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Kosova Daily Report #1609, 98-11-11

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 #1609
Prishtina, 11 November 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Kosova Delegation Meets with Dutch and Austrian Foreign Ministers
  • [02] "Forward-leaning, Proactive, Assertive, Intrusive, Verification of Compliance", Ambassador Walker Describes OSCE Mission in Kosova
  • [03] Serb Forces Shell Malisheva Villages Tuesday Evening
  • [04] Serbian Forces Engage in Campaign of Shooting, Maintaining Grip on Life of Kosovars
  • [05] Serb Police Kills Albanian in Negroc, Gllogovc, Tuesday
  • [06] Albanian Youth Wounded from Explosion of Grenade
  • [07] Police Arrests 7 LDK Activists in Gjilan Area
  • [08] Serb Army Intimidates V&rrini Villagers
  • [09] Seven Albanians Sentenced to 19 1/2 Years in Prison for 'Hostile Activities'

  • [01] Kosova Delegation Meets with Dutch and Austrian Foreign Ministers

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - A delegation from Kosova, consisting of Dr Fehmi Agani, Edita Tahiri, Alush Gashi and Veton Surroi, met today morning in the Hague with the Dutch Foreign Minister, Van Aksen, to discuss Kosova.

    Today afternoon, the Kosova delegation met with Austrian Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel. Austria is currently holding the presidency of the European Union.

    Efforts towards a political settlement in Kosova and the draft plan for an interim accord offered by U.S. envoy Chris Hill were discussed in the meetings, the KIC has learned.

    [02] "Forward-leaning, Proactive, Assertive, Intrusive, Verification of Compliance", Ambassador Walker Describes OSCE Mission in Kosova

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - Ambassador William Walker, the head of the OSCE Kosova Verification Mission (KVM), held a press conference in the Prishtina airport today (Wednesday), in which he elaborated on aspects of this mission, the "largest undertaking by the OSCE" in any country so far.

    "I think we have all waited for the definitive start of this KVM mission", Walker said, noting that he can't give an exact time or an exact date about when will the KVM be in place. He said he would decide that based on what he sees for himself in the next few days.

    "But I do promise that we will be here in full force as soon as humanely and bureaucratically it is possible. What I can tell you is that the number of KDOM and the number of KVM personnel continues to grow, and will increase rapidly over the coming weeks.

    And this, with my arrival, effectively marks the start of what is an unprecedented international effort to bring stability and peace to the people, and that is all the people of Kosovo", the U.S. diplomat in charge of the OSCE KVM.

    This mission is a chance for "all sides of this conflict to bring hostilities to an end", and to improve the desperate humanitarian situation that has befallen so many people here in the past few months, Walker said.

    The KVM head said this will be a verification mission, and not an observer mission. "We are here to verify compliance with agreements that will allow the conditions for a reasonable political settlement to be found. The OSCE Mission is not here to replace the legal authorities or to remove their responsibilities towards all the people of Kosovo."

    Ambassador William Walker took this occasion "to encourage the political leaderships of all involved in this conflict to choose the way of moderation, the way of sanity, the way of peaceful resolution of their differences".

    Since the [Holbrooke-Milosevic] agreement was signed, "the situation has improved", Walker said, adding that Serbian "special security forces have begun to withdraw, displaced persons, I am told are returning to their villages". At the same time, "violent incidents are reported every day, and people are returning to homes that are burned to the ground".

    "It is obvious that we have a long way to go from this battlefield to the negotiating table. This obviously a very ambitious mission, it is the largest undertaking by the OSCE by far, something like by a factor of 10", the Ambassador said.

    In his opinion, and that of the international community, this might be the last best chance to avert an irrational spiral of more violence, more human suffering, in Kosova, Mr. Walker said.

    "Virtually every member state in the OSCE is placing precious resources, material and human, in this effort. They are gambling with the very lives of their citizens that the overwhelming majority of those living in Kosovo want the violence to end". He praised the KDOM and many NGOs which have all been trying to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict. "I take off my hat to those persons, to KDOM and the NGO community, who have here under very adverse conditions, doing what we are going to do in much greater numbers, and I hope in conditions of much greater safety", Ambassador Walker concluded hi introductory remarks to the press in the Prishtina airport.

    A questioner asked for further details regarding the nature of the verification mission, whether the verifiers will be doing something different from KDOM (the Kosova Diplomatic Observer Mission). "It is very important that people can understand that this is going to be verification: forward-leaning, proactive, assertive, intrusive, whatever word you want to use, verification of compliance - not just observation", Ambassador Walker stressed.

    The Voice of America correspondent cited some reports in the countryside today that the VJ, the 'Yugoslav' army, has turned back some of the verifiers from an area near Prizren. "They said there is fighting. We have seen this as a pattern of the past months - when there is fighting they say 'well, you can't go', and then the atrocities occurred beyond the eyes of anybody, including reporters", the VOA correspondent said, asking whether KVM would be trying to get to these villages near Prizren today.

    Walker said that without knowing any detail about this specific incident the reporter was mentioning, it is tough for him to answer. "I was struck by your words ('even beyonD the eyes of journalists'). I am going to try and get my eyes and ears in as close to any of these incidents as I possibly can".

    The KVM security in the first instance depends on guarantees of 'FRY' President Milosevic, who assumes full responsibility for this diplomatic mission, and all personnel assigned to it, Ambassador Walker said. "At the same time, obviously, there are other people out there, who have the power to try and hinder what we are doing.

    At this point of time, we are accepting promises of all those people who represent those who have guns that they are not out to harm us", the KVM head said, alluding to Albanians (U^K), but not mentioning them by name.

    The NATO 'extraction force's mission will be to be "the ultimate protection [of the KVM] if something really goes wrong here", Ambassador Walker said, stressing that everybody should understand that this OSCE mission "is not here to take sides in terms of the political problems Kosovo has undergone. We are here, however, to determine who is and who is not in compliance with agreements that have been reached".

    Ambassador Walker said he would have to report to the OSCE Chairman-in- Office. "Obviously we will have periodical reports with what we have observed on the ground. We will use that to prepare reports to the member states. We will also be feeding that information to those in NATO who are responsible of overhead observation of what is going on here. That, in turn, will be delivered in terms of conclusions to such people as UN Secretary General, and the Security Council."

    There is going to be a great deal of interest "in what we determine, what is our judgment as to the compliance or noncompliance with the agreements", the OSCE KVM head underlined.

    Asked whether the KVM will be trying to be a third source of information in Kosova, Walker acknowledged it will be trying to do something along those lines. "When it is appropriate, when there is controversy over what has happened, we will try to let our opinions come out", he concluded.

    [03] Serb Forces Shell Malisheva Villages Tuesday Evening

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - On Tuesday evening, Serb forces manning checkpoints in Kijeva and Mle^an, as well as forces posted at a location called Pishat e Llazic&s, shelled for an hour a number of outlying Albanian villages.

    LDK sources in Malisheva said the villages of Llazic&, Mle^an, Pllo^ic&, Gollubovc were targeted by Serb fire. The police stationed in the town of Malisheva was engaged in shooting last evening, too, sources said.

    There has been no word on casualties. The material damage is reported to be considerable.

    The Serb forces's fire has added to the fears of the population which had returned in great numbers in the targeted villages.

    No resident has returned to the town of Malisheva and the village of Kijeva, straddling the Prishtina-Peja highway, because of the Serb forces' presence there.

    A resident of Balinc& said the villaegs along the highway are endangered constantly by Serb forces stationed in Llazic&, from where they open fire frequently. These forces have been looting Albanian property and livestock.

    Some 40 Albanian houses have been burned in Balinc&. The elementary school building in Llazic& has been burned to the ground likewise.

    [04] Serbian Forces Engage in Campaign of Shooting, Maintaining Grip on Life of Kosovars

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - Serbian forces, police and military, have been engaged on a daily basis in shooting and patrolling activities aimed at making the life of the Albanians impossible in Kosovar towns and villages.

    Reports from Gllogovc said Serb police opened fire for an hour in Gllogovc. Police manning the police station in Gllogovc and those in the Ferronikeli plant were involved in the shooting, the CDHRF said. (Serb regime sources said Albanians fired on Serb police station in Gllogovc.) Four Serb policemen made entry into the LDK chapter offices in Vushtrri today morning. Police have been routinely harassing and illtreating Albanians in the town of Vushtrri.

    A Serb police convoy of four APCs held provoked Albanian passers-by in the Dardania neighbourhhod of capital Prishtina early in the afternoon today. They held bystanders at gun-point and sang Serb chauvinist songs. At the time, a OSCE KMV convoy of vehicles was passing through Dardania, too.

    A Serb police convoy consisting of 6 APCs left the Firefighters premises in Mitrovica and headed for Skenderaj today morning, LDK sources said.

    Serb police beat up severely the Albanian twins, Nexhat and Nehat Grepi (19), in the town center of Mitrovica on Tuesday afternoon, they added.

    Police patrols have been reported roaming the countryside in Suhareka area, as well as being engaged in sporadic shooting there.

    Serbian police have not withdrawn from the villages of Reshtan, Duh&l, and Grejqec. The population of the village of Mohlan is being held under a ring of steel by the Serb police.

    Serb army remains still posted in Qaf& e Duhl&s, in the Biraq mountains, as well as above the town of Suhareka, LDK sources said.

    [05] Serb Police Kills Albanian in Negroc, Gllogovc, Tuesday

    Raids house of U^K spokesman Jakup Krasniqi

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - On Tuesday morning, Serb forces killed Abedin Bujupi, resident of Orllat, in the village of Negrovc of the municipality of Gllogovc.

    The Prishtina-based CDHRF said the Serb forces killed him during an expedition in the village of the Gryka e Llapushnikut. The Serbs took away the body of the killed Albanian as well as his car, the CDHRF said.

    After killing Abedin Bujupi, the police raided in Negroc the family house of Jakup Krasniqi, spokesman of the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army). The police threatened his father, Januz, with execution, the CDHRF said.

    The police arrested a number of citizens in the town of Gllogovc last night, the CDHRF said.

    [06] Albanian Youth Wounded from Explosion of Grenade

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - Shaban Dugolli (16), resident of Pjet&rshtic& village of Shtime, was wounded Tuesday when an unexploded grenade left back there exploded, the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) reported.

    The Albanian youth is in a serious condition, the human rights group said.

    [07] Police Arrests 7 LDK Activists in Gjilan Area

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - Early in the morning today (Wednesday), Serb police arrested seven local LDK activists in the village of Dob&r^an, a dozen kilometres north-east of the town of Gjilan, the LDK chapter in Gjilan reported.

    The police arrested Jonuz Aliu, a financial activist in Gjilan, Halil Halili, a football player with the "Gjilani" FC, Nazmi Avdyli, formerly a member of the police personnel in Gjilan, Shaqir Bislimi, formerly an army reserve officer, as well as Ismajl Abdyli, Kemajl Aliu and Isuf Abdyli.

    The motive for the arrest of these LDK activists is still unknown, LDK sources said.

    This is the second wave of Serb police arrests in Gjilan, after the one of 15-17 October. One of the six Albanians arrested on 15 October was Lutfi Haziri, a senior member of the LDK, and vice- chairman of the LDK chapter in Gjilan, who is still in police custody.

    [08] Serb Army Intimidates V&rrini Villagers

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - On Tuesday afternoon, two Serb army officers and 13 soldiers on board a truck toured a number of V&rrini villagers in the Prizren area, including Poslisht, Billush&, Ho^& e Qytetit, Lube^ev&, Jeshkov&, Kushnin, Leskovec, Lez and Muradem&, LDK sources in Prizren said.

    The Serb army officers told village leaders they would have to report to the Serb-installed municipal assembly in Prizren for "cooperation" or else risk being "taken forcefully" there.

    [09] Seven Albanians Sentenced to 19 1/2 Years in Prison for 'Hostile Activities'

    PRISHTINA, Nov 11 (KIC) - Today, the Serb-installed District Court in Peja sentenced seven Albanians to 19 1./2 years in prison on charges of 'hostile activities and terrorism', accusations Albanians face routinely whenever the regime chooses to have them stand trial.

    The Albanians are residents of the village of Rudica, municipality of Klina, the LDK chapter in Peja said.

    Shaban Imer Mehmetaj (1945) and Gani Xhem& Ahmetgjekaj (1965) were sentenced to 4 1/2 years imprisonment each, Mustaf& Syl& Mehmetaj (1945) to 2 1/2 years, whereas Sk&nder Ram& Bajraktaraj (1952, Nezir Rexhep Bajraktaraj (1968), Arben Ahmet Bajraktaraj (1972) and Luan Selim Ahmetgjekaj (1975) to 2 years in prison each.

    The Albanians are serving their prison terms in Peja.

    Kosova Information Center

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