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Kosova Daily Report #1722, 99-03-16

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 #1722
Prishtina, 16 March 1999

First Edition: 12:30 CET
Second Edition: 16:00 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] Resumed Kosova Conference Into Its Second Day, the Ball on Belgrade's Court
  • [02] Serbian Military Offensive Continues Unabated, Many Vushtrri Villages under Serbian Artillery Fire
  • [03] Three Mitrovica Villages Reported Shelled Today Morning
  • [04] Serbian Military Shells Four Podujeva Villages for an Hour Today Morning
  • [05] Hani i Elezit Villages Shelled Today Morning
  • [06] Some 70 People Rounded up in Paldenik, Hani i Elezit Area
  • [07] Serbian Military Surrounds, Raids Muradem& Village of Zhur, Southern Kosova
  • [08] Local Serbs Mobilized, Armed in Vitia Area
  • [09] The Paris Conference - Kosovars Discuss Implementation, Serbs Come up with Hugely Revised Plan

  • [01] Resumed Kosova Conference Into Its Second Day, the Ball on Belgrade's Court

    PRISHTINA, March 16 (KIC) - The resumed Kosova conference entered its second day today in Paris, with the ball now being squarely on Belgrade's court.

    The Kosova delegation signed up to the Rambouillet Accords yesterday (Monday), 15 March.

    In this sense, the Kosovars have effectively vetoed any possible changes the 'FRY' delegation may seek to the text of the agreement on a three-year- long self-government for Kosova, which was negotiated at Rambouillet last month.

    The following is the full text of the letter in English from Kosova delegation, signed by its head Hashim Tha^i, to the French and British foreign ministers, Hubert Vedrine and Robin Cook.

    (Begin text) Dear Messrs Vedrine and Cook, After the consultations of the Kosova delegation with political and military factors, as well as with the people of Kosova, concerning the agreement for peace and self-government (dated February 23, 1999) from the Rambouillet meeting, this delegation and I personally say ``yes'' to this agreement.

    We would be honoured to sign the agreement in your presence at a time and place of your choosing.

    The agreement creates a chance and a perspective for Kosova and its people.

    Our consultations in Kosova were necessary and very important. Now that a positive mood on behalf of the agreement has been created within the political and military structures, the Kosova delegation is able to sign the agreement.

    In this success of ours, your contribution as well as the contribution of the administration of your countries was great. The fate of the Albanian people of Kosova is at a historical turning point and the Kosova delegation has a big responsibility. You have shown attention and patience concerning this fact.

    Our delegation, and I, are very thankful for this.

    We will expect your help, as well as the help of your governments, in the future. The people of Kosova have been and will continue to be allies of your countries, and you can count on this. Kosova needs freedom and democracy. Your personal contribution and that of your countries are essential and respected.

    Sincerely, The Kosova delegation chairman, Hashim Tha^i (End text)

    [02] Serbian Military Offensive Continues Unabated, Many Vushtrri Villages under Serbian Artillery Fire

    PRISHTINA, March 16 (KIC) - Early in the morning today (Tuesday), Serbian military forces resumed their mortar and artillery fire against at least 16 villages in the Vushtrri municipality: Zhilivod&, Be^uk, Gllavotin&, Bivolak, Strofc, Mihaliq, Druar, Bruznik, Balinc, Oshlan, Gur&bardh, Pantin&, Okrashtic&, Dubovc, Galic& and Taraxh&.

    It has been impossible to obtain information on casualties and damage today.

    An Albanian, Muharrem Miftari (25), resident of Be^uk, was shot and wounded yesterday, local LDK sources said.

    Serbian forces continued burning Albanian houses in the villages of Mihaliq, Druar, Shallc, Brusnik, and Stanofc i Posht&m.

    Just past 8,00 o'clock in the morning today, Serbian forces moved into the Be^uk village, from where they have launched heavy machine-gun fire from all sides.

    At around 8:30 CET, a combined military and police convoy consisting of 19 Serb vehicles trailing combat pieces left Vushtrri heading for Druar village.

    Heavy gunfire was reported Monday night, too.

    [03] Three Mitrovica Villages Reported Shelled Today Morning

    PRISHTINA, March 16 (KIC) - Early in the morning today (Tuesday), Serbian forces shelled the villages of V&rrnic&, Vaganic& and K^i^ i Madh, local LDK sources in Mitrovica reported.

    These Mitrovica villages, as well as 16 others in the neighbouring Vushtrri municipality, were attacked by Serbian forces last night, too.

    Serbian forces have been pounding the Albanian villages and U^K positions from their positions at Frash&r i Vog&l, Pir^, Zherovnic&, as well as their military base in Kutllofc.

    The detonations have been said to be very powerful. Reports that could no be immediately confirmed said Serbs have been employing ground-to-ground rockets, too.

    [04] Serbian Military Shells Four Podujeva Villages for an Hour Today Morning

    PRISHTINA, March 16 (KIC) - After sporadic gunfire overnight, Serbian military forces shelled today four Podujeva villages (Llapashtic& e Poshtme, Llapashtic& e Ep&rme, Obran^&, and Katunisht&) for an hour, from 7:00 through 8:00 CET, local LDK sources in Podujeva reported.

    There has been a heavily restricted movement of citizens in the town of Podujeva, home to 20,000 residents, as Serb police holds it under a heavy grip, harassing random motorists and passers-bye.

    [05] Hani i Elezit Villages Shelled Today Morning

    PRISHTINA, March 16 (KIC) - Heavy gunfire was reported in Hani i Elezit ('General Jankovic') area since 7:45 CET today, local LDK sources said. Four Serbian army tanks, two APCs and three lorries full of soldiers headed towards Paldenic& village today morning.

    Heavy artillery fire was reported opened by Serbian troops later.

    There has been no immediate word on casualties or damage.

    Sources from Hani i Elezit said the gunfire died down at around 10:00 CET.

    [06] Some 70 People Rounded up in Paldenik, Hani i Elezit Area

    PRISHTINA, March 16 (KIC) - Serbian amry police has taken some 70 Albanians, rounded up in Paldenik village, to an army post in Hani i Elezit, local LDK sources said. They were reported to be mostly men.

    The Serb army police have been reported holding a list in their hands, and separating the detainees.

    [07] Serbian Military Surrounds, Raids Muradem& Village of Zhur, Southern Kosova

    PRISHTINA, March 16 (KIC) - Monday morning, around 10:00 CET, heavy Serbian military forces surrounded the village of Muradem& and raided Albanian houses there, local LDK sources in Zhur village said.

    Before starting their raids, allegedly searching for hidden arms, Serb soldiers ordered all Albanian residents of the village huddle at a location.

    The Serb army found three hunting rifles only, but smashed up and vandalized several Albanian households.

    At the close of their crackdown, the Serb army physically abused Naim Kurtaj, local LDK leader in Muradem&, and four other Albanian villagers.

    [08] Local Serbs Mobilized, Armed in Vitia Area

    PRISHTINA, March 16 (KIC) - The Serbian regime-installed authorities in Vitia mobilized Monday local Serbs in the area, providing them with weapons and uniforms, local LDK sources said.

    Serb army reservists were accommodated in the local elementary school at Bin^& village of Vitia municipality.

    [09] The Paris Conference - Kosovars Discuss Implementation, Serbs Come up with Hugely Revised Plan

    PARIS, PRISHTINA, 16 March (KIC) - The parties to the international conference on Kosova, which resumed work Monday in Paris, have worked in completely separate ways in its second day today (Tuesday).

    After having agreed to sign up to the plan negotiated in Rambouillet last month, the delegation of the Republic of Kosova discussed today the civilian and military aspects of implementation with NATO, the EU, and OSCE, including things like democratization, election and reconstruction, sources tell the Kosova Information Center (KIC).

    Meanwhile, the 'FRY' delegation has come up today with a plan of its own, which is said to have reviewed around 70 percent of the agreement negotiated at Rambouillet last month, according to sources close to the Paris conference.

    This counter-plan has been promptly refused by the Contact Group, sources said, adding that the plan would install sheer apartheid in Kosova, allowing for Serbs to be governed by Serbia, and Kosovars by the new Kosovar authorities. The Serb plan envisages nothing like restoration of economic and social life in the war-ravaged Kosova at a time Serbian military aggression rages here, having destroyed half of Kosova and driven more than half a million of Albanians from their homes.

    The delegation of the Republic of Kosova, by having agreed to sign the Rambouillet accords on Monday, has effectively vetoed any possibility of changes to the documents, the political and security components, inlcuding the deployment of a NATO-led force to police it.

    The Kosovars have now painted a clear "white and black" situation, and the ball is now in Belgrade's court.

    This new situation is a challenge to the international community, too.

    Western governments and NATO have claimed all along in case failure to achieve an agreement on Kosova is because of blockage by Serbia, then they would strike Serbian military targets and protect the people of Kosova from further aggression.

    The ball is now in the NATO court, the argument goes.

    Kosova Information Center

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