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Voice of America, 99-01-10

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO/SOLDIERS (S&L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BARE)
  • [02] NATO/BOSNIA (S&L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] KOSOVO/HOSTAGES (S&L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (STARI TRG, KOSOVO)
  • [04] KOSOVO/HOSTAGES UPDATE (S-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (STARI TRG, KOSOVO)

  • [01] KOSOVO/SOLDIERS (S&L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BARE)

    DATE=1/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243978
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITISH AND AMERICAN NEGOTIATORS ENGAGED IN A LAST DITCH EFFORT SATURDAY TO PERSUADE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS TO RELEASE EIGHT YUGOSLAV ARMY SOLDIERS. MEANWHILE, THE YUGOSLAV ARMY PREPARED A MAJOR ATTACK ON A REBEL HOLDOUT ABOVE A ZINC AND SILVER MINE WHERE THE HOSTAGES WERE BEING HELD. PHILIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM BEHIND THE LINES WITH NEGOTIATORS AND REBELS.

    TEXT: BRITISH AND AMERICAN ARMY OFFICERS TRIED TO PERSUADE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS TO HAND OVER THEIR HOSTAGES AND THE YUGOSLAV ARMY NOT TO ATTACK.

    BUT AS THE TALKS WENT ON, THE SERB ARMY LAUNCHED AN OFFENSIVE IN SOME OF KOSOVO'S STEEPEST MOUNTAIN TERRAIN.

    ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS SEIZED THE EIGHT YUGOSLAV ARMY SOLDIERS EARLY FRIDAY ABOVE A SILVER MINE IN NORTHERN KOSOVO.

    AT THEIR REBEL BASE IN BARE, HOWEVER, IT REMAINS UNCLEAR WHAT THE REBEL COMMANDERS IN THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY WILL DO.

    A REBEL COMMANDER TOLD V-O-A THAT IF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY THE K-L-A -- WANTED TO KILL THE SERBS IT WOULD HAVE DONE SO ALREADY. HE SAID HE WANTED A HOSTAGE EXCHANGE FOR K-L-A PRISONERS BEING HELD BY THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT.

    /// REST OPT ///

    THE K-L-A COMMANDER REFUSED TO LET A JOURNALIST SEE THE HOSTAGES, INSISTING THAT THEY HAD BEEN MOVED TO ANOTHER LOCATION. BELOW HIM, AS HE SPOKE, SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES WERE POISED TO STORM UP THE MOUNTAIN. EIGHT TANKS, SEVERAL ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS AND FIVE ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS LINED UP TO DO BATTLE. LATER IN THE DAY, TANKS IN A NEARBY TOWN BEGAN FIRING ON REBEL POSITIONS.

    A BUILD-UP ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN INDICATED THAT A CLASSIC PINCER ATTACK WAS BEING PLANNED AGAINST THE REBEL STRONGHOLD.

    A BRITISH MILITARY OFFICER WITH THE UNARMED MISSION OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE -- THE O-S-C-E -- EXPRESSED FEARS THAT THE SERBIAN ATTACK WOULD TURN THE EIGHT HOSTAGES INTO WHAT HE CALLED "SACRIFICIAL LAMBS."

    ANOTHER O-S-C-E OFFICER WARNED THE SERBS THAT THE EIGHT HOSTAGES WOULD PROBABLY BE KILLED IF THE SERBS LAUNCHED AN ATTACK.

    AN AMERICAN OFFICIAL SAID THE K-L-A WOULD BE UNABLE TO DEFEND ITSELF FROM A FULL YUGOSLAV ATTACK AND WARNED THAT ANY ATTEMPT TO KILL THE HOSTAGES WOULD LEAD TO INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION OF THE K-L-A. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/DW/GE
    09-Jan-99 1:04 PM EST (1804 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] NATO/BOSNIA (S&L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=1/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243980
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO TROOPS IN BOSNIA HAVE SHOT TO DEATH A SUSPECTED WAR CRIMINAL NEAR THE EASTERN TOWN OF FOCA. V-O-A'S RON PEMSTEIN HAS DETAILS ON THE INCIDENT FROM BRUSSELS.

    TEXT: A WRITTEN STATEMENT FROM NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA SAYS ALLIANCE TROOPS IN BOSNIA TRIED TO DETAIN DRAGAN GAGOVIC, A MAN INDICTED FOR WAR CRIMES.

    MR. SOLANA SAYS MR. GAGOVIC DROVE HIS CAR DIRECTLY AT THE NATO TROOPS ENDANGERING THEIR LIVES. THE FRENCH TROOPS FIRED AT HIM IN SELF DEFENSE, MR. SOLANA SAYS. MR. GAGOVIC WAS TAKEN TO A LOCAL MEDICAL FACILITY BUT WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD ON ARRIVAL.

    MR. GAGOVIC HAD BEEN INDICTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. HE WAS SUSPECTED OF TORTURING AND RAPING AT LEAST FIVE MUSLIM WOMEN IN 1992 WHEN HE WAS THE POLICE CHIEF OF THE TOWN OF FOCA NEAR BOSNIA'S EASTERN BORDER WITH SERBIA. THE WOMEN HAD BEEN DETAINED AT A LOCAL SPORTS HALL.

    /// REST OPT ///

    ANOTHER WAR CRIMES SUSPECT IN FOCA, MILORAD KRNOLEJAC, SURRENDERED TO NATO TROOPS LAST YEAR. HE IS AWAITING TRIAL IN THE HAGUE ON RAPE CHARGES.

    FOCA ALSO IS BELIEVED TO HAVE OTHER SUSPECTS WANTED BY THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL. NATO SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA SAYS OTHER PERSONS INDICTED FOR WAR CRIMES STILL AT LARGE WILL ALSO BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.

    NATO HAS NOT DETAINED THE BOSNIAN SERB'S WAR TIME LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC AND THEIR MILITARY COMMANDER GENERAL RATKO MLADIC DESPITE REPEATED INDICTMENTS. THEY HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM PUBLIC LIFE BUT THEIR LOCATION AT VARIOUS TIMES HAS BEEN WIDELY KNOWN IN BOSNIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/DW
    09-Jan-99 2:15 PM EST (1915 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] KOSOVO/HOSTAGES (S&L) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (STARI TRG, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/10/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243989
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: WESTERN MONITORS WITH THE KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION HAVE WORKED FOR A THIRD DAY TO GAIN THE RELEASE OF EIGHT YUGOSLAV ARMY SOLDIERS. GUNS WERE SILENT ACROSS KOSOVO SUNDAY, BUT EFFORTS TO FREE THE HOSTAGES APPEARED TO BE STALLED BY AN UNWILLINGNESS FROM THE SERB AUTHORITIES TO EXCHANGE ETHNIC ALBANIAN PRISONERS FOR THEIR OWN SOLDIERS. PHILIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM STARI TRG WHERE BRITISH AND U-S NEGOTIATORS WERE AT WORK.

    TEXT: WESTERN OFFICIALS SAY THAT THEY GAINED ASSURANCES FROM THE YUGOSLAV ARMY THAT IT WILL HOLD BACK FROM A FULL SCALE OFFENSIVE WHILE NEGOTIATIONS ARE UNDER WAY.

    TANKS THAT FIRED ON ETHNIC ALBANIAN VILLAGES SATURDAY IN APPARENT RETALIATION FOR THE HOSTAGE TAKING FELL SILENT SUNDAY.

    WESTERN OFFICIALS ARE PRESSURING BOTH THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS AND THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT TO SHOW RESTRAINT.

    SOME TANKS PULLED BACK FROM POSITIONS HERE IN STARI TRG, BUT DOZENS OF TANKS AND ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS STOOD POISED TO STRIKE SUNDAY AS WESTERN NEGOTIATORS WORKED TO GAIN THE RELEASE OF THE HOSTAGES.

    WHAT WAS UNCLEAR, HOWEVER, WAS IF THE SERB AUTHORITIES WERE PREPARED TO PERMIT AN EXCHANGE OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN PRISONERS FOR THE SOLDIERS.

    ///REST OPT///

    A GERMAN SPOKESMAN FOR THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE'S VERIFICATION MISSION SAID THAT THE HOSTAGES HAD BEEN SEEN AS LATE AS SATURDAY. BUT HEINZ NITSCH SAID THEY HAD NOT BEEN SEEN SUNDAY. HE SAID HE COULD NO LONGER BE SURE ABOUT AN EARLIER STATEMENT HE MADE SAYING THE HOSTAGES HAD BEEN PERMITTED TO CALL THEIR FAMILIES.

    /// NITSCH ACT//

    THEY WERE WITH THE HOSTAGES YESTERDAY. BUT FOR THE PHONE CALLS I CANNOT CONFIRM BECAUSE I JUST PHONED PRISTINA AND THERE WAS NO FIXED CONFIRMATION ALTHOUGH I HAD THAT INFORMATION BEFORE AND I CAN ALSO NOT CONFIRM ANY LONGER.

    //END ACT//

    MR. NITSCH SAID THAT THE O-S-C-E WAS WORKING TO AVERT A SERB OFFENSIVE AND GAIN THE RELEASE OF THE HOSTAGES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/DW/JO
    10-Jan-99 12:52 PM EST (1752 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO/HOSTAGES UPDATE (S-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (STARI TRG, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/10/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243994
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    // EDS: CUTS OUTDATED OPTIONAL MATERIAL FOR LONG-CR FROM CR 2-243989 //

    INTRO: WESTERN MONITORS WITH THE KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION HAVE WORKED FOR A THIRD DAY TO GAIN THE RELEASE OF EIGHT YUGOSLAV ARMY SOLDIERS. GUNS WERE SILENT ACROSS KOSOVO SUNDAY, BUT EFFORTS TO FREE THE HOSTAGES APPEARED TO BE STALLED BY AN UNWILLINGNESS FROM THE SERB AUTHORITIES TO EXCHANGE ETHNIC ALBANIAN PRISONERS FOR THEIR OWN SOLDIERS. PHILIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM STARI TRG WHERE BRITISH AND U-S NEGOTIATORS WERE AT WORK.

    TEXT: WESTERN OFFICIALS SAY THAT THEY GAINED ASSURANCES FROM THE YUGOSLAV ARMY THAT IT WILL HOLD BACK FROM A FULL SCALE OFFENSIVE WHILE NEGOTIATIONS ARE UNDER WAY.

    TANKS THAT FIRED ON ETHNIC ALBANIAN VILLAGES SATURDAY IN APPARENT RETALIATION FOR THE HOSTAGE TAKING FELL SILENT SUNDAY.

    WESTERN OFFICIALS ARE PRESSURING BOTH THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS AND THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT TO SHOW RESTRAINT.

    SOME TANKS PULLED BACK FROM POSITIONS HERE IN STARI TRG, BUT DOZENS OF TANKS AND ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS STOOD POISED TO STRIKE SUNDAY AS WESTERN NEGOTIATORS WORKED TO GAIN THE RELEASE OF THE HOSTAGES.

    WHAT WAS UNCLEAR, HOWEVER, WAS IF THE SERB AUTHORITIES WERE PREPARED TO PERMIT AN EXCHANGE OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN PRISONERS FOR THE SOLDIERS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/DW/JO
    10-Jan-99 2:29 PM EST (1929 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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