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Kosova Daily Report #1671, 99-01-22

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 #1671
Prishtina, 22 January 1999


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Calls For NATO Intervention to "Protect the People of Kosova" and Prevent Ethnic Cleansing
  • [02] Helsinki Commission Charges Milosevic with 'Barbaric' Re^ak Massacre
  • [03] Serb Police Kills Two Albanians, Wounds Three in Rahovec Area Thursday Albanian shot dead in Orllat village of Gllogovc Wednesday
  • [04] Albanian Taxi Driver Found Murdered in His Car Trunk
  • [05] Killed U^K Fighters to Be Buried in Mitrovica Saturday
  • [06] Armed Serbs Block Part of Novolan Village
  • [07] Increasing Serb Buildup and Tensions in Podujeva Area
  • [08] Serbian Forces Set Up Roadblock at Lup^ Village

  • [01] President Rugova Calls For NATO Intervention to "Protect the People of Kosova" and Prevent Ethnic Cleansing

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - "The massacre at Re^ak is a crime against an entire people", the President of the Republic of Kosova, Ibrahim Rugova, told a press conference today (Friday), referring to the killing by Serbian military and police forces of some 50 Albanians at the Shtime village a week ago today.

    The situation in Kosova is "very grave and dangerous", Rugova said, adding that the most recent Serb offensive against Kosovar villages is aimed at ethnically cleansing Kosova from its Albanian population.

    The Serb offensive against the villages of Vaganic& and Shipol, on the outskirts of Mitrovica, has produced some 13,000 new displaced Albanians, the President said.

    The work of the OSCE Kosova Verification Mission (KVM) is very important for all the citizens of Kosova in the prevailing situation, Ibrahim Rugova said.

    The President of the Republic said the Belgrade regime's decision to expel the KVM head, Ambassador Walker, "is an act of obstruction and arrogance towards the international community". Belgrade cannot decide on the missions of the international community, such as the OSCE Mission in Kosova, Rugova said.

    Ambassador Walker is welcome in Kosova, President Ibrahim Rugova said, commending him on "his courage and determination to remain on the job in Kosova".

    Rugova pressed the UN and other international institutions to act firmly with Belgrade and ensure that The Hague Tribunal's chief prosecutor Louise Arbour and her team are allowed access to Kosova to carry out independent investigations of the crimes committed here.

    The Hague Tribunal has full jurisdiction over Kosova as in all the territories of the former Yugoslavia, President Ibrahim Rugova said. "In order to divert attention from its crimes and massacres in Kosova, Belgrade is causing new problems with the international community", like the rows over Ambassador Walker and Mrs Arbour, he added.

    President Rugova reiterated his call for NATO intervention "to protect the people of Kosova and create stability and prospects for a future in this part of the world", hailing the NATO engagement so far. Such an intervention would prevent ethnic cleansing in Kosova, he added.

    The best solution for Kosova is its independence, with all guarantees for the local Serb community, President Rugova reaffirmed, pressing for an interim stage international protectorate pending a lasting resolution. "An independent Kosova would stabilize the region".

    [02] Helsinki Commission Charges Milosevic with 'Barbaric' Re^ak Massacre

    "Serbia may well have lost Kosovo once and for all. No state has the right to exercise its authority in this manner, and we consider Serbian authority in Kosovo to be illegitimate", the Commission's leaders said in a joint statement Thursday

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - The Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, charged 'FRY' President Milosevic with responsibility for the massacre of 45 civilians in the Kosova village of Re^ak.

    The Commission Co-Chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Ranking Minority Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) released Thursday, 21 January, a statement on the situation in Kosova, the Washington File, the daily bulletin of the American Center in Prishtina, reported.

    "The massacre committed in the Kosovo village of Recak is nothing short of barbaric", the Commission said, adding that the mutilation and killing of 45 villagers, including three women and at least one child, constitutes a crime against humanity, and units which participated in "this gruesome act must be identified, as well as the chain of command".

    "Ultimately, Slobodan Milosevic must himself be held accountable for the crimes committed in Kosovo and in Bosnia", Rep. Smith and Rep. Hoyer said in their statement, recalling that the U.S. Congress has already stated "its belief that Milosevic should be tried as a war criminal, and Milosevic should be tried as a war criminal".

    The arrogant response of the Yugoslav/ Serbian authorities to the incident- denying access to the site [Re^ak] by the International Tribunal prosecutor and declaring the head of the OSCE Mission, Ambassador Walker, as persona non grata-cannot be tolerated, the Helsinki Commission said. "In fact, Serbia may well have lost Kosovo once and for all. No state has the right to exercise its authority in this manner, and we consider Serbian authority in Kosovo to be illegitimate. The international community should begin to treat it as such".

    The efforts to coax Belgrade for an agreement on Kosova has proven fruitless, the Helsinki Commission said, adding that "NATO must respond to these atrocities".

    An unarmed 'verification mission' in Kosova is not "the answer to the current human crisis", the Commission's statement concluded.

    [03] Serb Police Kills Two Albanians, Wounds Three in Rahovec Area Thursday Albanian shot dead in Orllat village of Gllogovc Wednesday

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - On Thursday evening, around 22:00 hrs, Serbian police killed two and wounded three other still unidentified Albanians between the villages of Bellacerk& and Sopniq, Rahovec municipality, the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) reported.

    The inhabitants of the two villages said they heard heavy detonations at the time.

    The CDHRF quoted an unidentified observer as saying a carbonated body had been found in a Golf car.

    Meanwhile, LDK sources in Malisheva said Serb snipers shot dead Ahmet Elshani, resident of Banj& village, in Orllat village of Gllogovc Wednesday evening.

    [04] Albanian Taxi Driver Found Murdered in His Car Trunk

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - A Prishtina taxi driver, Fatmir Sheqiri, 21, was found killed at Livaxh&, on the Prishtina - Ferizaj roadway, today morning.

    The body of the Albanian was found in the trunk of his car. It seems like he was shot with two bullets on the neck, whereas signs of violence were all about his body, the Association of Taxi Drivers said.

    The circumstances and the motives related to the murder of the Albanian taxi driver remain unknown.

    The Taxi Drivers' Association of Prishtina will stage a one-day strike tomorrow in protest over the killing of their fellow member while doing his job.

    Around two dozen Albanians have been killed in yet unsolved incidents in Kosova this month.

    [05] Killed U^K Fighters to Be Buried in Mitrovica Saturday

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - Two members of the U^K, Sami Gashi and Afrim Hajrizi, both residents of Mitrovica, were killed Wednesday in clashes with the Serbian forces, LDK sources said.

    The two, Gashi (35), father of two, and Hajrizi (33), father of three, will be buried in Mitrovica at noon on Saturday, sources said.

    [06] Armed Serbs Block Part of Novolan Village

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - Serbian police forces moved to the Novolan village of Vushtrri today morning, and half an hour later armed Serbs sealed off part of the village and began halting and provoking Albanian passers-bye, the LDK chapter in Vushtrri said.

    Serb police arrested half a dozen Albanians in the village.

    Five local Serbs were kidnapped by 'Albanian terrorists' in the village of Novolan overnight, the Serb regime Media Center said today.

    Meanwhile, a stepped up and repressive presence of Serbian forces has been reported in the town of Vushtrri, too. Today was a market- day in the town, 25 km north of Prishtina.

    [07] Increasing Serb Buildup and Tensions in Podujeva Area

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - An increasingly dangerous and grave situation is reported in the northern Podujeva area amidst a continued Serb military buildup along the Prishtina-Podujeva and Podujeva-K&rpimeh roadways.

    The situation in the village of Peran, four km north of Podujeva, is alarming as the village continues to be blocked by the Serb military, LDK sources said.

    The fate of two local Albanians, Nazmi Ismajli and Ismet Beqiri, detained by Serb forces in the village, remains unknown.

    Serbian forces deployed in the village have been reported looting Albanian houses in Peran. Lorryloads of with domestic appliances have been seen taken away by Serb forces.

    The last remaining Albanian residents in the village of Peran, who had been holed up and ill-treated by Serb forces, managed to get out yesterday with the help of the OSCE mission, LDK sources said.

    [08] Serbian Forces Set Up Roadblock at Lup^ Village

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - Serbian military/police forces and tanks have been massed along the Prishtina-Podujeva road for weeks now, in what amounts to preparations for military aggression against the Albanian villages in north Kosova.

    The LDK chapter in Podujeva reported that Serb forces have set up a roadblock at the entrance to the village of Lup^, 15 km north of Prishtina.

    The Serb buildup in the northern area of Kosova is in clear violation of the cease-fire accord declared last October.

    Kosova Information Center

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