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Kosova Daily Report #1838, 98-08-31

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 #1838
Prishtina, 31 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives U.S. Senator John Warner
  • [02] Albright to Discuss Kosova with Nato Commander
  • [03] U^K Denies Vehemently that Its Members Have Killed Serb Civilians
  • [04] LDK, PPK, BSPK, CDHRF Press for International Investigation of Atrocities in Kosova
  • [05] Luan and Bekim Mazreku Were Not U^K Members, LDK Sources Say
  • [06] Two Albanians Slain by Serb Forces in Suhareka
  • [07] Twenty Albanians Identified as Killed in Shtime in Two Months
  • [08] Over 30,000 Albanian Houses and Other Facilities Destroyed in Serb Offensive
  • [09] Disaster Looms Over Thousands of IDP's Crammed in Two Villages of Klina
  • [10] Serb Police Clamps Down On Every Single House in Gjakova Village

  • [01] President Rugova Receives U.S. Senator John Warner

    PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today in Prishtina U.S. senator John Warner and his aides.

    Attending the meeting were also Richard Miles, Chief of U.S. Mission to Belgrade, Chris Hill, the U.S. Ambassador to Shkup (FYROM), and Richard Huckaby, director of the American USIS Center in Prishtina, and the members of the Kosova negotiating team appointed by Dr. Ibrahim Rugova.

    The current situation in Kosova and the prospects for a negotiated and political solution were discussed in the meeting today.

    President Ibrahim Rugova said the situation in Kosova is extremely grave and dramatic as the Serb offensive in some parts of the country continues. Many people have been killed and hundreds of thousands of Albanians have been turned into refugees and displaced persons in Kosova as a result of Serb military and police operations in the past several months, he pointed out.

    Rugova called for support and an international intervention to secure a safe return of the refugees and the creation of a climate conducive to dialogue in pursuit of a political resolution to the Kosova issue.

    Senator Warner said the United States is very concerned over the suffering of people in Kosova, and the plight of tens of thousands of displaced people.

    The suffering of the people should stop and negotiations on the future of Kosova should start soon, Warner said, pledging U.S. support to this end.

    President Rugova expressed his appreciation for the U.S. support thus far, but called for a stepped up engagement of the States in Kosova.

    [02] Albright to Discuss Kosova with Nato Commander

    PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will meet on Monday with the NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark to accelerate contingency plans for an attack on Serb forces in Kosova, she said Sunday.

    Renewing an earlier warning, Albright said "there is beginning to be identification of the forces" that would be used in an attempt to halt the Serb offensive in Kosova.

    "Neither the United States nor the European allies can tolerate this much longer," she said on a busy day in the Balkans, during her stop in the Bosnian Serb Republic, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

    Madame Albright has been criticized in some quarters for leveling threats against the Serbs in Kosova without implementing them, AP noted.

    [03] U^K Denies Vehemently that Its Members Have Killed Serb Civilians

    The alleged Kle^ka execution is a Serb publicity stunt, a 'blatant lie'; the supposed eyewitnesses are Serb 'collaborators', not U^K members, a the U^K leadership says PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - On Sunday, the political representative of the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army), Mr. Adem Dema^i, read out for the BBC Albanian Section a statement of the General Headquarters of the U^K in which it vehemently denied its fighters had killed Serb civilians in the ongoing armed conflict in Kosova.

    The news of the alleged killing of up to 22 Serb civilians and the existence of a collective grave at Kle^ka village "has evidently been well- prepared by the military and propaganda machinery of the Serbian occupier", the U^K said.

    This is but a Serb publicity stunt, "a blatant lie" of the Serb regime, the statement said, "to discredit the nature of our just and liberation war".

    That the Serb regime was engaged in falsehoods and propagandeering was proven by the fact that the number of the Serbs allegedly killed was first 8, then 12, to be put at 22 eventually, as well as the routine presentation of the skulls as 'Serbian', as well as the production of two false eye- witnesses, the U^K statement said. They have never been U^K soldiers, they have rather been collaborators and smugglers working closely with the Serbian occupier, it added.

    "The U^K has never killed Serb [civilian] citizens, let alone kill women and children", the statement said, adding that the skeletons that have been exposed for TV are probably the remains of Albanians killed earlier [by Serb troops]. "This is an attempt to cover up the crime committed by Serb militaries and paramilitaries against innocent Albanians and to accuse the U^K as a terrorist organization."

    The U^K General Headquarters called on all international humanitarian, diplomatic and media quarters not to fall prey to Serb regime's falsehoods, the statement concluded.

    [04] LDK, PPK, BSPK, CDHRF Press for International Investigation of Atrocities in Kosova

    Denounce Serb regime efforts to cover up its crimes against Albanians PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - Albanian political parties, human rights and trade union organizations, have denounced Serb regime schemes of covering up its atrocities and destruction in Kosova - the massacres of Albanians committed by Serb forces in Qirez, Likoshan, Prekaz, Lubeniq, De^an, Rahovec - by engaging in propaganda stunts of the type of the alleged Kle^ka execution of Serb civilians.

    The Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) said in a press release issued today it has repeatedly called on the Hague Tribunal to investigate all crimes in Kosova. It renewed its call for independent, international expertise of all the atrocities in Kosova and the bringing before the justice of all those who have masterminded and executed them.

    The Belgrade's machinery has committed yet another crime by staging the "Kle^ka massacre", the Parliamentarian Party of Kosova (PPK) said in a press release issued today.

    The Serb regime has committed many crimes in Kosova in the past six months, the PPK said, adding that it wants now arguments, be they falsehoods, to legitimize its own crimes. "It can never legitimize the crimes in Likoshan and Prekaz, the execution of civilians in Poklek and Lybeniq, mass killings of civilians in Rahovec, the killing of humanitarian workers, the killing of eight children aged 11 and below of the Asllani family in Graj^ec, ... the shelling of displaced civilians camping out in Senik, the torturing to death of prisoners, five of whom (Albanians) in the past month alone.", the PPK said.

    The Serb regime is now trying to attribute to the Albanian people and the U^K the crimes it has itself committed, Adem Dema^i's party said.

    The Independent Kosova Trade Unions (BSPK) has joined in the calls of Albanian authorities in Kosova for the Hague Tribunal to investigate all crimes in Kosova.

    The BSPK called on the Tribunal to urgently "functionalize its operations in Kosova and conduct an unbiased and professional expertise" which should be accepted by both sides, a statement said.

    Meanwhile, the major Kosovar human rights group, the Prishtina- based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) wrote Sunday to the Hague Tribunal for War Crimes in Former Yugoslavia asking for the formation of an international team of forensic and pathologist experts to investigate the alleged execution of kidnapped Serbs in the village of Kle^ka, but also cases of executions of Albanians in the villages of Prekaz, Likoshan, ^irez, Poklek i Ri, Lybeniq, and elsewhere.

    The CDHRF was prompted to renew its calls for such investigations in Kosova in the wake of the propaganda machinery launched by the Serb regime after the find of the site of the alleged execution of 22 Serbs by the Kosova Liberation Army (U^K) in a crematorium in Kle^ka.

    The CDHRF hinted the remains might have been of Kosova Albanians killed elsewhere in Kosova and planted as false evidence.

    The CDHRF said it condemns all crimes regardless of who is behind them and in case the allegations are proven in the Kle^ka case, those responsible should be brought to trial.

    [05] Luan and Bekim Mazreku Were Not U^K Members, LDK Sources Say

    PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - Luan Muharrem Mazreku and his cousin Bekim Abdullah Mazreku, each of them around 20 years of age, were abducted by Serb police a month ago in Malisheva, the LDK Information Commission in Malisheva said today. They were on their way back to see what had happened to their homes in the wake of the Serb military and police offensive in the Malisheva area, the Commission added.

    Luan and Besnik Mazrreku, referred to as members of the U^K by Serb regime authorities, were not members at all, LDK sources said.

    Serb propaganda claims that they were members of the U^K and, moreover, that they had taken part in the "killing and burning of 22 Serb civilians in a crematorium in Kle^ka" are a Belgrade regime construct aiming at compromising the resistance of the people of Kosova against Serbian aggression, the LDK chapter in Malisheva said.

    [06] Two Albanians Slain by Serb Forces in Suhareka

    PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - The LDK chapter in Suhareka said today it has learned the identity of two other victims of the latest Serb offensive in the area.

    The body of Ilir Perteshi (21), slain in his village of Duhla on 24 August, remains uncollected as the area is still tightly sealed off by Serb troops. It is believed that bodies of other Albanians are in there but the village is unaccessible, the LDK chapter said.

    On 26 August the Serb slaughtered Izet Byty^i (45), a mentally sick person in Semetisht village, sources said.

    Villagers of Semetisht were quoted as saying the man could not run away in the days when Serb troops were advancing into the village.

    They could hear Izet Byty^i screaming in the hands of the Serb forces. His body was also mutilated, the LDK Information Commission in Suhareka said.

    Meanwhile, the same source reported today that Serb troops, police, military and paramilitary units, have continued burning Albanian communities in the municipality on Sunday and Monday.

    Serbs burned down scores of Albanian farmhouses in the villages of Reshtan, Pe^an, Semetisht, Studen^an, Samadraxh&, Duh&l, Bllac&, Luzhnic& and Javor in the past two days, sources said.

    [07] Twenty Albanians Identified as Killed in Shtime in Two Months

    PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - At least 20 Albanians have been killed, many others wounded, and as many as 465 houses burned in the small Shtime municipality, in Serb attacks in the area over the past two month, the LDK chapter in Shtime, a town 30 km south-west of Prishtina, said.

    The villages of Carralev&, Zborc, Re^ak, Petrov&, Mollopolc, Pjet&rshtic&, Belinc&, Zuk&, Kara^ic&, Rac& and Petrov& e Re were either pounded with machine-gun or artillery fire or saw themselves attacked by Serb infantry.

    Local organizations in Shtime could confirm the identity of 20 Albanians killed in the Serb offensives, including 7 children and 4 women. A lot of people have been missing and are feared to have either been killed or else being held by Serb forces.

    At least 11.750 people from these villages have been made homeless, most of them still camping out in the fields and mountains. 465 houses of Albanians have been destroyed completely, whereas many others have suffered immense damage.

    The head of the LDK Information Commission in Shtime described the humanitarian situation in the municipality as highly critical, with thousands of displaced persons lacking basic food and hygienic samples and clothing.

    [08] Over 30,000 Albanian Houses and Other Facilities Destroyed in Serb Offensive

    PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - During the six months of the Serbian offensive operations against the Albanian people in Kosova (from 28 June through 20 August 1998), at least 720 persons have been killed, over 800 are listed as missing and feared dead, while some 10,000 people, mostly women, children and elderly, have been maltreated, the Prishtina-based Kosova Trade Unions for Municipal and Housing Policies, said today in a statement signed by its chairman, ^aush Bajrushi.

    In this time frame, Albanian settlements in 15 municipalities (Skenderaj, Gllogovc, De^an, Gjakova, Klina, Rahovec, Malisheva, Peja, Vushtrri, Mitrovica, Suhareka, Ferizaj-Shtime, Lipjan, Prishtina, Prizren and Istog) have been targeted by Serbian aggression, the Trade Unions said.

    The Kosova trade unions specializing in housing and municipal issues said Serb troops have shelled, looted, burnt or badly damaged 26,200 residential houses, 1,716 businesses and shops, 7,269 accessory facilities, as well as 60 schoolhouses.

    The statement said 405,259 people have been forced out of their homes so far in Kosova.

    Given the number of members of average family, it turns out that 250,000 people have been left homeless, the Trade Unions said.

    They cannot return to their homes unless there is a heavy rehabilitation program and the building of new houses for them, the statement of the Kosova Trade Unions for Municipal and Housing Policies concluded.

    [09] Disaster Looms Over Thousands of IDP's Crammed in Two Villages of Klina

    PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - Over 10.000 internally displaced persons (IDP) in the municipality of Klina have been crammed in the villages of Sverk& e Volljak& and in the surrounding fields, local sources said.

    The displaced Albanians have been living in appalling conditions, many sleeping rough in the open and lacking food and medication.

    The LDK chapter in Klina said several have died lately, basically lacking medical items, including Besnik Olluri (2 years), Pajtime Millaku (2 years), and Shaban Gashi (72).

    The situation is aggravating by the hour, an LDK activist near Vuljaka told the LDK chapter.

    [10] Serb Police Clamps Down On Every Single House in Gjakova Village

    PRISHTINA, Aug 31 (KIC) - Heavy Serb forces backed up by tanks and armored vehicles besieged the village of Deva in Gjakova on Sunday morning. They cracked down on the village later in the day.

    Local sources said Serb police raided all the 37 Albanian farmhouses in the village. Scores of family members were harassed and furniture and other belongings demolished and smashed under the pretext of searching for arms.

    The village of Deva has been repeatedly threatened with complete destruction by Serb troops unless the local population surrendered the weapons they allegedly possessed.

    The LDK chapter in Gjakova said today the situation in the town continued to be highly volatile. There has been an increasing buildup and movement of Serb troop in the streets, which have been harassing and threatening the local population.

    Several Albanians were arrested by police over the past two days, including Selim Hida, Avdi Kida, Naim Kida, Genc Kida, Nexhdet Kida, Shaban Kida and Shkelzen Kida, all of them residents of Cermjan village.

    Kosova Information Center

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