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Kosova Daily Report #1690, 99-02-11

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 #1690
Prishtina, 11 February 1999


CONTENTS

  • [01] 40 Re^ak Massacre Victims Buried at Long Last
  • [02] "An Evil Visited Re^ak", Says Walker in Funeral Oration
  • [03] Two Albanians Found Killed in Western Kosova
  • [04] Agreement on Kosova without Plebiscite and NATO Guarantees Would Be of No Avail

  • [01] 40 Re^ak Massacre Victims Buried at Long Last

    The occupation Serbian authorities delayed the burial of the 40 massacred Albanians by not releasing their bodies for weeks

    PRISHTINA, Feb 11 (KIC) - Thousands of Albanian mourners attended today (Thursday) afternoon the funeral of 40 Albanians massacred by Serbian forces on 15 January. Representatives of Albanian political and military organizations were attending, as well as international monitors, including Ambassador William Walker, the OSCE KVM head.

    Amongst the speakers were Walker himself, who made an emotional funeral oration, as well as Xhemail Mustafa, President Ibrahim Rugova'a aide, Dr. Pajazit Nushi, chairman of the major Kosovar human rights council (CDHRF), representatives of the Kosova Liberation (U^K) in the area, and local community leaders.

    The religious part of the funeral was chaired by the Great Mufti of Kosova, Dr. Rexhep Boja.

    The Men's chorus from Gjakova sang the mortal song "Farewell" at the end of the funeral.

    The occupation Serbian authorities delayed the burial of the 40 massacred Albanians by not releasing their bodies, which underwent lengthy post- mortem examinations in the Serb-run morgue in Prishtina.

    The OSCE KVM head, William Walker, called the Re^ak killings a 'massacre' on 16 January, which led to the Serb regime threatening to expel him from the country for having merely told the truth.

    [See related item "An Evil Visited Re^ak"...]

    [02] "An Evil Visited Re^ak", Says Walker in Funeral Oration

    PRISHTINA, Feb 11 (KIC) - "I'm not here to make a political statement nor to speak on behalf of the OSCE", but rather "I would like to speak to you from the heart as a human being", Ambassador William Walker, the director of the OSCE Kosova Verification Mission (KVM) said at the outset of his statement at the Re^ak funeral of 40 Albanians slain by Serbian forces on 15 January.

    "Four weeks ago I was shocked, the world was shocked, by the images broadcast from this village [Re^ak, less than 30 km south of Prishtina, KIC]. Images of an atrocity; images of death; images of grief", Ambassador Walker said.

    "Whatever their political views, whatever their ethnicity or culture and whatever their dreams for the future of this land, there is no possible justification for what happened here in Re^ak", Walker said. "Today we stand united against those who committed this crime against humanity", he added.

    Even in the midst of conflict and war certain rules of decency and humanity should be observed, Mr. Walker said, adding that by "the manner of their treatment before death, by the way they met their deaths, by what befell their mortal remains in the aftermath, these rules were repeatedly violated".

    "An evil visited Re^ak. Light and life was extinguished", said he in his emotional speech. "It is right that you bury your loved ones in the village where they lived and where you will again live," Walker said.

    "Today the world will see your grief and they will see also the images of hope in Paris. Re^ak and Rambouillet are directly connected," the OSCE mission head said. "Notwithstanding the understandable grief and anger today, we must not lose sight of this hope for a better future", Ambassador Walker said at the conclusion of his funeral oration in Re^ak today afternoon.

    [03] Two Albanians Found Killed in Western Kosova

    Haki R. Hoti was found killed in an Istog village; Qerim Sykaj in a Peja village

    PRISHTINA, Feb 11 (KIC) - Haki R. Hoti (30), resident of Dubrava village of Istog, was found killed in the Zalla^ village today (Thursday) morning, local sources said.

    Haki's body was found in a brook, with his head dipped into the water, LDK sources in Istog said.

    Mr. Hoti was last seen alive yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, around 17:30 hrs, on the Istog-Rakosh roadway.

    Family members said Haki probably had died of a gunshot to the face. Other details surrounding his murder have not been made available.

    Meanwhile, sources from Peja reported that another Albanian, Qerim Mus& Sykaj (50), resident of Novosella e Radavcit village of Peja, was found killed Wednesday evening half a km away from his home. He is reported to have died of a gunshot to the head, LDK sources said.

    Mr. Sykaj had left for work yesterday - he was an employee of the Beer Factory in Peja - but was killed on the way, in still unknown circumstances, LDK sources reported.

    [04] Agreement on Kosova without Plebiscite and NATO Guarantees Would Be of No Avail

    Says the powerful Chapter of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) for the Diaspora in a letter to the Rambouillet Conference

    PRISHTINA, Feb 11 (KIC) - The Chapter of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) for the Diaspora has sent a letter to the Co-Chairmen of the International Conference on Kosova, Mr. Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, United Kingdom, and Mr. Hubert Vedrine, Foreign Minister of the Republic of France, pressing that the interim agreement on Kosova being deliberated upon in Rambouillet enshrines "the conducting of a plebiscite at the close of the three-year-period in which the people of Kosova would freely determine the future of Kosova", and that NATO is made guarantor of the outcome of the agreement.

    The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprised of eight co-founding federal units, each and everyone enjoying veto rights at the federal level, has ceased to exist, Mr. Hafiz Gagica, chairman of the LDK chapter for the Diaspora said at the outset of his letter to the Conference co-chairmen. The former Yugoslavia was declared dissolved by the decisions of the Badintaire Commission, which, "turning a blind eye on the fact that the autonomous provinces of the ex-Federation were also its constitutive parts, recognized the right to secession to the republics only".

    The rump "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" created thereafter, "laying claim to being the sole successor to the former one, was created without and against the will of the Albanians of Kosova as a two-entity federation, in which the constitutional, human, civic and national rights of the Kosovars and the Albanians have been brutally trampled upon", the letter said.

    Serbia has employed the decisions of the Badintaire Commission as a cover to underpin the legalization of the unconstitutional and ferocious suspension of the Kosova autonomy, the violation of all rights of the Albanians and the imposition of the most brutal terror the world has ever known, Gagica said in the letter."A fairly large number of Albanians have come to think this was going to be the second time the European powers would become accomplices in the misfortunes that have befallen Albanians, who have been coerced to remain under Serbian rule. It goes without saying that the Albanians would view this as a reimposition of the Serbian colonial status, the only one in Europe".

    The LDK chapter leader for the Diaspora recalls that based on the rights enshrined in the 1974 Constitution of the Yugoslavia and Kosova, pursuant to the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination, in full respect of the certain and orderly break-up of their formerly joint state into its constitutive units, "Kosova and the Albanians decided back in 1991 in a plebiscite to build an independent state of Kosova, in which all the citizens and ethnic communities would enjoy equal rights".

    "The political forces of Kosova, first and foremost the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), undertook to implement this popular political will by peaceful means and on a democratic path. Pursuing such a course, Kosova set up its own system of institutions of a civic society, which entailed also functions of a system of survival. In such a pursuit, the international community's support for the peaceful movement and its actions vis-a-vis the power of violence and terror that Serbia was instituting, not only in Kosova, was needed".

    The Milosevic regime pursued overt and publicized schemes to ethnically cleanse Kosova of its Albanian population, and has exploited the lack of serious international support for the realization of the peaceful goals of the Kosovar Albanian movement, Gagica said. Slobodan Milosevic's regime embarked on an unprecedented campaign of brutal suppression of the Albanian people, killing thousands of them, forcing hundreds of thousands of others to flee their country, he added.

    "Last year's massacres, killings, and destruction of entire villages and regions in Kosova - some of them done in the full presence of international observers - have amounted to sheer genocidal dimensions. Against such a background, it was but inevitable that the Kosova Liberation Army (U^K) emerge, an organization which strives, legitimately enough, to defend the people of Kosova against Serbian terror, and to liberate the country", the letter said, citing the "utterly inadequate response to the systematic Serbian state-sponsored terror, the barbarian repression of a people for decades on end".

    Serbia's brutal and genocidal actions against the Albanians in the heart of Europe is the element that has made all too real the danger of an escalation of the Kosovar crisis into a fully-fledged regional conflict, the letter goes on to say.

    The LDK chapter for Diaspora leader cherishes the hope that this time the international community will take into consideration all the suffering of the Albanians of Kosova who have been forced to remain under Serbian rule against their own will and with the imposition by the international community at the beginning of this outgoing century.

    "Confident that you are fully aware of the occupation and genocidal nature of Serbian claims over Kosova; confident that you will take into account and respect the political and liberation will of the Albanians; confident that you will not put an equality mark on the aggressor and the victim; confident that in this process of the making and imposition of peace, you will duly acknowledge that the Albanians have by now made a substantial compromise by accepting in principle an interim solution for a three-year- long period, We herewith urge You [the Conference on Kosova organizers) to do all that is necessary so that the interim agreement enshrines the conducting of a plebiscite at the close of the three-year-period in which the people of Kosova would freely determine the future of Kosova, the letter of the LDK chapter for the Diaspora said, addressing their excellencies Robin Cook and Hubert Vedrine.

    NATO should be made guarantor of the outcome of the agreement, the LDK in the Diaspora said, concluding that "it goes without saying that without these elements the Conference's achievements would be of no avail".

    Kosova Information Center

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