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Voice of America, 98-06-14

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA/AID REFUGEES (L ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (TROPOJE)
  • [02] NATO-KOSOVO-AIR EXERCISES (L) BY JIM RANDLE (COPENHAGEN)
  • [03] COHEN/KOSOVO/EXERCISES (L-ONITER) BY JIM RANDLE (COPENHAGEN)
  • [04] FRANCE/KOSOVO (S&L) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [05] KOSOVO OFFENSIVE (L) BY PAMELA TAYLOR (PRISTINA)

  • [01] ALBANIA/AID REFUGEES (L ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (TROPOJE)

    DATE=6/13/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-233849
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ATTACKS BY SERB FORCES IN YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE HAVE PUSHED THOUSANDS OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS THERE TO FLEE THEIR HOMES. SINCE THE SERB CRACKDOWN AND OFFENSIVE AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS, AT LEAST 12-THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE CROSSED THE MOUNTAINOUS BORDER INTO NORTHERN ALBANIA WHERE V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES REPORTS ON RELIEF EFFORTS.

    TEXT: INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE RED CROSS HAVE SENT IN AID AND NATO IS FLYING IN FOOD AND OTHER SUPPLIES THAT HAVE BEEN STOCKPILED IN SARAJEVO (IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA).

    LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE ALSO DONE WHAT THEY CAN, BUT REFUGEES AND LOCAL OFFICIALS HERE COMPLAIN THAT THEY HAVE HAD VIRTUALLY NO HELP FROM TIRANA.

    ISA MEMIA IS THE TOP OFFICIAL OF TORPOJE COMMUNE, AN ADMINISTRATIVE AREA THAT INCLUDES MOST OF THE BORDER REGION WHERE AN ESTIMATED SEVEN-THOUSAND REFUGEES ARE STAYING.

    ///ACT IN ALBANIA, FADE///

    SO FAR, HE SAYS, WE HAVE RECEIVED NO ASSISTANCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT. BUT HE CONCEDES IT MIGHT BE BECAUSE THEY ARE GETTING MORE HELP FROM INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.

    A MINISTERIAL-LEVEL OFFICIAL HAS BEEN NAMED TO ASSESS THE SITUATION AND OVERSEE TIRANA'S RESPONSE TO THE REFUGEE CRISIS. BUT IN EUROPE'S POOREST COUNTRY, THERE IS LITTLE OPTIMISM THAT THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CAN PROVIDE.

    RESIDENTS OF THIS REGION ARE PROUD OF THEIR HOSPITALITY. UP UNTIL NOW, ALL OF THE REFUGEES HAVE BEEN HOUSED WITH LOCAL FAMILIES. SOMETIMES THEY ARE RELATIVES, BUT MANY TIMES THEY ARE OPENING THEIR HOMES TO EXTENDED FAMILIES OF 15 OR 20 OR MORE COMPLETE STRANGERS.

    THE SITUATION HAS BECOME UNWORKABLE, HOWEVER, AND OFFICIALS ARE NOW CONSIDERING SETTING UP CAMPS FOR THE REFUGEES.

    IN A CONVERTED SCHOOL BASKETBALL COURT, RED CROSS WORKERS ARE BRINGING IN MATTRESS AND BLANKETS. ALREADY THERE IS A SMALL MOUNTAIN OF CLOTHING DONATED BY ALBANIAN RESIDENTS AND 28-THOUSAND CANS OF MEAT FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    MOST OF THE REFUGEES CAME WITH LITTLE MORE THAN THE CLOTHES THEY WORE, SO THEIR IMMEDIATE NEEDS ARE RATHER BASIC.

    A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS, DALONI CARLISLE, SAYS THE FIRST THING THEY ASK FOR IS FOOD.

    ///CARLISLE ACT///

    THE NEXT THING THEY NEED ARE BLANKETS, MATTRESSES. THEY ALSO NEED CLOTHES, WASHING POWER, SOAP...ALL THE BASIC THINGS TO RUN THEIR LIVES.

    ///END ACT///

    THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS FEDERATION IS ASKING FOR TWO-MILLION DOLLARS (3.2 MILLION SWISS FRANCS), ENOUGH TO CARE FOR TEN-THOUSAND REFUGEES FOR AS LONG AS FOUR MONTHS.

    THE ALBANIAN RED CROSS IS ORGANIZING A MESSAGE SERVICE SO REFUGEES CAN SEND WORD TO RELATIVES ABROAD. FOR NOW, THE SERVICE WILL ONLY ALLOW MESSAGES TO BE SENT OUT, AND RED CROSS OFFICIALS HERE SAY MESSAGES SENT TO KOSOVO CAN BE SENT ONLY TO THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, PRISTINA.

    MANY OF THE REFUGEES NEED MEDICAL CARE. SOME, LIKE TWO CHILDREN RECEIVED AT THE TROPOJE HEALTH CENTER, WERE HURT ON THE TREK OVER THE MOUNTAINS. IN THIS CASE, NOTHING SERIOUS, JUST SOME MINOR CUTS AND BRUISES.

    THE CLINIC OPENED IN MAY, AND IS BY WESTERN STANDARDS EXTREMELY PRIMITIVE, JUST BEDS AND SOME MEDICINES, NOT EVEN ANY HOT WATER. IN ANY EVENT, CLINIC PHYSICIAN DOCTOR RAM ALIJAJ SAYS THE REFUGEES NEED MORE THAN JUST FIRST AID.

    ///ACT IN ALBANIAN, FADE///

    WHAT WE DESPERATELY NEED RIGHT NOW IS MEDICATION TO HELP PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC CONDITIONS. MANY OF THE REFUGEES HAVE HEART PROBLEMS, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND OTHER CONDITIONS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN TREATED FOR WEEKS OR MONTHS.

    LOCAL OFFICIALS ALSO WARN THAT, WITH AN ERRATIC WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION PROBLEMS RELATED TO OVERCROWDING, THE RISK OF AN EPIDEMIC IS HIGH. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/DW/JO
    13-Jun-98 10:28 AM EDT (1428 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] NATO-KOSOVO-AIR EXERCISES (L) BY JIM RANDLE (COPENHAGEN)

    DATE=6/13/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-233859
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO OFFICIALS SAY MOCK BOMBING ATTACKS WILL BE STAGED IN THE SKIES NEAR KOSOVO MONDAY (6/15/98). THE AIR EXERCISES ARE PART OF A CAMPAIGN TO PERSUADE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO STOP HIS SERBIAN FORCES FROM ATTACKING ETHNIC ALBANIAN VILLAGES IN KOSOVO WITH TANKS AND ARTILLERY. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS.

    TEXT: NATO OFFICIALS CALL THE AIR EXERCISES 'DETERMINED FALCON' AND SAY THEY WILL INCLUDE ABOUT 40 AIRPLANES FROM NINE NATIONS.

    /// OPT ///

    THEY ARE BELGIUM, DENMARK, FRANCE, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS, SPAIN, TURKEY, THE UK AND THE US. /// END OPT ///

    FIGHTERS AND HELICOPTERS WILL BE SUPPORTED BY AERIAL REFUELING PLANES AND GUIDED BY AIRBORNE RADAR CRAFT.

    THE EXERCISES WILL BE STAGED OVER MACEDONIA AND ALBANIA, WHICH BORDER SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE. SERBIA IS ONE OF YUGOSLAVIA'S TWO REPUBLICS.

    SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM COHEN SAYS THE EXERCISE IS DESIGNED TO HELP PERSUADE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO END ATTACKS ON VILLAGES IN KOSOVO.

    YUGOSLAVIA'S SERB DOMINATED ARMY HAS USED HEAVY WEAPONS TO DESTROY KOSOVAR VILLAGES NEAR THE BORDER WITH ALBANIA. SERBIAN OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE RESPONDING TO KOSOVAR SEPARATIST GUERRILLA ATTACKS THAT HAVE KILLED SOME POLICE IN RECENT MONTHS.

    BUT NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS SAY THE WHOLESALE DESTRUCTION OF VILLAGES IS A HORRIFIC OVERREACTION TO THE PROVOCATION. U-S AND OTHER OFFICIALS SAY THE ACTIONS REMIND THEM OF SERB 'ETHNIC CLEANSING' TACTICS OF THE BOSNIAN WAR.

    NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVED THE AIR EXERCISES AT A MEETING LAST WEEK IN BRUSSELS. BUT RUSSIA, FRANCE, DENMARK AND SOME OTHER NATIONS SAY NATO SHOULD NOT MAKE REAL ATTACKS ON YUGOSLAV FORCES WITHOUT APPROVAL OF THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL.

    SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM COHEN DISAGREES. HE SAYS THE NATO MILITARY ALLIANCE IS DESIGNED TO PROTECT ITS MEMBERS FROM SECURITY THREATS. U-S OFFICIALS SAY NATO MEMBERS COULD BE HARMED IF THE BLOODSHED IN KOSOVO SPARKS A WIDER BALKAN WAR.

    /// REST OPT //

    ANALYSTS SAY THE WAR COULD SPREAD IN SEVERAL WAYS. THEY SAY ONE POSSIBILITY IS THAT TURKISH SYMPATHIES FOR MUSLIM KOSOVARS AND GREEK SYMPATHIES FOR ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SERBS COULD PULL THESE TWO WELL-ARMED NATO ALLIES INTO A CONFLICT. GREECE AND TURKEY ALREADY HAVE LONG-STANDING DISAGREEMENTS THAT HAVE BROUGHT THEM TO THE BRINK OF FIGHTING.

    U-S OFFICIALS SAY THE U-N ALLOWS NATIONS TO ACT FOR THEIR COLLECTIVE DEFENSE. MR. COHEN ARGUES THAT THIS IS SUCH A CASE.

    /// COHEN ACT ////

    WE THINK THERE IS A LEGAL BASIS TO BE FOUND IN THE U-N CHARTER ITSELF, THAT IT WOULD NOT BE IMPERATIVE AND ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED TO GET SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS. AGAIN WE THINK IT WOULD BE HELPFUL, DESIRABLE, BUT IF NATO'S SECURITY IS AFFECTED, AND THERE IS A REQUIREMENT TO TAKE ACTION TO DEFEND NATO'S SECURITY INTERESTS, WE THINK IT WOULD BE INADVISABLE TO SUBJECT NATO'S SECURITY TO ANY VETO MEASURE THAT COULD BE VOICED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. COHEN SPOKE IN COPENHAGEN AFTER TALKS WITH BALTIC AND NORDIC DEFENSE MINISTERS.

    DANISH DEFENSE MINISTER HANS HAEKKERUP SAYS TWO OF DENMARK'S 70 F-16 FIGHTERS WILL JOIN THE PLANNED NATO AIR EXERCISES. MR. COHEN PRAISED DENMARK FOR PLAYING A CENTRAL ROLE IN EUROPEAN AND BALTIC SECURITY FOR MANY YEARS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/TMD/JO
    13-Jun-98 1:48 PM EDT (1748 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] COHEN/KOSOVO/EXERCISES (L-ONITER) BY JIM RANDLE (COPENHAGEN)

    DATE=6/13/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-233867
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO PLANS TO STAGE MOCK AIR RAIDS NEAR KOSOVO MONDAY -- HOPING TO PERSUADE YUGOSLAVIA'S PRESIDENT TO STOP ATTACKS ON VILLAGES IN THE SERBIAN PROVINCE. DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN SAYS IF DIPLOMACY AND DRAMATIC MILITARY DEMONSTRATIONS FAIL, NATO WOULD NOT NEED U-N PERMISSION TO TAKE STRONGER ACTION. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE AIR EXERCISES ARE EXPECTED TO INVOLVE ABOUT 40 PLANES FROM AT LEAST NINE NATIONS. HELICOPTERS AND FIGHERS WILL BE SUPPORTED BY AERIAL REFUELING PLANES AND GUIDED BY AIRBORNE RADAR AIR CRAFT.

    /// OPT ///

    /// OPT ///

    U-S OFFICIALS SAY BELGIUM, DENMARK, FRANCE, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS, SPAIN, TURKEY, THE U-K AND THE UNITED STATES WILL SUPPLY THE PLANES AND CREWS. /// END OPTT ///

    THE AERIAL WAR GAMES WILL TAKE PLACE OVER MACEDONIA AND ALBANIA, WHICH BORDER SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE. SERBIA IS ONE OF YUGOSLAVIA'S TWO REPUBLICS.

    DEFENSE SECRETARY COHEN SAYS THE EXERCISES ARE PART OF A CAMPAIGN TO PERSUADE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO END ARMY ATTACKS ON VILLAGES IN KOSOVO. NEWS REPORTS SAY YUGOSLAV ARTILLERY POUNDED AT LEAST ONE VILLAGE SATURDAY.

    SERB OFFICIALS SAY THESE AND EARLIER ATTACKS WITH HEAVY WEAPONS ARE DESIGNED TO STOP AN INDEPENDENCE DRIVE BY MUSLIM KOSOVAR SEPARATISTS. BUT NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS SAY THE ATTACKS ARE FAR OUT OF PROPORTION WITH THE THREAT, AND THEY HARSHLY CRITICIZED PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC.

    AT THEIR MEETING LAST WEEK IN BRUSSELS, THE MINISTERS OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVED THE AIR EXERCISES. BUT SEVERAL NATIONS, INCLUDING RUSSIA, AND NATO MEMBERS DENMARK AND FRANCE, SAY THE ALLIANCE SHOULD NOT USE REAL MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE UNITED NATIONS.

    SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM COHEN DISAGREES, SAYING THE U-N CHARTER ALLOWS NATIONS TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST SECURITY THREATS. U-S OFFICIALS SAY VIOLENCE IN KOSOVO COULD EASILY BECOME A WIDER BALKAN WAR, AND THAT COULD BE A THREAT TO SEVERAL NATIONS INCLUDING NATO MEMBERS.

    /// COHEN ///

    IF NATO'S SECURITY IS THREATENED, AND THERE IS A REQURIEMENT TO TAKE ACTION TO DEFEND NATO'S SECURITY INTERESTS, WE THINK IT WOULD BE INADVISABLE TO SUBJECT NATO'S SECURITY TO ANY VETO MEASURE THAT COULD BE VOICED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR COHEN SPOKE IN COPENHAGEN AFTER TALKS WITH BALTIC AND NORDIC DEFENSE MINISTERS. SUNDAY, HE HEADS FOR POLAND FOR TALKS WITH MILITARY OFFICIALS THERE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SD
    13-Jun-98 9:02 PM EDT (0102 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] FRANCE/KOSOVO (S&L) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=6/14/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-233885
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ON THE EVE OF A NATO EXERCISE TO SHOW THAT THE ALLIANCE IS PREPARED TO USE FORCE IN KOSOVO, FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC SAID THE SERBS ARE INVOLVED IN A NEW "ETHNIC CLEANSING" OPERATION. HE EXPRESSED FRANCE'S BACKING FOR THE USE OF MILITARY MEANS TO STOP CIVIL WAR. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: AS NATO IS PREPARING AN EXERCISE INVOLVING SOME 40 AIRCRAFT FROM NINE COUNTRIES IN THE BALKANS MONDAY, THE NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA SAYS THE ALLIANCE WILL NOT STAND BY IF CIVIL WAR THREATENS KOSOVO.

    IN A SPEECH IN WARSAW, MR. SOLANA SAID NATO WILL NOT ALLOW A REPEAT OF THE SITUATION IN 1991 THAT LED TO WAR IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. EARLIER, FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC USED ESPECIALLY TOUGH WORDS TO EXPRESS HIS FEELINGS ON THE KOSOVO CRISIS.

    MR. CHIRAC CALLED FOR AN END TO HOSTILITIES IN KOSOVO. HE DENOUNCED WHAT HE CALLED "AGGRESSION BY SERBS," SAYING IT DEMONSTRATED "A DESIRE FOR ETHNIC PURIFICATION."

    HE MADE THE REMARKS AFTER RECEIVING IBRAHIM RUGOVA, THE LEADER OF KOSOVO'S DEMOCRATIC LEAGUE, WHO FAVORS PASSIVE RESISTANCE BY ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN THE PROVINCE.

    //REST OPT//

    MR. CHIRAC DESCRIBED THE OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO AS "A BRUTAL INTERVENTION BY THE SERBS." HE SAID THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD USE "ALL MEANS OF PRESSURE, INCLUDING MILITARY MEANS" TO RE-ESTABLISH PEACE.

    THE FRENCH POSITION IS CRUCIAL SINCE FRANCE IS NOT A FULL MEMBER OF NATO'S COMMAND STRUCTURE. IN THE PAST, IT HAS SOMETIMES MADE A POINT OF DISTANCING ITSELF FROM NATO DECISIONS. MR. CHIRAC'S WORDS MADE IT PLAIN THAT FRANCE, WHICH HAS BEEN A MAJOR PARTICIPANT IN OTHER OPERATIONS IN THE YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS, FULLY BACKS THE ALLIANCE OVER KOSOVO.

    THE NATO EXERCISE COINCIDES WITH A VISIT TO RUSSIA BY THE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO DISCUSS THE KOSOVO CRISIS. RUSSIA, WHICH GENERALLY BACKS BELGRADE, IS OPPOSING ANY MILITARY INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO ALTHOUGH IT CONDEMNS THE SERB CRACKDOWN THERE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/DW/WFR
    14-Jun-98 10:19 AM EDT (1419 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] KOSOVO OFFENSIVE (L) BY PAMELA TAYLOR (PRISTINA)

    DATE=6/14/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-233890
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SERBIAN MILITARY AND POLICE FORCES LAUNCHED A MASSIVE ATTACK TODAY (SUNDAY) IN THE WESTERN PART OF SERBIA'S VOLATILE KOSOVO PROVINCE. SERB SOURCES SAY THE EARLY MORNING ASSAULT WAS PROVOKED BY SEVERAL ATTACKS BY WHAT THEY CALLED "ETHNIC ALBANIAN TERRORISTS". TWO SERB POLICE WERE KILLED IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS AND TWO OTHERS WOUNDED. THERE IS NO WORD ON EITHER CIVILIAN OR GUERRILLA CASUALTIES AMONG THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN POPULATION. VOA'S PAMELA TAYLOR REPORTS FROM THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, PRISTINA:

    TEXT: THE KOSOVO INFORMATION CENTER IN PRISTINA SAYS MORE THAN 500 SHELLS FELL ON VILLAGES IN THE REGIONS OF DECANI AND DJAKOVICA WHERE EARLIER FIGHTING HAS ALREADY SENT THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES FLEEING INTO ALBANIA.

    THE KOSOVAR ALBANIAN SOURCES SAY A CONVOY OF FORTY SERBIAN MILITARY VEHICLES WAS SEEN IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS HEADING TOWARD DECANI. SINCE THEN THEY SAY THEY HAVE BEEN RECEIVING REPORTS ALL DAY LONG OF FIERCE FIGHTING IN MORE THAN TEN VILLAGES BETWEEN DECANI AND THE ALBANIAN BORDER.

    A SPOKESMAN FOR THE SERBIAN POLICE, COLONEL NOVICA ZDRAVKOVIC, TOLD REPORTERS IN PRISTINA THE ATTACKS WERE IN RESPONSE TO WHAT HE CALLED ARMED TERRORIST ACTIONS BY THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY AGAINST SERB POLICE UNITS. SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, COLONEL ZDRAVKOVIC SAYS THE FIGHTING IS STILL GOING ON.

    /// ZDRAVKOVIC ACT ///

    THE TERRORIST GROUP WAS CRUSHED BY AN ENERGETIC ACTION OF THE POLICE AND THERE WERE SEVERE CASUALTIES. THE SEARCH FOR THE REMAININGTERRORISTS IS STILL UNDERWAY.

    // END ACT //

    COLONEL ZDRAVKOVIC SAYS ALL REFUGEES WHO HAVE FLED THIS AREA SHOULD FEEL FREE TO RETURN AS SOON AS THEY ARE ABLE:

    // ZDRAVKOVICACT TWO //

    THE REFUGEES, REGARDLESS OF THEIR NATIONAL AFFILIATION WHO LEFT THEIR HOMES EITHER THREATENED OR PRESSED BY TERRORSTS ARE WELOME TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES AND CONTINUE A NORMAL LIFE.

    // END ACT //

    HOWEVER, THE KOSOVO INFORMATION CENTER SAYS A NEW WAVE OF REFUGEES HAS BEEN REPORTED HEADING TOWARD THE ALBANIAN BORDER.

    THERE IS INCREASED CONCERN FOR THE FATE OF THESE REFUGEES FOLLOWING REPORTS THE YUGOSLAV ARMY HAS BEGUN PLACING MINES ALONG THE BORDER TO HALT THE FLOW OF WEAPONS INTO KOSOVO FROM ALBANIA.

    WESTERN DIPLOMATS AND HUMANITARIAN OFFICIALS IN KOSOVO SAY THEY ARE ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT PERSISTENT BUT UNCONFIRMED REPORTS OF A MASS GRAVE IN THE DECANI AREA BELIEVED TO CONTAIN MORE THAN 200 BODIES.

    IT HAS BEEN NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO GET INTO THE REGION FOR AT LEAST ONE WEEK. SERB FORCES HAVE CANCELLED ALL TRAIN SERVICE FROM PRISTINA TO THE WESTERN PART OF KOSOVO BECAUSE OF THE FIGHTING. REPORTERS AND HUMANITARIAN WORKERS SEEKING TO GET IN BY CAR HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY TURNED BACK AT HUNDREDS OF SERB CHECKPOINTS ALONG THE VAROUS ROADS OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PAM/DW/WFR
    14-Jun-98 1:26 PM EDT (1726 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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