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Kosova Daily Report #1614, 98-11-17

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 #1614
Prishtina, 17 November 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives British Ambassador
  • [02] President Rugova Accorded the "Prize of the Defendants of the Human Rights"
  • [03] Ambassador Hill Meets with U^K Political Representatives
  • [04] LDK Dismisses Serb President's Invitation for Dialogue as 'Unserious'
  • [05] Dema^i Says Kosova Has Now All Elements to Be a State
  • [06] At Least 1795 Albanians Killed in Kosova since Mid-January, Human Rights Group Says
  • [07] Firearm Shooting Reported in Prizren and Mitrovica Monday Night
  • [08] Huge Blast Smashes Caf‚ and Shops in Peja Tuesday Morning
  • [09] Fresh Serb Forces Arrive in Prizren and Gjakova Tuesday
  • [10] Serb Forces Make the Return of IDPs Impossible
  • [11] Serb Police Cracks Down on Several Albanian Homes in Gjakova
  • [12] Serb Court in Gjilan Institutes Criminal Proceedings against Seven Albanians
  • [13] Three Albanians Jailed to Five Years Each in Peja

  • [01] President Rugova Receives British Ambassador

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova received today the British ambassador to Belgrade, Mr. Brian Donnelly, to discuss the current situation in Kosova and efforts to de- escalate it and create the preconditions for a negotiated settlement.

    Ambassador Donnelly briefed President Rugova on the arrival of a group of British verifiers as part of the OSCE Verification Mission in Kosova.

    Ibrahim Rugova reaffirmed the readiness of the Kosova institutions to fully cooperate with the Mission.The Kosova leader said he highly appreciated the commitment of the British government to the Kosova issue.

    [02] President Rugova Accorded the "Prize of the Defendants of the Human Rights"

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Jury of the French National Consultative Commission of the human rights accorded President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova the ""Prize of the Defendants of the Human Rights".

    The office of French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin said the ceremony of the a delivery of the Prize will be held in Paris on 10 October.

    The President of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, has awarded this year's Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament.

    [03] Ambassador Hill Meets with U^K Political Representatives

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - U.S. envoy for Kosova, Ambassador Chris Hill, met today (Tuesday) in the KDOM office in Dragobil village of Malisheva, central Kosova, with political representatives of the (Ushtria ^lirimtare e Kosov&s, U^K - Kosova Liberation Army), LDK sources said.

    The prospects for a political resolution to the Kosova issue were discussed in the meeting, the LDK chapter in Malisheva said, failing to offer other details.

    [04] LDK Dismisses Serb President's Invitation for Dialogue as 'Unserious'

    PRISHTINA, Nov (KIC) - The presidency of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), the strongest political party in Kosova, reaffirmed today its commitment to the start of a meaningful negotiating process, well-prepared and effectively mediated by the international community so that it yield results, an LDK statement said today.

    Being addressed by an incompetent body, Serb President Milutinovic's invitation fails to meet any criteria to be a serious offer, the LDK said. "Such initiations to not serve the goal of creating the appropriate environment for the opening of a meaningful process of negotiations", the party added.

    The LDK leadership said Serbian forces have been beefing up their presence in Kosovar areas affected by Serbian offensives this year.

    "The demonstration of [Serbian] force, the shelling of settlements, the persecution of young Albanians, as well as the obstruction of the process of the return of Albanians to their homes are forms of violence and pressure being instituted against the Albanians", the LDK said.

    The incident on Monday in Podujeva which saw an Albanian woman, mother of five, being wounded in her family courtyard, is an example of the Serb police brutality, the party stressed, referring to the wounding of Shukrie Gashi (38) in Llapashtic& village.

    The LDK called on international mechanisms to prevent further Serbian aggression and violence in what "is already a tragic situation in Kosova".

    [05] Dema^i Says Kosova Has Now All Elements to Be a State

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - "Now we have all the elements to create the state [of Kosova]", Adem Dema^i, the general political representative of the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) said in a press conference Tuesday in Prishtina, referring to the existence of the U^K, the military factor in Kosova.

    The U^K and "its police organs" are necessary for any [Kosova] government to be functional, Dema^i said, complaining that the mainstream Kosova institutions, the Parliament and the President, are not duly understanding this.

    "It is true that a large portion of the people has voted this Parliament and this President", the U^K representative said, adding that he stood for compromise, although "as you know, I have been given powers by the U^K to form the Assembly and the Government".

    Dema^i dismissed remarks by Edita Tahiri, a member of the Kosova negotiating team, on the need to 'depoliticize the U^K'.

    The U^K representative said Serb President Milutinovic's offer of dialogue with the Albanian side "is propaganda, not a serious initiation".

    The Americans and Ambassador Petritsch should take part in the negotiations, as a party directly involved in the talks, and not as guests, Adem Dema^i said. "Efforts to sideline U^K from the negotiating process are pointless", he said, adding that "without U^K's participation, let whoever wants to talk and sign whatever they choose, but they will not be valid."

    In two days' time, on 19 November, will be the 40 anniversary of "my active political work", Adem Dema^i said, referring to 19 November 1958, when he was first arrested by the former Yugoslav regime for his political activities. "I will not retire before winning freedom and creating our state".

    [06] At Least 1795 Albanians Killed in Kosova since Mid-January, Human Rights Group Says

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - Since 14 January 1998, Serbian forces have killed 1795 Albanians, the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said today.

    The major Kosovar human rights group said that over 900 Albanians have gone missing and at least 1,200 have been arrested by Serb regime forces during the past ten months.

    [07] Firearm Shooting Reported in Prizren and Mitrovica Monday Night

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - Serb police manning a base at "Laku i Billush&s" location on the Prizren-Dragash road opened machine-gun fire in the direction of the Billusha village of Prizren last night.

    At around 1 a.m., Serbs began firing indiscriminately on the farmhouses in Billusha, local villagers told the LDK chapter in Prizren. The village was pounded with fire for about half an hour, they said. No casualties were reported.

    The LDK chapter in Mitrovica said for almost four hours last evening - from 8 p.m. through midnight - heavy firearm shooting was heard in the town. The Serb population in virtually all the parts of the town opened continued fire in the air. The LDK failed to learn why the Serb did so, noting only that the shooting caused panic and anxiety amongst the Albanian residents.

    [08] Huge Blast Smashes Caf‚ and Shops in Peja Tuesday Morning

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - A heavy explosion damaged badly the "Sprait" caf‚ and the surrounding shops in Peja early in the morning today (Tuesday).

    The LDK chapter in the town said a still unknown explosive device was planted or tossed inside the "Sprait" pub. The owner of the pub, Muhamet Bakraqi, was quoted as saying that it could have been tossed by an organized gang of criminals. Only a few days ago, members of a gang had asked Mr. Bakraqi give them an [unspecified] amount of money or else face bitter consequences.

    [09] Fresh Serb Forces Arrive in Prizren and Gjakova Tuesday

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - Two busloads of Serb policemen arrived in the town of Prizren today morning, local sources told the KIC.

    It seems that the fresh Serb forces came to Prizren for Serbia.

    They were stationed in the military barracks in the town.

    Meanwhile, a column of half a dozen vehicles with Serb forces on board were seen moving along the Prizren-Gjakova road today afternoon, at around 13:00, the LDK chapter in Prizren said. Some of the vehicles had BG (Belgrade) plate numbers, it added.

    [10] Serb Forces Make the Return of IDPs Impossible

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - Most of the displaced persons in the Malisheva municipality are reluctant to return to their homes in the Malisheva house amidst continued Serb provocations and a campaign of violence, the head of the Malisheva LDK chapter told the KIC today.

    A local LDK official, Isuf Bytyqi, said shootings from firearms, in the night hours in particular, have become part of life in the area. There were skirmishes between the Serb forces and U^K near Bellanica village on Monday afternoon. The LDK activist could not learn if there were any casualties in any of the sides.

    Over the past two days, fresh Serb forces have been deployed in several outposts, including in Kramovik and Rakosh. Mr. Bytyqi said that Albanians have been routinely maltreated in Serb police checkpoints. One of them, Blerim Tha^i (16), suffered severe body when beaten up by a Serb police patrol on Monday, he said.

    [11] Serb Police Cracks Down on Several Albanian Homes in Gjakova

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - At around 4 a.m. today, heavy Serb police forces cracked down on the houses of several Albanians in the town of Gjakova, local sources said.

    The LDK chapter in Gjakova said at least four Albanians were arrested during today's Serb police operation, naming them as Ibrahim Syla and Zenun Syla, local residents, and Selami Sadriu and Hilmi ^uni, both displaced men from Grama^el village, sheltered in Gjakova.

    They were all reported still in custody by mid-afternoon.

    [12] Serb Court in Gjilan Institutes Criminal Proceedings against Seven Albanians

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - The Serb-run District court in Gjilan ruled Monday to extend the pre-trial detention to one month each for six Albanians.

    Ismail Avdyli (1964), Halil Halili (1968), Kemajl Aliu (1967), Sali Shahini (1973), Fejzulla Aliu (1969) and Jonuz Aliu (1958) have been held in Serb custody since 11 November.

    Osman Arifi, a lawyer from Gjilan, told the KIC that the District Court in Gjilan has instituted criminal proceedings against seven Albanians from Dob&r^an village: Nebi Huruglica (1967), Sinan Avdyli (1967), Ibish Ibishi (1963), Xhafer Kryeziu (1962), Naser Arifi (1976), Enver Tahiri (1967) and Naser Tahiri (1967).

    They have been accused for having allegedly set up a "terrorist group". Most of the defendants are members of the "Studenti" sports club in Dob&r^an, the lawyer said.

    [13] Three Albanians Jailed to Five Years Each in Peja

    PRISHTINA, Nov 17 (KIC) - The Serb District Court in Peja sentenced today three Albanians to five years in prison each, on "hostile activity and terrorism" charges.

    The LDK chapter named the three convicted Albanians as Hill K^iraj (1954), Pjet&r K^iraj (1969), and Zef K^iraj (1973). They were arrested by the Serb army on 9 July 1998, and were later handed over to the Serb police authorities.

    The Serb court authorities in Peja have instituted criminal proceedings against over 1,100 Albanian, by and large residents of the western Kosova municipalities. Scores of others have been held in Serb custody in other Kosova towns, pending trial.

    Kosova Information Center

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