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Kosova Daily Report #1689, 99-02-10

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 #1689
Prishtina, 10 February 1999


CONTENTS

  • [01] Serbian Forces Shell Several Podujeva Villages Overnight and Today Morning
  • [02] 151 Kosovar Albanians Killed in January, Human Rights Council Reports
  • [03] Re^ak Massacre Bodies Released after almost a Month
  • [04] If Serbs Refuse to Allow the Peace Implementation Force in Kosova, They Will Be Subject to Air Strikes
  • [05] Clinton Presses Ahead with Nomination of Holbrooke as UN Ambassador

  • [01] Serbian Forces Shell Several Podujeva Villages Overnight and Today Morning

    PRISHTINA, Feb 7 (KIC) - Serbian forces shelled four villages in the Podujeva municipality overnight and today (Wednesday) morning.

    Local LDK sources in Podujeva said just after midnight and beginning at 5:30 a.m. today, the villages of Majanc, Sallabaja, Burica and Katunishta were shelled.

    The Serbs pounded Albanian villages from their positions nearby, as well as the Dumosh airfield, several km away, a Serb army base for a couple of months now in clear violation of the October 1998 cease-fire.

    The U.S. KDOM (Kosova Diplomatic Observer Mission) said in its Update of February 9, 1999, that "tensions seem to be escalating in the Podujeva/Llapashtica region, where patrols have noted recent VJ (Yugoslav) movements, including the deployment of four T-55 tanks to supplement an already strong military presence" there.

    Meanwhile, local LDK sources in Malisheva said Serbian paramilitary forces opened machine-gun fire against the villages of Mle^an, Llazic&, Balinc& and Bubavec from 18:00 through 21:00 CET on Tuesday. There was no immediate word on casualties, but considerable material damage was reported.

    [02] 151 Kosovar Albanians Killed in January, Human Rights Council Reports

    PRISHTINA, Feb 10 (KIC) - The Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said in a report issued today 151 Albanians were killed in Kosova this past January.

    25 Albanians were killed in unsolved circumstances, 2 died as a result of war, one was tortured to death, the CDHRF said.

    January was the month of Serbian massacres in Re^ak, Rakovina and Rogova, in which some 80 Albanians were slain in three incidents.

    The CDHRF said 32 Albanians were shot and wounded in January, 78 were taken hostage or went missing, while 255 Albanians were arbitrarily arrested.

    Of those killed, wounded or ill-treated 28 were children, 28 women, and 36 elderly people, the major human rights organization in Kosova said.

    Eleven members of the Serbian community were killed in January, CDHRF said.

    Some 600 Albanian households were raided by Serbian forces allegedly in connection with arms searches or the tracking down of 'terrorists', the Council reported.

    Two Missing Albanians Found Dead in Rahovec and Ferizaj Two others buried in Ferizaj today

    PRISHTINA, Feb 10 (KIC) - The body of Isuf Berisha (63), resident of Polluzha, who went missing from his work-place in the night of February 4th, has been found dead under the bridge of Ura e Terzis& in Bishtazhin village of Gjakova. His body has been released today from the Gjakova town morgue, and was to be buried later in the day in his native Polluzha village of Rahovec ('Orahovac') municipality.

    Meanwhile, family members identified today in the city morgue in Prishtina the body of Muhamet Gani Reka (1966) from Ferizaj. He went missing on 7 February. He is to be buried tomorrow (Thursday) in Ferizaj.

    Two other Albanians from Ferizaj, Xhavit Avdiu and Salih Salihu, who were found killed after having gone missing, were buried today in the town cemetery in Ferizaj.

    [03] Re^ak Massacre Bodies Released after almost a Month

    PRISHTINA, Feb 10 (KIC) - The bodies of 40 Albanians massacred almost a month ago by Serbian forces in the village of Re^ak were to be released from the Prishtina morgue today, after completion of identification by family members.

    Just before 14:00 CET, the corpses were being loaded in private lorries, overseen by the OSCE KVM, to be driven to Re^ak village.

    The date and venue of their burial has not been yet set.

    Serbian regime authorities in Kosova said on Tuesday they would release all 40 bodies of ethnic Albanians killed in the Re^ak massacre on 15 January.

    The Serb regime had earlier refused to release all the bodies at once, proposing that they be released in batches over three days, which was rejected by relatives who insisted they be brought back together or not at all.

    Serb investigating judge Marinkovic had warned earlier she would order the bodies to be buried in a state cemetery in Prishtina if the families refused to pick them up, Reuters reported.

    Re^ak is a ghost village now. Most of the area less than 30 km south of Prishtina is overlooked by Serb positions in the hills, posing a serious security risk for a ceremony which is expected to draw a large crowd of Albanians.

    [04] If Serbs Refuse to Allow the Peace Implementation Force in Kosova, They Will Be Subject to Air Strikes

    Says State Department spokesman James Rubin

    PRISHTINA, Feb 10 (KIC) - Ambassador Chris Hill said that they were making progress [in the Rambouillet conference on Kosova], but he also "pointed out that this is an extremely difficult enterprise", James P. Rubin, the State Department spokesman said Tuesday in Washington.

    Ambassador Hill, the chief U.S. negotiator in the talks between Prishtina and Belgrade delegations on an interim settlement for Kosova, was quoted as saying the parties have been working from a text that the Contact Group had put down, "that the work is serious and constructive".

    "We believe we've come up with a formula and a plan and a construct that does not require either side to give up its dreams or its aspirations, but allows for an agreement that will entail great degrees of self-government for the people of Kosovo, including police, including civil institutions, including judiciary institutions, health institutions, educational institutions - their own institutions to run their own lives", James Rubin told reporters during a daily briefing. "This is the construct which would entail three years of having their own institutions, having self- government and deferring the question of the ultimate status of Kosovo until after those three years".

    If a NATO force is deployed in Kosova, there will be no dual-key arrangement, the State Department spokesman said. "NATO will have undisputed military command in its sphere of operations. The duties and responsibilities of a NATO-led force in Kosovo are currently under discussion among NATO members". There will be no subordination of a NATO- led force to the Contact Group, as suggested in some erroneous reports Tuesday, he added.

    Asked to say whether they foresee a vote or a referendum in Kosova or more negotiations in three years' time, Rubin said "I think to get into that beyond to say that their construct is a three-year period where the level of self-government will operate and then discussion after that, I do not want to be specific".

    In reply to a questioner, the State Department spokesman said Secretary Albright has indicated to Ambassador Hill that she is prepared at the appropriate time to go to Rambouillet. Albright has made no final decision as to whether she would participate in a meeting of the Contact Group at the week-end, he added.

    There is no consideration of a NATO force being deployed in the absence of an agreement by the Serbs and the Kosovars towards presence, Rubin emphasized. "NATO has also decided that if the Serbs fail to agree to the Contact Group plan and the Kosovar Albanians do - and a prime example of failing to agree would be to refuse to allow the peace implementation force - the Serbs will be subject to air strikes. So they would be making a big mistake to hold up this agreement over the question of allowing forces in if the Kosovar Albanians are prepared to do so. That flows from the logic of NATO's decisions of the last ten days," the State Department spokesman said, spelling out the Western policy over Kosova.

    [05] Clinton Presses Ahead with Nomination of Holbrooke as UN Ambassador

    Cites Holbrooke's role in the crises in Kosova, Iraq and Cyprus

    PRISHTINA, Feb 10 (KIC) - The White Press said in a press release Tuesday it would soon send to the Senate the nomination of Richard C. Holbrooke to be the next United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

    "From building a lasting peace in Bosnia to searching for a political settlement in Kosovo to finding a workable solution in Cyprus, Richard C. Holbrooke's intellect, vigor, and diplomatic skills have significantly advanced the values and interests of the American people", President Clinton said.

    "At a time when international crises, from Iraq to Kosovo, demand the leadership of the United States and the United Nations, it is essential that we have a strong and capable diplomat like Richard C. Holbrooke as our U.N. Ambassador", the U.S. President said, concluding that he is "extraordinarily well qualified" for this vital position.

    Kosova Information Center

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