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Kosova News 1998
Chronicle of the week 13-19 Sep.

The EU Commissionaire Emma Bonino warned the ELDER (European Liberal and Reform Group) at the strategy conference in Venice last week that the 15 member states should not agree to the Yugoslav leader's plan to run food centres for Kosovar refugees. Further in her discussion, Miss Bonino said: "That is like asking Dracula to run a blood bank. There must never be a European flag over such a concentration camp", referring to the Serb regime plan to open 11 centers where Kosova Albanian refugees would be supplied with food and building material.
As far as the building material is concerned, that precious material that is being shown through the TV net, bricks are being used to build artificial walls on the highways in order to block the pass of even the convoys. Bricks are becoming the barracades for shooting, interrupting the traffic or blocking completely the passes. Your reporter has witnessed this during the humanitarian convoy travel to different parts of war inflicted areas.

As the keynote speaker at the conference, Miss Bonino ended up her speech with "We are witnessing the kind of ethnic subjugation and violation of human rights which the founding fathers of the European Union wanted to eradicate from the continent, when the process of European integration began. Milosevic is the only European leader with any clear project in mind - like it or not. He simply terrorizes the Kosovars when he feels it appropriate.

Chronicle of the week 13-19 Sep.

13 September, 1998

President Rugova received the Un Under Secretary General, Mr. Olara Utunnu and talked about the current situation in Kosova. Mr. Otunnu visited on Friday the Centre for Protection of Women and Children where he met with women's and children's groups and also with three IDP families who fled for life from Magura village of Lipljan, Drenovc village of Klina and Llapushnik village of Malisheve. He was especially focusing on the plight of displaced women and children declaring "We are worried over the human suffering in Kosova, especially the suffering of children". Yet the river of people fleeing for life is growing day by day due to the Serb operation "scorching land" over the Kosova territory.

At least 14 Albanians are feared killed in mountains between Kosova and Montenegro. Four victims from Decan area are already identified as ORHAN DERVISHAJ (17M) from Irzniq village, then EKREM LULAJ (18M), ZENEL LULAJ (22M) and MUSA CEKAJ (47M) from the village Broliq. They were killed from Serb troop ambush. Other witnesses claim they have spotted 10 other bodies laying on the ground at Qafa e Roshkodolit (mountain pass), not far from Isniq village, while on the way to the neighboring Montenegro. Thousands of Albanians from Decan area have tried over the past days to cross into montenegro. At least 3000 were halted by the Serb forces at a location called Bogiq; fire was opened on them local sources say. Many casualties are feared. Some of the refuting population was forced back, being afraid to proceed any further to Montenegro. Bodies of the killed people are not collected, but according to the eye-witnesses, birds, such as ravens and others are eating the corpses. Meanwhile, Serb police armed to teeth with sticks and weapons on hand force 90 tractors with Albanian IDPs to leave Isniq village. Some of 30 tractors have still remained in the village, in hiding. whereas 60 of other departed in the direction of the villages of Cermjan, Krelan, Gergoc, etc. of the municipality of Gjakove.

Serb troops with 37 tanks and tens of lorries and other vehicles left for Dushkaje region of Gjakove. Thousands of Albanians are living in the open in the region. They all fear of a Serb massacre.

Qirez village of Drenica can be resumed after the attacks with two more killed Albanians as RAME GJINOVCI (64M) and the seven years old gIrl ELFIJE AHMETI (7F). Rrezalle village is having intermittent attacks; LEITRIM AHMETI (9M), XUFE AHMETI (8F) and RAME AHMETI (42M) are killed during the attacks, and 16 others are wounded, mainly women and children. Farmhouses are being set ablaze.

In Volljake village of Klina ARIF BERISHA (26M) was killed. Heavy Serb troops in over a dozen armed vehicles drove along the village opening indiscriminate fire on the farmhouses; Siceve and Volljake inhabitants have fled for life in the nearby forests.

Nerodime village of Ferizaj is being attacked constantly; houses are being sprayed with gun-fire.

Eye-witnesses affirm that fresh troops are arriving in Kosova from Serbia. They counted up to 45 trucks with police and soldiers on board, 6 busloads of Serb troops and half a dozen other transporters reached the town of Mitrovice. The freshly deployed troops from Serbia seem to be heading towards Skenderaj.

14 September, 1998

Serb troops, 30 tanks, besieged the village of Sverka and burnt communities in Klina area after Red Cross workers left the area. Infantry entered the village of Sverk, torching over a dozen houses.
Local population has fled the village earlier.

Hamlets of Vidishiq, Melenice and Zjaqe in the Shala e Baljgores , region North-West of Prishtina came under heavy Serb fire for many hours. Immense damage was caused, but eventual casualties are still not reported.

AMRUSH ASLLANI (50M) from Stanoc i Poshtem, municipality of Vushtrri, was killed in his courtyard around midnight when his house was sprayed with machine-gun bullets from the neighboring Serb village of Prilluzha; this village has been turned last months on a Serb military stronghold.

'Democratic' Montenigrin authorities deported thousands of Kosovar Albanians to Albania, while fleeing for life from Kosova to Montenegro. The 3000 IDPs were trapped in the mountains since three days ago, when Serb and Montenegrin forces prevented them from proceeding towards Plave area of Montenegro. These IDPs need urgent food and clothes.

Residents of the villages of Haraliq, Sllatine e Madhe, Henc, Miradi e Eperme and Vragoli were detained two days ago, and they were told after being released that have to persuade their fellow villagers to surrender all weapons by Tuesday, or else Serb troops would do the job. Similar ultimatum has been issued to the residents of Dushanove and Tusus suburbs of Prizren.

Four wounded Albanians from Gjakova area, XHON NDRECA, ARSIM TOLAJ, YLL MORINA and FATIME DODAJ (F), who were brought by ICRC at the Prishtina hospital, were denied right to be treated. Xhon Ndreca, Arsim Tolaj and Yll Morina were beaten up brutally by Serb police officers who interrogated them in the clinic. Serb police is tightly guarding their rooms in the vascular surgery ward. QERIM JETISHI, also from Gjakove, wounded and brought to Prishtina, with his legs still in plaster, is taken by police to an unknown direction.

Qirez village of Skenderaj is hosting 6000 IDPs. They are camping out and lacking everything, food, clothes, medication and hygienic supplies, besides the roof, which is impossible to be assured for them.

15 September, 1998

Serb offensive operations are extended to Northern Kosova. The large-scale attack has embarked against the villages of Mazhiq, Melenice, Bare, part of the Mountains of Shala e Bajgores that lie within the triangle of the municipalities of Mitrovica, Vushtrri and Podujeve. Although the operation is very aggressive, the international community's will is still lacking to undertake immediate cease of fire, while the population is swallowing the sufferings. Podujeva area is deployed with huge Serb troops and combat equipment. Pasoma village of Vushtrri was attacked fiercefully. Serb troops launched a fierce artillery attack against this village. Witnesses describe the situation in the attacked area as volatile and dangerous. A great number of people from the villages of Revuc, Dobratin, Zakut, Bajcine, Bradash, Obrance and Llapashtice have fled their homes. Most of them have sought refuge in the town of Podujeva and in the surrounding villages. Police prevented people from travelling to Prishtina.

Sources in Decan say that people trying to return to their homes found unburied victims of Serb onslaught in the area. Villagers of Ratish village claimed they found bodies of their neighbors ISUF UKAJ (76), SADRI UKAJ (73) and AZEM UKAJ (67), These old people were killed on the 9 September. HALIL BERISHA (57) from Isniq village killed on 11 September was found too. More corpses of Albanians lie scattered about in the villages or under the rubble of houses bombarded before.

Citizens of Istog are being terrorized by Serb troops and Serb civilians. EMIN MAKSUTAJ, IBRAHIM ETEMAJ, EJUP PACAJ, MALUSH ZOGAJ and KURT MUZLIAJ, local activists were held in police station for hours and beaten up severely; police threatened them with additional ill-treatment unless residents of their villages handed over weapons they allegedly possess. BEQIR FEKAJ (23) from Kermica village was forced off the bus and was beaten brutally by police in the check-point Mitrovica-Vushtrri.

Serb police together with local Romani and Serb civilians have set fire to 30 houses of Albanians in the Magura mining village of Lipjan. Before setting fire, the houses wee looted.

POLICE CUT WITH KNIFE A '4-S' SERB SIGN ON THE BODY OF BESIM BISLIMI (23) FROM DOBRESH VILLAGE OF VITIA. Besim was taken to a corn field by three policemen; after having been given an obscure liquid to drink, he was subjected to ruthless ill-treatment; they cut with knives the sign on the body of the young man.

The LDK activists in Kamenice, HASAN RAPUCA and RAMADAN A. HAXHIU and the one from the Youth Forum of LDK, SHPETIM A. KRASNIQI were arrested today by police.

16 September, 1998

Northern Kosova in fire. Serb forces resume attacks against a dozen of villages of Shala a Bajgores, in Zaberxhe, Melenice, the 'Trepca' suburbs, Stari Terg, Vidishiq, Rashan, Mazhiq, Pasome, Terstene, Kacanoll, Bare and Kutllovc. Three Albanians are reported as killed at their house, HALIM FERIZI (60), his son ENVER FERIZI (38), and their family guest RIZAH TAHIRI (55) resident of Selac village. Reports say that as many as 40.000 Albanians are driven from their homes and found refuge in the municipality of Mitrovica, in the past months, but in the past three days, Mitrovica has another additional number of 19.000 new IDPs. Rifat Zeneli (80) has remained behind in his native village of Mazhiq, and his fate is unknown.

Shelling of Shale from Podujeva area continues in the most severe way. Serb forces consisting of 40 vehicles, coming from Serbia, passed along Podujeva in the direction of Prishtina. Some 20.000 people have fled their villages in Podujeva.

Situation is very grave in Vushtrri. Due to the frequent Serb attacks, in the past few days the population has been fleeing their homes and their villages, in Pasome - 1000 of them, in Bajske - 550, in Smrekovnice - 200, in Sllatine - 300, in Ceceli - 550, but part of population has fled also Studime e Eperme.

Population is held up in three Klina villages inside Serb siege, in Sferke e Gashit. Part of the population succeeded in fleeing for life, but the others remain trapped, especially those from Volljake and Cupeve villages. Witnesses say that Serb forces entered Dush village two days ago, torching the few farmhouses which survived an earlier attack. the body of GJYLE HAJDARI (75F) was found in Drenoc village; her body was spotted by the Serbs press as saying that she was allegedly killed by the Albanian 'terrorists'.

In Dragobil village of Malisheve, Serb police executed OSMAN PACARIZI (70) and his nephew FEHMI PACARIZI. These two were pasturing cattle in the field just outside their village, where they were killed. Meanwhile, police terrorized beating them brutally BEDRI PACARIZI (20) and JETULLAH PACARIZI also from Dragobil, when the two went to their village yesterday to see if their houses had survived the shelling earlier. They were beaten because they witnessed Serbs looting the property of their fellow villagers. THREE BABIES DIED SHORTLY AFTER BEING BORN in outdoor refugee camp in Lladroc village.
Local sources say that 12 IDP pregnant women are expected to give birth soon in this village.

In Suhareke village of Samadraxhe, the corpse of SYLEJMAN KRASNIQI (56) is found, he was killed on 23 August.

Police detained in Gjilan over 30 political and human rights activists. They are all being forced to tell everything they know about the UCK.

17 September, 1998

Villages in the triangle between Mitrovice, Vushtrri and Podujeve are being attacked by tanks and Serb infantry units, which have advanced into a number of villages. Villages of Zaberxhe and Vidishiq, with 35 and 78 houses, respectively have been burnt to the ground. VOCA family compound for example in the village Maxhere with 13 houses in all has no home anymore, as their houses have been burnt and levelled to the ground. Melenice village can be resumed with 80 burnt houses (it all has 100 of them). Sources say 13 Albanians have been killed in the area, but names are not still reported. EYE-WITNESSES SAY THAT SERB POLICE HAD SET AFIRE THE HOUSE OF HAMIT PRETENI (36) IN THE MELENICE VILLAGE, WHILE BOTH HE AND HIS MOTHER WHERE INSIDE.

Gunfire is reported in Lebane village between Prishtina and Podujeva. Dobratin village is torched by Serb troops; this village, virtually 100 per cent Albanian, is deserted completely. Otherwise, police has issued an ultimatum to the inhabitants of Kerpimeh, Pakashtice, Deberdol, Revuce, Zakute, Metohi and Repe, to either hand over weapons they possess within 24 hours or risk reprisal. Virtual siege is being imposed in Podujeva. MUHAMET FAZLIU (36) from Llausha and EJUP SEJDIU and RRAHMAN RAMADANI (16) FROM DOBRATIN VILLAGE ARE REPORTED AS MISSING SINCE TUESDAY. Tensions are running high in Podujeva. Many missing persons are reported, but also many feared dead in the area.
Villages (8 of them) of Pasome, Bajske, Smrekovnice, Sllatine, Terllabuq, Karace, Studime e Eperme and Ceceli of the municipality of Vushtrri are deserted completely. Part of the population in Samadrexhe village has also fled their homes.

18 September, 1998

Three Albanians killed in Shale e Bajgores. Names are not identified yet. One killed is reported in Dobratin village as MAKSUT REKALIU (64), but the fate of HAKI REKALIU (35) and XHAFER AJVAZI is unknown. Witnesses say that more than 70 per cent of the houses in Dobratin village are looted, while more than 20 per cent of them are burnt.

Serb forces attack Likovc village of Skenderaj. Reports say that they had a serious confrontation with UCK forces.

The decomposed body of SHEFQET CURR ZEKAJ is found in the village of Beleg, municipality of Decan. Otherwise thirteen of the people in Carrabreg i Eperm, i Poshtem and in Beleg is started. Serb forces are declared to have been forcing the IDPs return home, otherwise they will set ablaze every single house of the villages. Shooting from heavy artillery against Reke e Keqe villages was conducted from the Cabrat hill near Gjakova.

One APC with canons is settled near the school in Fushe Kosove. After looting the abandoned houses in Nerodime e Eperme of Ferizaj, Serb forces consequently burn them. Houses of Reka, Maloku, Mehmeti and Agushi family compounds are set on fire. Vushtrri villages are burning. Obiliq villages are burning and the fire is being seen from Prishtine.

19 September, 1998

Four Albanians killed and nine missing are reported in Podujeva area.
The fate of 8 children of the killed FETAH BEHRAMI whose house has been burnt is unknown.

So far 17 villages of Shale e Bajgores of the municipality of Mitrovice are reported burnt resuming with at least 1.126 burnt houses completely during the last days' attacks: Stari Terg has 140 Albanian houses burnt, in the Hamlet of Trepcali 18 houses, in Melenice 85 houses, in Vidishiq 82 houses, in Reshan 66 houses, in Maxhere 31 houses, in Terstene 54 houses burnt, in Mazhiq 46 houses, in Zjaqe 11 houses, in Zaberxhe 25 houses, in Kutlloc 32 houses, in Kovacice 27 houses, in Bajgore 145 houses, in Kacanoll 59 houses, in Selac 40 houses, and in Dedi 27 houses. Cernusha village is reported to be set ablaze the farmhouses by serb forces too. Otherwise, the Shala e Bajgores area had a population of 19.000 in peacetime, but most of them have been scattered in relatively safer places, mainly across Central Kosova and Prishtina.

In the village of Leskovec of the municipality of Prizren, from a still unexplained devise that exploded, 2 children were killed: BETIM XHEMA (14M) and BEHAR XHEMA (12M) and four others were wounded NAIL XHEMA (12), HASHIM KRYEZIU (9), MILAIM KRYEZIU (14) and the fourth boy could not be learned; they are wounded seriously.

Fifty handcuffed Albanians are taken to the Mitrovica prison. The detainees were brought to the town from Peja. It is impossible to confirm whether these detainees are older prisoners, or fresh ones.

While burning the houses of Albanians, Serbs are preventing return of IDPs in Gjakova. During the past two days, Serb burnt several houses which had survived from bombardments earlier this year in the villages of Koshare, Morine, Smolice and Patok; people take it as apparently aimed at obstructing the return of Albanians home. At Duzhnje village for example, Serb troops have been garrisoned in the houses of Isuf Smajli, Hasan Hoti and Beke Ademi. In the village Rogove e Hasit, these troops have occupied the local medical center.

Reported by,
Sevdie Ahmeti

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