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Kosova Daily Report #1533, 98-08-26

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 #1533
Prishtina, 26 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives British and Austrian Diplomats
  • [02] British and Austrian Diplomats to the Press
  • [03] President Rugova Received German Ambassador
  • [04] Prime Minister Bukoshi Presses for "Institutionalization of Self- Defense in Kosova"
  • [05] U^K Should Be Included Within the Republic Institutions, Senior Officer Says
  • [06] Dramatic Humanitarian Situation in Malisheva as Serb Attack Continues
  • [07] Suhareka Villages Still under Sreb Fire Today
  • [08] Bodies of Four Other Albanians Taken to Gjakova Morgue Today
  • [09] Albanians Beaten, Detained and Threatened by Serb Police

  • [01] President Rugova Receives British and Austrian Diplomats

    PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today in Prishtina in a joint meeting Mr. Peter Ricketts, deputy political director in the Foreign Foreign Office, and Dr. Gerhard Iandl, head of the sub-department for Former Yugoslavia and Albania in the Austrian Foreign Ministry, and their aides.

    Attending the meeting was also Great Britain's ambassador to Belgrade, Mr. Brian Donnelly.

    The grave situation in Kosova in the midst of the Serbian offensive against Albanians as well as the efforts to create the conditions for the resumption of talks between Prishtina and Belgrade were discussed in the meeting.

    The situation in Kosova is dangerously escalating as the Serb military and police offensive continues, the President said, calling for an immediate halt to it. "People are being killed and displaced from their homes in great numbers", he stressed, calling for comprehensive and urgent efforts to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe as hundreds of thousands of Albanians have been turned into refugees and internally displaced people after their communities in towns and villages have been destroyed. "This is ethnic cleansing in action" in Kosova, Rugova said, pressing for concerted efforts to secure a return of the population under an international monitoring presence in the regions attacked by Serb troops.

    Regarding the political solution, President Ibrahim Rugova said all the political forces in Kosova stand for independence and a negotiated resolution.

    The British and Austrian diplomats expressed their governments' concerns over the situation in Kosova and vowed to step up pressure on Belgrade in pursuit of a political solution to the Kosova issue.

    [02] British and Austrian Diplomats to the Press

    PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - After a meeting with President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova in Prishtina today, Mr. Peter Ricketts, deputy political director in the Foreing Office, and Dr. Gerhard Iandl, head of the sub-department for Former Yugoslavia and Albania in the 8Austrian Foreign Ministry, spoke to the press.

    Peter Ricketts: "We are here from Britain and Austria, the Presidency of the European Union, to show continued European interest in what is happening here and to make sure we are fully update. We'll have to go to do some touring this afternoon to see for ourselves what is happening on the ground.

    We had a good talk with President Rugova. As you know both our governments supported strongly his initiatives in launching the Albanian five-member negotiating team. We still believe strongly that there is no military solution to this crisis, and we want to see negotiations start as soon as possible. And, that was the burden of our message to President Rugova."

    Asked about whether they had discussed the humanitarian situation, the Austrian diplomat, Dr. Gerhard Iandl said: "Yes, basically on the humanitarian situation I think it is fair to say that we agreed completely insofar as the humanitarian situation will amount to a catastrophe in the fall and winter if it is not redressed. So the first priority which we see, both the European Union countries and President Rugova, is certainly to alleviate the suffering of the population, to try to get the displaced persons back into their villages and to their towns. And, unless this is achieved, we don't see any chance for a real progress on the political front because it is understandable that under the current circumstances the prospects for political negotiations are very, very low. So, this is a point which we also made in the talks we had with the representatives of the Serb government, that it is absolutely imperative to take the highest responsibility in this respect, it's absolutely imperative that they do their utmost in order to alleviate the plight of the suffering population and alleviate the humanitarian situation which is of utmost concern now."

    Gerhard Iandl told reporters they planed to meet Ambassador Chris Hill, the U.S. envoy on Kosova, today.

    [03] President Rugova Received German Ambassador

    PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today in Prishtina Mr. Wilfried Gruber, Germany's Ambassador to Belgrade.

    The most recent developments in Kosova and the prospects for a negotiated solution were discussed.

    Stressing that the situation in Kosova has been grave and dangerously escalating as the Serb military and police offensive continues, President Rugova called for an immediate halt to it.

    Conditions should be created for the return of the displaced people and the resumption of negotiations for a political solution to the Kosova issue, he said, calling on Germany and the international community to work to that end.

    "A humanitarian catastrophe is threatening Kosova", Rugova said, adding that concerted efforts should be undertaken to avert it.

    Ambassador Gruber took an interest in different aspects of the current situation in Kosova and ways a political solution can be supported.

    [04] Prime Minister Bukoshi Presses for "Institutionalization of Self- Defense in Kosova"

    PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Bujar Bukoshi addressed the nation live on a Kosova- edited TV news bulletin in the Albanian TV on Tuesday, in what he called "decisive times" for the people of Kosova, "who is undergoing the most difficult moments of its history" in the face of Serbian aggression.

    The "Belgrade butchers" are bent on undoing the will of the people of Kosova for independence, and have embarked on "a total war of extermination against the Albanians", Bukoshi said, reaffirming that the Kosova government is supportive of a political solution based on the political will of the people for independence of the country.

    He slammed the international community's inaction, the "inadequate response which discredits the great powers" over Kosova.

    Bujar Bukoshi said that the 'security concerns' in the Balkans, which are frequently cited as evidence to reject the right of the people of Kosova to be sovereign of its fates are unfounded, and, "may well backfire to those advance them".

    The role of the United States of America, and a mediator and guarantor, is indispensable in eventual negotiations towards a political solution for the Kosova issue, the Prime Minister said.

    Dr. Bukoshi tried to bring home the need for a further institutionalization of the state bodies of the Republic of Kosova, as well as the institutionalization of the Albanian resistance.

    Efforts should be intensified to institutionalize the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) formations as "an expression of the inalienable right of a peace-loving and freedom-loving people to defend itself and oppose the most anti-human regime that the post-World War II Europe has seen".

    The institutionalization of the Albanian resistance, embodied in the U^K, is needed to avert uncoordinated actions on the ground and to dispel speculations on the nature of the liberation movement in Kosova, the Prime Minister said. In addition, such an institutionalization is needed to "back concretely our political initiatives", he added.

    "I will work with all the means and possibilities at our disposal to respond adequately to the extermination war of Serbia, by institutionalizing the self-defense [structures] of Kosova, by bringing in all the able and experienced people, all those who have demonstrated by now that they know and want to defend Kosova", Dr. Bujar Bukoshi said.

    The incumbent Prime Minister sounded in his address Tuesday he was confident he would have his mandate renewed now that the formation of a new coalition Government of the Republic of Kosova is pending.

    Dr. Bujar Bukoshi has been in the post since October 1991.

    Parliamentary and presidential elections in Kosova were held in May 1992 and March 1998.

    [05] U^K Should Be Included Within the Republic Institutions, Senior Officer Says

    PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - Naim Maloku, a senior officer of the Kosova Liberation Army (U^K), said in an interview with the Deutsche Welle Albanian Section on Tuesday the U^K should be institutionalized, namely included within "the framework of the state institutions of the Republic of Kosova".

    The negotiations between Prishtina and Belgrade would be supported by the U^K after it had been made part of the Kosova state institutions, Mr. Maloku said.

    He said Adem Dema^i should use his influence so that the political leaders in Kosova narrow their differences, that is "be constructive in the formation of the Kosova state institutions".

    Maloku, a senior officer, said he did not belong to those structures that elected Dema^i as political representative of the U^K.

    Disunity amongst the political forces in Kosova "has cost us dearly" in the past six months of the fighting, the U^K officer, who was wounded a month ago in Junik, told the German radio.

    The U^K has had minimal losses in the most recent Serb offensive, he said, noting that it has been unprepared to engage in a frontal war, "which was imposed on us" by Serbia.

    [06] Dramatic Humanitarian Situation in Malisheva as Serb Attack Continues

    The village of Banja was all in flames today morning with Serb troops advancing towards other communities PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - The Serb offensive against Albanian villages around Malishava has continued unabated overnight and today morning, local sources reported.

    More than half of the Banja village was ablaze today morning, with Serb infantry advancing to other communities in the area, Isuf Bytyqi, head of the LDK Information Commission in Malisheva told the KIC at midday today.

    Serb troops have been pounding with artillery fire other villages, including Gajrak, Karvansari, and Senik, he said.

    The local Albanian population has been fleeing in panic, most of them heading towards the surrounding hills.

    Witnesses told the Information Commission they saw Serbs setting ablaze their houses and farms in the villages they were fleeing from.

    The LDK chapter in Malisheva warned again today over the dramatic humanitarian situation in the region. It appealed to international organizations to help urgently the most vulnerable population lacking basic food samples and medication.

    Meanwhile, sources in Malisheva have learned the identity of the third air worker killed by Serb forces two days ago, naming him as Sadri Gashi (61), father of six, native of Vernica village of Malisheva. The three Albanians - two others being Hajriz Morina (26), Adem Morina (41) - died when their tractor with humanitarian relief supplies was hit by a Serb shell near Balinca village of Malisheva on Monday afternoon.

    [07] Suhareka Villages Still under Sreb Fire Today

    Identity of another Albanian killed on Tuesday determined PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - The Serb troops attacks against Albanian villages in Suhareka municipality has continued today, but the intensity has been reported lower.

    The attacks have been focused on two villages this morning, Kleqka and Javor, sources said.

    The LDK chapter in Suhareka said it has learned the identity another Albanian killed during the latest offensive in the area unleashed last weekend. Safet Kicaj (21), native of Grejkoc, was killed on Monday when his village came under heavy artillery fire.

    The town of Suhareka and many villages in the area were intermittently pounded with artillery fire since last weekend, leaving at lest nine killed and many others wounded.

    Sources in Suhareka said thousands of people who fled the Serb attacks have been living rough in the open. Most of them have been concentrated in the two valleys in the area, Breshanc and Maralia.

    The majority of the displaced Albanians are residents of the villages of Reshtan, Dob&rdolan, Samadrexha, Sllapuzhani, Pe^ani, Semetisht, Timi^ina, Ngucat, Lladroviq, Senik, Luzhnica, Javor, Bellanica, Banja, etc.

    [08] Bodies of Four Other Albanians Taken to Gjakova Morgue Today

    PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - Bodies of four Albanians were taken to the town morgue in Gjakova today morning. They have not been identified yet, but all the four are male, between 20 and 25 years of age, LDK sources in Gjakova said.

    It is believed that the four bodies were brought to the Gjakova morgue from Hasi, a region near the border with Albania, which has been targeted by Serb forces in the past few days.

    Eleven other bodies were taken by the Serb forces to the town morgue in Gjakova on Sunday and Monday. They were buried on Tuesday in the local town cemeteries at the order of the Serb police. Only two of them were identified, whereas the rest were buried unidentified.

    [09] Albanians Beaten, Detained and Threatened by Serb Police

    PRISHTINA, Aug 26 (KIC) - Besides the unabated attacks in several Kosova municipalities, the Serb police has continued its campaign of harassment and maltreatment of Albanians in other parts of Kosova.

    Local LDK chapters in municipal centers of Kosova have been reporting on a daily basis about Serb practices against ordinary citizen and political parties activists.

    Agim Qerimi (1971), resident of Bregu i Diellit quarter in Prishtina, was beaten by police in the street in Prishtina. He suffered serious body injuries and had to seek medical treatment later.

    Idriz Klinaku and Haxhi Ibrahimi from Gllavotin village of Vushtrri were beaten until fainting by a Serb police patrol on Sunday.

    Selim Krasniqi and Brahim Krasniqi from Zhilivod village have been apprehend by Serb police three days ago. Their families have failed to learn where they are being held.

    Begzad Q. Sinani, member of the LDK chapter in Kamenica, was arrested by the Serb police on Tuesday. Another LDK activist from this town, Ramadan Kryeziu, was held four hours in Serb police custody today.

    Drunken Serb policemen maltreated scores of Albanians in Podujeva on Tuesday afternoon, witnesses said. Agim Mu^olli was forced at gunpoint to lay on the street and was threatened with liquidation in front of other passers-by. Many bystanders, including children selling cigarettes in the street, were harassed at gunpoint. A Serb policeman reportedly asked kids to find him some drugs.

    Refki Reshitaj, a "Bujku" correspondent in Suhareka, was held, together with his wife and brother, for several hours in Serb custody on Monday.

    Kosova Information Center

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