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Voice of America, 99-07-26

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: UNICEF -- the United Nations Children's Fund - finds many schools in Kosovo were either destroyed or seriouslv damaged during the fighting in the province. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports results from a preliminary survey of nearly 400 schools carried out in 16 of Kosovo's 29 municipalities show widespread destruction.

    TEXT: The results of this preliminary survey are grim. It shows more than 40 percent of the schools surveyed have been completely destroyed or severely damaged. More than 100 have been burned and 17 others have been shelled. The UNICEF survey finds many schools were mined and nearly 170 schools have not yet been cleared of mines.

    UNICEF'S Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, says the dangers posed by landmines can not be underestimated. She notes that the first mine accidents in Kosovo occurred when two K-FOR peacekeeping soldiers were hurt while inspecting a school. Despite the scale of the destruction, Ms. Bellamy says UNICEF is committed to having all primary school children back in school fulltime by September.

    ///Bellamy Act///

    We're in the process of ordering and delivering significant supplies not rebuilding every school. Although we'll help with glass (i.e. windows.) But, we're trying to create the basic minimum (with) notebooks, blackboards(and)pencils. That's what we're doing right now.

    ///End Act///

    The survey shows widespread looting and destruction of school furniture. It notes only eight schools have inside toilets that are functioning properly, and more than half of the schools surveyed have no sewerage systems. Winters are bitterly cold in the Balkans. And UNICEF says it is ordering thousands of wood- burning stoves to heat the schools. The Agency is currently assessing the condition of the remaining schools in the province. There are around one- thousand primary schools in Kosovo for children between the ages of seven and 14. A final report is expected within the next few weeks. UNICEF says schools will be rehabilitated whenever possible. However, in cases where schools have been completely destroyed, the agency says pragmatic solutions will have to be found. For instance, it says alternative buildings will have to be found. And in some cases, schools may even have to be set up in private homes. (Signed)
    NEB/LS/GE/KL 26-Jul-1999 08:06 AM LOC (26-Jul-1999 1206 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The International Red Cross says the return to Kosovo by hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians has not eased the plight of many thousands of others in the Balkans who urgently need assistance. The Red Cross is appealing for an extra 77-million dollars to aid more than one-million people in the Balkans. The money will supplement nearly 120-million dollars the Red Cross has already received from an earlier appeal, as Lisa Schlein reports from Geneva.

    TEXT: The Red Cross says people in Kosovo are not the only ones in need of assistance and protection. It says the international focus of humanitarian attention also has to include the hundreds of thousands of people who face a difficult and uncertain future in Albania, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. Martin Faller is the Red Cross deputy director for Europe. He says the Red Cross has made a commitment to the governments of Albania and Macedonia to continue working there and not turn their attention exclusively to Kosovo, as some other agencies have. He says in Albania and Macedonia, the Red Cross will help the thousands of Kosovar refugees who have stayed behind.

    ///FALLER ACT ///

    .These are very often the most vulnerable,the elderly. These are orphans. These are sick who stay behind in Albania and Macedonia. Most of them are in host families. So we will continue to support them. And, in Albania and Macedonia, we will also support the local population The most vulnerable from the local population.

    /// end act ///


    Mr. Faller says the Red Crosswill also assist tens of thousands of vulnerable people in Serbia and Montenegro. He says the most immediate concerns are to provide people there with relief items such as warm clothing and heating materials to help them get through the hard winter. //end opt// Pierre Kraehenbuehl heads the Balkans operation for the International Committee of the Red Cross. He says a major thrust of the operation is on protection, including visiting prisoners. He says the Red Cross has visited 18-hundred ethnic Albanians detained in seven Serbian prisons. During these visits, he says, Red Cross delegates also came across several hundred other prisoners who have been held by the Yuqoslav authorities since the end of last year.


    What is a good sign is that we are seeing these people. We are also seeing those people who were not notified to us and that are present in these prisons. So, there has been no attempt to hide those.

    //END ACT//

    Mr. Kraehenbuehl says the Red Cross is still trying to learn the fate of some 140 Serbs who were reported missing last year in Kosovo. He says the Red Cross is trying to find out if they are being held by the K-L-A the Kosovo Liberation Army. He says recently an additional few dozen cases of missing persons were reported by Serb relatives. The agency is following up those reports as well with top K-L-A officials. (Signed) NEB/LS/PCF/rrm 26-Jul-1999 11:51 AM LOC (26-Jul-1999 1551 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Ethnic Serbs living in the area where 14 Kosovar Serbs were killed Friday are asking the U-N refugee agency to relocate them. Tim Belay has this report from Pristina.

    TEXT: The region -- 10 kilometers south of the capital -- was a strong Serb enclave before the conflict. Since NATO moved in six weeks ago, more than one-half of the area's Serb population has left. International estimates indicate a total of at least 70-thousand ethnic Serbs have left Kosovo in recent weeks. Now the United Nations refugee agency is looking at ways to find new homes for several people who live near the village of Gracko - where the murders of the 14 farmers took place - and who say they feel unsafe in light of the incident that took place on Friday. The U-N refugee agency's Maki Shinohara says some of the people seeking help are actually refugees from the war in Bosnia. She says several would rather go back there than stay in Kosovo.

    /// Act Shinohara ///

    Six of them, we relocated yesterday. For security concerns, I cannot reveal where exactly they are. For the rest, again, we will look at them individually, and some of these people actually wish to go home to the Krajina region or Bosnia.

    /// End Act ///

    Meanwhile, residents of Gracko say they plan a town meeting Tuesday to decide whether to stay put or ask the U-N to relocate them.

    /// OPT ///

    For Gracko resident, Mr.Madolovic, there is little doubt about whether more people will leave the region where the murders took place.

    /// OPT Madolovic Act in Serbian ///

    His one word answer repeated three times in Serbian is, "for sure," that people will go. /// End Opt /// Funeral services for victims of Friday's mass murder were scheduled for Monday but did not take place because the bodies of some of the victims are still being held at a morgue in Pristina. Family members continue the private vigil and debated whether or not to stay in Kosovo. NATO has sharply intensified security in and around Gracko. Canadian troops have set up several roadside checkpoints and are searching vehicles thoroughly for weapons. British military investigators continue looking for clues as to whom might have killed the 14 Kosovar Serbs. (Signed)
    NEB/TB/GE/KL 26-Jul-1999 13:00 PM LOC (26-Jul-1999 1700 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: U-S Defense Secretary William Cohen says the most recent bloodshed in Kosovo underlines the need to speed deployment of peacekeepers and police there. Fourteen ethnic-Serb villagers were shot to death Friday -- exactly the sort of violence NATO'S heavily- armed peacekeepers - the troops of "K-FOR" -- are supposed to prevent. Officials in Kosovo say they are not sure who did the killing. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports (from Tokyo, the first stop on a five-nation trip by Mr. Cohen).

    TEXT: NATO officials say there are a handful of U-N sponsored police and about 35-thousand troops deployed in Kosovo as part of the K-FOR peacekeeping force. Eventually, there are supposed to be several thousand civilian police and about 50-thousand troops to stop violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Arsons and shootings are fairly common in Kosovo. Frustrated K-FOR commanders say, at the moment, they do not have enough troops to stop all the violence. Ethnic Serbs in Kosovo blame many of the killings on ethnic Albanians seeking revenge for earlier attacks by Serb troops and police on ethnic Albanians. U-S Defense Secretary William Cohen is urging nations that have pledged troops to K-FOR to get them into the field.

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    I think it is important that we try to accelerate the full compliment of forces into Kosovo. I've said this for some time now. We need to get the full compliment in. Anything we can do to accelerate more people in, also to get more police in as well as the military peacekeepers.

    /// END ACT ///

    Meantime Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic says K-FOR has failed to protect Serb civilians in Kosovo, so Serb troops and police should be allowed to return to Kosovo to restore order. Mr. Cohen rejects that idea. Attacks by Serb troops and police on Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority are what prompted NATO's recent bombing campaign against Serb targets across Yugoslavia -- particularly in the province of Kosovo. U-N officials say they are investigating the massacre in central Kosovo, and vow to bring the killers to justice. Mr. Cohen spoke during a flight to Tokyo, at the start of a five-nation trip to consult with defense ministers in Asia and Europe. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/JO/WTW 26-Jul-1999 08:11 AM LOC (26-Jul-1999 1211 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The first Congressional delegation to visit Kosovo since the end of the conflict is now back in Washington. V-O-A's Paula Wolfson reports the delegation was led by a senior House Republican who has been a sharp critic of President Clinton's policy in the Balkans.

    TEXT: Congresswoman Tillie Fowler refuses to talk about her staunch opposition to the Kosovo conflict. In the early weeks of the Nato operation, she called on the President to end the bombing and bring U-S forces home. These days, she says it is a waste of time to look back. The Florida Republican says the focus should be on support for the troops now serving as peacekeepers in the bloodstained Serbian province. At the request of Speaker Dennis Hastert,she went to the region to get a first hand look at the damage and the task ahead. Seven other members of the House joined her in a delegation that was evenly split along party lines.

    ///first Fowler act///

    What we witnessed in Kosovo was both sad and uplifting.

    ///end act///

    Mrs. Fowler said they saw great devastation. But they also saw the determination of the people of Kosovo to rebuild.

    ///second Fowler act///

    They have wasted no time in returning to their villages and their homes to begin their process of renewal.

    ///end act///

    The American lawmakers met with NATO officers leading the operation in Kosovo,as well as leaders of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army. Congresswoman Fowler said they all condemned the murders of 14 Serbian farmers (in Kosovo)- - an incident that occurred one day before the delegation arrived in Pristina. (signed)
    NEB/PW/PT 26-Jul-1999 17:40 PM LOC (26-Jul-1999 2140 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The United States is offering 500 million dollars to help with humanitarian needs in Kosovo. Some 50 donor countries are meeting Wednesday in Brussels to consider how much money can be raised for the Yugoslav province. VOA's Gil Butler has more from the State Department.

    TEXT: The money the United States is offering would go for immediate humanitarian needs such as shelter, food, water, and basic infrastructure as well as for land mine clearing, and training of local police. Reconstruction of Kosovo is a special concern of the European Union, though, American officials say, they will be prepared to help. One special area the United States is involved in is training of a civilian police force under the sponsorship of the O-S-C-E, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Within two years 3000 person force is expected to be trained. After training the local force will be under the control of the United Nations until a civil authority is elected in Kosovo. James Dobbins, special advisor to President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright on Kosovo issues, said the police force is expected to reflect the ethnic makeup of the province, but he could not predict how many Serbs will actually join.

    /// Dobbins act ///

    I think you will get a representative sampling of the population, so it depends on how many Serbs ultimately stay, and I just don't know. They were something like 15 per cent of the population at the end of the conflict and it's said that as many as half of them have left, but we are anxious that they feel secure and are able to come back.

    /// End Act ///

    Former fighters with the Kosovo Liberation Army may apply, but their applications are to be given no special consideration. The police training academy is expected to begin operations next month. Another special area of need in Kosovo is for clearing of mines and getting rid of unexploded shells and bombs. U-S officials say the number of mines may be less than expected, but there are estimated to be 11 thousand unexploded munitions-mainly cluster bomblets. So far there have been 100 reported incidents involving munitions resulting in at least 20 fatalities. Thirty per cent of the incidents involve young children.

    /// optional ///

    Last Friday, 14 ethnic Serbian farmers were murdered in Kosovo. Ambassador Dobbins was asked if the incident shows Kosovar Albanians are unwilling to live with ethnic Serbs.

    /// Dobbins Act ///

    Massacres of the type that occurred this weekend were occurring every day, indeed every hour, somewhere in Kosovo for months. It is deeply regrettable that this one occurred. K-FOR, the U-N, the United States are all going to do everything to ensure that nothing like this is repeated, but I don't think it necessarily reflects the attitude or intentions of the vast bulk of the population.

    /// End Act /// end optional ///

    While the international community goes ahead with humanitarian assistance and reconstruction in Kosovo, the refugee return continues. The most recent is a planeload of refugees who left the United States to return as part of a program to pay for the voluntary return of all Kosovar refugees who took shelter in America during the conflict. Another plane filled with refugees from the United States and Canada is to leave on Tuesday with more expected in the coming days and weeks.(signed) Neb/mgb/PT 26-Jul-1999 16:06 PM LOC (26-Jul-1999 2006 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The United States this week is expected to pledge up to 500 million dollars in humanitarian aid for Kosovo at an international donors conference in Brussels. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the White House.

    TEXT: U.S. National Security Advisor Sandy Berger says the U.S. assistance will be announced at the donors conference Wednesday, on condition that other countries - particularly European Union members - also contribute.


    I am pleased to announce today that at the conference the United States - through the Agency for International Development - will be prepared to commit up to 500 million dollars in additional humanitarian aid for Kosovo, subject to a clear assessment of needs and confirmation that other donors will also do their part.

    // END OPT ACT //

    But, in his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington Monday, Mr. Berger reiterated the administration position that there will be no U.S. reconstruction aid to Serbia as long as Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic - who has been indicted on war crimes - remains in power. Mr. Berger's speech came more than a month after Nato concluded its bombing campaign over Yugoslavia. Although he says the United States and its allies could not have prevented Mr. Milosevic's campaign of ethnic cleansing, he says had the alliance not acted - in his words- an entire people would have been erased. The National Security Advisor also condemned revenge killings in Kosovo - including the murder of 14 Serb civilians in the village of Gracko last week. `It is profoundly wrong and unacceptable', he said. "America did not fight in Kosovo for one ethnic group over another,' he added. Noting that most Serbs have left Kosovo, Mr. Berger said the United States and its allies would work to create an environment where those Serbs who want to return can do so in safety. President Clinton will attend a summit of European leaders Friday in Sarajevo to discuss ways to promote democracy, security and economic reform in the Balkans. (signed)
    NEB/DAT/PT 26-Jul-1999 17:11 PM LOC (26-Jul-1999 2111 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were down today (Monday) in a combination of profit-taking and interest rate concerns. VOA Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10 thousand 863,down 47 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index closed at 13 hundred 47, down nine points. The NASDAQ Index lost almost three percent. Analysts say stock traders continued to worry about high valuations, especially among many stocks in the internet sector. There was also some anxiety about what U-S Central Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan will say during another appearance before Congress on Wednesday. Last week Mr. Greenspan said the Central Bank will move quickly and forcefully to head-off inflationary pressures. That could mean a further hike in short-term interest rates.

    ///begin opt///

    Joe Cangemi of the Maglio Investment Company says there seems to be a lot of profit-taking in the technology sector.

    ///opt///Cangemi act///

    The technology stocks have led us strongly on the upside. Now, the earnings are coming out. We are into the last big week of earnings (reports) and traders are just selling the market off. They are taking their profits now and retrenching and getting ready for the next quarter.

    ///end act///end opt///

    Sales of existing homes in the United States soared to a record annual high in June. Many Americans were apparently trying to beat rising mortgage interest rates.

    ///rest opt for long ///

    Texas Instruments, the world's largest maker of semiconductors for cellular telephones, will acquire the Unitrode corporation for one point two billion dollars in stock. The deal will give Texas Instruments access to Unitrode's power management technologies. The stock of the Revlon cosmetics company lost about 20 percent of its value after a report that Coty (Kho- tee), another cosmetics firm, is reconsidering a three billion dollar offer for Revlon. Neither company had any comment on the report. The European Commission has approved the 10 billion dollar takeover of the Asda Group, a British supermarket chain by the Wal-Mart Stores of the United States. The Commission says the deal will not create an anti-competitive situation in the British supermarket and retailing industries. The European Commission also approved a planned global alliance between the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company of the United States and Sumitomo Rubber Industries of Japan. That deal was previously approved by authorities in Japan and the United States. There were disappointing earnings reports from chemical giant Union Carbide and Texaco, the third- largest oil company in the United States. Union Carbide says its profits fell 53 percent in the second quarter because of rising materials costs and a slump in its plastics business. Texaco says earnings fell 15 percent as a result of falling margins in its refining operations.(signed) NEB/n-y/ba/lsf/pt 26-Jul-1999 16:57 PM LOC (26-Jul-1999 2057 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Withheld funding for new U-S fighter-bombers; a possible vote for an independent East Timor; redefining the role of the United States in the Mideast peace process; and the death of King Hassan II of Morocco are all popular topics in today's U-S newspaper editorials. Now here is _________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: U-S House (of Representatives) members have eliminated funding for the new F-22 stealth fighter- bomber in the federal budget for next year. This came as a surprise to Air Force officials, who had hoped to receive one-point-eight-billion dollars to build the first six `next-generation' fighter-bombers. Maine's "Portland Press Herald" says the F-22 could be valuable, but that legislators need to make a more substantial argument for maintaining the U-S edge in air forces -- especially since the U-S military envisions a new air fleet for the 21st century that would cost 350-billion dollars.

    VOICE: The U-S success in Kosovo underscores the value of air superiority in a conflict. Indeed, the war showed that the United States enjoys a decisive strategic edge in this area. It would be worthwhile to maintain this advantage. . Still, Defense Secretary Bill Cohen and the rest of the military establishment have to make a persuasive case if they're to convince Congress. The nation would likely benefit from the F- 22, but 350-billion dollars for aircraft upgrades is a hard sell.

    TEXT: In Boston, Massachusetts, The Christian Science Monitor is calling the halt to such funding necessary, commenting that the nation needs to take a much closer look into expensive programs like the F-22.

    VOICE: This is a critical time for rethinking America's security needs and responsibilities. .Is an advanced fighter like the F-22 likely to prove crucial in future conflicts? Not likely, since there are no foreign militaries likely to challenge the current U-S fighter force in the decades ahead. .At a time of heightened debate over the allocation of federal dollars, any waste, excess, or misuse of funds at the Pentagon must be on the table. .Good for the House lawmakers who made sure of that by clipping the F-22's financial wings.

    TEXT: Overseas, it is becoming clear to outside observers that despite violent intimidation, East Timor will vote for possible independence from Jakarta in late August. The Los Angeles Times in California is commenting that as an independent country, East Timor would need all the outside help it could get.

    VOICE: In recent months alone, some five-thousand people have been slain by the anti-independence militias. Aside form coffee and some prospects for revenue from oil and gas in the Timor Sea, the province has no economy to speak of and no experience in governance. It will be starting from scratch.. .East Timor has paid with more that 200-thousand lives to get this far in its struggle for independence. For its bravery, it has earned worldwide respect and sympathy. It will soon need more concrete help.

    TEXT: Also, in America's Northwest, The Oregonian says that as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak embarks on a new push to improve Middle East relations, the role of the United States must be modified.

    VOICE: Though the United States has a large and legitimate interest in peace in the Middle East in the end, the countries themselves must decide on how to make peace, and how to make it work. .It may be possible now for the United States to step to the sidelines in the face of Barak's demonstrated determination to make progress. .Barak is on the right course. And it's time for the United States to give him and his Arab neighbors some breathing room to see where it leads.

    TEXT: And finally, in the District of Columbia, The Washington Post pays homage to the late King Hassan the Second of Morocco.

    VOICE: A longtime behind-the-scenes peace broker, he (King Hassan II) facilitated Arab-Isreaeli contacts at a time when the role was crucial to drawing other, more powerful Arab states into the diplomatic game. Crucial and not without risk: King Hassan tempted high personal danger for conducting peace policy. His was an important contribution to regional stability, and not least, his ticket to the favor of Europe and the United States.

    TEXT: This concludes our sampling of comment from Monday's U-S editorials.
    NEB/ENE/RRM 26-Jul-1999 13:57 PM LOC (26-Jul-1999 1757 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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