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Kosova Daily Report #1472, 98-06-26

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

From: Kosova Information Center <>

Kosova Information Center
Prishtina, 26 June 1998

First Edition: 16:30 CET
Second Edition: 18:00 CET


  • [01] President Rugova Meets with German Chancellor Kohl in Bonn
  • [02] President Rugova Meets with Ambassador Holbrooke in Prishtina
  • [03] Holbrooke's Remarks to the Press in Prishtina
  • [04] Heavy Artillery Shelling of De^an Villages Resumes Today
  • [05] Serbian Army Continues Shelling Border Villages in Gjakova
  • [06] Serb Police Opens Random Fire Near X&rx&
  • [07] Serb Forces Pound with Artillery Albanian Villages in Vushtrri
  • [08] Police Prevents Shipment of Goods into Obiliq Villages
  • [09] Gunfire Reported at Stanoc i Ep&rm and Pantin& Villages
  • [10] Serb Special Police Chases Albanian Children, Maltreats Them
  • [11] Police Raids Four Families, Illtreats LDK Activists at Greme Village of Ferizaj
  • [12] Heavy Serb Forces Build Up in Fush&-Kosova, Civilians Supplied with Arms
  • [13] Serb Police Uses Bus Passengers as Human Shield
  • [14] Serb Snipers Shoot at Albanians and Their Homes in Gllogovc
  • [15] 6 Serb Soldiers Killed, 21 Wounded, in Kosova in Two Months, Serb Paper Says

  • [01] President Rugova Meets with German Chancellor Kohl in Bonn

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova met yesterday (Thursday) in Bonn with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to discuss Kosova.

    This was the first ever meeting of the two leaders.

    Accompanying Rugova was also Bujar Bukoshi, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosova.

    The current situation in Kosova and modes for a negotiated resolution in Kosova were discussed in the meeting, Rugova's Office said.

    President Rugova said the situation in Kosova continues to escalate amidst unfolding Serbian military and police brutal attacks against the Albanian population, calling for an urgent intervention by the international community to prevent fresh Serb massacres and an ethnic cleansing in Kosova.

    Rugova reconfirmed the Kosova leadership's commitment to negotiations as a means towards resolution in Kosova, and added that the resumption of dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade will be made possible after Belgrade's full compliance with all the Contact Group demands and a climate conducive to dialogue is created.

    President Ibrahim Rugova spoke about the historical and political identity of Kosova, and stressed that an independent and neutral Kosova, with all guarantees for the local Serb community, is the solution that would stabilize the entire region, Rugova's Office said.

    Meanwhile, German government spokesman Otto Hauser said in a statement after the leaders met in Bonn that Kohl had urged Rugova to maintain his moderate line.

    Chancellor Kohl issued a stern warning that Bonn was considering all options to end the conflict, even military intervention, and that he hoped Rugova would do his best to help end the bloodshed by reaching a political solution with Belgrade.

    "The Chancellor honoured Mr Rugova for his moderate line and willingness to negotiate. He urgently called on him, and all the Kosovo Albanians, to do all they can to end the terrible bloodshed and suffering of refugees," the German government's statement said.

    "An unambiguous show of support for non-violence is needed, as well as for peaceful dialogue with international participation and a solution through negotiations which is acceptable to all sides on the basis of broad autonomy within Yugoslavia," the statement added.

    "No means, not even the military option...will be ruled out entirely," Chancellor Helmut Kohl said.

    [02] President Rugova Meets with Ambassador Holbrooke in Prishtina

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova met today for talks on Kosova with U.S. Ambassador-designate to the UN, Richard Holbrooke and his aides.

    Accompanying him were also Chris Hill, U.S. Ambassador to FYROM, serving as an intermediator in the negotiations between Prishtina and Belgrade, and the Chief of U.S. Mission to Belgrade, Richard Miles.

    The most recent developments in Kosova and the ways to create a climate conducive to a resumption of talks between Prishtina and Belgrade were discussed in the meeting.

    There was a shared view that against the background of an exceedingly grave situation, concrete and quick action should be taken to de-escalate it and prevent a further escalation of conflicts and ethnic cleansing in Kosova.

    Participating in the Rugova-Holbrooke meeting in Prishtina today were also Dr. Fehmi Agani, Veton Surroi and Blerim Shala, members of President Rugova's negotiating team for talks with 'FRY' President representatives.

    [03] Holbrooke's Remarks to the Press in Prishtina

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. Ambassador-designate to the UN, who met earlier in Prishtina with President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova and his aides, as well as Adem Dema^i, leader of the Parliamentary Party of Kosova (PPK), spoke to the press at lunchtime in the USIS Prishtina Office in the Kosova capital.

    In his introductory remarks, the special U.S. envoy to the Balkans said he and his colleagues, Ambassador Hill, Ambassador Miles, and others, had completed extensive talks here in Prishtina. "I will personally be leaving shortly for Athens, my colleagues will stay behind to continue their effort.", Holbrooke said.

    "Where do we stand?", the U.S. troubleshooter asked, noting that what he would be saying was but "an interim report on a working progress".

    Ambassador Holbrooke said that as he was leaving the region today, he had "no magic solutions to offer you, no magic bullet for peace, but a statement of the full commitment of US government that we will continue to use every means available to us, and search for peaceful solution to the dangerous situation that exists here in Kosovo."

    Ambassador Chris Hill, in particular, will continue his informal shuttle diplomacy between Belgrade and Prishtina and other places, in an effort to assist the people of Kosova and the Government in Yugoslavia to find a peaceful solution to the problems, Holbrooke told reporters.

    He went on to say: "Let me make clear that we all agree that we are in a dangerous moment, and that our goal remains as simply stated: to prevent the fighting that's already going on from escalating into a general war. To this end we are engaged on three fronts: diplomatic, you see the three people involved on that effort in front of you now [Holbrooke, Hill and Miles, KIC]; the Contact Group efforts and sanctions, and other matters. Ambassador Gelbard is currently in Western Europe working on these issues, he was in Bonn last night, talked to the German government, in Brussels a day before; and NATO planning continues, and in the last two days has become more focused and accelerated."

    The U.S. Ambassador-designate to the UN said he talked to President Milosevic of 'FRY' in Belgrade yesterday. He insisted on the need to honour "the rule that we maintained for three years", of complete confidentiality as to the substance of discussions.

    Holbrooke then went on to say: "What concerns us the most is the security situation on the ground here in Kosovo. Some of you who have been in our travelling cavalcade two days ago [to the village of Junik and the town of Gjakova, KIC] saw the same things we did in Junik, and they know about our concerns about the situation in Kijevo. Throughout this area checkpoints surround checkpoints, which surround people. In some areas the Serbs are surrounded, in some others the Albanians. We believe that the primary responsibility lies with the force that has the overwhelming fire- power, and that of course is the Serb security forces.". The U.S. special envoy emphasized that restraint on all sides is essential. "We have focused in particular on Kijevo, a place the world has not heard of, and I hope the world never does hear of, but which, if it explodes, will become a tragic site of fighting.

    There is no question that the Serb security forces with their overwhelming preponderance of power could force open all checkpoints on the road. There is equally no question that such an action would have tragic consequences. Restraint on all sides and lifting of all checkpoints, the reopening of the roads, is essential and urgent."

    Ambassador Hill and his colleague Ambassador Miles will continue that effort, he said.

    Holbrooke mentioned the Kosova observer mission which Ambassador Miles and his Contact Group colleagues are in the process of forming. "We will have, I hope, dozens of international diplomats and others attached to embassies in Belgrade operating as an integrated observer mission on the ground in Kosovo within a few days. It will take time to gear up, but their job will be to travel throughout Kosovo and learn what they can, observe what they can, to help calm the situation.", Ambassador Holbrooke said at the close of his introductory remarks in the press conference in USIS- Prishtina.

    "The more international presence, the greater the chances of reducing the kind of actions of provocations, accidents, or deliberate acts that can escalate rapidly, as all of you have covered the Bosnian war know, into a general war.", Holbrooke said in reply to a question.

    Asked about the possibility of a full ceasefire declared in Kosova, the U.S. Ambassador re-stressed that "we just don't discuss the things that are under discussion."

    He declined to comment on President Rugova's position regarding the controlling of the U^K (the Kosova Liberation Army). "You have to talk to Dr. Rugova about his position. It would be inappropriate for us to characterize those" (things).

    Asked to say what the message for the U^K was, Ambassador Holbrooke said: "But they should be listening to this press conference as well. And they should understand that when we talk about restraint and lifting checkpoints and opening roads, we are referring to everyone. But again, I want to stress that we believe that the history of the last decade is very clear on what caused this tragic situation, and where the primary, original responsibilities lie. On the other hand, and I cannot stress it too highly, we believe that a peaceful solution of this problem is in everyone's interests. And if it explodes into a general war and metastasizes across international borders, it is going to serve no one's purpose, and it will be very dangerous indeed. NATO is making plans now to deal with such contingencies. But decisions on that of course can only be made, in our case, in our country, by commander-in-chief, the President."

    At a place like Kijevo, those checkpoints on both sides should be lifted, he restated.

    Asked to so whether the U^K was discussed with Milosevic, Holbrooke said "everything came up. Of course we discussed about it."

    Insisting on the need to keep confidential talks confidential with all sides, he declined to disclose details. "The only way we have hope of making progress in an exceedingly difficult situation is to stick to that rule."

    Asked by a reporter to comment on the meeting he had earlier in the day with Adem Dema^i, the PPK leader, Ambassador Holbrooke said he discussed with him the same issues, with particular emphasis on Kijev&. "We asked him to assist to try to prevent Kijevo from becoming even more dangerous, as I said before to you before, Kijevo is in our view the most dangerous in Europe today and we asked Mr. Dema^i to see if he could assist us in reducing the risk of fighting breaking out there."

    [04] Heavy Artillery Shelling of De^an Villages Resumes Today

    Nobody has been able to enter the villages of Hulaj, Pob&rgj&, Gllogjan and Carrabreg i Ep&rm

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - Serbian forces resumed today (Friday) morning attacking with heavy artillery the villages of Prejlep, Baballoq and Gramaqel in the municipality of De^an, as well as other villages on the border area with Albania, local LDK sources said.

    There was last night sporadic shelling in the area, including also the villages of Carrabreg i Posht&m and Isniq.

    Reports said Serbian forces positioned at the location called "Bunari i Fush&s" and at Carrabreg and other military bases in the municipality of Gjakova shelled the border villages for three hours, from 4:00 through 7:00 in the morning today.

    Local Albanian resistance forces battled in midday with Serb forces at Strellc i Ep&rm.

    At least one Albanian was reported wounded today.

    Both sides suffered material damage, whereas the Serb side is said to have suffered casualties too.

    Meanwhile, local sources reported that Serb forces burned today Albanian shepherd alpine summer huts in the hills of the villages of Gllogjan and Carrabreg.

    Columns of smoke was seen while hundreds of Albanian summer huts were burning. They were deserted for Albanians could not go up there this summer because of the Serbian aggression in the region.

    The Serbian military, police and civilians have been engaged in daily looting in the town of De^an and the surrounding villages, LDK sources said.

    The entire equipment of the Furniture Factory has been looted by them, as well as the Gjeravica timber company in the town.

    The scale of looting is denoted by reports that tens of Serb military, police and civilian cars shipping spoils are leaving De^an for Peja ('Pec') today.

    The fate of the villages of Hulaj, Pob&rgj&, Gllogjan, and Carrabreg i Ep&rm is still a mystery, because nobody has been able to have access to them.

    It is feared that unprecedented massacred and destruction have been carried by Serb forces in these villages.

    The still unknown fate of 200 Albanians considered as missing in De^an adds to these fears.

    The residents of these Albanian villages have made repeated pleas for the International Red Cross and other organizations to investigate the fate of these people and try to enter the sealed off area.

    [05] Serbian Army Continues Shelling Border Villages in Gjakova

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - Last evening, Serbian military attacked with heavy artillery the villages of the 'Reka e Keqe' region, an area along the Kosova-Albania border.

    Attacks of a lower intensity were resumed today (Friday), local sources said, adding that Albanian resistance forces have been battling with the Serbian military.

    Sporadic gunfire was reported today in the villages of Rakovin&, Kramovik and C&rmjan i Ul&t in the municipality of Gjakova.

    As a result of the Serb shelling in the past few days, 11 houses have been destroyed at C&rmjan, whereas 22 at Rakovin& village, LDK sources said.

    The Albanian authorities in the municipality of Gjakova appealed for the International Red Cross and other NGOs to visit the Reka e Keqe region and assist the population which has found itself in an area under continued Serb attacks.

    There is a desperate humanitarian situation there, lack of food and medical supplies.

    Reports from Gjakova said the bodies of two killed Albanians continued to be in the town morgue.

    The bodies of Albanians, presumed killed in the Reka e Keqe region, were taken to the morgue by the Serb military on Thursday.

    Serb sources spoke of two citizens of Albania killed at Koshare on Thursday, after they had infiltrated Kosovar territory.

    [06] Serb Police Opens Random Fire Near X&rx&

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - At nine o'clock in the morning today (Friday), Serb policemen on board of an APC and armored vehicle paraded the streets of the town of Rahovec before proceeding to the village of X&rx&.

    On drive-by, police pointed their guns at passing Albanian citizens.

    En route to X&rx&, at a location called Palatic&, police opened fire in the direction of the building of the local the Vineyard company, which is close to the Wine Cellar at Barnjak&.

    [07] Serb Forces Pound with Artillery Albanian Villages in Vushtrri

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - Serb forces launched today morning a large-scale artillery attack against three villages of Vushtrri ('Vucitern), a municipality in central-north-east Kosova.

    An eyewitness told the KIC that many farmsteads were burning in the villages of Okrashtic&, Shtitaric& e Pantin& and that sky was covered by clouds of smoke.

    Albanian residents of these three villages as well as those of the Frash&r village of Vushtrri have been for several days now threatened by both Serb police and civilians with large-scale attacks and slaughter.

    The majority of the local population in area have fled homes fearing a Serb onslaught.

    Two local Albanians were wounded at Pantina village on Wednesday night.

    Meanwhile, sources in Mitrovica said the situation in the town and many villages in the municipality has been escalating in the wake of the burning by the Serbs of Albanian homesteads in Frash&ri i Madh village.

    Serb military helicopters and aircraft flow overhead the Mitrovica villages for over two hours since noon today.

    Stepped-up movement of Serb forces has been reported on the ground in the municipality since morning today.

    About 50 Serbs, residents of the Tuneli i Par& neighbourhood in Mitrovica, went today to the local police station. Supposedly, they were there asking for weapons and ammunition.

    [08] Police Prevents Shipment of Goods into Obiliq Villages

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - The Albanian residents of the villages of the municipality of Obiliq - Plemetin, Hamidi, Sibovc, Hade, Shipitull&, Graboci, etc - have been routinely harassed by Serb police merely for being inhabitants of this region.

    In the past couple of days, Serb police manning the checkpoint at Palaj village, has turned back all Albanian traders trying to ship basic supplies into the area, local sources said.

    [09] Gunfire Reported at Stanoc i Ep&rm and Pantin& Villages

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - One our after midnight last night, Serb paramilitary thugs set fire on haystack owned by Gani Duraku at Stanoc i Ep&rm in the municipality of Vushtrris ('Vucitern'). They fired upon Mr. Duraku's farmhouse too, local sources said.

    There was material damage, but no human casualties.

    Meanwhile, gunfire was reported last night also at the village of Pantin& in Vushtrri.

    A day earlier, two Albanians were wounded in the village, which was eventually deserted by the Albanian population.

    [10] Serb Special Police Chases Albanian Children, Maltreats Them

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - Serbian special police units positioned in the hills above the village of Hajvali in the municipality of Prishtina chased Thursday afternoon with an APC two Albanian children, Fatlim Sijarina (12) and Valon Sijarina (8). A police dog was used to chase and apprehend them.

    The two Albanian children, residents of Hajvali, were then taken to the local premises of the Serb special police, and were gravely ill-treated.

    Likewise on Thursday, an armed Serb woman from Gra^anica provoked the Albanian residents of Hajvali, threatening them with "we will burn you all".

    [11] Police Raids Four Families, Illtreats LDK Activists at Greme Village of Ferizaj

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - Late Thursday afternoon, 40 Serb policemen and security officers were involved in raiding the houses of Sinan, Abdullah and Shemsi Topalli, as well as the house of Shaban Vi^a at Greme village of Ferizaj ('Urosevac') On Thursday morning, the police raided two other houses of the Topalli family compound and arrested Enver and Ylber Topalli, LDK activists.

    During the raid, allegedly in search of hidden weapons, the Serb police beat up Avdullah, Rizah and Shefqet Topalli.

    In addition, Serb police ill-treated the LDK activists visiting the raided households, Milazim Haliti, member of the LDK branch in Ferizaj, and local activists at Greme: Hajrush Mani, Ilmi Hashani, Xhevat Sejdiu, Fahri Zejna, Zylkyfli Omuri, Adem Misini, Muharrem Omuri and Idriz Shehu.

    Hajrush Mani had two ribs broken, whereas Muharrem Omuri received grave body injuries.

    During the raid of Shaban Vi^a's household police opened fire in the air, and il-treated Agim Topalli, who was visiting with the family.

    A Serb security officer, named Nebojsa Djordjevic, singled himself out with his brutalities against the Albanians on Thursday.

    [12] Heavy Serb Forces Build Up in Fush&-Kosova, Civilians Supplied with Arms

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - The Serb authorities in Fush& Kosova ('Kosovo Polje'), a town five miles west of Prishtina, have been widely engaged in listing those who wish to join army and police forces and receive military uniforms and armament, sources reported.

    The LDK Information Commission in Fush&-Kosova said dozens of local Serbs in the town and the surrounding villages have been outfitted with uniforms, weapons and ammunition over the past two days.

    Witnesses in Fush&-Kosova said firearm shooting was heard on several occasions last evening, whereas at around midnight on Wednesday a car exploded in the town center.

    Meanwhile, sources in Sllatina, a village near the Prishtina airport, said Serb forces have been building up the area for a couple of days.

    Serb army and police troops have been garrisoning in strategic positions around the village.

    [13] Serb Police Uses Bus Passengers as Human Shield

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - Albanians who happened to encounter Serb police Thursday afternoon near Lluzhan village on the Prishtina- Podujeva roadway were used by them as human shield during a yet unsolved shoot-out incident.

    Sources in Podujeva said that yesterday afternoon, at around 15:0O, fire from automatic rifles was opened on a Serb police convoy near Lluzhan. Serb media said a hand grenade was tossed on the Serb police vehicles column at a place called ^uka e Shukavic&s [Shukavica Knoll]. The Serb police, reportedly, fired back from the vehicles as well as from ditches along the road.

    In addition, police forced over half a dozen Albanians stand as a human shield while shooting in the direction of the forest from where the attack was supposedly initiated.

    The Serb police conducted subsequently a rigorous check of all the cars and buses commuting along the road at Lluzhan.

    Scores of people were reported intimidated and harassed at Serb police gunpoint.

    [14] Serb Snipers Shoot at Albanians and Their Homes in Gllogovc

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - Serb snipers holding key positions in the town of Gllogovc have been routinely shooting at Albanian homes and local population, sources said.

    Serb snipers have been for weeks positioned on the top of the buildings in Gllogovc, including the local post office, railway station, municipal assembly buildings and the "Ferronikeli" plant.

    The LDK Information Center in Gllogovc said that Serb snipers peppered Thursday with bullets the garage of Jakup Tahiraj at ^ikatova village. The Serbs fired several bullets in the direction of Jakup Tahiraj and Selim Leku.

    Meanwhile, sources in Komoran, a big village near the Prishtina- Peja- Gllogovc roadway intersection, said half a dozen Serb police armored vehicles left a base at Quka e Komoranit today morning heading westward of the village towards Llapushnik. Fire in the direction of Llapushnik village was later opened from the Serb vehicles and a police base near the crossroads.

    [15] 6 Serb Soldiers Killed, 21 Wounded, in Kosova in Two Months, Serb Paper Says

    PRISHTINA, June 26 (KIC) - A 52-year-old Serb, Rados Spasic was reported shot dead Wednesday night in Kijeva, a town in Klina municipality in central Kosova.

    Serb media said that Rados Spasic, principal with the local primary school in Kijeva, wad gunned down from a nearby forrest.

    Meanwhile the Belgrade-based daily Dnevni Telegraf said in its today's issue that three Serbs were abducted Thursday on the Prizren-Prishtina roadway. The newspaper said the three Serbs were on a bus when abducted by a group of 13 armed Albanians. Telegraf failed however to specify the place they were halted and abducted.

    Another Belgrade daily, Blic, said today that 6 Serb/Yugoslav army soldiers were killed and 21 others wounded in Kosova over the past two months.

    Kosova Information Center

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