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Voice of America, 99-06-26

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO / LOOTING / L-O BY EVE CONANT (PRISTINA)
  • [02] KOSOVO / U-N POLICE (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)
  • [03] RUSSIA-KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (MOSCOW)
  • [04] TURKEY / CLASHES (S-ONLY) BY SCOTT BOBB (ISTANBUL)
  • [05] TURKEY/PEACE MOTHERS BY SCOTT BOBB (ISTANBUL)

  • [01] KOSOVO / LOOTING / L-O BY EVE CONANT (PRISTINA)

    DATE=6/26/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-251134
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO PEACEKEEPING TROOPS ARE FIGHTING A NEW BATTLE IN KOSOVO. ETHNIC ALBANIANS ARE OPENLY LOOTING AND BURNING SERB BUSINESSES AND HOMES. FROM PRISTINA, CORRESPONDENT EVE CONANT REPORTS NATO'S SUCCESS IN PROTECTING SERBS MAY HELP DETERMINE IF KOSOVO CAN REMAIN A MULTI-ETHNIC STATE.

    TEXT: IN PRISTINA, A NATO PEACEKEEPER FORCES A YOUNG ALBANIAN TO DROP THE SACK OF GOODS HE HAS JUST LOOTED FROM A SERB STORE.

    // LOOTING, IN AND UNDER //

    BUT, THIS IS AN ISOLATED INCIDENT. LOOTING IS SO WIDESPREAD IN KOSOVO, THERE IS LITTLE NATO CAN DO TO STOP IT. NATO OFFICES ARE MOBBED BY SERB CIVILIANS -- MANY WHO RUN IN TO SAY THEIR HOUSES ARE BEING ROBBED, AT THAT VERY MOMENT.

    THE PEACEKEEPING SOLDIERS TELL THEM TO WAIT IN LINE.

    // POLICE STATION ACTUALITY, IN AND UNDER //

    BUT, THIS SERB MAN AND HIS FATHER ARE DESPERATE. ETHNIC ALBANIANS HAVE BROKEN INTO THEIR HOME AND ARE STEALING EVERYTHING THEY OWN.

    // POLICE STATION ARGUMENT //

    // HOUSES BURNING ACTUALITY, IN AND UNDER //

    IN OTHER PARTS OF KOSOVO, THE LOOTING AND DESTRUCTION IS EVEN WORSE. IN PEC, AN ENTIRE SERB NEIGHBORHOOD IS ON FIRE. ALBANIAN EDISON IDRIZAJ WATCHED HIS NEIGHBOR'S HOME GO UP IN FLAMES. HE SAYS SEVERAL OF THESE BURNING HOMES ARE OWNED BY SERBS.

    // IDRIZAJ / LANGUAGE, IN AND UNDER. //

    HE SAYS REFUGEES WHO HAVE JUST COME BACK FROM ALBANIA ARE BURNING THESE HOUSES BECAUSE THEY HAVE JUST SEEN WHAT THE SERBS HAVE DONE TO THEIR HOMES. IT IS REVENGE, HE SAYS.

    THE HOUSES ARE NOT SET ON FIRE UNTIL EVERYTHING OF VALUE IS TAKEN OUT.

    // LOOTERS LOADING, IN AND UNDER //

    THE HEAT FROM THE FIRES CAN BE FELT, AS ONE MAN LOADS A HEAVY WARDROBE ONTO HIS HORSE-DRAWN CART. NEXT TO THE CART IS A SINK, A STOVE AND A LARGE COUCH. HIS FAMILY MEMBERS SIT ON THE COUCH, SMILING AND JOKING WHILE THEY TAKE A BREAK FROM LOOTING.

    ITALIAN SOLDIERS EVENTUALLY COME TO CHECK OUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD. BUT, AFTER FRISKING THE MEN AND YOUNG BOYS FOR WEAPONS, THEY LEAVE. THEY DO NOT CONFISCATE ANY OF THE STOLEN GOODS PILED UP ON THE STREET; NOR DO THEY PUT OUT THE FIRES. (SIGNED).
    NEB / WD-T / WD
    26-Jun-99 6:56 AM EDT (1056 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO / U-N POLICE (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)

    DATE=6/26/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-251138
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE FIRST OF THREE-THOUSAND UNITED NATIONS POLICE OFFICERS ARRIVED IN KOSOVO SATURDAY, AND WHAT THEY FACE IMMEDIATELY IS THE PROBLEM OF DEALING WITH A GROWING CRIME WAVE. TIM BELAY REPORTS FROM PRISTINA.

    TEXT: THE DEPLOYMENT COMES IN A CLIMATE OF WIDESPREAD LAWLESSNESS IN KOSOVO, WHICH INCLUDES LOOTING OF SERB-OWNED STORES BY ETHNIC ALBANIANS AND A HOST OF MORE VIOLENT CRIMES.

    BOTH SIDES OF KOSOVO'S ETHNIC MIX IGNORED NATO PLEAS FOR RESTRAINT FRIDAY. REVENGE ATTACKS PROMPTED MORE SERBS TO FLEE THE PROVINCE, WHILE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REFUGEES RETURNED BY THE THOUSANDS.

    ALSO FRIDAY, THE UNITED NATIONS ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR A CONFERENCE AIMED AT RESOLVING PROBLEMS LINKED TO KOSOVO PACIFICATION, INCLUDING WAYS TO IMPROVE LAW AND ORDER. THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY IS SHOWING ITS DESIRE TO ACT AS THE CIVILIAN POLICE FORCE HERE, AND KEVIN KENNEDY, SPOKESMAN FOR THE UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN KOSOVO, SAYS K-L-A MEMBERS ARE WELCOME TO APPLY.

    /// KENNEDY ACT ///

    THE BOTTOM LINE HERE IS THAT NO INSTITUTION CAN BE ESTABLISHED OR CAN BE TAKEN OVER IN THIS TERRITORY WITHOUT THE AGREEMENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS AT THIS POINT. THE UNITED NATIONS HAS BEEN GIVEN BY THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CIVIL ADMINISTRATION OF KOSOVO. AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THAT IS CIVILIAN POLICING. THERE HAVE BEEN EXTENSIVE CONTACTS WITH THE K-L-A, WITH THE ALBANIAN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP, TO SPELL OUT THAT THE U-N HAS EVERY INTENTION OF GIVING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO MEMBERS OF THE K-L-A TO APPLY, TO SERVE IN A NEW KOSOVO POLICE FORCE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. KENNEDY SAYS THE UNITED NATIONS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE POLICE-FORCE APPLICATIONS FROM K-L-A MEMBERS UNTIL THEY LAY DOWN THEIR WEAPONS -- SOMETHING THE REBEL FORCE HAS AGREED TO DO WITHIN THREE MONTHS. SEVENTY-FIVE OFFICERS ARE EXPECTED IN THIS FIRST CONTINGENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CIVIL POLICE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/TB/ALW/WTW
    26-Jun-99 8:50 AM EDT (1250 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] RUSSIA-KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (MOSCOW)

    DATE=6/26/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-251140
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ADVANCE TEAM OF RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS HAS ARRIVED IN KOSOVO, AS WE HEAR IN THIS REPORT FROM V-O-A'S ANDRE DE NESNERA IN MOSCOW.

    TEXT: THE 39 RUSSIAN SOLDIERS ARRIVED AT THE AIRFIELD IN KOSOVO'S CAPITAL, PRISTINA, JUST HOURS AFTER RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN SIGNED A DECREE AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTURE OF PEACEKEEPERS FOR THE SERB PROVINCE. THE 21 PARATROOPERS AND 18 TECHNICIANS ARE JOINING SOME 200 RUSSIAN SOLDIERS ALREADY IN PRISTINA. THEY ARRIVED IN THE REGION EARLIER THIS MONTH FROM THEIR PEACEKEEPING DUTIES IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, AND THEIR UNEXPECTED PRESENCE SURPRISED MANY NATO LEADERS.

    THE COMMANDER OF RUSSIA'S AIRBORNE FORCES, COLONEL-GENERAL GEORGY SHPAK, TOLD REPORTERS IN MOSCOW THE NEWLY-ARRIVED SOLDIERS WILL HELP REPAIR THE PRISTINA AIRFIELD, DAMAGED DURING NATO'S 78-DAY BOMBING CAMPAIGN AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA.

    MOSCOW WAS STRONGLY OPPOSED TO NATO'S MILITARY ACTION IN KOSOVO, BUT PLAYED AN IMPORTANT DIPLOMATIC ROLE IN GETTING YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO ACCEPT A PEACE PLAN FOR THE SERB PROVINCE.

    THAT PLAN INVOLVED THE INTRODUCTION OF NATO FORCES, AND AFTER AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND MOSCOW EARLIER THIS MONTH, RUSSIA WAS GIVEN SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES.

    UNDER TERMS OF THE ACCORD, 36-HUNDRED RUSSIAN SOLDIERS WILL BE DISPATCHED TO SECTORS IN KOSOVO RUN BY THE UNITED STATES, GERMANY AND FRANCE. IN ADDITION, RUSSIAN SOLDIERS WILL PROVIDE MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS AT THE PRISTINA AIRFIELD.

    IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE RADIO STATION "ECHO MOSCOW," COLONEL-GENERAL SHPAK SAID IT IS IMPERATIVE MOSCOW PLAY A ROLE IN KOSOVO.

    /// SHPAK ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE ///

    "WE CAN NOT SIMPLY HIDE BEHIND OUR BORDERS," SAID THE RUSSIAN SENIOR OFFICER. "WHEREVER THERE ARE RUSSIAN INTERESTS ABROAD, WE MUST BE INVOLVED."

    COLONEL-GENERAL SHPAK SAID RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS COULD STAY IN KOSOVO FOR AS LONG AS FOUR YEARS. BUT HE SAID THEIR EXACT LENGTH OF DUTY WILL DEPEND ON JUDGMENTS MADE BY THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT AND HIS GOVERNMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/ALW/WTW
    26-Jun-99 9:33 AM EDT (1333 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] TURKEY / CLASHES (S-ONLY) BY SCOTT BOBB (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=6/26/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-251142
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AUTHORITIES IN TURKEY SAY 11 KURDISH REBELS AND TWO GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN CLASHES RECENTLY IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT SCOTT BOBB REPORTS FROM ISTANBUL THAT THE VIOLENCE COMES AS TURKEY AWAITS THE VERDICT IN THE TRIAL OF KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN.

    TEXT: AUTHORITIES IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY SAY THE CLASHES OCCURRED FRIDAY AND SATURDAY IN THREE PROVINCES IN THE REGION. THEY SAY TWO TURKISH SOLDIERS DIED IN A CLASH IN HAKKARI, ALONG WITH SIX FIGHTERS OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, OR P-K-K.

    THEY SAID FOUR REBELS WERE KILLED IN DIYABARKIR PROVINCE, WHILE ONE REBEL DIED IN AN INCIDENT IN SIRNAK PROVINCE.

    THERE HAS BEEN A RISE IN FIGHTING BETWEEN KURDISH GUERRILLAS AND GOVERNMENT FORCES SINCE THE TRIAL BEGAN FOUR WEEKS AGO OF GUERRILLA LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN. MR. OCALAN FACES THE DEATH PENALTY, BUT HE HAS ASKED THE COURT TO SPARE HIS LIFE SO HE CAN WORK FOR PEACE.

    THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT HAS REFUSED TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE REBELS, WHOM IT CONSIDERS TO BE TERRORISTS. REBEL LEADERS HAVE THREATENED A BLOODBATH IF MR. OCALAN IS EXECUTED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/FSB/ALW/WTW
    26-Jun-99 11:05 AM EDT (1505 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] TURKEY/PEACE MOTHERS BY SCOTT BOBB (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=6/26/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-43740
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS MAY BE USED THROUGH MONDAY; A VERDICT IN THE OCALAN TRIAL IS EXPECTED TUESDAY ///

    INTRO: THE CURRENT TRIAL OF KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN, AND YEARS OF VIOLENT CLASHES BETWEEN KURDISH REBELS AND GOVERNMENT FORCES, HAVE POLARIZED TURKISH SOCIETY. MANY KURDS, WHETHER OR NOT THEY SUPPORT MR. OCALAN'S FIGHT, FEEL DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. MANY TURKS ARE ANGRY OVER THE THOUSANDS OF DEATHS CAUSED BY THE FIGHTING -- IN PARTICULAR, THE DEATHS OF SOLDIERS AND POLICE. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT SCOTT BOBB HAS BEEN COVERING THE OCALAN TRIAL AND HAS THIS REPORT FROM ISTANBUL ON A GROUP OF FAMILIES, VICTIMS OF THE VIOLENCE THAT HAS WRACKED TURKEY, WHO ARE TRYING TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE.

    TEXT: SCORES OF ELDERLY LADIES GATHERED SATURDAY MORNING IN A MEETING ROOM IN AN AGING BUILDING IN CENTRAL ISTANBUL. SOME BROUGHT THEIR FAMILIES -- HUSBANDS, DAUGHTERS AND GRANDCHILDREN. HOWEVER, THERE WERE ONLY A FEW YOUNG MEN IN THE HALL. THE REASON IS, MOST OF THE YOUNG MEN IN THESE WOMEN'S LIVES ARE DEAD -- VICTIMS OF THE 15-YEAR CONFLICT BETWEEN KURDISH GUERRILLAS AND GOVERNMENT SECURITY FORCES.

    NEVERTHELESS, THE FACES OF THE MEN ARE PRESENT, FRAMED IN PHOTOGRAPHS, WHICH THE WOMEN HOLD IN THEIR LAPS, LIKE CHILDREN. THEY ARE "THE MOTHERS OF PEACE" -- THE RELATIVES OF VICTIMS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE CONFLICT. THEY SAY, ALTHOUGH THEY CAN NOT FORGET, THEY WANT TO FORGIVE, AND BRING AN END TO THE VIOLENCE.

    FERHA IS FROM A KURDISH VILLAGE IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY. THREE OF HER RELATIVES WERE GUERRILLAS WHO, ACCORDING TO THEIR COMRADES, WERE KILLED IN BATTLE. HOWEVER, HER FAMILY HAS NEVER RECEIVED THE BODIES. SHE SAYS THEY ARE PROBABLY BURIED IN A MASS GRAVE SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY. HER HUSBAND IS IN PRISON ON CHARGES OF BEING A REBEL SYMPATHIZER.

    /// FERHA ACT IN KURDISH, IN AND UNDER ///

    SPEAKING IN KURDISH THROUGH A TRANSLATOR, MRS. FERHA COMPLAINS THAT LOCAL NEWS MEDIA ARE PROVIDING A GREAT DEAL OF COVERAGE OF ANOTHER GROUP, THE MOTHERS OF SOLDIERS KILLED IN THE VIOLENCE. THEY ARE CALLED "THE FRIDAY MOTHERS." SOME OF THEIR FAMILIES ARE ATTENDING THE TRIAL OF REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. HOWEVER, MRS. FERHA SAYS THERE IS ANOTHER SIDE TO THE STORY. KURDISH MOTHERS HAVE ALSO LOST THEIR SONS AND HUSBANDS. KURDISH VILLAGES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED IN THE GOVERNMENT OFFENSIVE AGAINST THE GUERRILLAS. AND KURDISH FAMILIES HAVE BEEN FORCED TO MOVE INTO CITIES, STRIPPED OF THEIR HOMES AND THEIR LIVELIHOODS. SHE SAYS SHE IS AT THE MEETING BECAUSE SHE WANTS PEACE.

    ANOTHER MOTHER CRIES AS SHE SPEAKS TO THE AUDIENCE. SHE HOLDS A PHOTOGRAPH OF HER SON, A BOYISH ARMY RECRUIT. SHE SAYS SHE HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD HOW HE DIED. SHE WANTS TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED.

    A YOUNG MAN ADDRESSES THE GATHERING, HOLDING A PICTURE OF HIS BROTHER, A SOLDIER. HE DIED SIX MONTHS AGO.

    ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE GROUP IS TOMRIS OZDEN, THE WIFE OF AN ARMY COLONEL WHO WAS KILLED SEVERAL YEARS AGO UNDER MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES. MRS. OZDEN SAYS HER HUSBAND HAD BEGUN TO QUESTION THE WAR, WHEN HE DIED.

    /// OZDEN ACT IN TURKISH, IN AND UNDER ///

    MRS. OZDEN SAYS SHE IS HERE BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO BE WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED FROM WAR. SHE ALSO ATTENDS GATHERINGS OF "THE FRIDAY MOTHERS." SHE SAYS ONE DAY THOSE WHO HAVE PROVOKED THE CONFLICT WILL HAVE TO PAY THE BILL.

    THE MEETING GOES ON FOR HOURS. PEOPLE COME AND GO, BUT THE HALL REMAINS FULL. THE GATHERING IS IN PART A TESTIMONIAL, AND IN PART A SUPPORT GROUP. IT FINALLY BREAKS UP IN THE LATE AFTERNOON. BY THAT TIME, DOZENS OF PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT THEIR PARTICULAR LOSS, AND ABOUT THEIR HOPE FOR PEACE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/FSB/ALW/WTW
    26-Jun-99 12:34 PM EDT (1634 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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