Browse through our Interesting Nodes on Automotive Issues in Greece Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 25 June 2022
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Voice of America, 99-01-16

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO/MASSACRE (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (RACAK, KOSOVO)
  • [02] KOSOVO/MASSACRE (S/L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PRISTINA, KOSOVO)
  • [03] Q &A W/PHILIP SMUCKER BY DAVE WEBER / LONDON (RACAK, KOSOVO)
  • [04] Q & A (UPDATE) W/ PHILIP SMUCKER BY DAVID WEBER / LONDON (RACAK, KOSOVO)

  • [01] KOSOVO/MASSACRE (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (RACAK, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/16/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244271
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DOZENS OF SLAUGHTERED ETHNIC ALBANIAN CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED IN THE VILLAGE OF RACAK IN CENTRAL KOSOVO. AT LEAST 24 MEN WERE FOUND TO HAVE BEEN EXECUTED AT CLOSE RANGE AFTER SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES ATTACKED THE TOWN ON FRIDAY. PHILIP SMUCKER WAS IN THE VILLAGE OF AS LOCAL ETHNIC ALBANIANS VILLAGERS STOOD IN SHOCK NEAR THE BODIES OF THEIR MENFOLK.

    TEXT: MOST OF THE BODIES WERE STREWN IN A DITCH AT THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN AT THE EDGE OF TOWN. MEN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 20 TO 65 WERE SHOT IN THE HEAD OR THE NECK. RELATIVES FROM THE VILLAGE OF RACAK WHO CAME TO THEIR KIN BROKE DOWN IN TEARS.

    THE VILLAGERS SAID THAT SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES HAD ATTACKED EARLY FRIDAY MORNING WITH TANKS AND ANTI-AIRCRAFT WEAPONS. THE PEOPLE HAD GATHERED IN GROUPS PREPARING TO FLEE OVER THE HILLS TO SAFETY. BUT WHEN THEY TRIED, THEIR ESCAPE ROUTE WAS CLOSED BY SERBIAN HEAVY FIRE. FROM THE EVIDENCE OF CIVILIAN CORPSES STREWN ACROSS THE VILLAGE, OVER MORE THAN A DOZEN PERSONS WERE KILLED BY THE SHELLING.

    VILLAGERS SAID THEY THEN HUDDLED BEHIND BUSHES AND ALONG HILLSIDES AS SERBIAN POLICE, MANY OF THEM MASKED, ENTERED RACAK AND WENT HOUSE-TO-HOUSE GATHERING MEN AND LEAVING THE WOMEN LOCKED IN CELLARS.

    THE WITNESSES SAY THEY HEARD THE SOUNDS OF BEATINGS AND SCREAMS COMING FROM THE CENTER OF THE VILLAGE. LATER IN THE DAY AT LEAST 24 MEN WERE TAKEN TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN OVERLOOKING THE VILLAGE WHERE THEY WERE SYSTEMATICALLY EXECUTED. SATURDAY, VILLAGERS REMAINED CRINGING IN FEAR IN THE MOUNTAINS, SOME OF THEM RETURNING TO THEIR HOMES TO DISCOVER DEAD RELATIVES. ETHNIC ALBANIAN DOCTOR, VEZIR BAJRAMI, SAID HE HAD TREATED 20 INJURED CIVILIANS IN THE SURROUNDING HILLS.

    LIGHTLY ARMED MEMBERS OF THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY WHO RETURNED TO RACAK ON SATURDAY SAID THAT THE SERBIAN ATTACK HAD COME AS A COMPLETE SURPRISE. MANY OF THEM SAID THEY HAD BEEN SLEEPING WHEN THE ATTACK BEGAN, BUT DOZENS LATER ESCAPED AFTER REALIZING THEY WERE OUTGUNNED AND OUTMANNED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/DW/GE
    16-Jan-99 12:25 PM EST (1725 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO/MASSACRE (S/L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PRISTINA, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/16/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244274
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE HEAD OF THE KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION, WILLIAM WALKER, BLAMES THE SERB SECURITY FORCES FOR THE MASSACRE OF SOME 45 ETHNIC ALBANIAN VILLAGERS -- MOST OF THEM ELDERLY MEN -- AND DEMANDS THAT THOSE RESPONSIBLE BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN IN PRISTINA REPORTS THAT THE HEAD OF THE VERIFIERS WANTS THE CHIEF PROSECUTOR OF THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE TO INVESTIGATE WHAT HE CALLS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY,

    TEXT: MR. WALKER IS CALLING ON THE YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES TO FIND THOSE WHO CARRIED OUT THE MASSACRE AND BRING THEM TO JUSTICE IMMEDIATELY.

    /// WALKER ACT ///

    ALTHOUGH I AM NOT A LAWYER, FROM WHAT I PERSONALLY SAW, I DO NOT HESITATE TO DESCRIBE THE EVENT AS A MASSACRE, OBVIOUSLY A CRIME VERY MUCH AGAINST HUMANITY. NOR DO I HESITATE TO ACCUSE THE GOVERNMENT SECURITY FORCES OF RESPONSIBILITY.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR WALKER SAYS THE VILLAGERS, MOSTLY ELDERLY MEN, WERE SHOT IN THE HEAD AT CLOSE RANGE.

    HE HAS CALLED THE CHIEF PROSECUTOR OF THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE TO COME TO RACAK VILLAGE TO INVESTIGATE THE CRIME. THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT HAS REFUSED THEM VISAS IN THE PAST, BUT MR WALKER SAYS THEY WILL COME -- WITH OR WITHOUT VISAS -- TO CARRY OUT THEIR MISSION. THEY ARE EXPECTED TO TRAVEL TO KOSOVO AS EARLY AS SUNDAY.

    // OPT THE REST FOR LONG CR ///

    THE HEAD OF THE VERIFIERS CALLS THE MASSACRE A VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS AND A VIOLATION OF THE OCTOBER AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT AGREED TO HALT MILITARY ACTION IN KOSOVO AND NEGOTIATE A PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO THE KOSOVO CRISIS. HE (WALKER) HAS DEMANDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAND OVER THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO ORDERED AND CARRIED OUT THE EXECUTION OF THE VILLAGERS SO THEY CAN BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.

    MR. WALKER SHOWED HIS FRUSTRATION AND ANGER WHEN HE TOLD REPORTERS HE HAD HOPED FOR A CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AFTER THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS RELEASED EIGHT SERB SOLDIERS LAST WEEK. IS THIS, HE ASKED, THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE?

    MR. WALKER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE MASSACRE AND INCREASED CLASHES BETWEEN SERB FORCES AND THE REBELS HAS, IN HIS WORDS, CHANGED THE LANDSCAPE OF THE VERIFICATION MISSION. BUT HE SAYS IT WON'T END IT.

    /// WALKER ACT TWO ///

    I THINK IT DEMONSTRATES THE NEED FOR US TO BE HERE. THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED MAYBE NOT OUTSIDE, AWAY FROM THE EYES OF THE WORLD. BUT I THINK THAT THE FACT THAT WE WERE HERE ADDS CONSIDERABLY TO WHAT THE WORLD KNOWS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT SMALL VILLAGE. I THINK IT DEMONSTRATE THE NEED FOR US TO BE HERE AND DO MORE OF THIS.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. WALKER SAYS HE TALKED WITH YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND IS WAITING FOR THEIR RESPONSE. HE ALSO TALKED WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY. HE SAYS THEY ARE ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED, BUT HE HAS URGED RESTRAINT TO TRY TO PREVENT RETALIATION AND MORE BLOODSHED.

    THE MASSACRE OF THE RACAK VILLAGERS IS THE MOST SERIOUS THREAT TO THE FRAGILE CEASEFIRE IMPLEMENTED IN OCTOBER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LK/GE
    16-Jan-99 3:40 PM EST (2040 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] Q &A W/PHILIP SMUCKER BY DAVE WEBER / LONDON (RACAK, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/16/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42382
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDITOR DAVE WEBER IN THE V-O-A LONDON BUREAU INTERVIEWED REPORTER PHILIP SMUCKER IN RACAK, KOSOVO, THE VILLAGE WHERE AT LEAST 35 ETHNIC ALBANIANS WERE KILLED BY SERB FORCES. ///
    WEBER: PHILIP, WHAT IS THE GENERAL SCENE THERE IN THE VILLAGE? SMUCKER: THE SCENE IS OF TRAUMA AND SHOCK. WE'VE SEEN 30 BODIES. MOST OF WHICH HAVE BEEN SHOT IN THE NECK OR THE HEAD. MANY OF THEM IN CIVILIAN CLOTHES, IN FACT NONE OF THEM IN THE CLOTHES OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY (K-L-A) -- THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY -- WHICH HAD BEEN BASED UP HERE IN THE HILLS IN VARIOUS SMALL NUMBERS. THE SERBS CAME IN YESTERDAY.

    ACCORDING TO VILLAGERS, THEY [SERBS] SURROUNDED THE VILLAGE ON THREE-SIDES WITH HEAVY ARMOR. THEY MOVED DOWN INTO THE VILLAGE AND THEY WENT INTO HOMES, ONE-BY-ONE, TAKING THE MEN OUT, LEAVING THE WOMEN GATHERED IN CELLARS. THEY TOOK THE MEN UP THE HILL AT THE END OF THE DAY AND THEY SHOT THEM IN THE HEAD. THE EVIDENCE IS APPALLING. WEBER: WERE THERE ANY WITNESS WHO SURVIVED THAT ATTACK. WHO COULD DESCRIBE IT TO YOU? SMUCKER: THERE WERE WITNESSES WHO WERE IN THE HILLS WATCHING EVERYTHING. AND PEOPLE WERE HIDING BETWEEN HAY STACKS, PEOPLE UP IN THE MOUNTAINS BEHIND THE TREES. THE K-L-A RETREATED, DID NOT STAND ITS FIGHT, APPARENTLY. PEOPLE SAID THEY SAW THE DIVISION OF (I.E. THE DIVIDING UP) MEN AND WOMEN. NOT SO MANY PEOPLE SAW THE EXECUTION POINT-BLANK OF THESE MEN GETTING SHOT IN THE HEAD. ON THE OTHER HAND, THEY KNEW WHEN THEY WERE SEPARATED AND THEY WERE TAKEN UP THE HILL AND THE FIRING APPARENTLY CAME JUST AS THE SUN WAS SETTING LAST NIGHT. WEBER: AND (WHEN) THE SERB SOLDIERS LEFT THE VILLAGE, DID THEY TAKE ANY PRISONERS WITH THEM? SMUCKER: THAT IS NOT CLEAR YET. WE DON'T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE MISSING FROM THE VILLAGE. A LOT OF PEOPLE DID NOT EXPECT TO SEE THESE BODIES. THEY HAD BEEN LEFT THERE IN A RAVINE WITH BULLET HOLES IN THE HEAD. AND THE SERBS HAVE RETREATED, THE SERBS ARE NO WHERE TO BE SEEN AT THE MOMENT. THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (O-S-C-E) HAS VERIFIERS ON THE GROUND VERIFYING WHAT HAS HAPPENED. THEY ARE THERE, THEY'RE OBSERVING. THEY ARE TRYING TO FIND OUT EXACTLY HOW THIS MASSACRE TOOK PLACE.
    NEB/DW/TMD-T/GE
    16-Jan-99 9:43 AM EST (1443 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] Q & A (UPDATE) W/ PHILIP SMUCKER BY DAVID WEBER / LONDON (RACAK, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/16/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42383
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDITORS: THIS IS AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUSLY-ISSUED BACKGROUNDER, #5-42382. THIS SCRIPT INCLUDES ADDITIONAL DETAILS AND NEW INFORMATION. EDITOR DAVID WEBER AT THE V-O-A BUREAU IN LONDON SPOKE WITH REPORTER PHILIP SMUCKER IN RACAK, KOSOVO, SITE OF A MASSACRE WHERE DOZENS OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS WERE KILLED BY SERBS. ///
    Q: PHILIP, I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE AT THE SCENE OF THIS MASSACRE. CAN YOU DESCRIBE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE? A: YES, THIS WAS A VILLAGE THAT WAS APPARENTLY SURROUNDED BY THE SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES. THIS IS YESTERDAY (FRIDAY)... APPARENTLY THERE HAS BEEN A MASSACRE. WE'VE SEEN THE BODIES .. THE BULLET HOLES ARE IN THE NECK AND THE HEAD MAINLY. SOME CIVILIANS WERE KILLED WHILE RUNNING OR HIDING IN THE BUSHES. BUT MOST OF THE 25 WE'VE SEEN ON A HILL HAVE BEEN -- AS THE WOMEN HAVE TOLD US -- THEY WERE ROUNDED UP ORIGINALLY AND THEN THEY WERE SHOT THERE. AND WE CAN SEE HOW THEY HAVE BEEN SHOT. AND IT IS A VERY SYSTEMATIC SLAUGHTER. Q: PHILIP, WHY DID THE SERB POLICE -- IF THEY'RE THE ONES WHO DID THIS -- WHY DID THEY CHOSE THIS PARTICULAR VILLAGE? A: WELL, APPARENTLY IT HAS BEEN A PLACE USED ON A REGULAR BASIS BY THE K-L-A (KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY) AS A BASE. BUT NOT NECESSARILY FOR LAUNCHING OFFENSES. AS YOU KNOW, A LOT OF KOSOVO IS ARMED. THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY HAS FOLLOWERS IN ALL THE VILLAGES -- IT'S A POPULAR UPRISING.

    IT IS STRATEGICALLY (A) VERY IMPORTANT VILLAGE BECAUSE IT SITS RIGHT ABOVE A MAIN HIGHWAY. THERE HAD BEEN A POLICEMAN KILLED AND THE SERBS SAID THEY HAD GONE ON A SEARCH OPERATION IN THE VILLAGE OF RACAK. NOW THIS SEARCH OPERATION EITHER WENT EXTREMELY WRONG, OR IT WAS SIMPLY RETRIBUTION FOR THE KILLING OF ONE POLICEMAN. BUT ONE WONDERED HOW THE KILLING OF 38 CIVILIANS COULD BE RETRIBUTION FOR THE KILLING OF A POLICE MAN BY THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY? THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY WAS STILL SLEEPING AND WHEN THE FIGHTING STARTED, MOST OF THEM SIMPLY RAN AWAY. Q: I UNDERSTAND THAT THE VILLAGE HAD COME UNDER SOME SHELLING BEFORE THIS MASSACRE TOOK PLACE. A: THE VILLAGE WAS SURROUNDED BY HEAVY ARTILLERY IN THE MORNING SIX OR SEVEN A-M. THEY OPENED UP TWO OR THREE HOURS. IT WAS A CLASSIC SURROUND -- PUT THE VILLAGE UNDER SIEGE OPERATION AND THEN GO IN WITH THE INFANTRY ON FOOT. THEY WENT IN AND THEY WENT HOUSE-TO-HOUSE. THEY TOOK THE MEN, DIVIDED THEM FROM THE WOMEN. WOMEN WERE LEFT HUDDLING, CRINGING IN CELLARS. AND THE MEN WERE TAKEN UP A HILL AND THEY WERE SHOT IN THE HEAD OR THE NECK. Q: PHILIP, HAVE THE O-S-C-E OBSERVES REACHED THE SCENE? A: YES. WILLIAM WALKER, WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE O-S-C-E MISSION -- THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO THE O-S-C-E HERE IN KOSOVO, HE HAS BEEN TO THE SCENE. HE'S CALLED IT APPALLING AND SHOCKING AND HE SAID THAT THERE IS GOING TO BE A FULL INVESTIGATION. ALTHOUGH HE IS (NOT IN A) POSITION TO STOP THIS KIND OF THING BECAUSE THE MISSION HERE IS UNARMED. AND WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS FOLLOWING IN THE WAKE OF A MASSACRE AND THE MOST THAT THEY COULD PROBABLY DO IS TO CONDEMN IT. Q: WHAT FOLLOWS NOW, IS THERE (TO BE) SOME SORT OF FORENSIC EXAMINATION? A: HE (AMBASSADOR WALKER) SAID THEY WANTED TO GET FORENSIC EXPERTS IN HERE. THIS HAS BEEN A PROBLEM IN THE PAST. THE SERBS HAVE BEEN ALLOWING (PEOPLE IN) ONLY ON A BASIS THAT THEY WOULD PREFER THE TIME AND THE DAY (TO VISIT). THEY'VE OFTEN SENT THEM TO -- WHAT THEY WOULD CALL MASSACRES OF SERBS--- WHICH ARE NOT AND HAVE NEVER BEEN ON THE SCALE OF THESE MASSACRES OF THE ALBANIANS HERE IN KOSOVO. Q: THIS QUALIFIES AS PROBABLY THE WORST SINGLE INCIDENT IN KOSOVO. DO IT NOT? A: YES. WE SAW AN INCIDENT, VERY SIMILAR TO THIS, THAT WAS ABOUT A THIRD OF THE SIZE LAST FEBRUARY IN A VILLAGE CALLED LIKOSHANE, WHERE THE MEN AND THE WOMEN WERE SEPARATED. THE MEN WERE KILLED ON A WOOD PILE. BUT THEIR BODIES DID NOT COME BACK FOR THREE DAYS FROM THE MORGUE. THEN, WE FOUND BULLET HOLES IN THEIR HEADS. THAT SEEMED TO BE KIND OF THE SAME HANDY-WORK. THIS TIME, THEY'VE LEFT THE BODIES FOR THE WORLD TO SEE AND ONE WONDERS IF THEY JUST DON'T WANT TO SLAP THE O-S-C-E IN THE FACE AND SAY TO THE WORLD THAT WE CAN RUN KOSOVO ANY WAY WE WANT TO RUN IT. AND WE WILL IGNORE ANY CONDEMNATION.
    NEB/DW/TMD-T/GE
    16-Jan-99 12:48 PM EST (1748 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2022 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    voa2html v2.03a run on Monday, 18 January 1999 - 8:06:13 UTC