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Kosova Daily Report #1526, 98-08-19

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 #1526
Prishtina, 19 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] EU Commissioner Bonino in Kosova Today
  • [02] U.S. Government Has Responded to the Kosova Crisis with over $10 Million in Aid
  • [03] Albanian Detainee Dies from Serb Police Torture
  • [04] Albanian School Principal Killed During Serb Offensive
  • [05] Serb Troops Open Artillery Fire from Kodra e Zhdrell&s
  • [06] A Number of Albanians Arrested in Osek-Hyl& Village
  • [07] Gunfire, Fighting Reported Continuing in Klina Villages
  • [08] One Albanian Dies, Four Wounded, as Serbs Pound Malisheva Village with Artillery
  • [09] Five Bodies Brought to the Prizren Hospital Morgue
  • [10] Serb Security Gun Down Fleeing Kosovar Refugees
  • [11] Serbs Set Afire Houses of Their Albanian Neighbors

  • [01] EU Commissioner Bonino in Kosova Today

    PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - The European Union (EU) Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner, Ms Emma Bonino, is on a trip to Kosova today (Wednesday).

    She was scheduled to visit the Malisheva area today, and meet later in the day in Prishtina with President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova.

    "Many humanitarian agencies are by now denouncing the ethnic cleansing plan carried out by the Yugoslav army [in Kosova], but we do not hear the same vigorous denunciation, let alone more determinate reaction, from capitals," the EU Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Emma Bonino said in a statement in Belgrade yesterday.

    [02] U.S. Government Has Responded to the Kosova Crisis with over $10 Million in Aid

    EU earlier this month pledged humanitarian aid worth five million ECU ($5.5 million) to victims of the Kosova crisis.

    PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, Julia V. Taft, outlined the U.S. government's response to the humanitarian situation related to the conflict in Kosova at a public forum with representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on 18 August.

    The humanitarian situation in Kosova has deteriorated so rapidly in the last several weeks "that we find ourselves on the brink of what may soon be a 'humanitarian crisis'", Julia Taft said.

    She said, "the USG has responded to the crisis with over $10 million in aid, " most of which is channeled through NGOs.

    The United States, Taft said, continues "to maintain pressure on Serb officials to allow unfettered access for humanitarian organizations in Kosovo."

    While humanitarian support is important, it alone will not solve the problem, in Kosova, the senior official said. "That is why we have been actively engaged in Kosovo on a political level.

    Humanitarian concern has always been and will continue to be an important component of our political strategy in Kosovo."

    Reports of an artificial food shortage continue to trouble the United States, Taft said. "We have publicly condemned any artificial food shortage and have asked Ambassador Hill to address this issue with [President] Milosevic of the 'FRY' personally. We will continue to investigate this and other allegations until we have resolved them."

    Another cause of concern to the United States is the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes. Taft said that the United States is "encouraging a bolstered international presence" and that it will "intensify pressure on Milosevic to fulfill his promise of return."

    Following Taft's remarks, Eileen Malloy, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs, took part in the exchange with NGO representatives and stressed that the United States is following a multi- track approach to the situation in Kosovo.

    The humanitarian aspect of the crisis, while it has the most immediacy in terms of relieving people's suffering, is "just one of three tracks we're working very hard on," Malloy said.

    Equally important in the long run is the track of negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the Kosovo conflict, according to Malloy.

    And a third track that is "extremely important" involves assuring that "all of the allies at NATO finalize their planning" for potential action, she said.

    The United States Government has provided direct financial contributions, commodities and equipment to international and non-governmental organizations responding to the humanitarian needs related to the Kosovo conflict.

    Below is a list of USG response to the conflict, as of August 13, 1998: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees -- $2.6 million to support emergency appeal -- 185,000 Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs) International Committee of the Red Cross -- $700,000 to support emergency appeal United Nations Children's Emergency Fund -- $250,000 to support emergency appeal World Food Program -- $830,000 in commodities -- 8 surplus vehicles for use in Albania Non-Governmental Organizations -- close to $5.3 million for humanitarian aid delivery and shelter projects -- 265,000 Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs) Other contributions are forthcoming. USG will respond to the future UN appeal, expected in late August 1998, the Prishtina USIS Office Washington File reported.

    Meanwhile, a statement released by the European Union office in Belgrade said the EU earlier this month pledged humanitarian aid worth five million ECU ($5.5 million) to victims of the Kosova crisis.

    "Many humanitarian agencies are by now denouncing the ethnic cleansing plan carried out by the Yugoslav army [in Kosova], but we do not hear the same vigorous denunciation, let alone more determinate reaction, from capitals," the EU Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Emma Bonino said in a statement in Belgrade yesterday.

    [03] Albanian Detainee Dies from Serb Police Torture

    Adem Berisha is the second Albanian to have died in Serb custody in three days PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - A 33-year-old Kosovar Albanian, Adem Berisha, died Tuesday evening in the surgery department of the Prishtina Hospital after having been subjected to torture in Serb security hands.

    He is the second Albanian to have died in Serb custody in three days.

    Adem Berisha, from Buq& village of Dragash, father of two, was arrested by Serbian police last Thursday to only be taken to hospital the next day. Badly tortured, he was first taken to the Prizren town hospital, and was transferred in a coma to the Prishtina hospital later in the day.

    Reportedly, the now late Adem Berisha taken to the Prishtina hospital in a coma having suffered, inter alia, grave kidney injuries, and never came to senses until he died last evening at around 18:10.

    The room he was being held in the hospital was tightly guarded by the Serb security, witnesses said.

    Another Kosovar Albanian, Cen Dugolli, an LDK activist from Ferizaj, died Monday in the Prishtina hospital. Arrested on 21 June 1998, he was likewise taken from Serb jail to the hospital in a critical condition, where he died a day later. He had sustained injuries on vital parts of his body, with doctors unable to save his life, sources in the Prishtina hospital claimed.

    Another human rights activist from Ferizaj, Rexhep Bislimi, died in hospital on 22 July, also after having been subjected to outrageous torture for two weeks in Serb custody.

    Sources told the KIC last Monday that there were several arrested Albanians, tortured in Serb jails, being treated in the Serb- administered Prishtina Hospital clinics. Sources named them as Adem Berisha (who died on Tuesday), Fatmir Duga and Mejdi Limani, as well as Arsim Hasani, Agim Jaha and Qerim Jetishi, who were taken away by police on Monday. Such patients are commonly guarded by Serb police.

    [04] Albanian School Principal Killed During Serb Offensive

    Isuf Ahmeti was head of LDK sub-chapter in Ponoshec village of Gjakova PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - During the most recent Serb offensive against the villages of the municipality of Gjakova, Isuf Ahmeti (53), resident of Stub&ll village, school principle of the local elementary school "Ganimete T&rbeshi" at Ponoshec, and chairman of LDK chapter at Ponoshec, was killed, LDK sources said.

    He was killed in his home at Stub&ll, and brought two days ago to the Gjakova hospital morgue. He was buried yesterday in the town cemetery in Gjakova, at the order of the Serb police, LDK sources said.

    [05] Serb Troops Open Artillery Fire from Kodra e Zhdrell&s

    PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - From their positions on Kodra e Zhdrell&s, Serb troops opened heavy artillery fire in the direction of the De^an area early in the morning today (Wednesday), local LDK sources in Gjakova said.

    Gunfire was reported in the border belt area overnight, they added.

    Reports said meanwhile that part of the military troops deployed in Kodra e Zhdrell&s has been withdrawn, and replaced by Serb police forces.

    [06] A Number of Albanians Arrested in Osek-Hyl& Village

    PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - Five native Albanians of the village of Osek-Hyl&, near Gjakova, were arrested Monday by Serb police, LDK sources said, naming them as Zog Lulaj, Sahit Thaqi and his son Qamil, and Muhamet Arifi and his son.

    Their whereabouts are unknown.

    A few days ago Serb media said the residents of the village had surrendered their weapons.

    Now it is in this very village that Albanians are arrested and ill- treated and have their homes raided by police, local sources said.

    [07] Gunfire, Fighting Reported Continuing in Klina Villages

    More than thirty villages destroyed and burned by Serb forces, 33,000 Albanians displaced PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - Gunfire has been reported in the past three days in many villages of the municipality of Klina.

    Local sources said there has been resistance put up by local Albanian defense forces in the villages of Leskoc, Kosh and Vranoc, while fighting was reported also in Jashanic&, Jellovc, Gjurgjevik i Madh, Dob&rdol, Ujmir and ^abiq.

    In the municipality of Klina, Serbian forces have in the past months burned many villages, including Gllarev&, Rigjev&, Stapanic&, Zab&rgj&, Cerovik, ^abiq, Dob&rdol, Ujmir, Si^ev&, Shtaric&, Jashanic& e Ep&rme, Jashanic& e Poshtme, Dush, Gjurgjevik i Madh, Jellovc, Resnik, Pogragj&, Shtupel, K&rrnic&, Zajm, Klina^, Drenoc, Grabanic&, Dollov&, Bokshiq, K&puz, ^eskov&, Rastok&, Grebnik, Dollc, Grapc.

    The 33,000 Albanian population of these villages has fled away.

    Part of the Albanian population has fled the town of Klina itself, too, where there have been cases of Albanian houses burned and destroyed also.

    There is no traffic on the Klina-Prishtina, Klina-Gjakova and Klina- Skenderaj ('Srbica') roadways which are littered with Serb military and police roadblocks.

    Such roadblocks have been put in places in destroyed Albanian villages also. It is troops manning roadblocks that have been engaged in looting and burning of Albanian villages.

    The population of the municipality of Klina has been scattered in other parts of Kosova and exposed to appalling security and humanitarian conditions.

    [08] One Albanian Dies, Four Wounded, as Serbs Pound Malisheva Village with Artillery

    PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - A 45-year old Albanian, Ibrahim Begaj, was killed Tuesday afternoon, when his Banja village near Malisheva came under heavy Serb fire. His wife Subhije Begaj and his son Agim Begaj, and a 7-year-old girl in the village, received shrapnel wounds.

    Sources in Malisheva sad Serb troops launched a heavy artillery attack against Banja village at around 4 p.m. yesterday. Immense damage was caused in the village, which had not been the target of serious attacks earlier.

    The LDK Information Commission in Malisheva said shooting from machine and artillery guns was heard today morning coming from the village in the neighboring municipality of Rahovec.

    The commission could not obtain immediate information about the exact location and the extent of possible fighting there.

    [09] Five Bodies Brought to the Prizren Hospital Morgue

    PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - Serbian forces brought last night five bodies to the hospital morgue in Prizren, local LDK sources said.

    The bodies have not yet been identified, but are they presumed to be Albanians killed by Serb military at the border are with Albania, near Gorozhup.

    'Yugoslav' military sources said yesterday they killed five 'Albanian terrorists' near Gorozhup.

    [10] Serb Security Gun Down Fleeing Kosovar Refugees

    PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - Around a dozen Albanians were killed by Serb forces over the past week while on their way to flee to the neighboring republic of Montenegro, the LDK chapter in De^an reported today. Local LDK sources did not offer details, though.

    Reports said an increasing number of people from areas affected by the recent Serb offensive in Peja and De^an have been attempting to make it to safer areas in Kosova and Montenegro. The refugees who take mountainous routes have been reported ambushed and commonly subjected to unwarranted firearms attacks by Serbs security.

    The Democratic League of Albanians in Montenegro (LDSHMZ) said 25 Albanians from De^an area were ambushed last week on the hills between Kosova and Montenegro.

    The LDSHMZ named two Albanians, Idriz Imeri and Ali Zuki from Isniq village of De^an, who were wounded in such an ambush.

    Meanwhile, the VOA Albanian Section said two Kosovar Albanians were killed by Yugoslav army near Plava region in Montenegro. One of the killed Albanians was identified as Shkelzen Berisha (14) from Pozhar village of De^an, while the identity of the second victim could not be established as his head was badly mutilated.

    Meanwhile, the LDK Information Commission in De^an warned today again of a critical humanitarian situation prevailing in the municipality. At least 10 thousand refugees have been for days living rough in the open on Strellc hills, drastically running short of basic food and medical supplies.

    [11] Serbs Set Afire Houses of Their Albanian Neighbors

    PRISHTINA, Aug 19 (KIC) - Armed Serb civilians have set afire five houses of Albanians in the Frash&r i Madh ('Svinjare') village of Mitrovica in the past two days, local sources said.

    LDK sources in Mitrovica said the houses of the following Albanians in Frash&r were burned by their Serb neighbors: Kurtan Hasani, Miran Hasani, Fejzullah Rexhepi, and Bejtullah Rexhepi and Azem Rexhepi.

    Most of the local Albanian population has fled the village of Frash&r i Madh amidst a growing campaign of intimidation and violence by both Serb police and armed civilians.

    Kosova Information Center

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