIC in the afternoon today that Besa Arllati and Fehmi Vula have been released but were threatened with outrageous punishment unless the two Serbs are released. The police has told them their children would be taken hostage tomorrow morning if the release of two Serbs is not secured by then.

    The LDK people in Gjakova consistently deny knowing anything about the alleged abduction of the two Serb policemen.

    The Serb police in Gjakova has reportedly vowed it would crush the whole LDK leadership, the town of Gjakova and the village Smolica village unless the two Serb are let free.

    [08] Heavy Buildup of Serb Forces on Suharek&-Rahovec Roadway

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - Heavy Serbian forces have been building up at the village of Operush& on the Suhareka-Rahovec roadway.

    Religious services will be held in the local Serb orthodox church, reports said.

    LDK sources said Serb forces have provoked earlier in the day local Albanian children and passers-bye.

    [09] Albanians Harassed Routinely for Alleged Support for U^K

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - Serbian forces have been routinely harassing Albanians at check-points and roadblocks in Kosova with charges of sympathy or support for the Ushtria ^lirimater e Kosov&s (U^K).

    A local resident of the village of Lup^ i Posht&m, midway from both Prishtina and Podujeva, was stopped by three Serb policemen early in the morning today on the bridge on LLap river, passing along the village, and harassed him by arbitrarily accusing him of being a supporter of the U^K.

    Xhem& Koliqi told KIC he had left for Prishtina at 6 a.m. "I support my family as a manual worker", he said, adding that he was beaten up by police today and was robbed of DEM 40.

    Meanwhile, two Albanians were threatened Tuesday with execution at the Serb check-point at Duh&l in Suhareka. A Serb policemen had daubed an UQEKY (instead of the intended U^K) before other policemen started beating up Nijazi Neziri and Isa Hoxha.

    A policeman held the two at gun-point and shouted to his colleagues: "Get aside, I will finish the thing with them instantly".

    [10] Heavy Gunfire Reported in Downtown De^an Thursday Afternoon, Serbs Shell Rastavica and Beleg Villages

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - Heavy shooting has been reported in the town of De^an, western Kosova, Thursday afternoon.

    A member of the LDK chapter in De^an told KIC by phone that heavy shootings began in the area around the town center only few minutes after 4:00 p.m. today.

    The situation in the town seems awful, it looks as if an a all-out war is going on, the LDK activist said before the phone line went off.

    Only half an hour earlier, sources said two villages in De^an municipality, Beleg and Rastavica, came under fierce Serb fire.

    At around 15:15, Serb forces started shelling the tow villages from their positions at Podi i G&shtenjave and Hulaj, an LDK activist said by phone.

    The situation in De^an municipality, the small town of De^an in particular, has been reported extremely tense over the past three days amidst a continued build up of Serb forces in the area.

    Serb snipers have been positioned in key places in De^an. A part of the town has been rigorously sealed off by Serb forces for days.

    Electricity supplies have been cut to several neighborhoods with Albanian population. There has been a dire shortage of food and medical supplies.

    The local political parties and human rights groups have been repeatedly calling on international organizations, including International Red Cross, to do whatever they could to secure that the population in De^an does not become target of Serb crackdown, and see that the siege be lifted.

    The LDK leadership in De^an has warned that Serbs forces might launch a brutal onslaught in the town amidst continued and excessive buildup of Serb forces over the past days.

    Thousands of people have fled their homes in fear of Serb massacres.

    [11] President Clinton to Receive President Rugova in the White House Friday

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova will meet tomorrow (Friday) morning in the White House with U.S. President Bill Clinton for talks on the situation in Kosova.

    On Saturday, President Ibrahim Rugova will meet with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, after her return to the States from her current European trip.

    President Rugova's trip to the U.S. has attracted a great media attention.

    [12] President Rugova Meets with Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott Thursday

    PRISHTINA, May 28 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova met today (Thursday) for talks in Washington with Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State.

    Mr. Talbott is Acting Secretary of State while Secretary Albright is on a trip to Europe.

    President Rugova and Acting Secretary Talbott had a frank exchange of views on the developments in Kosova and the prospects for a negotiated resolution of the crisis.

    The senior U.S. official expressed the strong American support for freedom and peace in Kosova as well as the unrelenting U.S. support for the peaceful path in pursuit of a resolution in Kosova and the policies pursued by Dr. Rugova.

    President Ibrahim Rugova described the situation in Kosova as very dangerous amidst the continued Serbian actions and massacres against the Albanian population in their homes.

    The President of the Republic urged for an even stronger U.S. support for the peaceful struggle of the people of Kosova for independence and their determination to see the Kosova issue resolved by political means.

    Dr. Ibrahim Rugova called on the United States Administration to undertake preventative measures to avert further massacres against the unprotected people of Kosova.

    He called for the United States leadership to assume a leading role in the resolution of the Kosova question.

    Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott hailed as an important step the beginning of talks between Prishtina and Belgrade. He pledged the continued engagement of the United States in the process.

    Attending the Rugova-Talbott meeting were also Ambassador Robert S.

    Gelbard, the Special Representative of the U.S. President and Secretary of State, and the U.S. envoy to Shkup/Skopje, Ambassador Hill, who has been involved in facilitating the talks process on Kosova.

    Participating in the meeting were also Dr. Bujar Bukoshi, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Fehmi Agani, coordinator, and Veton Surroi, member, of President Rugova's Advisory Council.

    Meanwhile, President Ibrahim Rugova and his aides were received today in a meeting at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, namely the International Crisis Group.

    Dr. Rugova spoke about the current situation in Kosova and the urgency for a negotiated solution.

    President Rugova, Prime Minister Bukoshi and Veton Surroi responded to questions put forward by participants in the discussion.

    Ambassador Morton Abramowitz hosted the event.

    Kosova Information Center

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