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Kosova Daily Report #1597, 98-10-29

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 #1597
Prishtina, 29 October 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives Russian Diplomats
  • [02] FOCUS: 25,000 Serb Troops Remain in Kosova, Withdrawal Symbolic
  • [03] Serb Troops Have Only Partially Withdrawn, LDK Says
  • [04] Returning Refugees Find Dead Relatives and Neighbors in War-Torn Villages
  • [05] farmhouse in Likoc. The late old man was killed in early October, the CDHRF quoted local villagers as saying.
  • [06] Camouflaged Serbs Crack Down Brutally on Women and Children near De^an
  • [07] Serb Police Still Manning Half a Dozen Checkpoints on Mitrovica- Skenderaj Roadway
  • [08] Serbs Build Military Outpost in Kosova-Albania Border
  • [09] Serb Military and Police Troops Camouflaged in Lipovica Mountains
  • [10] Serb Police Clothed in Workers' Uniforms in Grabovc Village
  • [11] 827 Albanian Houses Burned, 102 Shelled, By Serb Forces in Vushtrri Area
  • [12] Serb Regime Court Sentences Albanian to 2 Years in Prison

  • [01] President Rugova Receives Russian Diplomats

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr Ibrahim Rugova received today Russian diplomats, Yakov F.

    Gerasimov, Minister-Counsellor in the Embassy of Russia in Belgrade, and Vladirmir Ivanovskiy, Consul-General of the Russian Federation in Istanbul.

    The current situation in Kosova and the possibilities of creating the necessary conditions for the start of a negotiating process to resolve the Kosova issue were discussed.

    President Rugova stressed the importance of full implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions as well as other demands of the international community on Kosova.

    [02] FOCUS: 25,000 Serb Troops Remain in Kosova, Withdrawal Symbolic

    Who for God's sake is speaking of withdrawal of Serbian troops from Kosova?

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Chief NATO commanders for Europe, General Wesley Clark and General Klaus Naumann, negotiated with Serbian leader Milosevic last week in the run-up to the expiration of NATO deadline of 27 October.

    The result of their long hours of negotiations was that Milosevic would be permitted to keep 25,000 Serbian troops - 15,000 military and 10,000 police - sources said.

    After that Milosevic ordered the withdrawal of 4,100 Serb special police from Kosova, which was widely reported and turned out to be just enough for NATO to suspend its threat of an immediate air strikes against Serb targets.

    Brussels and Washington were relieved, just like Belgrade.

    The deal concerned Kosova.

    Milosevic has been credited with having complied significantly. A senior Pentagon official said "upwards of 80 percent" of the Serbian army tanks and armored personnel carriers had returned to their garrisons, and about 90 percent of the special police that had gone to Kosova to suppress Albanians had departed.

    The bottom line is Kosova remains a heavily militarized area.

    Milosevic has been allowed to keep the same number of Serb police (10,000) and more military troops (15,000) than he actually had committed here in Kosova to perpetuate his military occupation of Kosova.

    It goes without saying that the actually withdrawal of one sixth of Serb troops from Kosova is better than nothing, optimists would say. It is next to nothing, pessimists would retort. It is just that, one sixth of the troops out of Kosova.

    Kosova has just over 2 million people, of whom 90 percent Albanians.

    The 25,000 Serb troops are unwanted by Albanians, because they have killed Albanians, destroyed their villages and towns this year, last year, the year before the last, .... They are seen here as nothing less that 25,000 members of an alien, hostile force trying to perpetuate occupation and neo- colonial rule.

    So, who are they going to serve here? The less than 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins. A Serb policeman/soldier in every eight Serbs/Montenegrins.

    The problem is not whether Serbia had 25,000 or 29,000 troops in Kosova. The issue at point is that Milosevic has created a fait accompli in Kosova after his military aggression of this year. He has done this through the use of his sheer force, as well as his byzantine diplomacy, outsmarting the West for the hundredth time or so.

    Last but not least, U.S. envoys Holbrooke and Hill have been speaking of 2, 500 police personnel in Kosova, which should be the heart of the much talked about interim accord plan for Kosova that has all the signs of becoming a permanent solution.

    Why was the rationale of NATO commanders Clark and Naumman giving Milosevic the blessing to maintain ten times as much troops now as part of an arrangement the West has called a 'deal' on Kosova?

    Who for God's sake is speaking of withdrawal of Serbian troops from Kosova? The 25,000 heavily-armed Serb military and police troops in Kosova are within shooting range in this small embattled country of less than 11,000 square kilometers.

    [03] Serb Troops Have Only Partially Withdrawn, LDK Says

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Serbian military and police troops have only partially withdrawn from Kosova, despite NATO pressure, the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), the strongest political party in Kosova, said in a press release today.

    The LDK leadership welcomes the decision of the North Atlantic Treaty to maintain the Activation Orders for possible strikes against Serb targets, and hails the engagement of the international community, especially the United States and NATO, the party statement said.

    It called on Russia to be more constructive in international efforts to secure a solution to the Kosova issue.

    "There are so many Serbian troops, military and police, as well as combat hardware, that a partial withdrawal cannot create the necessary confidence for the Albanian refugees and IDPs to return back to their homes", the LDK said.

    Instead of withdrawing, Serb military and police troops are being stationed in garrisons and other camouflaged positions inside the territory of Kosova, ready to always use pretexts to attack the Albanian communities in their homes, the major Kosovar political force said.

    The Serb police personnel is being now clothed in traffic police and deployed up and down Kosova, the LDK said.

    Thousands of Albanians are still living rough in the open, despite their burning desire to return to their homes, be they even burned, the party said, adding that Serb. They cannot return because of the presence of the Serb police and military as well as the local Serb and Montenegrin civilian population armed to the teeth, the LDK statement said.

    Therefore, the Presidency of the LDK called on the UNHCR and the ICRC as well as other international mechanisms to step up their efforts to create conditions for an organized and safe return of displaced people to their homes, the statement concluded.

    [04] Returning Refugees Find Dead Relatives and Neighbors in War-Torn Villages

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Displaced Albanians trickling back to their villages after the Serb forces pulled out from some of the outposts have been finding the dead bodies of their relatives and neighbors slain by Serb forces earlier this year.

    Sources in the Kosova war-torn municipalities reported that bodies, mutilated or decomposed, of a dozen Albanians were found during the past two days in central and western Kosova villages. It is feared that hundreds of Albanians who had gone missing for months lay in fact killed with scattered bodies in the villages which had been attacked by Serb troops in the summer.

    Sources in Malisheva said the decomposed body of Jashar Krasniqi (53) was found two days ago in the the woods near his village of T&rpeza. The late Krasniqi, teacher with a local school, had gone missing for almost three months.

    While returning to their T&rpeza village, local villagers found the bodies of three other neighbors. The bodies of Demush Krasniqi (63) and Ajet Krasniqi (85) were charred, while the third one, Rasim Krasniqi (87), was covered with mud.

    The corpse of Ramadan Hoti (80) was found in his guest hall in Carralluk& village of Malisheva.

    Unconfirmed reports said that Albanian refugees returning in their villages have found mutilated bodies of their fellow villagers in Bubavec and Llazic&.

    The LDK chapter in Gjakova said Albanian villagers returning to their homes have been finding dead bodies of their neighbors or relatives scattered in the fields or under the rubble of their homes.

    The mutilated body of Tun& Gjuka (42) was found on Tuesday in Bardhaniq village.

    Zef Dreni (65) was found dead near his village of Firza on Wednesday. Witnesses said his body was papered with bullets and "Zastava" made (Serb) bullet cartridges were found only a few meters away, a sign that he could have been shot dead from a short distance.

    The chapter of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) in Skenderaj ('Srbica') said the body of a 82- year-old man, Hazir Hoti (82), was found on Wednesday near his

    [05] farmhouse in Likoc. The late old man was killed in early October, the CDHRF quoted local villagers as saying.

    [06] Camouflaged Serbs Crack Down Brutally on Women and Children near De^an

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Serb forces cracked down brutally today (Thursday) on a group of women and children between L&bush& and Isniq villages of De^an, western Kosova. The Albanians were picking chestnuts in a forest, the LDK chapter in De^an said.

    Witnesses said that camouflaged Serb forces with painted faces were hiding in the forest. Several women and children sustained severe body injuries, including Jeton Zeqiraj (16), Ms Cyme Zeqiraj (40), M&rgim Zymeraj (16). Jeton Zeqiraj was beaten unconscious. A teenager girl (S. Z.) was captured by several Serbs, who forced her into the woods. It is suspected the Serbs raped her, witnesses said.

    Sources said that several Albanians were rounded up by Serb forces in the forests above Isniq village. The LDK Information Commission said it could learn the identity of only one of them by midday today, naming him as Avdi Ahmetxhekaj. People told the Commission that the apprehended Albanians were taken to the Serb Monastery in De^an.

    [07] Serb Police Still Manning Half a Dozen Checkpoints on Mitrovica- Skenderaj Roadway

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Serb forces were manning half a dozen checkpoints on the Mitrovica-Skenderaj road today (Thursday) morning, the LDK chapter in Mitrovica said. Moreover, some of the checkpoints have been reinforced with fresh troops, it said.

    The LDK named the following locations on the Mitrovica-Skenderaj road where Serb police were still in place today: near the Barani hamlet, at "P&rroi i keq" near Llausha, in ^ubrel and Vitak. Serb forces are camouflaged and are hiding in other locations which cannot bee noticed from the main road, witnesses said.

    [08] Serbs Build Military Outpost in Kosova-Albania Border

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Yesterday, the Serbian army started building a military outpost at the foot of the Pashtriku mountains in the Kosova- Albania border.

    Serbs have built a 22-km long road to the military outpost.

    [09] Serb Military and Police Troops Camouflaged in Lipovica Mountains

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Considerable Serb forces and mechanized vehicles were seen camouflaged in the Lipovcia mountains Wednesday, LDK sources in Lipjan said.

    The Albanian residents of V&rshec, Leletiq and other villages in this municipality are afraid to return to their homes, shelled earlier by Serb forces.

    [10] Serb Police Clothed in Workers' Uniforms in Grabovc Village

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Serbian forces have not withdrawn from the village of Grabovc i Ul&t, municipality of Fush& Kosova, LDK sources said.

    Serb police have been disguised in workers' uniforms in this village, they said. They have occupied the house of Rexhep Berisha.

    These Serb police have been looting Albanian houses.

    [11] 827 Albanian Houses Burned, 102 Shelled, By Serb Forces in Vushtrri Area

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - Serbian military, paramilitary and polcie forces burned 827 Albanian farmhouses and shelled 102 ones in 21 Albanian villages of the Vushtrri municipality, the LDK Sector for Emigration and Refugees said.

    The LDK offered a detailed report on the consequences of the Serbian offensive in late summer, early autumn, in the municipality of Vushtrri.

    [12] Serb Regime Court Sentences Albanian to 2 Years in Prison

    Trial of 13 others underway

    PRISHTINA, Oct 29 (KIC) - On Thursday, the Serbian-run District Court in Peja sentenced Uk& Golaj, resident of the village of Sheremet in the municipality of Gjakova, to two years imprisonment.

    He became a member of a local 'terrorist' organization in the village of Sheremet, the Serb press said.

    Albanians are tried for their political beliefs and routinely charged with hostile activities and terrorism by the Serb regime.

    The trial of 13 Albanians on such trumped up charges started Thursday in the Serb court in Peja. They are Fadil, Qerim, Burim, Valdet, Kastriot, Agim, Abdyl, Mustaf, Kujtim, Flamur, Behar, Zenel and Adem Jetishi, all of them residents of Prekovc village, municipality of Gjakova.

    Kosova Information Center

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