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Voice of America, 99-04-18

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA/LANDMINE (S ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (KUKES)
  • [02] ALBANIA LANDMINE UPDATE (L) BY TIM BELAY (KUKES, ALBANIA)
  • [03] KOSOVO REFUGEES (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENVEA)
  • [04] KOSOVO REFUGEES/CONANT Q&A BY EVE CONANT (MALINA, MACEDONIA)
  • [05] ALBRIGHT AND BLAIR ON KOSOVO (L-O) BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] DIVIDED OPINION ON KOSOVO BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)
  • [07] BRITAIN/KOSOVO (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [08] KOSOVO PRISONER (L) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [09] K-L-A VOLUNTEERS (L ONLY) BY GIL BUTLER (DURRES, ALBANIA)
  • [10] NATO ATTACKS Q&A BY GUY DINMORE (BELGRADE)
  • [11] NATO-KOSOVO (S&L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [12] SERBIA DISASTER (L-O) BY GUY DINMORE (BELGRADE)
  • [13] RUSSIA/KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [14] TURKEY/ELECTIONS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [15] TURKEY/ELECTION UPD (S ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

  • [01] ALBANIA/LANDMINE (S ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (KUKES)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248259
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FIVE PEOPLE WERE KILLED WHEN THEIR CAR STRUCK A LANDMINE EARLY SUNDAY ON THE ALBANIA-YUGOSLAV BORDER. TIM BELAY REPORTS FROM KUKES IN NORTHERN ALBANIA.

    TEXT: AUTHORITIES SAY THE CAR HIT THE MINE 20 METERS BEFORE REACHING THE ALBANIAN BORDER AT AROUND 3 O'CLOCK SUNDAY MORNING.

    THE CROSSING WAS CLOSED ON THE YUGOSLAV SIDE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE INCIDENT. BORDER MONITORS SAY THE RESULTING LINEUP OF REFUGEES WAITING TO GET INTO ALBANIA HAS REACHED UP TO 17 KILOMETERS LONG.

    THE REFUGEES CONTINUE TO FLEE THEIR HOMES IN KOSOVO IN VERY COLD AND RAINY CONDITIONS.

    //UNVOICED OPT///

    THE KUKES OFFICE OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE IS INVESTIGATING THE LANDMINE INCIDENT. THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY IS ALSO BRINGING IN A SECURITY SPECIALIST.//END UNVOICED OPT///

    THE EXPLOSION HAS HEIGHTENED SECURITY CONCERNS ALONG THE SO-CALLED NO MANS LAND BETWEEN THE YUGOSLAV AND ALBANIA BORDERS. YUGOSLAV BORDER POLICE REMAIN IN POSITION ON HIGH GROUND SURROUNDING THE AREA AND AUTHORITIES HERE SAY SNIPER FIRE IS A CONSTANT THREAT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/TB/DW/PLM
    18-Apr-99 6:56 AM EDT (1056 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA LANDMINE UPDATE (L) BY TIM BELAY (KUKES, ALBANIA)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248268
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS SAY A FATAL LANDMINE EXPLOSION AT THE KOSOVO/ALBANIA BORDER APPEARS TO BE AN ISOLATED EVENT. TIM BELAY REPORTS FROM KUKES, ALBANIA, ABOUT THE INCIDENT THAT LEFT FIVE PEOPLE DEAD

    TEXT: THE VICTIMS WERE ALL MEMBERS OF THE BERISHA FAMILY FROM A VILLAGE ABOUT 24-KILOMETERS WEST OF THE KOSOVO CAPITAL, PRISTINA.

    ACCORDING TO THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE, AN ELDERLY WOMAN AND THREE CHILDREN WERE KILLED INSTANTLY. A 35-YEAR-OLD WOMAN DIED ENROUTE TO THE KUKES HOSPITAL.

    THE FAMILY WAS ONLY 20-METERS OUTSIDE OF THE ALBANIAN BORDER, WHEN THE CAR THEY WERE TRAVELLING IN STRUCK A LANDMINE EARLY SUNDAY.

    O-S-C-E FIELD OFFICER DORAN VIENNEAU SAYS THE YUGOSLAV ARMY HAS PLACED LANDMINES NEAR THE BORDER IN RECENT DAYS. WITNESSES CONFIRM MR. VIENNEAU'S THEORY THE CAR HIT THE LANDMINE AFTER THE DRIVER LEFT THE ROADWAY.

    /// VIENNEAU ACT ///

    I THINK WHAT MAY HAVE HAPPENED IS THAT YOU HAVE A REFUGEE FAMILY COMING ACROSS IN THE DARK, AT THREE-O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING, FOUR-DAYS ON THE ROAD, TRAUMATIZED BY THE WHOLE SITUATION, HUNGRY AND TIRED, PROBABLY AT THE END OF THEIR ENERGY. AND HE MAY HAVE LOST FOCUS FOR A FEW SECONDS WHEN THEY SAW THE LIGHTS OF ALBANIA. AND HE MAY HAVE INADVERTENTLY STAGGERED OR DRIVEN OFF THE MAIN ROADS, AND THAT IS POSSIBLY HOW HE MAY HAVE HIT THIS MINE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. VIENNEAU SAYS THE RISK OF CROSSING THE SO-CALLED NO MAN'S LAND BETWEEN THE YUGOSLAV AND ALBANIAN BORDERS IS INCREASING.

    /// VIENNEAU ACT 2 ///

    WELL, THE BORDER IS BECOMING A MORE DANGEROUS PLACE. SIMPLY, AS THE NATO BOMBING PROGRESSES, THE SITUATION BECOMES MORE DANGEROUS. BUT I THINK THIS INCIDENT IS JUST AN ISOLATED TRAGIC ACCIDENT. AS I SAID I DO NOT THINK THE SERBS WOULD INTENTIONALLY MINE THE ROAD BECAUSE THEY WANT THE REFUGEES TO LEAVE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. VIENNEAU SAYS THE YUGOSLAV FORCES ARE IN A DEFENSIVE POSITION AND HAVE BROUGHT IN REINFORCEMENTS ALONG THE BORDER.

    THE DRIVER OF THE CAR WAS TREATED FOR INJURIES AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL. THE OTHER PASSENGER, A BOY WHO SIUFFERED MORE SERIOUS INJURIES WAS TAKEN BY HELICOPTER FOR TREATMENT IN TIRANA, ALBANIA'S CAPITAL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RAE-T/RAE
    18-Apr-99 2:12 PM EDT (1812 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] KOSOVO REFUGEES (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENVEA)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248257
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS REFUGEE AGENCY, U-N-H-C-R, HAS RESTARTED ITS MASS AIRLIFT OF KOSOVAR REFUGEES TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES TO RELIEVE THE PRESSURE OF RISING NUMBERS OF REFUGEES IN NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES. THE GENVEVA-BASED AGENCY SAYS MOST AIRLIFTS WILL BE OUT OF MACEDONIA WHICH FEARS THE LARGE REFUGEE POPULATION WILL DESTABILIZE THE COUNTRY. LISA SCHEIN HAS DETAILS.

    TEXT: THE U-N IS SENDING THREE PLANELOADS OF SOME ONE-THOUSAND KOSOVAR REFUGEES TO FRANCE ON SUNDAY. SEVERAL HUNDRED MORE WILL BE FLOWN TO BELGIUM. THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS FLIGHTS TO TURKEY HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED DURING THE ELECTION WEEKEND. BUT THEY ARE DUE TO RESUME ON TUESDAY. U-N-H-C-R SPOKESMAN PAUL STROMBERG SAYS THE U-N IS CONCENTRATING ON GETTING REFUGEES TO COUNTRIES THAT ARE FAIRLY CLOSE TO KOSOVO. HE SAYS THIS IS PREFERABLE TO SENDING THEM TO DISTANT COUNTRIES SUCH AS THE UNITED STATES, CANADA AND AUSTRALIA.

    //// BEGIN STROMBERG ACT. ////

    WE STILL HAVE PLACES FOR SEVERAL THOUSAND PEOPLE. THESE PLACES WERE PLEDGED IN A SENSE TO THE REFUGEES IN MACEDONIA OR AT AN EARLIER DATE. WE'RE NOW SIMPLY GOING BACK AND RE-ALERTING THOSE COUNTRIES THAT WE MAY INDEED NOW HAVE TO USE THOSE QUOTAS UP.

    //// END ACT ////

    SINCE THE HUMANITARIAN AIRLIFT BEGAN EARLIER THIS MONTH, ABOUT 16-THOUSAND KOSOVAR REFUGEES HAVE LEFT MACEDONIA FOR NINE DIFFERENCT COUNTRIES. THE BULK OF THEM WENT TO GERMANY. THE AIRLIFT WAS SUSPENDED ON APRIL 16TH WHEN THE EXODUS OF REFUGEES SLOWED DOWN. UNDER THE URGING OF WESTERN GOVERNMENTS, THE U-N STOPPED THE AIRLIFTS, SAYING IT WAS BETTER TO KEEP THE REFUGEES CLOSER TO THEIR HOMES IN KOSOVO. MR. STROMBERG SAYS THE RECENT UPSURGE IN THE FORCIBLE EXPULSION OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS FROM KOSOVO BY SERB FORCES IS PUTTING GREAT STRAINS ON THE COUNTRIES IN THE REGION. HE SAYS THE AIRLIFT WILL EASE THE PRESSURE. HE SAYS ALL PEOPLE ON THESE FLIGHTS ARE LEAVING VOLUNTARILY.

    //// BEGIN 2D STROMBERG ACT. ////

    NOW PEOPLE ARE BEING OFFERED THESE PLACES AND PRIORTY GIVEN TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE LINKS EITHER TO FAMILY OR EXTENDED FAMILY OR ARE FROM THE SAME VILLAGES OR AREAS OF THESE COUNTRIES. WE'RE ALSO PRIVILEGING THE CASES THAT WE CONSIDER PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE, PEOPLE WHO NEED OR CAN BENEFIT FROM BETTER MEDICAL CARE IN THESE PLACES.

    //// END 2D STROMBERG ////

    THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY ESTIMATES 700-THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE FLED KOSOVO SINCE FIGHTING BROKE OUT THERE A YEAR AGO. THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY HAVE LEFT SINCE NATO BEGAN ITS BOMBING CAMPAIGN ON MARCH 24TH. MR. STROMBERG SAYS CONDITIONS FOR THE REFUGEES ARE WORSENING BY THE DAY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/PLM
    18-Apr-99 5:57 AM EDT (0957 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO REFUGEES/CONANT Q&A BY EVE CONANT (MALINA, MACEDONIA)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248271
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT: *INTRO: THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPT OF A Q&A BETWEEN VOA NEWS NOW AND CORRESPONDENT EVE CONANT, WHO SUNDAY VISITED A SMALL MACEDONIAN VILLAGE ON THE BORDER WITH KOSOVO WHICH HAS BEEN OVERWHELMED BY ETHNIC ALBANIAN REFUGEES. CORRESPONDENT CONANT TOLD VOA'S ERIN BRUMMETT THERE ARE SOME FOUR-THOUSAND KOSOVAR REFUGEES IN THE TINY VILLAGE OF MALINA.

    TEXT: WE JUST WENT TO THE VILLAGE OF MALINA, A VILLAGE OF SOME 300 PEOPLE THAT IN THE PAST FEW DAYS HAS GROWN TO ALMOST FOUR-THOUSAND PEOPLE. IT TAKES SEVERAL HOURS BY ROUGH ROADS TO GET TO THIS VILLAGE, SO IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO GET HUMANITARIAN AND OTHER SORTS OF AID TO THIS POINT. WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW IS THAT VILLAGERS ARE TAKING THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES INTO THEIR HOMES. THERE IS ALSO A SCHOOL IN THIS VILLAGE THAT NOW HAS 250 PEOPLE LIVING IN IT. WHAT HAS HAPPENED AS FAR AS WE UNDERSTAND FROM SPEAKING WITH REFUGEES WHO HAVE JUST CROSSED INTO THIS VILLAGE IS THAT SERB FORCES ON THE OTHER SIDE IN KOSOVO ROUNDED THEM UP AND SENT THEM IN THIS DIRECTION, TOWARD THE VILLAGE OF MALINA IN MACEDONIA. THE THING ABOUT MALINA IS THAT THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL CROSSING POINT, THIS IS A VILLAGE IN THE NORTHEASTERN MOUNTAINS OF MACEDONIA AND IT HAS BEEN COMPLETELY TAKEN OVER AT THIS POINT.

    WERE THESE REFUGEES FORCED TURN OVER MONEY OR DOCUMENTS TO SERB FORCES AS THEY CROSSED?

    EVERY PERSON THAT WE SPOKE TO SAID THEY HAD TURNED OVER MONEY TO SERB SOLDIERS IN ORDER TO BE ALLOWED TO CROSS. THERE WAS ONE FAMILY OF 13 THAT PAID ALL THE MONEY THAT THEY HAD, SO THEY'VE ARRIVED IN THIS VILLAGE WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, AND THIS ONE FAMILY HAD BEEN WALKING FOR TWO DAYS TO REACH THIS VILLAGE AND IS NOW LIVING IN THE BASEMENT OF A SMALL FARMHOUSE IN THIS VILLAGE.

    ANY SIGN THAT REFUGEES ARE CONTINUING TO STREAM OUT OF KOSOVO TO THIS VILLAGE?

    WHAT MANY PEOPLE HERE SAID WAS THAT THEIR VILLAGES (IN KOSOVO) HAD BEEN EMPTIED. IT LOOKS LIKE ONE OR TWO VILLAGES IN KOSOVO HAVE BEEN TRANSPORTED INTO THIS MACEDONIAN VILLAGE. WHAT THEY SAY IS THAT PEOPLE DO SNEAK ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS OF THIS UNOFFICIAL BORDER CROSSING AFTER MIDNIGHT, SO THEY HAVE NO IDEA IF MORE ARE COMING. SO THEY CERTAINLY EXPECT AT LEAST A FEW.

    ANY AID WORKERS BEGINNING TO ARRIVE AT THIS VILLAGE? YES, THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT GROUPS OF AID WORKERS IN THE VILLAGE RIGHT NOW. THIS IS A VERY NEW DEVELOPMENT, SO I WOULD ASSUME IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS THERE WILL BE MORE. A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME WAS THERE AT THE SITE AND SAID THEY ARE WORKING TO PASS OUT HUMANITARIAN AID AND BLANKETS TO THE REFUGEES. THE PROBLEM IS THAT TO REACH THIS VILLAGE TAKES ABOUT FOUR HOURS ON VERY DANGEROUS ROADS, THERE'S JUST BEEN SOME RAIN HERE, SO IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO REACH THIS VILLAGE. WE ACTUALLY REACHED THIS VILLAGE BY WALKING TO IT BECAUSE IT WAS SO DIFFICULT TO GET A CAR UP THERE. SO IT IS OBVIOUSLY VERY DIFFICULT FOR TRUCKS FILLED WITH BLANKETS OR FOOD TO REACH THIS POINT. BUT THEY ARE UP HERE AND THEY ARE TRYING TO HELP.

    ARE THESE REFUGEES SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT RETURNING HOME?

    MOST OF THE PEOPLE THAT I SPOKE WITH TODAY WERE SORT OF MORE IN A STATE OF CONFUSION. IN THE PAST WEEKS WHEN I'VE SPOKEN TO REFUGEES DOWN AT THE OTHER BORDER CROSSINGS IN MACEDONIA, MOST OF THEM SAID THEY WANTED TO GO BACK. I THINK THESE PEOPLE WHO HAVE CROSSED OVER HAVE BEEN ON A VERY LONG WALK THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS, MANY OF THEM WITH LOTS OF KIDS AND MOST OF THEM DIDN'T QUITE HAVE A SENSE OF WHETHER THEY WANTED TO GO BACK OR GO AHEAD, THEY JUST DIDN'T KNOW WHERE THEY WERE GOING. AND THAT'S WHAT THEY SAID TO ME, THAT THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO.
    NEB/EC/WFR
    18-Apr-99 5:59 PM EDT (2159 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] ALBRIGHT AND BLAIR ON KOSOVO (L-O) BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248270
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: APPEARING ON THE SUNDAY TELEVISION TALK SHOWS, SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT AND BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR INSISTED THE AIR CAMPAIGN IN KOSOVO IS GOING ACCORDING TO PLAN, AND WILL EVENTUALLY SUCCEED. CORRESPONDENT ED WARNER REPORTS.

    TEXT: ON THE C-B-S PROGRAM, "FACE THE NATION," BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR COUNSELS PATIENCE. THE WAR CANNOT BE CONCLUDED OVERNIGHT, HE SAYS IT WILL TAKE TIME, BUT NATO IS INFLICTING HUGE DAMAGE ON THE SERBIAN WAR MACHINE:

    // BLAIR ACT //

    THE MOST IMPORTANT THING NOW, PARTICULARLY IN ADVANCE OF THE NATO SUMMIT, IS TO SHOW THAT THERE IS AN ALLIED WILL STRONGER THAN THAT OF MILOSEVICH AND TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY ONE OF NATO'S DEMANDS -- JUST DEMANDS -- ARE MET, AND ARE MET IN FULL.

    // END ACT //

    ON A-B-C'S "THIS WEEK," SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT ALSO EMPHASIZES THE AIR CAMPAIGN IS WORKING AGAINST SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVICH:

    // ALBRIGHT ACT //

    THERE HAS BEEN A SERIOUS DEGRADATION OF HIS MILITARY. SO SYSTEMATICALLY THERE IS A WAY OF WEARING DOWN HIS MILITARY, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, OUR AIR CAMPAIGN IS STRENGTHENING. AND THE UNITY OF THE ALLIES IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK IS TO BE APPLAUDED AND IS REALLY REMARKABLE.

    // END ACT //

    SECRETARY ALBRIGHT SAID NATO HAS STRUCK AND SERIOUSLY DAMAGED SERBIAN COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTERS, OIL REFINERIES, AND AMMUNITION PRODUCTION FACILITIES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EW/RAE
    18-Apr-99 2:58 PM EDT (1858 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] DIVIDED OPINION ON KOSOVO BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-43158
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE SUNDAY TELEVISION TALK SHOWS MADE CLEAR THERE IS NO AMERICAN CONSENSUS ON THE WAR IN KOSOVO. SUPPORTERS AND OPPONENTS OF THE CURRENT U-S AIR CAMPAIGN CROSS POLITICAL PARTY LINES IN A WAY RARELY SEEN ON VITAL MATTERS OF FOREIGN POLICY. SOME DEMOCRATS OPPOSE THE PRESIDENT'S ACTION, WHILE SOME REPUBLICANS SUPPORT IT. CORRESPONDENT ED WARNER REPORTS VARYING VIEWS.

    TEXT: ON THE C-B-S PROGRAM, "FACE THE NATION," BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR COUNSELS PATIENCE. THE WAR CANNOT BE CONCLUDED OVER NIGHT, HE SAYS, IT WILL TAKE TIME, BUT NATO IS INFLICTING HUGE DAMAGE ON THE SERBIAN WAR MACHINE:

    // BLAIR ACT //

    THE MOST IMPORTANT THING NOW, PARTICULARLY IN ADVANCE OF THE NATO SUMMIT, IS TO SHOW THAT THERE IS AN ALLIED WILL STRONGER THAN THAT OF MILOSEVIC AND TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY ONE OF NATO'S DEMANDS -- JUST DEMANDS -- ARE MET, AND ARE MET IN FULL

    // END ACT //

    ON A-B-C'S "THIS WEEK," SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT ALSO INSISTS THE AIR CAMPAIGN IS WORKING AS PLANNED AGAINST SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC:

    // ALBRIGHT ACT //

    THERE HAS BEEN A SERIOUS DEGRADATION OF HIS MILITARY. SO SYSTEMATICALLY THERE IS A WAY OF WEARING DOWN HIS MILITARY, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, OUR AIR CAMPAIGN IS STRENGTHENING. AND THE UNITY OF THE ALLIES IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK IS TO BE APPLAUDED AND IS REALLY REMARKABLE.

    // END ACT //

    BUT ON THE SAME PROGRAM, DEMOCRATIC SENATOR ROBERT TORRICELLI SAYS A RECENT TRIP TO ROME GAVE HIM A DIFFERENT IMPRESSION OF ALLIED UNITY ON THE BOMBING OF SERBIA:

    // TORRICELLI ACT //

    HOWEVER THEY SEE THIS WAR IN WASHINGTON, IN ITALY IT IS SEEN NOT IN TERMS OF WEEKS, BUT DAYS. I THINK OUR EUROPEAN ALLIES ARE ON A DIFFERENT TIME TRACK ON HOW THIS IS RESOLVED.

    // END ACT //

    ON N-B-C'S "MEET THE PRESS," DEMOCRATIC SENATOR JOHN KERRY SAYS THE TIME MAY BE RIPE FOR A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION. THIS WOULD REQUIRE SOME KIND OF CONCESSION TO THE SERBS:

    // KERRY ACT //

    I THINK IF YOU HAD AN INTERNATIONAL FORCE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM THE NATO FORCE -- IT HAS TO BE ARMED BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN RETURN THE KOSOVARS WITHOUT THAT -- AND IF YOU ARE MORE CLEAR THAT (KOSOVO) INDEPENDENCE IS NOT SEVERAL YEARS DOWN THE ROAD AS A LEGITIMATE ISSUE. WE ARE NOT FOR INDEPENDENCE. WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO ARM THE K-L-A. THAT WOULD BE AN INVITATION TO CONTINUED WAR.

    // END ACT //

    ON "FOX NEWS", REPUBLICAN SENATOR GEORGE VOINOVICH WARNS OF THE RISK OF GROUND WARFARE WITH SERBIA:

    // VOINOVICH ACT //

    IT IS GOING TO BE VERY, VERY BLOODY. IT IS GOING TO RESULT IN A GREAT DEAL OF DESTRUCTION. A LOT OF INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE KILLED. IT COULD MEAN THE COMPLETE DESTABILIZATION OF SOUTHEAST EUROPE. THE RUSSIANS MAY VERY WELL GET INVOLVED. AND AFTER IT IS ALL OVER, YOU KNOW WHAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE? AN OCCUPATION FORCE THERE FOREVER.

    // END ACT //

    NOT SURPRISINGLY, YUGOSLAV DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER VUK DRASKOVICH SAYS ON "FOX NEWS" -- SERBIA WOULD FIGHT TO THE DEATH FOR KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EW/RAE
    18-Apr-99 2:25 PM EDT (1825 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] BRITAIN/KOSOVO (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248260
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITISH OFFICIALS ARE STRESSING THE LONG-TERM ASPECT OF NATO AIR STRIKES AGAINST YUGOSLAV MILITARY TARGETS WHILE BRITISH NEWSPAPERS ARE CONCENTRATING ON SPECULATION A GROUND INVASION OF KOSOVO MAY BE IMMINENT. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN HAS MORE FROM LONDON

    TEXT: AIR MARSHALL JOHN DAY SAYS NATO'S AIR CAMPAIGN STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO BEFORE IT TOTALLY CRIPPLES THE SERB MILITARY OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO PROVINCE.

    /// DAY ACT ///

    I SHOULD REMIND YOU (PRESIDENT SLOBODAN) MILOSEVIC HAS SOME 40-THOUSAND PERSONNEL AND 300-TANKS OPERATING IN KOSOVO, ALONG WITH ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS AND ARTILLERY, SO THIS CAMPAIGN HAS SOME WAY TO GO.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT ONCE AGAIN, ARMED FORCES MINISTER DOUG HENDERSON DENIES A NATO GROUND INVASION OF KOSOVO IS IMMINENT.

    /// HENDERSON ACT ///

    OUR TROOPS ARE THERE TO BE ABLE TO ENTER KOSOVO WHEN THEY ARE NOT OPPOSED, AS PART OF A SETTLEMENT..., SO THEY CAN GUARANTEE PEACE AND MAKE SURE PEOPLE CAN RETURN TO THEIR COMMUNITIES. IT IS A SIMPLE AS THAT AND HAS NOT CHANGED.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. HENDERSON SAYS THE AIR CAMPAIGN WILL CONTINUE UNTIL YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC REVERSES HIS ETHNIC CLEANSING CAMPAIGN IN KOSOVO. HE REFUSES TO SPECULATE JUST HOW LONG THAT WILL TAKE.

    BRITISH OFFICIALS ESTIMATE THE SERB MILITARY HAS FORCED MORE THAN ONE-MILLION KOSOVAR ALBANIANS FROM THEIR HOMES AND DESTROYED OR DAMAGED MORE THAN 200 VILLAGES IN THE SERB PROVINCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/DW/RAE
    18-Apr-99 8:29 AM EDT (1229 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] KOSOVO PRISONER (L) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=4/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248251
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT

    /// RE-RUNNING WITH CORRECT CR NUMBER ///

    :

    INTRO: U-S OFFICIALS SAY A CAPTIVE YUGOSLAV ARMY OFFICER IS IN GOOD CONDITION AND HAS BEEN VISITED BY THE RED CROSS AND A DOCTOR. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON WHERE OFFICIALS ARE TRYING TO DRAW A SHARP CONTRAST BETWEEN NATO'S TREATMENT OF PRISONERS AND THEIR FATE AT THE HANDS OF YUGOSLAV CAPTORS.

    TEXT: THE YOUNG SOLDIER WAS SEIZED BY THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY, WHO TURNED HIM OVER TO ALBANIAN OFFICIALS. THEY HANDED HIM OVER TO U-S OFFICIALS WHO ARE NOW HOLDING HIM AS A PRISONER OF WAR.

    PENTAGON SPOKESMAN MIKE DOUBLEDAY WOULD NOT RELEASE THE SOLDIER'S NAME OR PICTURE, SAYING USING CAPTIVE SOLDIERS FOR PROPAGANDA PURPOSES MIGHT VIOLATE THE GENEVA CONVENTION, WHICH SETS RULES FOR TREATING WAR PRISONERS. CAPTAIN DOUBLEDAY SAYS YUGOSLAVIA HAS NOT SHOWN SUCH CARE FOR THREE AMERICANS CAPTURED NEAR THE MACEDONIAN BORDER WITH YUGOSLAVIA.

    /// DOUBLEDAY ACT 90 ///

    (YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN) MILOSEVIC HAS YET TO ADHERE TO ANY OF THE OF THE RIGHTS, AND PROTECTIONS OFFERED BY THE GENEVA CONVENTION TO THE AMERICAN SOLDIERS. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN ACCESS TO THE I-C-R-C (INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS), THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR FAMILIES, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THEIR MEDICAL CONDITION IS. THE LIST THINGS THAT WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF THE U-S SOLDIERS IS EXTENSIVE.

    /// END ACT ///

    CAPTAIN DOUBLEDAY SAYS THE GENEVA RULES WOULD PERMIT THE TWO SIDES TO EXCHANGE PRISONERS, BUT HE SAYS BELGRADE'S TREATMENT OF CAPTIVES DOES NOT MAKE HIM OPTIMISTIC ABOUT SUCH A DEAL. MEANTIME, PENTAGON OFFICIALS HAVE BOOSTED THEIR ESTIMATE FOR THE EXTRA COSTS OF THE AIR WAR AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA BY ABOUT TWO BILLION DOLLARS. SO THEY WILL GO TO CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES NEXT WEEK TO ASK FOR AN EXTRA SIX BILLION DOLLARS TO PAY FOR EXTRA FUEL, BOMBS, AND DANGER PAY FOR TROOPS. (SIGNED).
    NEB/JR/CBL/SD
    17-Apr-99 8:18 PM EDT (0018 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] K-L-A VOLUNTEERS (L ONLY) BY GIL BUTLER (DURRES, ALBANIA)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248263
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ALBANIAN PORT OF DURRES IS NOW A STAGING POINT FOR KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY VOLUNTEERS COMING TO FIGHT YUGOSLAV FORCES. CORRESPONDENT GIL BUTLER TRAVELLED THERE SUNDAY AND TALKED WITH A GROUP OF AMERICAN-ALBANIANS WHO HAVE JUST ARRIVED.

    TEXT: THEY ARE WEARING BRAND-NEW CAMOUFLAGE UNIFORMS, SHINY BOOTS, AND FLAK JACKETS THEY PURCHASED BEFORE LEAVING THE UNITED STATES.

    /// ROLE CALL ACT ///

    THE 100 OR SO VOLUNTEERS ASSEMBLING ON THE CHILLY BEACH AT DURRES INCLUDE BOTH NATIVE-BORN AMERICANS AND KOSOVAR-ALBANIAN IMMIGRANTS WHO DECIDED TO RETURN AFTER THE HUGE SERB DISPLACEMENT OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS BEGAN.

    UK LUSHI IS A NEW YORK INVESTMENT BANKER WHO WAS BORN IN PRISTINA.

    /// UK LUSHI ACT ///

    I LEFT MY COUNTRY SEVEN YEARS AGO BECAUSE OF MILOSEVIC. AND I WENT TO SCHOOL IN GERMANY AND MOVED OVER TO THE UNITED STATES AND STARTED TO WORK FOR AN INVESTMENT BANK. PICTURES, NEWS, THE TRAGEDY IN KOSOVA MADE ME KNOW THAT I AM A HUMAN BEING AND I HAVE TO BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE AS A HUMAN BEING.

    /// END ACT ///

    KUJDM GOQAJ SAYS MOST OF THE VOLUNTEERS WERE INSPIRED TO ACT BY PICTURES OF ABUSED AND FRIGHTENED REFUGEES. BY SOME ESTIMATES, A MAJORITY OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS HAVE NOW BEEN FORCED OUT OF KOSOVO.

    /// KUJDM GOQAJ ACT ///

    WE ARE GOING OVER THERE, TO SHOW THEM WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE WANT OVER THERE.

    /// END ACT ///

    SOME OF THE NEW K-L-A RECRUITS SAY THEY HAVE HAD PREVIOUS MILITARY TRAINING. FORTY-FIVE YEAR OLD CONNECTICUT BAR MANAGER FAREZ BAJRAM0- WAS A SERGEANT IN THE YUGOSLAV ARMY. HE SAYS THE 24 APACHE HELICOPTERS EXPECTED HERE SOON WOULD MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.

    /// BARJAM AC5///

    (BAJRAM): IF NATO, AND EVERYBODY, THEY DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE GOING TO DO, AND APACHE HELICOPTERS KILL TANKS AND ARTILLERY WE SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEM GOING TO BELGRADE. (BUTLER): ALL THE WAY TO BELGRADE? (BAJRAM): ALL THE WAY TO BELGRADE, IF IT IS NECESSARY. OBVIOUSLY WE JUST WANT TO LIBERATE KOSOVO.

    /// END ACT ///

    HE AND SEVERAL OTHER AMERICAN VOLUNTEERS INSIST THE RAMBOUILLET PEACE PLAN, WHICH CALLED FOR A THREE-YEAR AUTONOMY PERIOD FOR KOSOVO, IS DEAD. THEY SAY THEIR PEOPLE WILL NEVER LIVE WITH SERBS AGAIN.

    FORTY-THREE YEAR OLD SHEFKI CHAKA, WHO SAYS HE HAS A LOT OF MILITARY EXPERIENCE, WANTS NATO TO SUPPLY HEAVY WEAPONS TO THE K-L-A.

    /// SHEFKI CHAKA ACT ///

    WE GOT VERY LIGHT WEAPONS, THAT IS WHY WE HAVE BEEN HAVING A LOT OF CASUALTIES. WE CAN NOT DEFEND OUR PEOPLE BECAUSE WE DO NOT HAVE HEAVY WEAPONS AS THE SERBS HAVE. IF WE DO HAVE. WE DO NOT NEED NATO TO HELP US WITH GROUND TROOPS OR THE UNITED STATES. WE CAN DO IT OURSELVES.

    /// END ACT ///

    FROM THE SEAFRONT BUILDING IN DURRES, THE ARRIVING VOLUNTEERS ARE PUT ON BUSES. THEY SAY THEY EXPECT SEVERAL WEEKS OF TRAINING IN K-L-A CAMPS BEFORE THEY CROSS THE BORDER INTO KOSOVO TO FIGHT THE SERBS.

    THE EXACT NUMBER OF NEW RECRUITS IS HARD TO GET HERE. SOME ESTIMATES ARE AS MANY AS TEN-THOUSAND HAVE VOLUNTEERED FOR THE K-L-A SINCE THE CRISIS BEGAN. HOW SOON THE ENTHUSIASTIC STUDENTS, BANKERS, COOKS, AND BAR MANAGERS CAN BE TURNED INTO AN EFFECTIVE FIGHTING FORCE IS ANOTHER QUESTION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/MGB/DW/RAE
    18-Apr-99 11:36 AM EDT (1536 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] NATO ATTACKS Q&A BY GUY DINMORE (BELGRADE)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248256
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: V-O-A NEWS NOW'S VICTOR BEATTIE IN WASHINGTON SPOKE TO FINANCIAL TIMES CORRESPONDENT GUY DINMORE IN BELGRADE AT 3:30 AM, EDT, TODAY (4/18) ABOUT THE LATEST NATO OVERNIGHT ATTACKS. BEATTIE: WHAT DID YOU OBSERVE LAST NIGHT AND WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD AS YOU WENT AROUND EARLY THIS MORNING IN BELGRADE? DINMORE: YEH, IT APPEARS FROM BELGRADE'S POINT OF VIEW TO HAVE BEEN A VERY HEAVY NIGHT OF BOMBING. WE HEARD QUITE A BIT OF AIRCRAFT ACTIVITY IN THE SKY, ANTI-AIRCRAFT FIRE AND EVEN AS LATE AS 8:45 THIS MORNING (BELGRADE TIME) , WE HEARD THREE LARGE EXPLOSIONS IN THE OUTSKIRTS. THE OFFICIAL MEDIA WERE REPORTING THAT A CHEMICAL FACTORY CLOSE TO BELGRADE HAS BEEN HIT. THERE IS SMOKE DRIFTING ACROSS THE CENTER OF THE CITY BUT OFFICIALS ARE ALSO SAYING THERE IS NO IMMEDIATE TOXIC DANGER. NOVI SAD, SERBIA'S SECOND LARGEST CITY TO THE NORTH HAS BEEN HIT VERY HEAVILY APPARENTLY OVERNIGHT. AGAIN, I THINK NATO IS AIMING AT FUEL DEPOTS , AIMING TO TRY AND CRIPPLE THE MOBILITY OF THE YUGOSLAV ARMY. A LARGE INDUSTRIAL AREA NEAR PANCEVO HAS BEEN HIT ALSO, SO IT SEEMS A LARGE NUMBER OF THE TARGETS OF NATO ARE NON-MILITARY. BEATTIE: HAS THE WEATHER IMPROVED SO IT IS HELPING NATO CONCENTRATE ON THE ATTACKS? DINMORE: WELL, IT'S VERY MIXED. LAST NIGHT, EARLY IN THE NIGHT, IT WAS QUITE CLEAR AND WE COULD SEE THE STARS SHINING VERY BRIGHTLY. THIS MORNING IT'S OVERCAST AND LOOKS LIKE RAIN, SO IT COMES AND GOES. BEATTIE: HAS THE MOOD OF THE PEOPLE CHANGED AT ALL, THE PEOPLE THAT YOU CONVERSE WITH? ARE THEY SULLEN , ARE THEY ANGRY AT NATO, WHAT IS THEIR MOOD? DINMORE: I THINK THEY'RE VERY TIRED BUT THEY ARE VERY ANGRY. I SPENT SOME HOURS YESTERDAY (SATURDAY) IN A RESTAURANT, DRINKING AND EATING WITH PEOPLE I KNEW, BUT NOT TERRIBLY WELL. THEY WERE ACTUALLY REMARKABLY CIVIL TO ME AND THEIR MOOD IS ONE OF COMPLETE DEFIANCE. THEY WERE SAYING THEY DIDN'T USED TO SUPPORT THEIR PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC BUT NOW THEY DO. ONE OF THE WAITERS SAID HE IS JUST ABOUT TO PUT HIS UNIFORM ON AND GO DOWN AND FIGHT IN KOSOVO. TO SOME EXTENT THERE MIGHT BE A BIT OF BRAVADO BUT I THINK GENERALLY PEOPLE ARE READY TO TOUGHT THIS OUT AND GO AND FIGHT IF THEY HAVE TO. BEATTIE: DID THEY HEAR ABOUT THESE ALLEGATIONS OF ATROCITIES BY THEIR OWN FORCES AGAINST THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS. DINMORE: THEY DO HEAR THAT YES THROUGH ONE MEDIA OUTLET OR ANOTHER BUT GENERALLY THEY DON'T BELIEVE IT. AND SINCE IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO GET HARD EVIDENCE, BECAUSE REPORTERS CAN'T TRAVEL FREELY AROUND KOSOVO, PEOPLE JUST SAY IT'S NATO LIES AND PROPAGANDA. NATO HAS IN FACT MADE QUITE ALOT OF MISTAKES OR OUTRIGHT LIES SO FAR. IT'S UNDERSTANDABLE THAT THEY DON'T BELIEVE ALOT OF WHAT THESE REFUGEES ARE SAYING EITHER. BEATTIE: OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS THAT WE HAVE BEEN CONVERSING , WE HAVE DISCUSSED THE ECONOMIC IMPACT AS WELL AS THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF THESE ATTACKS. IS RATIONING EVEN HARDER AND WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE LOSING THEIR JOBS BECAUSE OF THESE BOMBINGS? DINMORE: THE ECONOMIC IMPACT IS GETTING VERY SEVERE. DRIVING BACK THROUGH SERBIA FROM KOSOVO A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO WE NOTICED THAT FARMERS ARE IN THE FIELDS TILLING THE EARTH BY HAND. CATTLE AND HORSES ARE DRAWING PLOWS. SORT OF GOING BACK TO THE 19TH CENTURY HERE. THERE IS STILL QUITE ALOT OF FOOD IN THE SHOPS BUT PEOPLE'S MAIN PROBLEM NOW IS MONEY. THE GOVERNMENT SEEMS TO BE ADAMANT THAT IT WON'T TRIGGER HYPER-INFLATION BY PRINTING ITS WAY OUT OF TROUBLE. SO PEOPLE ARE NOT GETTING PAYED VERY MUCH AND THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO KEEP THEMSELVES GOING BASICALLY. THE ECONOMY IS SUFFERING ENORMOUSLY, I'D SAY. BEATTIE: THANKS VERY MUCH.
    18-Apr-99 5:07 AM EDT (0907 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] NATO-KOSOVO (S&L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248264
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO IS CHARGING AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS HAVE DETECTED 43 MASS GRAVES IN SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE. CORRESPONDENT RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM NATO HEADQUARTERS.

    TEXT: NATO SAYS KOSOVO ALBANIANS ARE BEING FORCED TO DIG MASS GRAVES FOR THEIR COUNTRYMEN. MILITARY SPOKESMAN GENERAL GIUSEPPE MARANI TELLS REPORTERS SERB POLICE PUT THE GRAVE DIGGING CHAIN GANGS INTO RED-ORANGE JACKETS TO EASILY IDENTIFY THEM.

    /// MARANI ACT ///

    THE USE OF THESE MEN IN RED TO DIG GRAVES IS SUPPORTED BY IMAGERY EVIDENCE WHICH HAS ALREADY IDENTIFIED 43 MASS GRAVE SITES IN KOSOVO.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE ITALIAN GENERAL SAYS THESE GRAVE SITES ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE OPEN TRENCH GRAVES THE SERBS USED DURING THE WAR IN BOSNIA. IN KOSOVO, THE BODIES ARE BURIED BY THE ALBANIANS FACING MECCA IN WHAT THE GENERAL DESCRIBES AS A MUSLIM SIGN OF RESPECT FOR THE DEAD.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    GENERAL MARINI SAYS ALBANIANS REMAINING IN KOSOVO'S REGIONAL CAPITAL OF PRISTINA ARE BEING FORCED TO DIG COAL FROM MINES SURROUNDING THE CITY. HE SAYS THE COAL IS NEEDED TO SUPPLY THE CITY'S POWER PLANT.

    IN ATTACKS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, NATO CLAIMS TO HAVE COMPLETELY DESTROYED YUGOSLAVIA'S OIL REFINING COMPLEX AT PANCEVO IN THE LAST OF REPEATED AIR STRIKES ON THE INDUSTRIAL CITY EAST OF BELGRADE.

    REPORTS FROM BELGRADE SAY HEAVY SMOKE FROM THE ATTACK HAS DRIFTED INTO YUGOSLAVIA'S CAPITAL. NATO ESTIMATES YUGOSLAVIA NO LONGER HAS THE CAPACITY TO REFINE CRUDE OIL.

    NATO ALSO REPORTS THE AIR STRIKES HAVE DAMAGED YUGOSLAVIA'S INTEGRATED AIR DEFENSE NETWORK SO COMPLETELY THE YUGOSLAVS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO RESORT TO MAKESHIFT MEASURES TO KEEP IT IN OPERATION.

    NATO HAS ONLY ACKNOWLEDGED LOSING ONE PLANE -- A STEALTH BOMBER IN THREE-AND-ONE-HALF WEEKS OF AIR STRIKES.

    GENERAL MARANI ALSO SHOWED REPORTERS FILM OF A NATO PILOT DIVERTING HIS BOMB TO A FOREST BECAUSE HIS TARGET OF A RADAR SITE WAS LOCATED TOO CLOSE TO AN ORTHODOX CHURCH. THAT WAS TO DEMONSTRATE NATO'S EFFORT TO AVOID DAMAGE TO CIVILIAN OBJECTS. MEANWHILE, NATO CONTINUES TO HAVE TROUBLE EXPLAINING THE MISTAKEN BOMBING OF A REFUGEE CONVOY IN KOSOVO LAST WEEK. IN AN ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN SOME OF THE DAMAGE, REPORTERS LAST WEEK HEARD THE VOICE OF AN F-16 PILOT THAT NATO SAID HAD PROBABLY HIT A CIVILIAN TRACTOR. NOW, GENERAL MARANI SAYS THE TAPE WAS PLAYED ONLY TO EXPLAIN THE CARE THE PILOTS TAKE TO HIT ONLY MILITARY TARGETS. IT MAY HAVE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT REALLY HAPPENED ON THAT DAY. NATO SAYS THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDB/DW/RAE
    18-Apr-99 11:44 AM EDT (1544 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [12] SERBIA DISASTER (L-O) BY GUY DINMORE (BELGRADE)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248269
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THICK CLOUDS OF BLACK SMOKE ENVELOPED THE NORTHERN OUTSKIRTS OF BELGRADE (SUNDAY) AFTER A NATO AIR STRIKE AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA'S BIGGEST PETRO-CHEMICALS COMPLEX. OFFICIALS ACCUSED NATO OF CREATING AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER. GUY DINMORE REPORTS FROM BELGRADE.

    TEXT: THE FIRE WAS STILL RAGING MORE THAN 12 HOURS AFTER THREE MISSILES STRUCK THE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX IN PANCEVO, JUST OUTSIDE BELGRADE, (EARLY SUNDAY). THICK BLACK SMOKE WAS POURING FROM THE TWISTED WRECKAGE, CARRYING TOXIC FUMES ACROSS EASTERN SERBIA.

    YUGOSLAV OFFICIALS SAID RESIDENTS IN THE AREA WERE ISSUED GAS MASKS AND 50 PEOPLE HAD BEEN TREATED FOR GAS POISONING. STRONG WINDS FROM THE WEST HELPED DISPERSE THE FUMES, BUT HEAVY RAIN BROUGHT SOME OF THE TOXIC CHEMICALS BACK TO EARTH.

    THE MISSILES HIT AN OIL REFINERY, PRESUMABLY IN A FURTHER BID TO IMMOBILIZE THE YUGOSLAV ARMED FORCES. BUT IN THE SAME ATTACK A PLANT PRODUCING PLASTICS WAS ALSO DESTROYED.

    MIRLAM DZINDO, MANAGER OF THE CHEMICALS COMPLEX, SAID DEADLY PHOSGENE HAD BEEN RELEASED INTO THE AIR, BUT OTHER EXPERTS DISPUTED THIS SAYING IT WAS CHLORINE.

    OFFICIALS SAID THAT TO AVOID FURTHER EXPLOSIONS THEY WERE FORCED TO DUMP CHLORINE-BASED CHEMICALS INTO THE NEARBY DANUBE AT THE RISK OF DESTROYING LIFE IN THE RIVER THAT FLOWS THROUGH ROMANIA AND BULGARIA INTO THE BLACK SEA. BELGRADE RESIDENTS WERE ADVISED TO STOP EATING RIVER FISH. OIL HAS ALSO SPILLED INTO THE RIVER, CREATING SLICKS SEVERAL MILES LONG.

    OFFICIALS SAID THEY HAD AVERTED A WORST CATASTROPHE BY REMOVING 20-THOUSAND TONS OF AMMONIA FROM A NEARBY FERTILIZER FACTORY, BUT THE PLANT WAS HIT AND PUT OUT OF ACTION. MR DZINDO SAID YUGOSLAVIA'S FOOD SUPPLY WAS NOW ENDANGERED AND HE CALLED NATO'S ACTION -- OUR WORST NIGHTMARE COME TRUE. OFFICIALS INSISTED THAT NO CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE PRODUCED AT THE COMPLEX.

    IN A SEPARATE DEVELOPMENT YUGOSLAVIA'S TOP GENERAL IN KOSOVO PROVINCE SAID HE HAD 150-THOUSAND MEN UNDER ARMS READY TO COUNTER A GROUND INVASION BY NATO TROOPS.

    MAJOR GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC SAID MORALE AMONG HIS TROOPS WAS HIGHER THAN EVER AND NATO WOULD PAY A HIGH PRICE IF IT CROSSED THE BORDER. THE GENERAL ALSO SAID BELGRADE WAS READY FOR POLITICAL NEGOTIATIONS IF NATO FIRST STOPPED ITS OFFENSIVE.

    BELGRADE ALSO CAME UNDER ATTACK LATE SATURDAY. RESIDENTS SAY A THREE-YEAR-OLD GIRL WAS KILLED IN HER VILLAGE CLOSE TO THE MILITARY AIRPORT ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE CAPITAL.

    THERE IS ANGER ON THE STREETS OF BELGRADE AT THE MOUNTING CIVILIAN CASUALTIES INFLICTED BY NATO. BUT THERE IS ALSO A FEELING AMONG SOME SERBS THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO MAKE A DEAL OVER KOSOVO AND END THE WAR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GD/RAE
    18-Apr-99 2:50 PM EDT (1850 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [13] RUSSIA/KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248267
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: RUSSIA IS SET TO LAUNCH A FRESH DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVE ON YUGOSLAVIA. MOSCOW CORRESPONDENT PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS THE KREMLIN'S SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE YUGOSLAV CRISIS IS PREPARING TO EMBARK ON A ROUND OF SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY BETWEEN BELGRADE AND NATO CAPITALS.

    TEXT: NEWLY-NAMED SPECIAL ENVOY VICTOR CHERNOMYRDIN PRESENTS HIS PROPOSALS FOR SETTLING THE YUGOSLAV CONFLICT AT A KREMLIN MEETING MONDAY WITH PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN, PRIME MINISTER YEVGENY PRIMAKOV, AND FOREIGN MINISTER IGOR IVANOV.

    SINCE HIS APPOINTMENT LAST WEDNESDAY, MR. CHERNOMYRDIN HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN INTENSIVE CONSULTATIONS TO PREPARE FOR HIS FIRST FOREIGN TRIPS ON THE CRISIS. DURING THE WEEKEND, HE MET YUGOSLAVIA'S AMBASSADOR TO MOSCOW BORISLAV MILOSEVIC, WHO IS PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC'S BROTHER.

    MR. CHERNOMYRDIN ALSO MET OFFICIALS FROM SEVERAL NATO COUNTRIES, INCLUDING U-S AMBASSADOR TO MOSCOW JAMES COLLINS. RUSSIA'S "INTERFAX" NEWS AGENCY QUOTED THE FORMER PRIME MINISTER AS SAYING THE KREMLIN IS VIEWED AS A FORCE WITH THE POTENTIAL TO BRING PEACE TO THE BALKAN REGION. BUT ANALYSTS HERE CAUTION THAT WHILE THE SERBS SEE RUSSIA AS A FRIENDLY COUNTRY, THE KREMLIN HAS LITTLE INFLUENCE OVER PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC.

    NATO COUNTRIES HAVE GENERALLY WELCOMED MR. CHERNOMYRDIN'S APPOINTMENT, NOTING HE IS MORE FRIENDLY TO THE WEST THAN PRIME MINISTER PRIMAKOV OR FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV.

    IN AN INTERVIEW WITH A SPANISH NEWSPAPER (SUNDAY), MR. IVANOV UNLEASHED ANOTHER BARRAGE OF ANTI-NATO RHETORIC. HE NOTED THE CONFLICT IN YUGOSLAVIA IS ALREADY STARTING TO SPREAD OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY'S BORDERS, AND REPEATED MOSCOW'S WARNINGS OF A THIRD WORLD WAR.

    THE FOREIGN MINISTER TOLD THE NEWSPAPER "EL PAIS" HE HAS EVIDENCE NATO IS MAKING PLANS FOR A GROUND FORCE IN KOSOVO. HE SAID ALLIANCE PLANNERS ARE WITHHOLDING THE INFORMATION BECAUSE IT WOULD UPSET PUBLIC OPINION.

    IN ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT, MORE THAN 30 RUSSIAN NAVY VESSELS BEGIN LARGE-SCALE EXERCISES MONDAY IN THE BLACK SEA. A SPOKESMAN SAYS SEVERAL WARSHIPS WILL TAKE PART, BUT SAYS THERE ARE NO PLANS TO SEND ANY OF THE SHIPS THROUGH THE BOSPHOROUS STRAITS TO JOIN THE LONE RUSSIAN RECONNAISSANCE VESSEL CURRENTLY MONITORING NATO MILITARY ACTION IN THE ADRIATIC. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/DW/RAE
    18-Apr-99 12:59 PM EDT (1659 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [14] TURKEY/ELECTIONS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248272
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKISH PRIME MINISTER BULENT ECEVIT HAS CLAIMED VICTORY IN SUNDAY'S GENERAL ELECTIONS, CITING EARLY RETURNS SHOWING HIS PARTY COMING IN FIRST. PRELIMINARY RESULTS GIVE HIS DEMOCRATIC LEFT PARTY 24 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. FROM ANKARA, AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS .

    TEXT: ANALYSTS SAY THAT WHILE MR. ECEVIT'S SHARE OF THE VOTE MAY DECLINE SLIGHTLY AS COUNTING PROGRESSES, HE IS SET TO BE THE WINNER OF THIS ELECTION. WITH MORE THAN A QUARTER OF THE BALLOTS COUNTED, THE TURKISH PRIME MINISTER IS IN THE LEAD WITH 24 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. MEANWHILE, EARLY RETURNS SHOW THE ISLAMISTS -- WHO WON THE LAST ELECTION IN 1995 -- APPEAR TO HAVE LOST SOME OF THEIR APPEAL. EXIT POLLS SHOW THEIR SHARE OF THE VOTE HOVERING AROUND 16 PERCENT. ANALYSTS SAY THE MILITARY-BACKED CAMPAIGN AGAINST THEM HAS PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THEIR DECLINING POPULARITY.

    THE RIGHT WING NATIONALIST ACTION PARTY IS CURRENTLY RUNNING SECOND, SLIGHLTY AHEAD OF THE ISLAMISTS. THIS OUTCOME HAS COME AS A SURPRISE FOR MOST ANALYSTS. THEY ATTRIBUTE THE PARTY'S SUCCESS TO THE FIERCELY NATIONALISTIC MOOD IN TURKEY FOLLOWING THE EUROPEAN UNION'S REJECTION OF TURKEY FOR FULL E-U MEMBERSHIP AND ITS PERCEIVED SUPPORT FOR KURDISH SEPARATISTS..

    MR ECEVIT'S STRONG SHOWING IS ATTRIBUTED ,IN PART, THE CAPTURE OF KURDISH REBEL CHIEF ABDULLAH OCALAN LAST FEBRUARY. STILL, THE LEFTIST INCUMBENT WILL NOT LIKELY SECURE ENOUGH VOTES TO FORM A GOVERNMENT ON HIS OWN.

    ///REST OPT///

    VOTER TURNOUT WAS REPORTED HEAVY IN ANKARA AND OTHER CITIES. THE ANATOLIA NEWS AGENCY REPORTS AT LEAST THREE PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND SEVEN WOUNDED IN A SHOOT OUT BETWEEN FAMILIES OF RIVAL CANDIDATES IN A TOWN IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY.

    SUNDAY'S ELECTION WILL DECIDE WHO CONTROLS PARLIAMENT AS WELL AS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/WFR
    18-Apr-99 5:54 PM EDT (2154 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [15] TURKEY/ELECTION UPD (S ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=4/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-248266
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: VOTER TURNOUT WAS HIGH IN TURKEY'S PARLIAMENTARY AND MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS (SUNDAY). AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA, THE ELECTIONS WILL LIKELY YIELD ANOTHER COALITION GOVERNMENT.

    TEXT: VOTERS HURRIED TO CAST THEIR BALLOTS, JUST MINUTES BEFORE POLLING BOOTHS CLOSED IN THE LATE AFTERNOON. CLEAR WEATHER ACROSS MUCH OF TURKEY ENCOURAGED A HIGH TURNOUT.

    OPINION POLLS SHOW THAT PRIME MINISTER BULENT ECEVIT'S "DEMOCRATIC LEFT PARTY" HAS EMERGED AS ONE OF THE LEADING CONTENDERS IN THE ELECTION. MR. ECEVIT'S POPULARITY HAS RISEN SHARPLY SINCE TURKISH SPECIAL FORCES CAPTURED KURDISH REBEL CHIEF ABDULLAH OCALAN IN FEBRUARY. MEANWHILE, SECURITY MEASURES WERE STEPPED UP FOR THE VOTE IN THE MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST REGIONS WHERE MR. OCALAN'S OUTLAWED KURDISTAN WORKERS' PARTY HAS BEEN WAGING A 15-YEAR-LONG ARMED CAMPAIGN FOR KURDISH SELF-RULE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/DW/RAE
    18-Apr-99 12:27 PM EDT (1627 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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