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Kosova Daily Report #1600, 98-11-01

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 #1600
Prishtina, 1 November 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives Swiss Officials Saturday
  • [02] Julia Taft Holds Press Conference in Prishtina Sunday
  • [03] Heavy Serb Police Forces Redeployed along Prishtina-Peja Highway
  • [04] Serb Forces Exhume Bodies of 9 Killed Albanians in Junik
  • [05] Serb Forces Fire Into Suhareka Villages Overnight
  • [06] Local Malisheva LDK Leaders Still Under U^K Arrest
  • [07] Albanian Returnees Encounter Booby-Traps Planted by Serbs in Rahovec Villages
  • [08] Police Beat Up Severely Local Albanian Cleric

  • [01] President Rugova Receives Swiss Officials Saturday

    PRISHTINA, Nov 1 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received Saturday evening a delegation of the Federal Swiss Office for Refugees and the Swis Agency for Development and Cooperation, headed by Jean-Daniel Gerber, Director of the Federal Office for Refugees. The delegation was accompanied by Ambassador Paul Wipfli, the Swiss envoy to Belgrade.

    Mr. Jean-Daniel Gerber said his country was prepared to assist Kosova and its people in these hard times.

    On 20 November, Switzerland will organize an international conference on the Kosova refugees in a bid to sensitize Europe on this issue, the Director of the Swiss Federal Office for Refugees said.

    The Serbian military and police offensive of this year have resulted in thousands of Albanians killed, hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes, as well a immense destruction of the settlements and property in Kosova, President Ibrahim Rugova said.

    Withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosova is a precondition for the people of Kosova to feel secure to return to their homes, he said, emphasizing the humanitarian catastrophe that has been created by the Serbian aggression this year.

    The people of Kosova have opted in a referendum for independence, President Rugova said, pressing for an international protectorate as an interim stage pending a lasting solution.

    The Kosova President thanked the Swiss government for its support and readiness to further help the people of Kosova.

    [02] Julia Taft Holds Press Conference in Prishtina Sunday

    PRISHTINA, Nov 1 (KIC) - Julia Taft, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, is visiting Kosova for a second time in two months.

    In a press conference in the American Center in Prishtina, capital of Kosova, today afternoon, Mrs Taft said she was pleased to see the situation here in Kosova improving compared to state of affairs in end of August, when mountains were swelled with Albanians to fearful to go back to their homes.

    The senior U.S. official said that over the past couple of months the international community had "rallied in a cohesive way to try to bring peace to Kosova, to try to promote a ceasefire, and to promote a political process."

    At this time, "I am here to look at compliance of the SC Resolution 1199" related to unfettered access for humanitarian aid, Julia Taft said. She said she toured Kosova today, meeting with NGOs, representatives of international organizations, and people affected by the war.

    "It is difficult to say that everybody is safe to go home, or willing to go back home", Julia Taft said in reply to a question.

    There is still huge fear amongst the population, she added.

    The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State said the messages sent to both Serbs and U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) side are very clear, that "they really cannot create a situation where they will set the conflict all over again".

    Asked by a reporter whether one should be satisfied if out of 100 people 20 return to their homes, Mrs Staff said "Absolutely not.

    The international community has been concerned about all of the people of Kosovo." There will a long commitment on the part of international community to help hundreds of thousands of war- affected people in Kosova, she said.

    [03] Heavy Serb Police Forces Redeployed along Prishtina-Peja Highway

    PRISHTINA, Nov 1 (KIC) - Heavy Serbian police forces were redeployed in the morning today (Sunday) along the main east-west Kosova highway linking capital Prishtina with the main western town of Peja ('Pec'), Mrs Nekibe Kelmendi, Secretary-General of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) told the KIC.

    Mrs Kelmendi added that Serb forces were equipped with armored vehicles on the part of the highway from Llazic& village of Malisheva to Peja itself.

    The town of Peja has a heavy presence of Serb forces, too.

    Meanwhile, local LDK sources in Malisheva reported that the Serb military and police presence in the area has been preventing Albanian refugees from actually returning to their homes.

    Serb forces were reported opening sporadic fire overnight in the Malisheva area in central Kosova.

    [04] Serb Forces Exhume Bodies of 9 Killed Albanians in Junik

    Take them to unknown direction

    PRISHTINA, Nov 1 (KIC) - In the past few days, Serbian military and police forces exhumed the bodies of nine Albanians killed by Serb forces in the summer and buried in Junik, the LDK Information Commission in Gjakova.

    Serbs disentombed the bodies of Bekim Shala (48) from Ferizaj, Bedri Shala (50) from Drenica, P&rmet Vula (20) from Gjakova, Elton Zherka (21) from Gjakova, Bajram Rama (70) from Junik, Zejnije Krasniqit (f, 27) from Junik, as well as the body of a 12-year-old girl and two other children, likewise residents of Junik, whose names have not been reported.

    Eye-witnesses said Serb forces took the unearthed bodies to an unknown direction.

    Serb regime is suspected of either staging politically-motivate bizarre things - like in the summer months, when they presented unidentified bodies as Serb bodies - or else simply keen on destroying evidence, local observers said.

    [05] Serb Forces Fire Into Suhareka Villages Overnight

    PRISHTINA, Nov 1 (KIC) - From 22:00 hrs on Saturday through early morning on Sunday, Serb forces positioned at Qaf& e Dul&s (Duhla Gorge) and a location near Luzhnic& opened automatic and machine- gun fire on the outlying villages, Hamz& Shala, a local activist at Guncat village of Suhareka told the KIC today.

    Mr. Shala failed to learn anything on possible casualties or the material damage caused by Serb gunfire.

    [06] Local Malisheva LDK Leaders Still Under U^K Arrest

    PRISHTINA, Nov 1 (KIC) - The Ushtria ^lirimtare e Kosov&s (U^K, the Kosova Liberation Army) is still holding under arrest two leading members of the LDK chapter in Malisheva, Jakup Kastrati and Cen Desku, local party sources said.

    The two local LDK leaders were arrested on Friday. The U^K has failed to say what the motive for their arrest was.

    [07] Albanian Returnees Encounter Booby-Traps Planted by Serbs in Rahovec Villages

    PRISHTINA, Nov 1 (KIC) - A number of Albanian families who attempted to return to their homes in Opterush& village of Rahovec failed to do so because of booby traps planted there by Serb forces, the LDK chapter in Malisheva said.

    Among those who encountered booby traps were Blerim Kabashi and Agim Kabashi, residents of Opterusha. They could not actually get back to their homes.

    Serbian police forces are still stationed in the village of Opterusha, local sources said.

    [08] Police Beat Up Severely Local Albanian Cleric

    PRISHTINA, Nov 1 (KIC) - A dozen Serb policeman on an armored vehicle arrived early in the village of Gllogjan of Lugu i Baranit (Barani valley) early afternoon today (Sunday). They opened fire in the direction of the nearby Jabllanic& village, a local LDK activist said.

    While returning, Serb police beat up severely Ali Hoxha, around 60 years of age, a village imam. He suffered heavy injuries.

    "We dare not open our school" in Gllogjan, the LDK activist said, adding that "Albanians are fearful of the Serb police presence in the area".

    Kosova Information Center

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