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Kosova Daily Report #1442, 98-05-27

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 #1442
Prishtina, 27 May 1998

First Edition: 15:15 CET
Second Edition: 20:30 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Meets With Austrian Foreign Minister in Vienna
  • [02] Rubin: Dr. Rugova Will Meet with Senior Administration Officials in Washington
  • [03] At Least 210 Albanians Killed by Serbs in Kosova This Year, Human Rights Group Claims
  • [04] Huge Buildup of Serbian Military and Police Forces in Gllogovc
  • [05] LDK Activists, Besa Arllati and Dr. Fehmi Vula, Still in Serb Custody
  • [06] Physician Persecuted for Having Treated His Wounded Neighbor
  • [07] Serb Police Detains a Dozen of LDK Activist in Fush&-Kosova
  • [08] Serb Regime Press Conflicting Accounts
  • [09] Quiet Before the Storm in Kosova as Serb Forces Build Up
  • [10] Two Unidentified Human Bodies Lying for Five Days Uncollected at Grabanic&
  • [11] Two Albanians Killed During Serb Forces Onslaught in De^an Villages Monday
  • [12] Three Gllogovc Villages Attacked Intermittently by Serb Forces Wednesday
  • [13] K&puz Village Shelled, More Houses Burned at Dellov&
  • [14] Tense Situation in De^an
  • [15] Our Education System Will Be But Under the Authority of Kosova, Rugova's Aide Says
  • [16] Gjakova LDK Activists Besa Arllati and Dr. Fehmi Vula Released Wednesday
  • [17] Stepped Up Movement of Serb Forces Reported in Obiliq
  • [18] Four Albanians of a Podujeva Village in Serb Police Custody

  • [01] President Rugova Meets With Austrian Foreign Minister in Vienna

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova met today (Wednesday) morning in Vienna with Austria's Foreign Minister Wolfgang Sch^Ássel to discuss the situation in Kosova.

    There is danger of the grave situation in Kosova degenerating into a large scale conflict, President Rugova said, condemning the most recent massacres Serbian forces have been committing in the Peja and De^an municipalities, in western Kosova.

    The Kosova leader pressed Austria to step up efforts on Kosova within the European Union and other European structures.

    Belgrade should be forced to bring an immediate end to its police and military operations in Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova said.

    The beginning of dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade is only the first step, Rugova said, adding that the Kosova leadership will defend in the talks process the will of the people of Kosova for independence.

    Austrian Foreign Minister Wolfgang Sch^Ássel hailed the beginning of the dialogue and vowed Austria will insist within EU - whose Presidency will be assumed by Vienna in July - for a serious dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade to resolve the Kosova issue.

    The Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry Albert Rohan hosted a reception for President Rugova and his aides Tuesday evening in Vienna.

    The President of the Republic of Kosova left today Vienna for the United States of America, where he is to meet with President Clinton, Secretary of State Albright and other senior U.S. administration officials.

    In New York, Rugova will discuss Kosova with United Nation officials.

    [02] Rubin: Dr. Rugova Will Meet with Senior Administration Officials in Washington

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - "We are aware of reports of fighting over the weekend in several locations in Kosovo, and understand from credible sources that several houses were burned in one village.

    The embassy is continuing to investigate these reports.", State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said during the daily press briefing in Washington Tuesday.

    The upsurge of violence in Kosova only "underscores further the need to make progress in the discussions between Rugova and Milosevic", Mr, Rubin said, adding that the dialogue process "remains on track".

    The representatives of both sides (Prishtina and Belgrade, KIC) have been in contact since their meeting last Friday with Ambassador Chris Hill, "who has offered to play a facilitating role in the discussions", Rubin said.

    The State Dept. spokesman told reporters Dr. (Ibrahim) Rugova and "key advisors will visit Washington later this week, and will have meetings with senior Administration officials."

    [03] At Least 210 Albanians Killed by Serbs in Kosova This Year, Human Rights Group Claims

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - At least 210 Albanians - including children, women and elderly - have been killed by Serbian forces in Kosova over the past five months, the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said in a report issued on Tuesday.

    The major Kosovar human rights organization noted that the identity of some of the victims could not be established to this day as they were carbonated, whereas it is supposed that many others were buried in collective graves.

    The Prishtina-based Bujku newspaper carried in its today's issue a comprehensive account of the human rights council which includes the names of identified victims killed by Serb forces in Kosova during the period 1 January-26 May 1998.

    Many others were wounded and have been denied proper treatment by the Serb police who have been threatening and targeting both them and the medical personnel, the CDHRF noted.

    The Kosovar human rights group claimed that at least 60 Albanians have been abducted by Serb police army and paramilitary forces, the fate of them being unknown to this day. All the Council's efforts to learn about their whereabouts were but in vain, although international organizations have been continuously asked to assist in this regard, the report said.

    "There is widespread fear that all the abducted persons have been already executed by Serb death squads", the CDHRF said, noting that it has the confirmation by some foreign reporters who have claimed on condition of anonymity that the executed people were buried in collective graves in the regions of Drenica and De^an. Such claims could not be confirmed by the Council yet.

    "The Serb regime has been attempting to hide figures about the killed Albanians, as they did too in Bosnia and Croatia", the report reads.

    The human rights council noted that scores of Albanians are being held in Serb custody without being legally charged or indicted, which is in violation of the basic legal proceedings.

    Hundreds of Albanian homesteads have been burned to the ground, and many villages have been turned into ruins, the Council said, adding that it is impossible now to make an accurate account of burned houses and other material damage caused by Serb shelling of Albanian dwellings.

    At least 50.000 people have been compelled to flee their homes amidst the unfolding Serb operations in parts of Kosova since end of February. Both the displaced Albanians and the families they have found shelter with have been constantly targeted by Serb forces, the Council said.

    Civilian population in the affected area has been hit manyfold.

    Beside being targeted continuously by Serb forces' fire, they have been prevented from having food and medical supplies, the CDHRF report said.

    [04] Huge Buildup of Serbian Military and Police Forces in Gllogovc

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - Heavy Serbian military and police forces were building up yesterday (Tuesday) in the compounds of the Ferrous-Nickel plant ("Ferronikeli") in Gllogovc, central Kosova.

    Many people have fled Gllogovc in fear of an imminent Serbian attack against this part of Kosova, local sources said.

    In Gllogovc as many as 1000 Serb soldiers and policemen arrived yesterday on board of 88 vehicles, among which 14 buses and 5 armored cars, LDK sources said.

    Shooting was reported heard overnight at the Serb police checkpoint at Komoran, about 5 miles far from the town of Gllogovc.

    [05] LDK Activists, Besa Arllati and Dr. Fehmi Vula, Still in Serb Custody

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - Ms. Besa Arllati, chairwoman of the LDK Information Commission in Gjakova, and Dr. Fehmi Vula, member of the LDK branch presidency in the town, have been held in Serb police custody since yesterday (Tuesday).

    The LDK Information Commission said police has not allowed family contact Ms Arllati or get her food.

    Besa Arllati was arrested yesterday at 10 a.m. in the LDK offices in Gjakova. She was wanted to secure the release of two Serb police officers, allegedly abducted and held hostage in the village of Smolic&.

    Dr. Fehmi Vula, a surgeon with the town hospital in Gjakova, was taken to police several times on Monday. He was told the village of Smolic&, the LDK branch leadership in Gjakova as well as the town of Gjakova itself will pay the price if the two allegedly abducted policemen were not freed.

    Dr. Vula and Ms Arllati were arrested by police yesterday and have not been released yet.

    Meanwhile, the Deutsche Welle reported that Jah& Sadria, a correspondent with the Bujku newspaper, is still in Serb police custody, too.

    Given Serb police/security record, the local LDK activists and media representatives may well bear the brunt of arbitrary retaliatory practices on behalf of the Serb regime.

    The Kosova Information Center (KIC), but also other media - including VOA and Deutsche Welle sections in Albanian - have enjoyed in the past few months Besa Arllati's unfailing cooperation in their efforts to learn first- hand what is happening in the municipality of Gjakova amidst Serb operations against the local Albanian population.

    [06] Physician Persecuted for Having Treated His Wounded Neighbor

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - Xhevat Avdijaj, a physician from Sinaja village of Istog, is being held in Serb police custody since last week for having treated an Albanian shot by Serb police.

    Dr. Avdijaj was subjected to brutal torture during long hours of interrogation, his defending lawyer Hazir Avdijaj told the local LDK chapter in Istog.

    The lawyer said that his client has been accused as "accomplice- assisting a person in committing a crime", pursuant to article 204 of the Serb penal code.

    Dr. Xhevat Avdijaj was arrested on 21 May after he had treated another Albanian, Artan Imeraj, who was shot and wounded by a Serb police patrol in the streets the same day. Artan Imeraj and 10 his fellow villagers were on their way to condole a family in their neighboring village when fired upon by Serbs police.

    Meanwhile, the LDK Information Commission in Istog said that scores of Albanians have been ill-treated and tortured by Serb police in over the past days. Izet Halitaj and Zef Malsia, from Tomoc village were tortured on 23 May. Both men have received grave body injuries.

    Enver Pukaj, Ramadan Pukaj and Kadri Pukaj were beaten up brutally by a Serb police patrol driving through their village Dreja on Monday, the Commission said.

    [07] Serb Police Detains a Dozen of LDK Activist in Fush&-Kosova

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - At least a dozen LDK activists were reported arrested by the Serbian police Wednesday in Fush&-Kosova, a small town about 7 km west of Prishtina.

    Witnesses told KIC that at around noon today the Serbian police raided the offices of the LDK as well as those of the municipal education and financial authorities.

    All the people, about 12-13 who happened to be there, were arrested, including Sabit Hykolli, Hamdi Qerimi, Isak Gojnovci, Isuf Qerimi, Emrush Kllokoqi, Shaban Berisha, Jakup T&rrnava, Ridvan Konjuhi.

    The Serb police raided the offices in Fush&-Kosova did not provide any search or arrest warrant, he said.

    The Albanians were released after having been interrogated for a couple of hours, Sabit Hykolli, Maliq Berisha and Jakup Tranava, have been ordered to report back at the Serb police station in the town, the LDK Information Commission in Fush&-Kosova said.

    [08] Serb Regime Press Conflicting Accounts

    Politika: Veljko Djurickovic was killed by Albanian terrorists Jedinstvo: Veljko Djurickovic shot himself dead in grief over her dead wife

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - "Prishtina, 26 May - Today around 17:40 hrs, Albanian terrorist killed with sniper fire Julka (64) and her husband Veljko Djurickovic (70) in downtown De^an. They were killed in their house courtyard, which is near the police station in the center of this small town".

    This is the full story the Belgrade government Politika daily carried today.

    The other Belgrade regime daily, Jedistvo, carried a quite different story today.

    Its correspondent in De^an reported that Julka Djurickovic had gone Monday (25 May) to pay a visit to the house of her late parents, which is uninhabited, some 200 meters away from De^an.

    Julka's husband went Tuesday afternoon with police and found her killed in the doorstep of the Niksevic's (her parents) house.

    "When he realized that his wife is dead, Veljko took his gun and shot himself dead", Jedinstvo said.

    This is the part of story where Jedinstvo and Politika differ completely.

    What they share in common is, however, propaganda speculation of the type Jedinstvo engages in: "Julka was presumably killed the previous night with a Chinese-made automatic weapon, which is used on a massive scale by Siptar (derogative for 'Albanian') terrorist gangs".

    [09] Quiet Before the Storm in Kosova as Serb Forces Build Up

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - The situation in Kosova was a bit calmer today (Wednesday) after several days of fierce Serbian attacks on Albanian villages which left scores of Albanians killed and entire villages shelled and burned.

    Shelling and shooting by Serb forces were reported today in the villages of Gllogovc (^ikatov& e Vjet&r, Poklek i Vjet&r and Dobroshec) and two villages in Klina, K&puz and Dellov&.

    There were reports about sporadic shooting in other crisis areas in Kosova.

    Yet the image of a quieter day in Kosova - which is how foreign media called it - may well be pregnant with a potential for further escalation of Serb armed actions against Albanians.

    An increased movement of Serb forces which have been building up and reinforced in different parts of Kosova indicate but a quiet before an impending storm, renewed large-scale Serbian attacks against Albanian settlements whose people have demonstrated an impressive resolve to defend their homes.

    Serbian Minister of the Interior said yesterday "Serbian forces will be more efficient in fighting the Albanians in the coming days".

    The deployment of Serbian paramilitary police forces with 90 vehicles in the compounds of the Ferrous-Nickel ("Ferronikeli") plant in Gllogovc as well the as deployment of huge Serb forces in the compounds of the military barracks in Peja (50 vehicles and 23 busloads) and the deployment of fresh forces in the compounds of the Game Ammunition Factory in Skenderaj ('Srbica') herald new Serb attacks against Albanian villages all the more possible.

    [10] Two Unidentified Human Bodies Lying for Five Days Uncollected at Grabanic&

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - The bodies of two young men have been lying since 22 May in front of the house of Sali Shabani at Grabanic& village of Klina.

    Their identity has not been established.

    The LDK Information Commission in Klina said houses of Grabanic& have been burned Serb forces, whereas the Albanian population has fled homes.

    Serb forces have not been allowing residents go back to their land.

    Meanwhile, Xhezair Xhafer Syla, resident of Grabanic&, has been reported missing since 22 May.

    On 22 May, many houses in the neighboring village of Zajm were burned and two citizens were killed by Serb forces.

    [11] Two Albanians Killed During Serb Forces Onslaught in De^an Villages Monday

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - A 22-year-old Albanian, Ramiz Batusha, resident of Baballoq of De^an, was killed during a Serb forces attack Monday afternoon.

    The killing of Ramiz Batusha was confirmed today by he Albanian section of the Deutsche Welle radio.

    The LDK Information Commission in De^an which reported about a fierce attack of Serb force against Baballoq and the neighboring villages of Prejlep and Rastavica on Monday could not learn yet the definite figures of casualties. At least 150 grenades were fired on the three villages within one hour alone on Monday afternoon, LDK sources said.

    Meanwhile, Albania's state-run television TVSH said that a local Albanian was killed and two other at Gllogjan village of De^an on Monday. The TVSh correspondent in De^an said the identities of the three Albanians were still unknown.

    Baballoq and an several other villages in southwest Kosova have been held inside a deadly siege for almost two months now.

    At least 210 Albanians, including children, women and elderly - have been killed by Serbian forces in Kosova over the past five months, the Prishtina- based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said in a report issued on Tuesday.

    [12] Three Gllogovc Villages Attacked Intermittently by Serb Forces Wednesday

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - Three village of Gllogovc, central Kosova - ^ikatova e Vjet&r, Poklek i Vjet&r and Dobroshec - came under repeated Serb forces fire during the whole course of today (Wednesday), sources in the area said.

    An LDK activist in Dobroshevc village told KIC that the three villages were initially fired upon at around 9:00t in the morning.

    Heavy Serbian military and police forces have been building up since Tuesday in the compounds of the Ferronikeli plants and mines in Gllogovc which is in a close vicinity to the three villages attacked today. As many as 1000 Serb soldiers and policemen on board of 88 vehicles arrived yesterday in Gllogovc, LDK sources said.

    A great number of people have fled the small town of Gllogovc since Tuesday afternoon in fear of an imminent Serbian in the area.

    At around 15:00 hrs today, the activist at Dobroshevc told KIC that sporadic shootings from different kinds of weapons were still heard in the area.

    Meanwhile, the chapter of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) in Gllogovc which also confirmed the today's Serb force attack said the area around the three villages is unaccessible.

    Some residents of ^ikatova e Vjet&r village who could leave the village claimed that many houses were damaged in their village.

    Most of the residents, except some old people who could not walk, have fled the village, they said.

    Shooting was reported heard overnight at the Serb police checkpoint at Komoran, about 5 miles far from the town of Gllogovc, LDK sources said.

    [13] K&puz Village Shelled, More Houses Burned at Dellov&

    Serbs loot Albanian houses and businesses PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - The village of K&puz in the municipality of Klina was shelled by Serb forces from 4:00 through 8:00 o'clock in the morning today (Wednesday).

    The extent of the damage or casualties is unknown.

    A local resident of K&puz was wounded Monday during a Serb shelling of the village.

    Nine shells hit the village of Volljak& Monday. No damage or casualties reported.

    Four more houses were burned at Dellov& village, local sources said.

    Meanwhile, the garage owned by Mahir Gashi was looted Tuesday evening by Serb police and civilians.

    The garage is on the Prishtina-Peja roadway near Klina.

    The owner, Mahir Gashi, and two customers were arrested by Serb forces on 22 May.

    The LDK Information Commission said Serb forces have been engaged in plundering the houses of Albanians at Grabanic& and Dellov&.

    All valuables have been looted, whereas house furniture has been taken away by police and Serb civilians.

    The Albanians have fled their homes at Grabanic&, Zajm, Dellov& and Bokshiq.

    The livestock which have not been killed or robbed by Serb forces are starving, sources said.

    [14] Tense Situation in De^an

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - The situation in De^an has been reported extremely tense amidst a continued building up of Serb forces in the area and the town.

    The LDK Information Commission in De^an said today that gunfire and artillery was heard overnight and today coming from the villages of Baballoq, Rastavic& and Grama^el.

    In the small town of De^an itself, Serb snipers have been positioned in key places, shooting in the direction of Albanian houses. Possible victims of Serb snipers are feared but, the Commission said, noting that for the time being it is virtually impossible to confirm it.

    Communications between the citizens of De^an has been drastically restricted. Some of the families in the town have told the LDK chapter that they have been facing serious food shortages.

    At least eight houses of Albanian in the town were damaged during a Serb forces shelling on Tuesday, sources said. Electricity supplies have been cut to most of the neighborhoods with Albanian population.

    The Commission said that no one could tell for certain what has been going inside a part of the town which has been rigorously sealed off by Serb forces for two days now.

    Meanwhile, branches of political parties and local organizations in De^an have sent appeals to international organizations to assist the endangered population of De^an with food and medication.

    [15] Our Education System Will Be But Under the Authority of Kosova, Rugova's Aide Says

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - The Serbian Education Minister Jovo Todorovic told reporters in Belgrade Tuesday Albanians students and teachers in Kosova will have to abandon University of Prishtina premises if they do not use Serbia's curricula.

    They (Albanians) will have to leave the university premises and build their own in case of failure to adopt Serb curricula, Todorovic was quoted as saying.

    The Rugova-Milosevic accord on education of 1996 and the agreed measures for its implementation of March 1998 provided for an unconditional, shared use by both Albanians and Serbs of the premises of the once bilingual University of Prishtina, three quarters of which were Albanian and one quarter Serbian.

    Professor Zejnullah Rrahmani, President Rugova's education advisor, told the Kosova Information Center (KIC) the education system in Kosova will be under the authority of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosova alone.

    "The Kosova education will never be under the authority of an aline country, such as Serbia", Professor Rrahmani said.

    The Albanian students and teachers see their re-entry in the buildings of the University of Prishtina as a return to premises that belong to them, but were illegally occupied by Serbian regime since 1991, Rugova's aide said.

    The curricula in Kosova will be adopted by the legitimate bodies of the Republic of Kosova, Rrahmani said.

    In the former Yugoslavia, Kosova had an education system which was on a par with, rather than subordinate to, the Serbian system of education.

    [16] Gjakova LDK Activists Besa Arllati and Dr. Fehmi Vula Released Wednesday

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - Ms. Besa Arllati, chair of the LDK Information Commission in Gjakova, and Dr. Fehmi Vula, member of the local LDK branch presidency were released from detention today (Wednesday) afternoon at around 16:00.

    The two LDK activists were held in Serb police custody since yesterday Tuesday morning.

    Besa Arllati was arrested yesterday at 10 a.m. in the LDK offices in Gjakova, while Dr. Fehmi Vula, a surgeon at town hospital in Gjakova, was taken to police several times since Monday.

    The two Albanians were pressed by the police secure the release of two Serb police officers, allegedly abducted and held hostage in the village of Smolic&. Dr. Fehmi Vula was repeatedly threatened by the police that unless the two Serbs are freed the whole local LDK leadership, the town of Gjakova and the Smolica village would be crushed.

    People of the LDK chapter in Gjakova deny knowing anything about the alleged abduction of the two Serb policemen.

    Upon her release Ms Besa Arllati said she was ordered to appear again at the Serb police station in Gjakova on Thursday morning.

    Jah& Sadria, a correspondent of the Prishtina-based Bujku newspaper in Gjakova is reported still in Serb police custody. Mr. Sadria was arrested on Tuesday.

    [17] Stepped Up Movement of Serb Forces Reported in Obiliq

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - Increased movements of Serb police and army forces have been reported over the past two days in the villages of Obiliq, a tiny town about 19 km north-west of Prishtina.

    Serb convoys with heavily armed men on board have been reported moving along villages Bardhi i Madh, Graboc, Hade and Obiliq .

    The LDK Information Commission in Obiliq said today that a new Serb police checkpoint was built since at Palaj ('Crkvena Vodica') village since Tuesday scrutinizing rigorously all the drivers and passersby.

    Over 30 checkpoints have been established in Kosova since end February, the Kosova human rights council said earlier this month.

    Besides fixed checkpoints, dozens of Serb police flying roadblock can be encountered in dozens of places on the Kosova roads.

    [18] Four Albanians of a Podujeva Village in Serb Police Custody

    PRISHTINA, May 27 (KIC) - Four Albanians, residents of Dobratin village of Podujeva have been reported in Serb police custody since early morning today (Wednesday).

    Sk&nder Hamza, Sabri Mali^i, Nexhmi Ademi and Ilaz Selmani were arrested today during a Serb police house-to-house raid in Jasharaj neighborhood of Dobratin village.

    Two other villagers, Zahir Fetahu and Musa Latifi, also arrested during the raid today, were released this afternoon.

    A 78-year old resident of Dobratin, Ejup Maliqi was reported beaten up brutally in front of his family.

    Kosova Information Center

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