Kosova reports 1998Report from independent source
Kosov@ Situation Report September 3, 1998
Situation in Kosov@Strong government and media responses followed after the police announcement that it had found the burnt bones of twenty-two Serb nationals in the recently re-taken KLA stronghold at Klecka. The police bases its claims on the testimony of to young Albanians who admitted to being KLA mambers and to having taken part in the shooting and cremation of the twenty-two civilians.
Adem Demaci, the political spokes man of the KLA denounced reports stating that the two young men were KLA members. He also had Jakup Krasniqi, the commander of KLA, check lists of missing Serbs and said they would continue the search for the missing individuals who were allegedly killed at Klecke.
Natasa Kandic, president of the Humanitarian Law Council, criticised the emotional tones in the way the Klecka case is presented to the public and said that never before in FRY had the court allowed cameras to be present at the suspects first cross examination.
Pajazit Nishi, president of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms, signed a letter to the Hague tribunal asking for an international investigation into the killings at Klecka.
Amidst news that US ambassador in FYROM Christoffer Hill, through efforts based on shuttle diplomacy, has managed to facilitate an agreement between FRY president Milosevic and the Albanian political ladership, fighting continues in several Kosov@ municipalities. According to the Kosov@ Information Center, Serb forces have launched operations in areas pertaining to four diffetent municipalities in the Orahovac area. More fighting has, in the meantime, been going on around the town of Prizren, states the KIC report.
The Prishtina Media Centre reports that fifiteen KLA members were killed and two policemen injured following a KLA attack on police stations in various vilages arround Prizren. In an official report by the Serbian Ministry of Interior Affairs, the police states that in the period between January 1 and July 27, 887 <terrorist> attacks were carried out, 440 of which were directed against police targets, and the rest against civilian targets. The report further states, that 44 police and 66 civilians were killed, 96 police and 38 civilians severely injured, whereas 82 police and 42 civilians suffered light injuries.
A report by the LDK Sector for Emigration and refugees states that over 400,000 Albanians were >uprooted< in Kosov@ since the break-out of the armed conflict. The report names sixteen out of Kosov@ s 28 municipalities where the fighting was concentrated. It further says that 266 villages were shelled or bombarded, and 257 settlements were abandoned by their inhabitants. Many fled to Albania, Montenegro, FYROM, Bosnia and several West European countries. Some 20,000 refugees are registered in Albania. In Montenegro, 16,403 refugees are registered in Ulcin, 7837 in Plava and Guci, 8740 in Rozaj and 2,204 in Tuz. The highest concentrations of IDPs in Kosov@ are registered in the municipalities of Mitrovica, Vushtrri/Vucitrn, Ferizaj/Urosevac, Prizren and Prishtina.
In an interview for the Belgrade independent daily DANAS, the UK ambassador in FRY Peter Ricketts commented on the scale of destruction of villages in Kosov@. He said that levels of destruction varied from region to region and that it was worst in Lausa and less visible in Glogovac.
Beginning of School YearSeptember 1 marked the beginning of the new school year in FRY. In Serbia, most of the schools started their classes, despite the strikes that the trade union <Nezavisnost> had announced. The strike was held in some areas of serbia on September 1, according to <Nezavisnost>, as a warning to the government to pay out the wages that the state still owes to the teachers.
From Kosov@, the KIC reports that school in the Albanian system had started in most areas of Kosov@, except in Decani, Srbica/Skenderaj and Suhareka as well as many smaller villages. According to the report, some sixty school buildings have been destroyed by shelling and mortar fire.
The Montenegrin Minister of Education announced that only children with valid documents from the Serbian schooling system could enroll at Montenegrin schools and universities. He also turned down plans to organise a parallel school system for Albanian refugees in Montenegro. Montenegro is, however, prepared to accept Albanian kids to the first grade of Montenegrin primary schools.
SandjakThe Information Center of the Bosnjak National Council of Sandjak reports that five ethnic Serbs attacked a Bosnjak household in the town of Prijepolje and beat up the two owners of the house and the wife of one of them. The report further states that in Sandjak from 1992 up to now several dozens of Bosnjak houses and business objects have been completely destroyed and three mosques have been burnt or blasted.
The BNVS report also states that an estimated 13,000 to 15,000 young Bosnjaks left the area during the last four months to live abroad. The report relates this to the armed conflict in Kosov@ and the yung men refusing to join the Yugoslav army.
MediaNASA BORBA has ceased to appear after copies of its its last issue were handed out for free on August 26. The cause of Nasa Borba s disappearance from the market apparently lies in a row between the daily s editor-in chief and its owner who ended up taking over the editor-in-chief s post. After failing to gain the staff s support, he decided to temporarily end Nasa Borba s activites but said that negotiations about continuing the work were under way.
Radio B92 reports that the director of Radio Television Serbia has told Radio B92 and Radio Index to remove their transmitters from the Belgrade premises of RTS, following an order from the Federal Ministry of Telecommunications. Radio B92 and INDEX, however, claim that the transmitters are owned and maintainde by RTS itself and that employees of the two radio stations have no access to the premises. They also say that the order is legally unfounded and that they will continue broadcasting.
Civil SocietySome twenty mostly young visitors attended a public tribunal on the topic >Solidarity<, which was held at the Paviljon Veljkovic and organised by the Students Union in Belgrade (a students assosiation affiliated with the Social Democratic Union party). Among the speakers were Belgrade university professor Ljubisa Rajic, DANAS editor Rade Radovanovic and two students. The conclusion was that neither was there an awareness of common interests in FRY today, nor had there been much solidarity in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
EconomyThe Belgrade black marked rate of the Dinar has recently moved to 6.50 Dinar against the DM, up from 6.20 to 6.30. Analysts calim that the Dinar could soon end up at a rate of 9.00 ND agaisnt the DM. They also mention the fact that the National Bank has recently printed bank notes worth ND 1 billion and that this amount would soon hit the market when the government reimburses the farmers for their produce of this summer s harvest, and additionally, pensions are due to be paid out.
Hold-up in BelgradeSharon Miles, the wife of the US charge d affairs in Yugoslavia, was held up at gunpoint by a young man in the center of Belgrade. The young man then ordered Mrs. Miles out of the car and drove away. Mrs. Miles did not suffer any injuries, and the car was later found.
What Politicians Have Said...In a press release Vuk Draskovic, leader of the Serb Renewal Movement and former ally in the Zajedno Coalition, commented the US bombings of targets in Sudan and Afghanistan. In the statement he welcomed the US strikes and pointed out the similarities between the US and FRY in their <struggle against terrorists>.