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Voice of America, 99-09-12

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO / MINES / L-O BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)
  • [02] KOSOVO-MITROVICA (L-O) BY TIM BELAY (MITROVICA)
  • [03] RUSSIA-DAGESTAN (S&L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [04] RUSSIA/CAUCASUS (S&L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

  • [01] KOSOVO / MINES / L-O BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)

    DATE=9/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253735
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Over the past three months, a total of 232 people have been killed or seriously injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance in Kosovo. Tim Belay is in Pristina with this report on international efforts to de-mine the Serbian province in Yugoslavia.

    TEXT: Mine-clearing teams are racing against the first snowfalls of winter, working frantically before the snow covers the ground. Their goal is to clear mines from all the major population centers by the end of next year. Much of the clearing program is undertaken by Kosovars, according to the local Mine Action Coordination Center. Project manager John Flanagan says a top priority is the clearing of unexploded cluster munitions -- groups of small bombs -- which were dropped by NATO planes.

    //FLANAGAN ACT//

    drop sites and it is a matter of identifying the exact spot in which these weapons were dropped. If we leave it too much longer, the winter process will start removing the traces of where the bombs have been dropped.

    //END ACT//

    Mr. Flanagan says snow-cover makes it difficult to locate and mark cluster bomb drop sites. When spring comes to Kosovo, the growth of new vegetation will present a new difficulty. On the positive side, he says the Yugoslav government has proven to be cooperative in the mine clearing project of the NATO-led peacekeeping force known as K- FOR.

    //FLANAGAN ACT//

    They gave us initially 425 mined area records. We sent those back (edit) for re-evaluation because there were a few questions that had to be answered. And it came back with 616 mined area records and with some of the detail that we had asked for had been clarified. So the cooperation that has occurred to date between K- FOR and the Serb Army (Yugoslav) has been very good.

    //END ACT//

    Mr. Flanagan says Serbian soldiers will work in Kosovo under the supervision of the peacekeeping force to help clear mined areas where the province borders on Serbia proper. (signed)
    NEB/TB/DW/JO 11-Sep-1999 09:06 AM EDT (11-Sep-1999 1306 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] KOSOVO-MITROVICA (L-O) BY TIM BELAY (MITROVICA)

    DATE=9/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253770
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United Nations is trying to re-integrate the northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica where the Serbian and Albanian communities refuse to live together. Tim Belay is in Mitrovica and reports the latest attempt to integrate the population resulted in three-days of violent demonstrations.

    TEXT: a bridge ethnically divides Mitrovica, with Serbs living on the northern side of Mitrovica, and Albanians on the south. Before this year's conflict, some Serbs and Albanians lived on both sides of the city, but since the end of NATO bombing, the two groups have separated and have clashed almost daily on the bridge. One young Albanian woman says she is waiting for her chance to return to her family's apartment on the northern side of the city.

    // WOMAN ACT //

    We want to go in our part of the town. It is our part. We have an apartment there.it is my town, my apartment. I will live there. If I do not live (there) now, I will go later. I will not leave my apartment to the Serbian people. Never.

    // END ACT //

    Since Nato-led peacekeeping forces took over Mitrovica there have been almost daily confrontations between Albanians and Serbs. The demonstrations intensified last week when the U-N mission in Kosovo moved some Albanians back to their properties north of the bridge. For three-days there were injuries as the opposing crowds threw bottles and stones at each other. Martin Garrett, local administrator for the U-N mission to Kosovo, says he is determined to persist in the five basic U-N objectives.

    // GARRETT ACT //

    Mitrovica will not be a divided city. That is fundamental. Secondly is freedom of movement, which is so crucial to all the things we are trying to achieve. The third is security for all people in Mitrovica. The fourth is the return of people to their homes, and the fifth is no more expelling of people from their flats, apartments, and homes.

    // END ACT //

    Sunday in Mitrovica was relatively quiet. Mr. Barrett was able to get Serb and Albanian leaders together for three-hours of talks. (SIGNED)
    NEB/TB/DW/RAE 12-Sep-1999 13:29 PM LOC (12-Sep-1999 1729 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] RUSSIA-DAGESTAN (S&L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=9/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253749
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    //re-running with correct number//

    INTRO: A Russian helicopter gunship was downed in Dagestan during continued fighting between Russian forces and Islamic insurgents in the southern Russian region. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports the president of neighboring Chechnya has declared a state of emergency following what he says is the Russian bombardment of Chechen villages.

    TEXT: The Russian military has only confirmed that a helicopter gunship crashed in Dagestan Saturday. But witnesses say the helicopter was shot down by rebel fighters. At least one crewmember was rescued but the fate of two others who were able to parachute to the ground remains unknown. Hundreds of militants aiming to establish an Islamic state have invaded Dagestan from neighboring Chechnya. Russian troops have stepped up their campaign to rout them from several villages under their control. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov says Russian aircraft bombed villages inside Chechnya, killing civilians. He has declared a state of emergency in Chechnya and has ordered a total mobilization of the adult population. He also appealed to Chechens fighting in Dagestan to return home, or risk, as he put it, "bringing misfortune to the entire Chechen republic."

    // Rest For Long //

    Russia's Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, said Saturday there was no reason to declare a state of emergency in Russia despite the continued fighting between insurgents and Russian troops. But Chechen President Maskhadov says talks are necessary between Russian and Chechen officials in order to avoid a larger war in the Caucasus region. The fighting in Dagestan is the heaviest in the region since Russia's civil war with Chechnya ended three years ago. (signed)
    NEB/EC/CBL-T/PT 11-Sep-1999 22:22 PM LOC (12-Sep-1999 0222 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] RUSSIA/CAUCASUS (S&L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=9/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253764
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian military officials say they expect to establish control over two villages, Chabanmakhi and Karamakhi, held by Islamic militants in Dagestan. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports a rebel leader says militants have withdrawn from positions in the western Novolakskoye area, but Russia claims fighting still continues in the region.

    TEXT: Chechen fighter Shamil Basaev, who has led insurgents in Dagestan, told reporters his fighters have completely withdrawn from the Novolakskoye region. He also denied any link between his fighters and two recent explosions in Russia -- one in an apartment block in Dagestan that killed more than 60 people, and another in a Moscow apartment building in which more than 90 died. But the Chechen leader says his forces will continue to fight the Russian army and that his men have simply retreated to previously determined positions. He vowed to continue the fight until, as he put it -- our people are freed from Russian occupation. Russian military officials say despite the rebel leader's statements, heavy fighting continued (Sunday) in the Novolakskoye area.

    /// OPT REST FOR LONG///

    Russian news agencies report the Russian flag has already been raised in the village of Karamakhi and that a clean-up operation to rid the area of insurgents will soon be completed. The insurgents, who crossed into Dagestan from neighboring Chechnya, want to establish an independent Islamic state in Dagestan. The rebels call themselves holy warriors fighting Russian control in the North Caucasus. Rebel leader Shamil Basayev was a prominent field commander during Russia's 1994-1996 civil war with Chechnya that ended in de-facto independence for the breakaway region. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/DW/RAE 12-Sep-1999 10:45 AM LOC (12-Sep-1999 1445 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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