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Kosova Daily Report #1381, 98-03-24

Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Kosova Information Center <http://www.kosova.com/>

Kosova Information Center
KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1381
Prishtina, 24 March 1998

First Edition: 13:10 hrs
Second Edition: 15:15 hrs
Third Edition: 18:15 hrs

CONTENTS

  • [01] Serb Forces Launch Attack on Glloxhan Village of De^an, Local Sources Say
  • [02] Rugova Says New Parliament Will Elect "Effective Government in Kosova"
  • [03] Onslaught on Gllogjan Continues, Serb Reinforcements Sent In
  • [04] LDK Presidency Condemns Serb Onslaught on De^an Villages
  • [05] Imprisonment of US Citizens By Serb Regime 'Falls in the Pattern of Harassment' of NGOs, State Department Says
  • [06] Berisha Calls for Deployment of Nato Troops near Kosova Border
  • [07] Serb Court Sentences Secondary School Student to 40 Days in Prison
  • [08] Serb Attack in De^an Villages Continues, Death-Toll Unknown

  • [01] Serb Forces Launch Attack on Glloxhan Village of De^an, Local Sources Say

    PRISHTINA, March (KIC) - Around 10:30 in the morning today, heavily-armed Serbian forces have left Peja ('Pec'), De^an, and Gjakova for Glloxhan, Gramaqel and Dubrav& villages of De^an municipality, in western Kosova, local sources said.

    The villages were sealed off, and later the sound of heavy Serb weapons and artillery was heard.

    Several houses at Glloxhan village were reported set on fire. The population is abandoning homes and fleeing to other villages in the De^an municipality.

    The Information Commission of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) branch in De^an said the sound of shooting continued to be heard.

    The LDK branch sources in the neighboring Gjakova municipality said at 12:30 hrs the sound of shooting could be heard coming from Glloxhan. An eye- witness from C&rmjan village, who managed to get out of Glloxhan, told the LDK Information Commission in Gjakova the village was being attacked by Serb forces with different kinds of arms, adding that the local population was fleeing the village.

    LDK sources in Gjakova said four Serb armored vehicles had left Gjakova for Glloxhan around 11:00 hrs today.

    Local sources told KIC by phone at 13:00 hrs the Serb attack on Glloxhan village was continuing. A Serb gunship helicopter was reported flying the area.

    [02] Rugova Says New Parliament Will Elect "Effective Government in Kosova"

    PRISHTINA, March 24 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova assessed as 'very successful' the just concluded parliamentary and presidential elections in Kosova.

    Sunday's election amounted to a fresh referendum on independence and the peaceful policies in pursuit of the aspirations of the people of Kosova, Dr. Rugova said in a press conference in the morning today.

    The situation in Drenica continues to be grave, the President said, adding that Serb forces are holding several villages under siege.

    The Contact Group, which is going to meet tomorrow in Bonn, should pressure Belgrade into complying with demands it had put forward in the March 9 meeting in London, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova said, implying that the Belgrade regime has failed to do so.

    The President told reporters that the Dominion of Melchizedek, a Pacific island nation, has recognized the Republic of Kosova. "We will soon exchange ambassadors with this nation", Rugova said.

    Asked by reporters about the signing on Monday of agreed measures for the implementation of the 19-month-old Education Agreement, President Ibrahim Rugova said increasing pressure is needed for Belgrade to comply with the terms, namely allow Albanian students return to school and University premises.

    Given the experience heretofore, Belgrade may again try not to implement the Education, Dr. Rugova said. "Let us hope that this time the phased return of Albanians to their premises be realized". he added.

    The newly elected legislature of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosova will meet and elect an "effective government in Kosova", the President said.

    At the end of his press conference, President Ibrahim Rugova announced the names of the advisory council which should engage in establishing the platform for negotiations with President Slobodan Milosevic's representatives.

    The 15-member Advisory Council is composed of Fehmi Agani, Mahmut Bakalli, Bujar Bukoshi, Adem Dema^i, Hydajet Hyseni, Rexhep Ismajli, Bajram Kelmendi, Mark Krasniqi, Shk&lzen Maliqi, Pajazit Nushi, Blerim Shala, Esat Stavileci, Veton Surroi, Edita Tahiri and a representative of the Student Organization (UPS).

    Three of them (Dr. Fehmi Agani, Dr. Mark Krasniqi and Ms. Edita Tahiri) were elected members of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosova in Sunday's election. Bujar Bukoshi is the Prime Minister of Kosova. Adem Dema^i is leader of the Parliamentary Party of Kosova (PPK). The rest are former politicians, professors, human rights activists, and journalists.

    [03] Onslaught on Gllogjan Continues, Serb Reinforcements Sent In

    PRISHTINA, March 24 (KIC) - An attack of Serb forces on villages in the municipality of De^an, in western Kosova, which started earlier today, is still going on, local sources said early in the afternoon.

    The Gllogjan village is at the center of this Serb operation.

    The Information Commission of the democratic League of Kosova (LDK) branch in Gjakova reported of fresh Serb reinforcements being sent in the village.

    At 13:15 hrs, two armored cars, 7 APCs, four cars of the Niva made, headed for Gllogjan. Earlier in the day, armored vehicles had left the "Suka e Buteshit" location for Gllogjan, the LDK sources said.

    The situation is alarming. The local population is rushing out of the Gllogjan and other villages adjacent to it. Unconfirmed reports said pupils of the local elementary school have not been able to leave the building.

    The Serb forces which launched the attack are said to have been backed up by a helicopter.

    The helicopter was flying the Palabardh&, Zhdrell&, Novosell& e Ep&rme, Novosell& e Ul&t and other neighboring villages, which are situated in the Gjakova municipality, neighboring on De^an.

    Heavily-armed Serbian forces launched attacks on the Drenica villages earlier this month, killing more than 80 Albanians, men, women and children.

    Meanwhile, the Serb state-run radio said this aftrenoon two Serb policemen were shot and seriously wounded in De^an today during anlleged terrorist action.

    [04] LDK Presidency Condemns Serb Onslaught on De^an Villages

    PRISHTINA, March 24 (KIC) - The Presidency of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) met today in Prishtina to discuss the current situation in Kosova.

    Chaired by Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, the LDK leader and President of Kosova, the party leadership condemned the continued Serbian crackdown on the people of Kosova.

    The LDK said several villages in the Drenica region continue to be sealed off. It condemned the newest wave of Serb campaign of terror against the Albanian people, which was launched in the De^an municipality.

    Gllogjan and several other villages have been reported attacked by heavy Serb forces earlier today.

    The onslaught on these villages is a "continuation of the Serbian campaign of attacks and terror against the unprotected people of Kosova. It comes in the wake of massacres in Prekaz and other villages of the Drenica region" earlier this month, the Presidency of the LDK said in a statement issued today (Tuesday) afternoon.

    The Serbian regime aims at ethnically cleansing Kosova, the party said.

    The LDK called on the six-nation Contact Group, which is meeting Wednesday in Bonn, to pressure Belgrade into complying with the demands of the Group put forward in the March 9th meeting in London, first and most important, the withdrawal of Serb special police units.

    The LDK Presidency discussed the issue of how to send humanitarian relief supplies into the worst hit area in Drenica.

    The Serb police/military siege of the area endangers the existence of the local people, who have found themselves sealed off from the outside world, the LDK said. It said local Albanian structures should do all they can to ensure that humanitarian relief reaches the affected area.

    [05] Imprisonment of US Citizens By Serb Regime 'Falls in the Pattern of Harassment' of NGOs, State Department Says

    PRISHTINA, March (KIC) - "We are very pleased that six Americans [imprisoned by Serb regime in Prishtina last Saturday] were released, though our strong view is that they should have never been arrested on such ridiculous charges", the U.S. State Department spokesman James Foley told reporters on Monday.

    The Serbian police arrested last Saturday in Prishtina six American citizens - David Hartsough, Executive Director of a U.S. organization "Peace Workers", as well as activists Daniel Perez, Teresa Crawford, Bruce Warren, Albarto Cavalos and Peter Lipman, a journalist - and sentenced them summarily to 10 days of imprisonment each.

    The six US peace and humanitarian activists were arrested for having failed to register with the Serbian regime authorities in Kosova. They were released on Monday on condition they left the country immediately.

    James Foley said there were no indications that the Americans were mistreated in any way, but "we regard this as falling into a pattern of harassment of non-governmental organizations and international individuals who are at present or seeking to go to Kosovo in order to help reduce the tensions".

    The State Dept Spokesman recalled that the Contact Group foreign minister at the 9 March London meeting on Kosova called on the Belgrade authorities to allow free access to Kosova for the whole range of NGO's, humanitarian organizations and journalists.

    He noted that a US Congressional delegation was denied entry into Kosova last week. "The denial was ill-advised and served as another glaring example of Mr. Milosevic's non-compliance with the March 9 Contact Group demands on Kosovo", he said.

    [06] Berisha Calls for Deployment of Nato Troops near Kosova Border

    PRISHTINA, March 24 (KIC) - Former Albania's President and leader of the major opposition party in the country, the Democratic Party, Dr. Sali Berisha said Monday that the 22 March 1998 Kosovar elections were "a historical event, not only for Kosova, but for all the Balkans".

    The Enter news agency quoted Sali Berisha as saying that President Rugova should "convene the parliament as an absolute necessity for the solution of the crisis".

    Berisha called on the members of the Contact Group to tighten the sanctions against Serbia and mediate the dialogue between Pristine and Belgrade The PD Leader stated that NATO and WEO troops should be deployed in the border with Kosova to intervene in case of escalation of violence in Kosova, and make the Serbian military machine non- active, Enter said.

    [07] Serb Court Sentences Secondary School Student to 40 Days in Prison

    PRISHTINA, March 24 (KIC) - Jeton Shkodra, a forth year student of the "Xhevdet Doda" secondary school in Prishtina, was reported sentenced by the Serb-run magistrate Court in Prishtina to 40 days in prison.

    Mr. Shkodra and his sister Jehona were attacked by a number of Serb civilians 19 March while waiting for the bus in downtown Prishtina.

    Jehona Shkodra had been inflicted heavy injuries, and has been under medical treatment since. Whereas, her brother, Jeton, was arrested the same day and taken to the police station. He was subjected to additional torture at the police station.

    Jeton Shkodra was subsequently taken to the Serb-run Court in Prishtina and was sentenced to 40 days in prison.

    He was taken to serve his prison sentence immediately.

    His family told KIC they had not been able to visit him. The only information the police gave them was that he was in prison.

    [08] Serb Attack in De^an Villages Continues, Death-Toll Unknown

    PRISHTINA, March 24 (KIC) - The villages of the De^an municipality Gllogjan and Dubrav& have been besieged by heavy Serbian police forces since late in the morning today.

    Serb forces launched an attack around noon today at Gllogjan and, presumably, the neighboring village, local sources said.

    It is virtually impossible to get first-hand information from inside the area, the Information Commission of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) branch in Gjakova said. (Two other villages, Grama^el and Baballoq are feared under siege too.) The LDK branch information commission in De^an said during the attack on Gllogjan the houses of Hilmi Nur& Haradinaj and Xhavit Bajramaj were shelled and ruined.

    The number of casualties among the local Albanians is yet unknown.

    At least four Albanians have been killed, foreign media said, presumably quoting Serb police sources.

    Meanwhile, Serb media said one Serb policeman was killed and another wounded "during a terrorist attack by Albanian terrorists".

    The worst-hit village is Gllogjan, a Serb helicopter flying over it, sources said.

    The sound of fire form heavy artillery is heard coming from these villages, they added.

    The situation is becoming dramatic by the hour, and gun-powder smell reaches the Gjakova villages, local LDK sources said.

    The Serb police is said to have sealed off the compounds of the police station in Gjakova.

    The villages which have found themselves assaulted by Serb forces have been abandoned by local residents. Some evacuees have reportedly reached the town of Gjakova.

    It looks like the Serb forces themselves have left a corridor for the local people to get out in panic. Some families have reached the town of De^an.

    Reports said the schoolchildren of several villages, attending classes in the Hasan Prishtina elementary school, have found themselves trapped there.

    The LDK branch in De^an called today on the international community, and the Contact Group which is to meet tomorrow, to intervene urgently so as to bring an end to the Serb expedition against these villages, which is aimed at ethnically cleansing this part of Kosova.

    Heavy Grenade Launcher Deployed by Serb Forces Near Llausha Village PRISHTINA, March 24 (KIC) - In Gllavica, a hill near Llausha village of Skenderaj ('Srbica') a multi-barrelled grenade launcher was deployed today by Serb forces, an LDK source told KIC.

    This is seen as a very threatening move.

    The LDK source from Llausha told KIC by phone Serb forces have been reinforcing and fortifying their positions.

    There was sporadic sniper fire in the village during the course of today.

    There is more movement in the small town of Skenderaj, but the situation continues to be extremely grave.

    No news from A^areva, Vojnika and Broja villages. This part of the Drenica region is kept under a strong grip by Serb forces.

    More than 80 Albanians - men, women, and children - were slain during Serb forces' attack in Drenica earlier this month. Entire Albanian family compounds at Prekaz village were shelled by Serb heavy weaponry in the attack which started 5 March.

    Kosova Information Center


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