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Kosova Daily Report #1723, 99-03-17

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 #1723
Prishtina, 17 March 1999


CONTENTS

  • [01] Kosova Conference Nears Its End, Inconclusively?
  • [02] LDK Presidency Calls for NATO Intervention
  • [03] EU Forensic Expert Team Issues Report on Re^ak Atrocity
  • [04] Serbian Military Shells Vushtrri and Mitrovica Villages Overnight
  • [05] Fresh Serbian Troops and Armor Enter Kosova Via Podujeva
  • [06] Three Albanian Brothers Found Killed in Tomoc Village of Istog
  • [07] One Albanian Killed, 30 Wounded in Serb Crackdown on Babaj i Bok&s Village Gjakova
  • [08] Serbian Forces Surround Kabash Village

  • [01] Kosova Conference Nears Its End, Inconclusively?

    PRISHTINA, March 17 (KIC) - The Rambouillet conference on Kosova, which entered its third day since it resumed work in Paris this week, may be ending soon inconclusively, sources said.

    The EU envoy for Kosova Petritsch, one of the international negotiators, was quoted early afternoon today as saying "negotiators will be available for just a few more hours".

    However, James Rubin, the State Department spokesman and an assistant to Secretary of State Albright, also in Paris today, was quoted as saying later Petritsch might have been hasty when he said it was a matter of hours. It is a matter of days, because according to him, the conference may last till Friday.

    The delegation of the Republic of Kosova said Monday it agreed to sign the Kosova interim deal negotiated at Rambouillet last month.

    Even if the Kosovar Albanians sign the agreement it will be only a symbolic thing, indicating their willingness to accept it, U.S. sources said.

    The presidency of the Kosovar delegation has been invited to visit the United States at the weekend, sources tell the KIC.

    The end of the conference does not necessarily mean the end of negotiations, which may be carried out in the form of shuttle diplomacy, James Rubin was quoted as saying.

    The Serbian side has stubbornly refused to sign up to the Rambouillet accords. Moreover, it came up with a hugely revised political plan, which is utterly unacceptable to the Kosovars and the international community.

    Members of the Kosova delegation had briefings today with both the OSCE and NATO on aspects related to the implementation of the eventual agreement.

    Meanwhile, the President of the Republic of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova said in an interview with Radio Free Europe's Albanian Service the Kosovar delegation is keen to complete its part of the job before leaving Paris. The interim agreement for Kosova is a great step towards independence, he said, adding that the people of Kosova await and "welcome NATO to implement it".

    Although it knew all along Milosevic was not ready to sign up to the Kosova agreement, the international community does not seem to know what to do now.

    The credibility of NATO is at stake now that Serbia has engaged in a large- scale offensive and massed troops and armor in Kosova to defy it.

    [02] LDK Presidency Calls for NATO Intervention

    PRISHTINA, March 17 (KIC) - The Presidency of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), President Ibrahim Rugova's party, issued a statement today (Wednesday) in which it called for an urgent NATO intervention in Kosova to stop the Serbian aggression against the Albanian people.

    Following is the text of the LDK statement, signed by Nekibe Kelmendi, secretary-general of the party.

    (Begin text) In view of the continuously deteriorating situation in Kosova, which has been escalating to critical dimensions by the hour, and the dangers it poses to the defenseless Albanian people of Kosova and peace in the Balkans and Europe as a whole, at a time the Belgrade regime has deployed in Kosova virtually all its military and police troops and armor; Deeply concerned by the extremely grave situation in Kosova amidst the stepped up Serbian offensive against the Albanian people; The Presidency of the Democratic League of Kosova calls urgently that NATO, pursuant to its clearly defined position, intervene immediately to stop the attacks by striking Serbian military and police targets, so as to avert the tragedy that is threatening Kosova, and not only Kosova.

    The Presidency of the Democratic League of Kosova calls on the United States of America, member countries of the European Union, as well as members countries of the Contact Group, to support this plea, being fully convinced that they now understand the seriousness of the dramatic situation in Kosova.

    (End text) The statement has been addressed as a letter to NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the European Union, and the Kosova Conference in Paris, LDK sources said.

    [03] EU Forensic Expert Team Issues Report on Re^ak Atrocity

    The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek, calls for "a thorough criminal investigation of this atrocity and prosecution of those responsible"

    PRISHTINA, March 17 (KIC) - The EU Forensic Team presented today in Prishtina its report on the Re^ak atrocity of 15 January 1999.

    At least 40 unarmed Albanian civilians were killed by Serbian forces in Re^ak village of Shtime then, causing outrage in Kosova and in the international community.

    In a lengthy report, which has been also referred to as comments representing the personal view of the author, Dr. Helena Ranta, details are provided of how the investigations were conducted.

    The EU experts have now completed only a part of the overall investigations concerning the events in Re^ak - namely the medicolegal investigation of the victims. "For a more complete picture of what took place in Re^ak a full criminal investigation into the events would be required, combining scene investigations, interrogation of witnesses and analysis of the evidence with the autopsy findings of the EU experts", the report said.

    "There were no indications of the [killed] people [in Re^ak] being other than unarmed civilians", the EU experts said.

    Meanwhile, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek reiterated today his statement of 16 January, in which he condemned the Re^ak atrocity against innocent civilians.

    Mr. Vollebaek "calls for a thorough criminal investigation of this atrocity and prosecution of those responsible", a statement issued today in Oslo said.

    [04] Serbian Military Shells Vushtrri and Mitrovica Villages Overnight

    Attack launched against Be^uk village today

    PRISHTINA, March 17 (KIC) - Serbian military and paramilitary police forces shelled the ^i^avica massif villages in northwestern Kosova overnight, local LDK sources in Vushtrri reported.

    The villages of Be^uk came under Serbian attack at 9:30 CET today, they added.

    As in the past twenty days, Serbian military and police, from their positions at Frash&r i Vog&l and Pirq of the Mitrovica municipality, shelled last night the villages of Oshlan, Pantin& and Lkej of Vushtrri municipality, local LDK sources said.

    Many Serb shells landed also on the 'Zmiq' hill, from where U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) has been resisting the Serbian occupation forces.

    [05] Fresh Serbian Troops and Armor Enter Kosova Via Podujeva

    PRISHTINA, March 17 (KIC) - Some 30 Serbian military vehicles entered Kosova from Serbia last night, travelling the Nis-Podujeva- Prishtina highway, local LDK sources in Podujeva reported.

    Meanwhile, more Serbian reinforcements moved in Kosova today at 7:00 CET, local sources said. A convoy involving 23 tanks, 27 lorries, 12 APCs and 25 so-called 'pragas', full of Serb soldiers and reservists arrived in the Podujeva area today morning.

    The troops and armor were deployed in the Dumosh airfield, from where at 8:30 CET 13 tanks left, as well as two lorries and one APC, all of them heading southward towards the capital of Prishtina.

    [06] Three Albanian Brothers Found Killed in Tomoc Village of Istog

    PRISHTINA, March 17 (KIC) - Three Albanian brothers were found killed today morning along the Gjurakovc-Istog roadway, near a village cemetery at Tomoc village of Istog municipality, local LDK sources reported. They are Brahim Dervishaj (30), Esat Dervishaj (20) and Enver Dervishaj (16), residents of Zabllaq village of the same municipality.

    The Serbian police took the bodies of the Dervishaj brothers to the Prishtina town morgue for autopsies a few hours later.

    One of the victims had his throat slit, whereas the other had his hands hand-cuffed on the back, local sources said, quoting eye- witness accounts.

    [07] One Albanian Killed, 30 Wounded in Serb Crackdown on Babaj i Bok&s Village Gjakova

    PRISHTINA, March 17 (KIC) - One Albanian killed, 30 others wounded and many more arrested. This was the outcome of a Serbian forces' crackdown on the Babaj i Bok&s village along the Kosova-Albania border, local LDK sources in Gjakova said, failing to specify the circumstances of the killing and wounding of Albanians.

    They noted that since 6 o'clock in the morning today, Serbian military and police forces held the village under an iron grip.

    Huge material damage has been caused to the houses in the village, local sources said.

    The names of only two arrested, brothers Ilaz and Ham&z Musa, have been provided.

    The village of Korenic& has also been sealed off by police forces, LDK sources said.

    Meanwhile, sources said the Serbian military has been engaged in artillery fire for three nights in a row in the villages of Vogov&, Zhub and Brekoc along the Kosova-Albania border area.

    Part of the Albanian population has been forced to flee their homes.

    [08] Serbian Forces Surround Kabash Village

    PRISHTINA, March 17 (KIC) - Serbian forces surrounded today from three sides the village of Kabash, sending thousands of Albanians from this and neighboring villages fleeing their homes, local LDK sources said.

    There has been no explanation about the motives behind this Serbian siege of the village.

    An extremely dangerous situation has been reported in the town of Prizren. Several Albanian middle schools have been shut down.

    Kosova Information Center

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