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Kosova Daily Report #1598, 98-10-30

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 #1598
Prishtina, 30 October 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova's Press Conference
  • [02] Bodies of Three Slain Albanians Found on Thursday
  • [03] Serbs Open Fire on Returning Refugees
  • [04] Serb Forces Prevent Refugees from Returning to Their Homes
  • [05] Serbs Police Steps Up Intimidation Campaign in Podujeva and Peja
  • [06] Serbian Forces Have Not Withdrawn from Dushkaj& Region of Gjakova
  • [07] Serb Forces Remain in Several Suhareka Villages

  • [01] President Rugova's Press Conference

    PRISHTINA, Oct 30 (KIC) - Heavy destruction and finding of the bodies of many victims, is what families returning to their homes encounter these days in Kosova, according to President Ibrahim Rugova. "The consequences of the Serbian offensive are huge", the leader of the Republic of Kosova said in a press conference today (Friday) in Prishtina.

    Rugova, who is also leader of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), denounced the arrest of Lutfi Haziri, deputy head of the LDK chapter in Gjilan and four other members of the chapter leadership, who are being held in Serb detention.

    The President expressed his sympathies to the families who lost their loved ones in a tragedy earlier this week in the Adriatic Sea, when 19 Kosova Albanian refugees found their deaths while crossing the sea from the Albanian port of Vlora to Brindisi, Italy.

    Touching on the current situation in Kosova, President Ibrahim Rugova said there is a huge Serbian police and military presence in Kosova. "We have seen only a partial withdrawal of Serbian forces.

    The withdrawal should be completed."

    He pressed for international effort to get the Albanian refugees and internally-displaced people return to their homes in safety.

    There are still people living rough in the open, such as in Kishnareka, Drenica region, Rugova said.

    The President of the Republic reaffirmed that the best solution is an independent Kosova, with all guarantees for the local Serb community, as well as an international protectorate as an interim stage.

    Rugova welcomed NATO's decision to maintain activation orders [for possible strikes against Serb targets] until international demands on Kosova are met. He pressed for NATO ground troops to be committed to Kosova.

    President Rugova thanked the Western world leaders for their efforts on Kosova, and the inauguration of German Chancellor Schr”eder and Foreign Minister Joschka.

    A foreign reporter referred to some aspects of Ambassador Chris Hill's plan on an interim accord for Kosova and asked Rugova's comments on it. "We are working with Ambassador Hill on an interim accord, which addresses the functioning of institutions and the issue of security in Kosova, the formation of the Kosova police, as well as issues pertaining to economic development," President Ibrahim Rugova said. The best arrangement is independence for Kosova, or an interim stage solution to overcome the current dangerous situation in Kosova and create better conditions for a permanent solution to the Kosova issue, the President added.

    "Independence is the best solution for Kosova. It would stabilize the entire south-eastern Europe. It would also benefit the local Serbs in Kosova and Serbia itself".

    The same foreign reporter wondered why Rugova did not mention the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) by name, but rather referred to them as 'armed groups', asking whether it was because he did not want to cause disunity among the population. "The armed groups of the U^K and local patriots have organized themselves to respond to the ten- year-long Serbian repression, whereas Serbian has imposed a military solution; this is what we have seen in the past six months or so, massacres and immense destruction in Kosova," the President said, adding that he hoped the establishment of the OSCE and NATO missions will contribute to calm down the situation. "We expect these groups (U^K) to welcome and respect the OSCE verification mission in Kosova", Rugova said, adding that there was no disunity among the people of Kosova.

    The negotiations should be well-prepared, and this is the position of the Albanian side, Ambassador Hill and the Contact Group, President Rugova said.

    Asked by the BBC correspondent to comment on the position of NATO that 25, 000 Serbian military and police are to stay in Kosova, President Ibrahim Rugova said the Albanian side wants to see that their presence is hugely reduced, and that a Kosovar police force is formed sot that "the Serbian military and police is fully (and irreversibly) withdrawn from Kosova".

    [02] Bodies of Three Slain Albanians Found on Thursday

    PRISHTINA, Oct 30 (KIC) - Sources in the war-torn municipalities in central and western Kosova reported today that the bodies of three other Albanians slain by Serb forces earlier this year were found near Albanian villages.

    Local Albanians returning to their villages in Malisheva municipality buried over the past days alone the mutilated and decomposed bodies of at least half a dozen relatives of theirs.

    The LDK Information in Malisheva said the bodies of two other men were found in the area on Thursday. It named one of them as Sherif Kryeziu (37), resident of Mle^an village. He was a mentally retarded person who had gone missing almost three months ago.

    The identity of the second man found in Mleqan village could not be established, as his body was badly decomposed.

    The LDK chapter in Skenderaj said the remains of Musa Ahmeti (27), resident of Radisheva, were found on Thursday in the fields of ^ubrel village. The late Ahmeti had likewise gone missing three months ago when Serb forces had killed his father.

    Activists in the war-torn areas said they believe more dead Albanians lay scattered in the fields or under the rubble of their houses.

    It is suspected that hundreds of Albanians who had gone missing for months lay in fact killed in the villages which had been attacked by Serb troops during the summer offensives.

    [03] Serbs Open Fire on Returning Refugees

    PRISHTINA, Oct 30 (KIC) - A group of Serbs wearing police uniforms opened fire in the direction of four Albanian women in Suhog&rlla village of Mitrovica on Thursday.

    The LDK chapter in Mitrovica quoted witnesses as saying that the armed Serbs were not police officers, but rather local Serbs wearing police uniforms.

    Xhemile Rama, Hafize Rama, Hajrije Rama and Xhevrije Rama, who had fled their Suhog&rlla village in summer, wanted to see if their homes had survived the Serb shelling and arson campaigns. At least 52 Albanian houses were burned down or destroyed earlier this year in this village, the LDK said.

    None of the women was wounded. They run away, realizing that Serbs were aiming at them.

    [04] Serb Forces Prevent Refugees from Returning to Their Homes

    PRISHTINA, Oct 30 (KIC) - A heavy presence of Serb forces was reported today in several locations in a wide area around the Vulljaka bauxite mines in Klina. Sources said Serbs continued digging in around the mine, at Pishat e Volljakut (Volljaka pinewood), near the village cemetery, and at a location called 'Boka e P&r^ev&s'.

    A local activist in Klina told the KIC that a group of Albanians attempted to return to their village of P&r^eva on Thursday, but the Serb forces manning a checkpoint forced them back.

    [05] Serbs Police Steps Up Intimidation Campaign in Podujeva and Peja

    PRISHTINA, Oct 30 (KIC) - Over the past two days, the Serb police has stepped up campaigns of harassment and intimidation of the local population in Podujeva.

    Several Albanians have told the LDK chapter in the town that they were harassed by police manning flying checkpoints and patrols in the town.

    Sources in Podujeva said that, during the evening hours in particular, Serb police harass passersby on the streets of the town.

    Beside the local police station in Podujeva, Serb forces are still manning outposts in K&rpimeh, Lluzhan and Orllan villages.

    Meanwhile, LDK sources in Lugu i Baranit, a region south-west of Peja, said Serb forces have been maltreating the Albanian population in the area. Serb police manning an outpost near the local Catholic Church in Gllogjan village have been halting and threatening every single Albanian passing by.

    [06] Serbian Forces Have Not Withdrawn from Dushkaj& Region of Gjakova

    PRISHTINA, Oct 30 (KIC) - LDK sources in Dushkaj& region, Gjakova area, said Serbian forces have not withdrawn form strategic points in this area.

    Serb forces remain still in Suka e C&rmjanit, Suka e Neticit near the Radoniq hydro-system, in the elementary school building at Kralan village. Part of the Serbian forcs have been positioned also at a location called Vardisht&, near the village of Jabllanic&, from where the villages of G&rgoc, Bardhaniq, Zhebeli, Jabllanic& and Kralan of the municipality of Gjakova can be shelled.

    Against this background, no Albanian residents have returned to these villages.

    LDK sources said Serb police forces have returned to the villages of Maznik and Dashinoc of Dushkaj& region, which fall administratively in the municipality of De^an. The forces had pulled out three days earlier, to only get back and reclaim their earlier positions. The population has not been returning to these villages, either.

    There has been sporadic shooting and shelling in the villages where Serb forces continue to be deployed, local LDK sources said.

    [07] Serb Forces Remain in Several Suhareka Villages

    PRISHTINA, Oct 30 (KIC) - LDK sources in Suhareka say Serb forces have not withdrawn from several positions in the area, including Qaf& e Duhl&s and Bira^&.

    Serbian police forces are still stationed in the villages of Duh&l, Reshtan, Mohlan and Krushic& e Ul&t.

    Serb police went to the village of Bukosh with two APC's yesterday and opened arms fire there, LDK sources said. Those Albanians who had started trickling back to the village fled again.

    Kosova Information Center

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