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Kosova Daily Report #1656, 99-01-07

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 #1656
Prishtina, 7 January 1999

First Edition: 12:00 CET
Second Edition: 16:30 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] Lipjan-Prishtina Rodaway Closed Off by Armed Serb Gangs
  • [02] President Rugova Receives Ambassador Hill
  • [03] Kosova Situation Constitute Threat to National Security of the United States
  • [04] Hill Says He's Working on 'Specific Ideas for Invigorating the Political Process'
  • [05] OSCE Mission Offers to Mediate Between Bujku and Serb Regime Panorama

  • [01] Lipjan-Prishtina Rodaway Closed Off by Armed Serb Gangs

    Serb civilians ill-treat motorists and passengers in Lipjan-Fush& Kosova roadway, as Serbs have gone out on the Lipjan streets armed

    PRISHTINA, Jan 7 (KIC) - Since early in the morning today (Thursday), the Lipjan-Prishtina roadway has been kept closed off by armed Serbs.

    LDK sources in Lipjan, 13 km south of Prishtina, said the road has been closed off by Serb civilians in ^agllavic& and Llaplesell& villages. Serb police has not allowed cars to proceed to Prishtina via these villages.

    The passengers on board two buses commuting between Prizren and Prishtina were turned back by police at Veternik, at the south- eastern entrance to the Kosova capital. So, the entrance to Prishtina from the direction of Shkup (FYROM), as well as the Kosovar towns of Prizren, Gjilan, Ferizaj, and Lipjan has been thus blocked.

    The LDK chapter in Shtime, quoting accounts by bus commuters turned back, said a 'chaotic' situation prevailed in the village of ^agllavic&, whereas in the small town of Lipjan they said they had seen armed Serb civilians roaming the streets.

    Sources in Lipjan said earlier today Serb police had been turning traffic to an alternative route departing Lipjan for Fush& Kosova.

    Yet, in this route too, armed Serb civilians have been stopping motorists and commuters heading to the Kosova capital.

    The LDK chapter in Lipjan suspected the police were deliberately directing motorists to the alternative route so that they encounter Serb civilians on the road.

    LDK sources in Lipjan and Shtime have been unable to account for the kind of situation created in Lipjan and the Serb villages of ^agllavic& and Llaplasell&.

    Serbs engage in unprecedented shooting spree Serbs have engaged last night and today in a shooting spree in Lipjan.

    In the past 24 hours, Serbs engaged in an unprecedented shooting spree in capital Prishtina, too, arguably in connection with the Christmas festivities of eastern Orthodox Serbs.

    Large segments of the Serb minority in Kosova have seen their increasingly criminalized behavior encouraged by Communists-turned- Socialists in power as well as the Serb Church establishment's ideology of minority Serb domination vis-a-vis the Albanian majority on an obscure platform of Serb heavenly legacy in Kosova.

    [02] President Rugova Receives Ambassador Hill

    PRISHTINA, Jan 7 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today Ambassador Chris Hill, the U.S. mediator for Kosova.

    This was their second meeting in Prishtina in three days.

    The overall situation in Kosova, in view of the most recent developments, was discussed in today's meeting.

    President Rugova and Ambassador Hill shared the view the political process in pursuit of a settlement in Kosova needed to be speeded up, President Rugova's office said. [See related story, "Hill Says...]

    [03] Kosova Situation Constitute Threat to National Security of the United States

    Says President Bill Clinton in his report to the Senate and House leadership

    PRISHTINA, Jan 7 (KIC) - U.S. President Bill Clinton issued a report to the Congress discussing Administration actions and expenses related to the declaration of a national emergency with respect to the governments of the 'Federal Republic of Yugoslavia' and Serbia for the period June 9 - December 8, 1998, the Washington File, the daily bulletin of the American Center Prishtina, said January 6.

    The report - in a January 5 Clinton letter to the Senate and House leadership - discusses Administration expenses related to the implementation, by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and other federal agencies, of sanctions imposed on the FRY and Serbia.

    The sanctions were imposed in accordance with the declaration of a "national emergency to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), and the Republic of Serbia with respect to Kosovo".

    Since June 9, 1998, U.S. banks and banks in the United States have reported to OFAC that they have blocked 877 transactions totaling USD 20 million pursuant to the sanctions, President Clinton said in his report, adding that "most of the blockings were of funds transfers originating from, or destined for, Serbian banks". The expenses in enforcing these sanctions in connection with the situation in Kosova are estimated at approximately USD 715,000, "most of which represents wage and salary costs for Federal personnel", Clinton said.

    The situation reviewed in his letter continues to present an "extraordinary and unusual threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States", the U.S. President said, recalling that the declaration of national emergency with respect to FRY and Serbia contained in Executive Order 13088 was made "in reaction to the unacceptable actions and policies of the Belgrade authorities in Kosovo, and continues to apply."

    "The current situation in Kosovo is fragile and, as yet, unresolved", President Bill Clinton said in his report to the Senate and House leadership, adding that it is of particular importance that developments in Kosova should not disrupt progress in implementing the Dayton peace agreement. "This threat to the peace of the region constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the United States".

    President Bill Clinton said at the conclusion of his report he would continue to exercise the powers at his disposal with respect to the measures against the FRY and Serbian governments "as long as these measures are appropriate".

    [04] Hill Says He's Working on 'Specific Ideas for Invigorating the Political Process'

    PRISHTINA, Jan 7 (KIC) - Ambassador Chris Hill, the U.S. envoy for Kosova, said he was in Prishtina today (Thursday) "following up with Dr [ibrahim ] Rugova on our discussions Tuesday".

    "We are looking for some specific ideas for invigorating the political process and to consider what next", Mr. Hill told reporters after his meeting with the President of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova.

    "As you know, we've just come to a difficult Christmas holiday season, and we want to make sure that we invigorate our political process, because, as I've said many times, this is really the way we are going to solve the problem of Kosovo, not by these violent incidents out on the ground", Ambassador Hill said.

    "We had a difficult day this morning. I had to take an alternate route to come into Prishtina, because actually the main road was blocked", the U.S. envoy said, failing to specify that it was armed Serbs who had actually blocked the road.

    Asked to say why he had taken an alternate route, the U.S. diplomat said "nothing is going to be solved by guns, by blocking roads".

    Absolutely nothing is going to be solved that way. People are carrying guns - I saw that myself. And there is a great deal of frustration, a great deal of concern, and the only way to deal with that is to have an invigorated political process".

    Ambassador Hill said he had some good discussions in Prishtina today. "I am going to have some discussions with some other Albanian leaders," he added, referring to the meetings he planned to have later in the day with (Blerim) Shala, the editor-in-chief of a weekly magazine, and Mr. (Mehmet) Hajrizi, a senior member of the LBD, a block of minor Albanian parties in opposition to President Ibrahim Rugova and his LDK.

    "I'd hope to meet with Mr. Adem Dema^i. Unfortunately, he is still in Tirana, so I am not able to meet with him today. I look forward to meeting with him when he returns from Tirana", Ambassador Chris Hill said.

    He said he was not going to meet with the Kosova negotiating team today, "but I think I will do that in a very near future". He added he was "simply under a time pressure, so I am meeting with some other people".

    The U.S. mediator said "we've been discussing how we approach the political settlement in the coming weeks, and we've got some specific ideas on that, and we are trying to work on those ideas", in reply to a question. "At this point, this week I am not working on making further changes, additions or deletions to the text of our draft proposal, so I am not working specifically on the text, and for that reason I did not meet with the [Kosova] negotiating team", Chris Hill said.

    The last draft plan that he presented early in December was rejected by the Kosovar side as utterly unacceptable, and accommodating by and large to the Serb demands regarding an interim arrangement for Kosova.

    "I am working more broadly on the question for a framework for how we can proceed with further negotiations", the U.S. mediator, who has been shuttling unsuccessfully for months between Prishtina and Belgrade, said at the end of his press availability in the Kosova capital today.

    [05] OSCE Mission Offers to Mediate Between Bujku and Serb Regime Panorama

    There was an OSCE observer mission to Kosova back in the spring of 1993, when the Serb regime cracked down on Albanian-run Rilindja company and forced Bujku become a tenant in its own house

    PRISHTINA, Jan 7 (KIC) - "KVM (Kosova Verification Mission) media analysts have stated that the editorial policy of [Albanian- language daily] "Bujku" was within the framework of freedom of the media as commonly understood by European standards", a press release issued Tuesday by the OSCE KVM said.

    Ambassador Gabriel Keller, Principal Deputy and acting Head of the OSCE KVM met earlier this week with the editor-in-chief of the Bujku daily, Binak Kelmendi. "Both shared concern about the fact that there has been just a single edition of this paper published since December 16th, 1998", the press release said.

    The Serbian regime cracked down on the Rilindja publishing company, part of which is Bujku, in the spring of 1993, by illegally taking over the company's assets and premises and forming a phantom "Panorama" company run by Serbs alone.

    It was Panorama's management, which runs also Rilindja/Bujku's printing house renamed by the Serb regime into 'Gracanica', that banned the printing of the Albanian-language daily on 30 December and threatened with 'criminal charges' those who would dare print Bujku.

    An associate director of the printing house, Ali Govori, was kicked from work for having printed Bujku on 30 December, the only issue in three weeks.

    Ambassador Keller confirmed OSCE's full support for "the freedom of flow of information and calls on "Panorama" to take a pragmatic attitude on the financial dispute with Bujku", the KVM's press release said, concluding with: "He (Keller) offers KVM mediation on that issue."

    There was an OSCE observer mission to Kosova back in the spring of 1993, when the Serb regime cracked down on Rilindja and forced Bujku become a tenant - Panorama's tenant - in its own house.

    The Bujku daily is successor to the oldest Albanian-language newspaper in Kosova, Rilindja, which, kicked off in 1945, was banned by the Serb occupation authorities in 1990.

    Kosova Information Center

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