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Kosova Daily Report #1672, 99-01-23

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

From: Kosova Information Center <>

Kosova Information Center
Prishtina, 23 January 1999


  • [01] FOCUS: Will Milosevic Get Away with His Atrocities by Making Trifle Compromises? Again?!
  • [02] Nearly 2,000 Albanians Killed and Massacred in Kosova Last Year, Human Rights Group Says
  • [03] Heavy Police Forces Deployed in Vushtrri Area
  • [04] Schools in Shtime Area Re-open on 1st February

  • [01] FOCUS: Will Milosevic Get Away with His Atrocities by Making Trifle Compromises? Again?!

    Serbia's is a "hostile power" in Kosova. Therefore, it is about high time the West rethinks its policies over Kosova and consider independence for Kosova as a viable option

    PRISHTINA, Jan 23 (KIC) - General Wesley Clark, the NATO Supreme Commander, was quoted as saying 'FRY' President Slobodan Milosevic had made only a "half compromise" by freezing an expulsion order against William Walker, the U.S. diplomat who heads the OSCE Kosova Verification Mission.

    Indeed, there is fear now that Milosevic will reap benefits from ostensibly backing down and resolving issues he has created in the aftermath of the barbaric massacre of 45 Albanian civilians carried out by his troops in Kosova last week. The threatened expulsion of Ambassador Walker and barring Justice Arbour of the UN Tribunal from entering Kosova were created by Milosevic to divert attention from the massacre.

    "It will be tempting to be seduced into celebrating a small victory should the 'FRY' reverse itself on the expulsion of OSCE KVM Director Walker", U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE David T. Johnson told the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna January 21.

    Even if this problem is solved, "it is a crisis that Milosevic created. To reward him for solving it would be foolish", Johnson rightly noted.

    The West should not allow Milosevic "to trick us into settling to the status quo ante - before the Racak atrocity", the U.S. envoy to the OSCE, which charged Milosevic officially for the Re^ak massacre, said.

    Rewarding Milosevic for this half compromise would be to again abort threats to bomb Serbian military targets, and allow him once again to get away with yet another crime, a "mass murder" as the Contact Group called it.

    The Milosevic regime would wait for another opportunity to butcher more people in Kosova, create new problems he would solve eventually, so that the carnage be set aside yet another time. And so on, till Kosova is done with - with Albanians either killed or forced out.

    Destroying Kosova piecemeal - Milosevic's strategy Destruction of Kosova piecemeal has been the Milosevic strategy for since the Serbian outright military aggression was unleashed here in Kosova early last year.

    If threatened air strikes against Serb installations are carried through, then Milosevic will galvanize his public support, is the now standard mantra of certain powerful Western circles - as preposterous a slogan as it can be. Milosevic has already galvanized its public support with his aggression and occupation of Kosova. If that is reversed, then the Balkan troublemaker would lose his public support. Serbia's divided opposition, independent media and universities would fight strongly against his regime only then.

    "Washington and its allies should begin to prepare to engage Kosovo's neighbors in an effort to manage the regional consequences of independence - be it de facto, de jure or somewhere in between," Ivo Daalder, a Balkan specialist at the independent Brookings Institution was quoted as saying.

    General Colin Powell, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and one of the most respected leaders in the U.S., said independence must be on the table, news agencies reported.

    "The difficulty in this situation is what is the political option: will we continue to recognise Kosovo as a part of Serbia, should we push for autonomy, or push for independence," he said on NBC's Today Show this week. "Whatever you do with respect to the use of military force that underlying political question has to be dealt with - and that's the most difficult question of all," he said.

    Sen. Mitch McConnell, a conservative Republican from Kentucky, said in an article in the Washington Post the Clinton administration should "accept reality." He wrote: "Our policies must recognise the essential goal: independence for Kosovo."

    Western leaders insist they are trying to be evenhanded, not encouraging or helping the pro-independence struggle of the Kosovars.

    NAT0 must not become "the air force for the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army," Defence Secretary William Cohen cautioned.

    The doctrine of 'even-handedness' was promoted - with deadly results - for three long years in the Bosnia conflict with the arms embargo on former Yugoslavia. It is an even-handed approach, because the arms embargo applies to all, the UN said then, at a time the Bosnian Muslims and Croats were virtually empty-handed and the Serbs had inherited the officers cadre and weaponry of the former Yugoslav army, the JNA. And the Serbs had waged the war of aggression.

    Kosova was on a par with Serbia and Bosnia in the former Yugoslav federation, not a region within Serbia!

    Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the Centre for National Policy on Thursday that Milosevic was flouting last October's agreement with Holbrooke, adding that "The outlook for a negotiated solution is cloudy." She added: "What is clear is that the status quo is neither acceptable nor sustainable."

    Kosova and Bosnia are two different situations, Madame Albright said Thursday, in reply to a question. "Bosnia was a republic within Yugoslavia; Kosovo has been a region within Serbia itself, where there is Albanian majority".

    Kosova was not a region within Serbia in former Yugoslavia. Rather it was a federal unit just like Bosnia, on a par with Bosnia, Serbia, etc., at the federal level. Serbia purports Kosova is part of Serbia, after having illegally suspended Kosova's federal status in 1989/90.

    This is the truth those who have a basic knowledge about former Yugoslavia and its break-up in the early 1990s know.

    The people of Kosova see the Serbian rule as sheer occupation here, "a hostile power" as Madame Albright had called it once.

    The Congressional Helsinki (CSCE) Commission's Co-Chairman Rep.

    Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Ranking Minority Rep. Steny H.

    Hoyer (D-MD) said in a statement released Thursday, 21 January, "We consider Serbian authority in Kosovo to be illegitimate", adding that the international community "should begin to treat it as such".

    Unless this is acknowledged by the international community, there will be no solution for Kosova.

    The limited autonomy offered to Kosova by the recent Western drafts under the guise of 'a greater degree of self-autonomy to the Kosovars" (Albright) or 'internal self-government' (Chris Hill and Robin Cook) and other rhetoric figures such as 'enhanced autonomy', is not stuff the two million Albanian people of Kosova can stomach any longer.

    It is about high time the West rethinks its policies over Kosova and consider independence for Kosova as a viable option.

    The West should respect the political will of the people of Kosova, help the Albanians in their struggle to reverse Serbian occupation of Kosova, and cease frightening itself with the fake domino-effect Kosovar independence would cause in south-eastern Europe.

    Independent statehood for Kosova is the very solution for the legitimate and democratic aspirations of its people - on humane, legal and pragmatic levels. And a stabilizing factor in the Balkans.

    [02] Nearly 2,000 Albanians Killed and Massacred in Kosova Last Year, Human Rights Group Says

    Most of the Albanians killed by Serb forces were women, children and elderly

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - The Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said it had registered 1934 Albanians killed and massacred in Kosova in 1998 as a result of the Serbian military and police aggression which gripped half of the territory of Kosova.

    The major Kosovar human rights group said in its annual report circulated today that of those killed 229 were women, 213 children, and 395 elderly people. As many as 436 victims were unidentified, the CDHRF said, adding that in 92 cases pregnant women, infants, and elderly people died because of lack of medical care.

    As many as 2,626 Albanians were detained by Serb forces last year, of whom 132 have been convicted, whereas 1,128 are pending trial.

    As many as 450 Albanian settlements were shelled and destroyed last year by the Serbian military/police forces, with more than 40,000 houses destroyed fully or partially, looted and burned, the CDHRF said.

    Around 500,000 Albanians - a quarter of the Kosova population - were forced from their homes last year, the Kosovar human rights group said in its long and detailed annual report.

    The CDHRF report offers comprehensive information on some of the most horrendous massacres of Albanians carried by Serbian troops in Kosova last year.

    [03] Heavy Police Forces Deployed in Vushtrri Area

    PRISHTINA, Jan 23 (KIC) - Heavy Serbian police forces were deployed in the village of Novolan, Vushtrri municipality, last night and in the town itself today, local LDK sources said.

    The Albanian population of the village, fearful of a fresh Serb massacre, fled their homes.

    Local Albanian resistance forces, the U^K, detained five local Serbs in the village early Friday, charging that they were armed.

    Meanwhile, the OSCE condemned the abduction of the Serb civilians.

    "Taking hostage is a terrorist action in violation of basic human rights and is totally at variance with behavior the international community demands of all parties to the Kosovo conflict. We call on the U^K to release the five hostages immediately", the OSCE KVM mission said in a press release January 23.

    The Serbian police arrested Friday Fadil Haliti (34), resident of Prellofc village of Skenderaj ('Srbica') who had been staying in Novolan with his refugee family after last year's Serb offensive in Drenica.

    Mexhid Zhabari (30), local resident of Novolan village, was physically abused yesterday while fleeing the village together with his family.

    [04] Schools in Shtime Area Re-open on 1st February

    PRISHTINA, Jan 22 (KIC) - Because of the grave situation in the aftermath of the Serbian assault on several villages and the Re^ak massacre of some 50 Albanians last week, the local Albanian education authorities decided the spring term in the elementary and secondary schools in Shtime area will be put off for 1st February.

    A school-teacher with the Skenderbeu elementary school in Re^ak, Ms Hyra Ahmeti, was reported arrested by Serb police yesterday.

    Other Albanian were reported arrested in the town of Shtime, too.

    Kosova Information Center

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