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News Archive 1999

Serb exodus from Kosovo continues
Episcope Artemije pleads for help

980 new refugees from Kosovo has been registered today on Kosovo-Montenegro border crossing Zeleni, near Rozaje. Most of them are Serbs and Montenegrins who are fleeing in fear of reprisals from KLA, coming in two lanes of Pec-Rozaje road. Episcope of Serbian Orthodox Church, Artemije launched an appeal via radio amateurs warning that international peacekeeping forces entering Kosovo "very slowly, in small numbers and are too passive and not interested to protect people". Artemije said that situation in Prizren is gravely serious and that local Serbs decided to leave with Serbian military and police, if not provided with protection by KFOR. He added that Italian troops who are supposed to deploy in Decani have not arrived yet, and that "Albanians used that situation and surrounded whole town". Artemije also said that Serbs are leaving western town of Pec in large numbers, and that Pec now "looks like ghost town". He added that destiny of monks and nuns from several monasteries in areas of those two cities is still unknown. British Daily Telegraph reported local Serb claims that KLA surrounded Serbian Orthodox Church's parish and that German soldier are doing nothing to protect the Bishop. Daily Telegraph reported that their correspondents confirmed those claims and added that "NATO supports ethnic cleansing" this time on Serbs by not disarming KLA and allowing them to occupy territories abandoned by withdrawing Yugoslav forces. KLA attacked Serb villages of Drajkovci and Gotovusa in Strpce vicinity. Clashes between armed Serbian civilians from Velika Hoca and KLA are still taking place, independent Serbian news agency Beta reported. Same source said that Serbs from Velika Hoca had been under intensive attack by KLA, from direction of Malisevo. KFOR took responsibility for security of civilians in Prizren, Velika Hoca, Orahovac, Istok, Pec, Klina and Strpci.

Source: Free Serbia

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