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Kosova Daily Report #1583, 98-10-15

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 #1583
Prishtina, 15 October 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] There Should Be Principles, Not Off-Hand Solutions, Enshrined in Kosova Deal
  • [02] Draft Brims with Expressions Showing Serb Pretensions over Kosova, Agani Says
  • [03] Serbs Beefing up Forces, Repositioning in Kosova
  • [04] Serbs Spurn NATO Ultimatum: 'We Are Not Going Anywhere'
  • [05] Serb Troops Attack Three Villages in Gjakova Thursday Afternoon
  • [06] Serb Troops Pound Four Villages with Machine-Gun Fire in Mitrovica Area
  • [07] Serb Attack Albanian Communities in Malisheva and Gllogovc
  • [08] Two Albanians Die from Grenade Left Behind by Serb Army
  • [09] Half a Dozen Uprooted Albanians Die in Camping Sites Recently
  • [10] Serbs Have Executed 15-Year-Old Boy in Front of His Family, CDHRF Says
  • [11] Serbs Repair Outpost, Loot Albanian Property in Drenica Villages
  • [12] Serb Police Arrests Gjilan LDK Vice-Chairman and Several Activists

  • [01] There Should Be Principles, Not Off-Hand Solutions, Enshrined in Kosova Deal

    Kosovars have little to hope from outcome of talks in Belgrade, Muhamet Hamiti, KIC English Section's chief editor, writes

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - The manner and the matter of marathonic negotiations that led to Milosevic agreeing to meet minimal international demands in exchange for reconfirmation of his rule over Kosova and averting NATO air strikes instills no hope here in Kosova.

    The Serbian leader has the upper hand, and the West continues to treat him as a partner in resolving the problems he has himself created.

    Years of Serbian occupation in Kosova culminated this year in a Milosevic- masterminded Serb military offensive that has turned half of Kosova into a wasteland: thousands of Albanians killed, tens of thousands of their homes destroyed and burned by Serb troops, one quarter of the population driven from their homes.

    The West, through NATO in the first place, had raised the hopes, not to say expectations, in the people of Kosova an end was in sight to the Serbian military offensive, as well as to the Serb occupation in Kosova.

    There is a notable disconnect between the tough NATO stance and air force assembled in preparation to respond to the Kosova crisis and the kind of substance offered by the West as a political and diplomatic package in pursuit of a resolution to the Kosova question.

    Dr. Fehmi Agani, the chief Kosova negotiator, told EU envoy Wolfgang Petritsch Wednesday his team objected to a plan put forward by U.S. envoy Chris Hill for a political solution in Kosova.

    "There is no way that the Kosova problem can be solved if the solution is sought within Serbia," Dr Agani stressed during a meeting in Prishtina with the Austrian diplomat, referring to aspects of the plan which link Kosova to Serbia.

    "In the process of the resolution of the Kosova issue, the wishes and demands of the people here, as well as political developments in Kosova since the Independence Declaration of 1990, should be taken into consideration," the Kosova negotiator concluded.

    The talks and sets of ideas on an interim accord for Kosova - from what the Kosovar public knows at least - lack much in substance and seriousness of attitude.

    The West has been insisting on patching up a plan for Kosova. The package lacks the substance, because it does not take anything for granted, as a matter of principle. Premises, or internationally acknowledged standards governing international affairs and behavior, such issues as the self- determination, have been dropped and replaced with off-hand tactical solutions in which the will of the Albanian majority becomes hostage to the wishes of the Serb minority in Kosova.

    The eight-member Federal Yugoslavia, to which Kosova was an equitable part, has ceased to exist. Four of the members have become independent nations: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia.

    Nine out of ten people in Kosova have opted for independence. They see, and feel Serbia on their skin, as a sheer occupier. The Kosovars have built up and maintained a civic polity in a bid to survive and pursue their struggle peacefully.

    There is a self-determination principle which has been enshrined in the peace accord in Northern Ireland, sponsored by the United States of America, earlier this year. Why should the people of Northern Ireland be entitled to the right of self-determination, but not the people of Kosova?

    The West may well be on an utterly erroneous track if it hopes to seal off the Kosova problem by forcing Albanian politicians - the much talked about 'moderates' - to subscribe to arrangements leaving Kosova subordinate to rather than effectively on a par with Serbia and Montenegro, even for an interim period of time. The 'moderates' would end up being signatories to a dead letter.

    Two principles will have to be enshrined in any kind of document on the status of Kosova: the people will be free from Serbian rule, and they will eventually be allowed to determine their future in a democratic way - to say whether they wish to continue living on a par with Serbia and Montenegro or go a separate way, become an independent nation. This is what the right to self-determination is about. This is what a principled approach to the Kosova issue means.

    [02] Draft Brims with Expressions Showing Serb Pretensions over Kosova, Agani Says

    Kosovar negotiating team spells out objections to draft text of OSCE Kosova Verification Mission

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - The chief Kosova negotiator, Dr. Fehmi Agani, wrote Wednesday to Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch, the EU envoy for Kosova, offering a number of remarks spelling objections to the wording of the draft agreement between "FRY" and OSCE on the mission in Kosova.

    The second paragraph of the Preambular Language should read: "Considering in particular the importance of reaching a peaceful, democratic and lasting solution of the problem of Kosova", Agani writes adding that the language used in the proposed document: "... solution of all existing problems in the province of Kosovo and Metohija, based on the equality of all citizens and national and ethnic communities" expresses the Serbian attitude towards the problem of Kosova.

    In addition, this would mean legalization of the forceful annexation of Kosova by Serbia, the chief Kosova negotiator writes, noting that "Kosovo and Metohija" is the legitimation name of this annexation.

    There is only one problem of Kosova from the point of subjectivity, Agani says, adding that the paragraph as it stands tries to relegate the whole question to a lower level, which indeed means negation of Kosova's identity. "The international community has never accepted such an attitude", he writes, adding that Kosova has been treated and addressed in different resolutions and other relevant international documents as a unique question.

    "The proposed document does not include Kosova as a subject of the agreement, although the agreement deals with Kosova itself", Dr. Fehmi Agani says.

    According to the interim agreement to be concluded soon, Kosova shall have its on organs. Therefore, Kosova has to be included directly in the document, Agani argues.

    He says that the dispute is between "FRY" and Kosova. As it stands, the draft paper "legalizes the Serbian annexation of Kosova, which has been the source of dispute throughout the decade. Serbia should not appear as a subject in this document. Kosova should appear with a unique name."

    Dr. Fehmi Agani concluded that the language of the document brims with expressions showing Serbian pretensions on Kosova, "like the term 'opstina', which is the Serbian word for 'municipality'."

    [03] Serbs Beefing up Forces, Repositioning in Kosova

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - The Serbian military and police are poised to effectively call a bluff to the international community by refusing to withdraw from Kosova.

    Commitments are not compliance, President Clinton said Tuesday, referring to commitments Serb President Milosevic had made in a bid to head off international intervention.

    Following is a summary of reports reaching the KIC regarding the Serb military and police presence in Kosova today.

    Prishtina: Early in the morning today, heavy Serb military and police troops were stationed in the compounds of the Agricultural Cooperative at Shkabaj ('Orlovic') village of Prishtina, local LDK sources said. Serb military has brought combat arsenal, including radar systems, in the village.

    The village of Shkabaj has not so far been a base to Serb installations.

    Podujeva: Serbian forces have not been withdrawn from any of their positions in the northeastern Kosovar municipality. LDK sources in Podujeva said Serb forces continue being positioned in an area between the villages of Llapashtic& and Obran^&, near the town of Podujeva. Three lorryloads of Serb soldiers arrived there on Tuesday.

    Heavy Serb forces have been deployed near the Kosovar border village of P&rpellac, sources said. The Serb police checkpoint in the entrance to Podujeva has only been reinforced lately, just like the police stations in Lluzhan, Orllan and K&rpimeh, LDK sources said.

    Skenderaj: Serb forces are still positioned in 14 villages of the municipality of Skenderaj ('Srbica'): in Llaush& (five checkpoints), in Likoc (three checkpoints), and in the villages of Polac, Mak&rmal, Polluzh&, T&rnavc, ^ubrel, Vitak, Runik&, Suhog&rll&, Padalisht&, Le^in&, ^itak and A^arev&.

    The local chapter of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) in Skenderaj said Serb forces have been beefing up their presence rather than withdrawing.

    It should be recalled that before 5 March, when the Serb attack on Skenderaj villages started, there was only one police checkpoint in the area (at Klin& e Ep&rme), and two police stations (one in the town of Skenderaj and the second in the village of Runik).

    Serbian forces open sporadic fire in the village, instilling panic amongst the few Albanians who have actually returned to their homes. Serbs loot Albanian houses and other property, cutting their woods.

    Ka^anik: Two days ago, Serb military forces backed up by combat equipment and vehicles were stationed in the property of two Albanian family compounds in the village of Doganaj. The hardware has been camouflaged, and tents have been set up.

    Part of the Albanian population has left the village in the aftermath of Serb deployment, LDK sources said.

    Malisheva: Heavy Serb police forces remain positioned in many villages of the municipality of Malisheva.

    Reports cited Serb forces' presence in the village of Dragobil, on the road to Rahovec, near the village of Ostrazub, in the town of Malisheva, at Carralluk&, Shkorashnik, in ^upev& e Ul&t, near the village of Lladrovc, in Bubavec, Kle^k& and Kijev& villages.

    Prior to Serbian attacks in the Malisheva area, only Kijev& had a Serb police presence.

    Prizren: A Serb convoy consisting of 22 vehicles headed towards the village of Planej&, municipality of Prizren, sources said.

    Serb army officers had ordered the proprietors of three shops in the village to evacuate them, so that they be made available to the Serb military. The shop owners had to move the goods out by Wednesday afternoon.

    Lipjan: This municipality had no Serb checkpoints before the Serb crackdown of this year.

    Now, there are police checkpoints at ^ylag&, Magur& and Grac& e Vog&l villages, as well as on the roadway to Shtime.

    LDK sources in Lipjan said Serb forces have stepped up movement in the past few days. A Serb convoy of 20 vehicles travels every day to Shtime in the morning, returns to Lipjan in the evening, and proceeds in the direction of Prishtina.

    Peja: Heavy Serb military and police troops, backed up by combat equipment, were stationed in the village of Lybeniq today (Thursday) morning, the LDK chapter in Peja said.

    The deployment caused panic amongst the few Albanian residents who have stayed behind in the village. The majority has fled to Montenegro after Serb assaults earlier this year.

    [04] Serbs Spurn NATO Ultimatum: 'We Are Not Going Anywhere'

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - Serb police and militia commanders in 12 Kosova cities, villages and army bases said Wednesday that they had not been given orders to pull out of Kosova by Friday, as required by a U.S.-brokered agreement, USA Today newspaper wrote.

    Instead, several commanders said they were beefing up their forces to continue battling the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA), USA Today correspondent added.

    "We haven't had any orders to move out, not by Friday, not by Saturday," said a Serb police commander in the city of Malisheva, southwest of Kosova's provincial capital, Prishtina.

    "The journey through parts of Kosovo turned up Serb soldiers in armored personnel carriers arriving for new deployments in Kosovo.

    Dozens of camouflaged tanks are still dug into hilltops and Serb snipers are positioned inside abandoned homes owned by ethnic Albanians", USA Today wrote.

    The American newspaper goes on to portray Serb military and police presence in several locations in Kosova.

    Podujeva, the northern Kosovar town near the border with Serbia, is a case in point. The area is 99 percent Albanian.

    "Podujevo: You'd never see this army base if you didn't look hard. There are no signs; only a dirt road between two cornfields. It's tucked 200 yards off the main street behind 20-foot-tall piles of hay in the shape of Hershey's kisses and a dense forest of tall white maple trees.

    Behind a haystack sits an armored personnel carrier with 10 soldiers, one of them carrying a hand-held rocket launcher. On the hill is a bunker with what appears to be a tank dug into the ground with only its turret sticking out. Soldiers in battle gear and carrying automatic weapons hide among the trees.

    A Serb sergeant says that the Holbrooke agreement will never be enforced. He says that NATO didn't really want to bomb Yugoslavia.

    When told that NATO could still bomb Yugoslavia if it didn't withdraw its troops by Friday, the soldier laughed. ''We're not scared of NATO,'' he said.

    "They'll never bomb us, and they know it. We're not going anywhere.", the Serb sergeant is quoted as saying by the USA Today correspondent on Wednesday.

    [05] Serb Troops Attack Three Villages in Gjakova Thursday Afternoon

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - Serb forces resumed attacks against at least three villages in the Gjakova municipality, western Kosova, today (Thursday) afternoon.

    Sokol Dobruna, head of the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) branch in Gjakova, told the Albanian section of the Voice of America (VOA) that at around 13:15 today Serb forces opened fire on the villages of Krelan and Rakovic&. The villages were pounded with artillery fire from two Serb army bases, at Suka e Cermjanit (the Cermjani uphill) and Mrasor village, respectively, he said.

    A convoy of Serb forces passing nearby the Dashinovc village sprayed with machine-gun fire the outlying Albanian farmhouses.

    There has been no word yet on possible casualties in the villages that came under Serb fire today.

    [06] Serb Troops Pound Four Villages with Machine-Gun Fire in Mitrovica Area

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - Four Albanian villages in Mitrovica municipality came under machine-gun fire on Wednesday evening, local sources said.

    The villages of Melenic&, Vidishiq, Bare and Bajgor&, were fired into for over half an hour simultaneously from two Serb bases in Stant&rg and Kutllofc, just after 19:00 hrs, the Mitrovica Information Commission said.

    The Commission could not obtained confirmed information on possible casualties in these Albanian-inhabited villages.

    [07] Serb Attack Albanian Communities in Malisheva and Gllogovc

    A 28-year-old Albanian, Adnan Pa^arizi, wounded in a Malisheva village

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - The head of the LDK Information Commission in Malisheva said Serb forces pounded with artillery fire several villages in the area both overnight and today (Thursday) morning.

    Isuf Bytyqi said the villages along the Malisheva-Kijeva roadway, including Ostrazub, Dragobil, Maxhar&, Carralluk&, and ^upev&, were attacked from a Serb base near the Rahovec wine-cellars. Serb shells landed even in the remote villages of Shkoz& and Guriq, he added. There was no immediate word on possible casualties in these villages.

    A 28-year-old Albanian, Adnan Pa^arizi, was wounded in Dragobil village at around 18:30 last evening, when his village was pounded with artillery fire.

    Meanwhile, sources in the neighboring municipality of Gllogovc, in central Kosova, said Serb forces sprayed with sniper and machine- gun fire the Bazaj and Bylykbashi family compound areas in T&rstenik village, west of Gllogovc.

    A local LDK activist, Fatmir Bazaj, told the KIC the Serb fired into Albanian communities from two bases up the village. Serb forces have camouflaged themselves in several places in the area, he added.

    Mr. Bazaj said a local old woman, Bahtie Bylykbashi (75), who died on Wednesday morning, could not be buried because Serb snipers have been intermittently shooting in the direction of T&rstenik.

    [08] Two Albanians Die from Grenade Left Behind by Serb Army

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - Two Albanians died Tuesday near Reshan village of Mitrovica, when they run into a Serb army artillery grenade. Sources in Mitrovica said the grenade had landed in the area during the Serb forces' offensive late last month.

    The LDK chapter in Mitrovica named the victims as Rifat Smakolli (18) and Driton Smakolli (20), both residents of Reshan village.

    The two young men died on the spot, and were buried in their native village the next day.

    Two other Albanians - Shpejtim Kryeziu (18) and Latif Gollopeni (19) from Suhareka - died Tuesday when they walked into a mine- field laid down by the Yugoslav army near Ponashec village, in the Kosova-Albania border zone.

    [09] Half a Dozen Uprooted Albanians Die in Camping Sites Recently

    PRISHTINA, Oct 9 (KIC) - A 9-month-old girl, Donik& B. Morina, resident of Shala village of Lipjan, died two days ago in the T&rpeza village, where her family had sought shelter almost two months ago, the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said. The girl died for lack of medical treatment, it added.

    The CDHRF said that a local teacher from Krojmir village of Lipjan died several days ago, also as a result of poor and untimely medical treatment. The late Veli A. Olluri had sustained slight wounds earlier this year.

    A 2-year-old refugee boy died in a camping site in Ngucat on Monday. Leutrim Kodraliu, resident of Javor village, was staying together with his family in a plastic homemade tent in Ngucat.

    Mr. Ham&z Shala, a local LDK activist in Ngucat, told the KIC that at least 3,000 uprooted Albanians have been still cramming the village.

    Another boy, Lindor Hoti (2) from Malisheva, died on Tuesday in another camping site in Pagarusha village.

    LDK information commission's head in Malisheva said the boy's parents failed to obtain the medication they needed to save their boy. They were afraid to take him to a hospital for treatment, he said.

    [10] Serbs Have Executed 15-Year-Old Boy in Front of His Family, CDHRF Says

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - The Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said today that Serb forces have executed a 15-year-old boy in front of his family members.

    Fidan Jetullah Beka was shot dead on 23 September in his village of Gradic&, Gllogovc, during a large-scale offensive against Albanian villages north- west of Prishtina.

    The body of Fidan Beka was buried those days by his relatives, the human rights group reported.

    [11] Serbs Repair Outpost, Loot Albanian Property in Drenica Villages

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - Sources in Skenderaj ('Srbica) said around a dozen Serb police vehicles with policemen on board left the town today morning, and headed towards Likovc village. A bulldozer was part of the motorized convoy.

    Serb forces were deployed later between the villages of Likovc and Mak&rmal, where they have begun reconstructing a base there.

    Witnesses told the LDK chapter in Skenderaj later today, Serbs have gone on with looting livestock in the area. It is being taken away in trucks. Cattle was collected in the villages of Likovc, Mak&rmal and Rezall&, sources said.

    Reports from Klina municipality said Serbs, both police and civilians, have resumed looting the property of Albanians in the area. Lorryloads of livestock as well as household commodities and appliances have been taken away from Albanian villages in the region in the past couple of days, the local LDK chapter in Klina said.

    [12] Serb Police Arrests Gjilan LDK Vice-Chairman and Several Activists

    PRISHTINA, Oct 15 (KIC) - Serbian police cracked down on the homes of several LDK activists and other Albanians in Gjilan today morning, local sources reported.

    At least 30 heavily armed policemen raided the house of Lutfi Haziri in Gjilan, vice-chairman of the local branch of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK). Mr. Haziri was arrested subsequently, and, by early afternoon, was still reported in Serb police custody.

    The LDK Information Commission in Gjilan named several other Albanians who had their homes raided on, and were later arrested by the Serb police, including Tajar Berisha, coach of the "Drita" football club, Ibrahim Oru^i, Ekrem Qerimi, Nexhat Bunjaku, Ruzhdi Sadiku.

    Sk&nder Bunjaku, Rashit Ymeri and Qani Hidiqi also had their houses searched, at the time they were not at home.

    The Serb police did not produce any search/arrest warrants, nor did it explain why the Albanians were detained, the Commission said. It quoted, however, the wife of the LDK vice-chairman as saying the police were very brutal. She said she was warned not to report the case of her husband to the media.

    Kosova Information Center

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