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Kosova Daily Report #1664, 99-01-15

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 #1664
Prishtina, 15 January 1999

First Edition: 17:00 CET
Second Edition: 17:30 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova's Press Conference
  • [02] Serbian Forces Launch Attack on Shtime and Ferizaj Villages Today
  • [03] No Serb Army Withdrawals, Despite Resolution of VJ Prisoners Issue

  • [01] President Rugova's Press Conference

    PRISHTINA, Jan 15 (KIC) - This past week saw "dangerous and tragic developments", adding to the already grave and volatile situation in Kosova, the President of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, told a press conference in Prishtina today (Friday).

    The President called the assassination of Enver Maloku, director of the Kosova Information Center (KIC), earlier this week as a direct attack on "the independent institutions" of Kosova.

    "The murder of Mr. Maloku, the prominent and courageous journalist, intellectual and political activist for the freedom and independence of Kosova is a great loss for Kosova", President Ibrahim Rugova said. He added that a "new climate of Serbian violence and unsolved killings" on a daily basis is being created, and demanded that all this be brought to an end.

    Kosova saw another dramatic development last week, when the Serbian army took to the streets of capital Prishtina, coupled also with the blockage of the city by armed Serb groups, he said.

    President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova hailed the intervention of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Knut Vollebaek and OSCE KVM head William Walker to calm the situation, adding that he saw within this context also the latest agreement between the parties brokered by the KVM. (Eight 'Yugoslav' soldiers, held as prisoners of war by the U^K, were released Wednesday afternoon with the mediation of the OSCE.) "The deployment of NATO ground troops in Kosova would promote security for all the citizens here, as well as this part of Europe" as a whole, the Kosova leader said. He reiterated that independence for Kosova, with all guarantees for the local Serb community, is the best solution.

    President Ibrahim Rugova confirmed that Albanian political forces and "the Kosova institutions" have been preparing for a meeting, which the OSCE Chairman-in-Office said yesterday would be held in Vienna, Austria.

    "I have received an invitation from Tirana these past few days, and I will visit Albania in the first convenient moment", President Ibrahim Rugova said, adding that contacts between Kosova and Albanian have been "regular and normal" so far.

    Asked to say what has been done to ensure that Serbian troops and hardware massed in the Podujeva last week be pulled back, President Rugova said the Kosova Verification Mission has been working in this direction, and Kosova Albanian institutions have been trying to take care of the thousands of displaced Albanians until Serb forces withdraw and they can return back to their homes.

    Asked to comment on the formation of the defense forces of the Balkan States, Rugova said the South Balkans initiative had been within the NATO framework, because many of the countries are members of NATO or NATO's Partnership for Peace. The President said he hoped to see one day "the Kosova forces join that formation".

    [02] Serbian Forces Launch Attack on Shtime and Ferizaj Villages Today

    Unconfirmed Albanian reports speak of 6 to 7 killed Albanians, the Serb regime sources put at 15 the death toll amongst the Albanians

    PRISHTINA, Jan 15 (KIC) - Heavy Serbian paramilitary police troops shelled today four villages of the Shtime municipality, some 35 km south of Prishtina.

    The LDK sources said Serbs had started early in the morning an attack against the village of Re^ak, Mollopolc, Petrov& and later Rrenaj&. Serb forces were shelling from their military position at Kryqi i Belincit (the Belinc cross), they said.

    Serbian forces advanced into the villages after a long and heavy shelling, LDK sources said early afternoon. The villages were in flames and smoke, which could be seen from the town of Shtime, they added.

    At least an Albanian has been reported killed by Serb forces today.

    Mustaf& Asllani (33), was killed in the suburbs of the small town of Shtime leading to Re^ak village, the local LDK chapter said, quoting Asllani's mother.

    The LDK chapter in Ferizaj said it had word, still unconfirmed, that 6 Albanians were killed in Petrov& village alone today.

    The population of the Shtime villages - which were attacked by Serb forces last year, too - have been forced to flee their homes again.

    Meanwhile, LDK sources from Ferizaj said the village of Jezerc and its outlying area was being shelled today, too. The sound of heavy shelling could be heard in Ferizaj.

    The Serb police has blocked the Ferizaj-Shtime-Prizren roadway, as well as all entrances to the town of Shtime, local sources said.

    OSCE verifiers could reach the scene of Serb attack today.

    Meanwhile, the Prishtina-based Media Center, a mouthpiece for the Serbian military and police in Kosova, said at least 15 members of the Kosova Liberation Army (U^K), referred to as 'terrorist' by the occupation Serb authorities, were killed today "in clashes with the Serb police" near Re^an and Petrov& villages and hamlets.

    The Serbian military and police launched attacks against Podujeva villages, north of Kosova, late last year and early this year.

    Today's attack comes in the wake of the release by the U^K of eight Serb soldiers, taken prisoner last week, which was seen as a goodwill gesture hoped to be responded to by the Serb side in the same fashion. Aggression against Albanian villages in south Kosova was the Serb answer today.

    [03] No Serb Army Withdrawals, Despite Resolution of VJ Prisoners Issue

    * Serb forces launch attack against Albanian villages in the south, in Shtime municipality * The Balkan war lord continues his outright aggression in Kosova, destroying Kosova piecemeal - village by village, town by town - while the world stands idly by, with a NATO ACTORD in force

    PRISHTINA, Jan 15 (KIC) - Serbs massed troops and tanks in northern Kosova, in Podujeva and Mitrovica areas, in the wake of the detention by the Kosova Liberation Army (U^K) of eight Yugoslav (VJ) soldiers Friday.

    On Wednesday, the U^K released the VJ soldiers it had taken prisoners, and there was hope this would lead to Serb forces mulling for attack in northern Kosova withdrawing. This has not happened, though.

    There has been no reported withdrawal of Serb army troops and combat weaponry from the Podujeva area.

    Serb army and police troops and equipment continue being deployed along the Prishtina-Podujeva highway, the Podujeva-K&rpimeh roadway further in the north, as well as in and around the town of Podujeva, the administrative capital of the eponymous north-eastern municipality.

    The Podujeva-K&rpimeh roadway has been closed for traffic by Serb military forces stationed at Peran village, local sources said. The road has been blocked for days. It was only temporarily opened for traffic on Tuesday, at the intervention by the OSCE KVM, when the funeral of the assassinated KIC director Enver Maloku was held in Bradash village, half a dozen km north of Podujeva.

    Serbian troops continue being positioned at Stari T&rg in the Mitrovica area, despite the fact that they had been stationed there allegedly in connection with the VJ prisoners held by the U^K.

    Meanwhile, huge Serb forces launched today a military-style attack on a number of Albanian villages in the Shtime municipality, some 35 km south of Prishtina. The casualty toll form long hours of shelling is still unknown. Unconfirmed reports said 6 Albanians were killed in the village of Petrov&. Another Albanian was killed in the suburbs of Shtime leading to Re^ak village today. Serb regime sources said 15 'Albanian terrorists' of the U^K had been killed in clashes with Serbian forces today.

    Artillery fire was reported in the Kosova-Albania border area villages in the municipality of Gjakova last night.

    Automatic weapons fire was reported overnight in the town of Mitrovica.

    Two Albanians, Bujar Godeni (34) and his uncle's son, Edmond Godeni (17), were killed by unknown gunmen in the "Mega sport" shop in Prizren Thursday at 17:00 hrs, local sources said. Bujar Godeni spent five months in Serb custody last year, accused of having supported the U^K, they added.

    The Balkan war lord, Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, seems to be intent on pursuing his outright aggression in Kosova at a time the international community is heavily disunited and adopting a wait- and-see approach at a time Milosevic has been destroying Kosova piecemeal - village by village, town by town - for almost a year now. And getting away - as he did in Croatia and Bosnia. NATO will continue to say its ACTORD for possible air strikes against Serb military targets is in place - an abortive and incredible threat so far. Western leaders will continue to say they will not allow a repeat of Bosnia. Et cetera, et cetera.

    Kosova Information Center

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