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Kosova reports 1998
Kosov@ Situation Report September 3, 1998

Report from independent source

Situation in Kosov@

Amidst reports about ongoing fighting in the Decani region, B92 quotes sources of the daily Glas Javnosti as saying that the Serbian government will soon prepare regional elections in Kosov@. The preparations will be based on proposals brought forward by Serbs and Albanians and the final decision will be made by Milosevic and Rugova, under the mediation of US envoy Christopher Hill.

B92 quotes Adem Demaci, the spokesman of KLA, as saying that he would only support elections in Kosov@ if they >reflected the will of Kosovo Albanians< and if they were held under international control. He further welcomed the recent mission by US envoys John Shattuck and Bob Dole and called on Christopher Hill to >deal with the relations between Albanians and Macedonians< in Skopje.
He also denied the existence of a new armed force among Kosov@ albanians but admitted that since the Serbian police operations, several KLA groups were >acting autonomously<.

According to a recent report by the Centre for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms, 892 people have been killed >by Serb forces< in Kosov@ since 14 January 1998. Among those killed are 131 women, 95 children and 191 people aged over fifty-five. The report goes on stating that the number of killed people is probably higher, as many people's fates are unknown. It also says that the CDHRF could not get hold of data about killed >Serbian soldiers, policemen and paramilitaries<.

Belgrade daily Danas quotes Andreja Milosavljevic, the co-ordinator of state organs in Kosov@, stating on the situation in the province. He denounced reports about more than 800 Albanians having been kiled in Kosov@ since mid-January and that more than 90 p.c. were civilians.
According to Milosavljevic there are some 150,000 >temporarily displaced persons<, out of which some 20,000 were staying >in the open<. From the 200,000 IDPs counted before, between 60,000 and 70,000 have returned to their homes, whereas some 20,000 to 30,000 new IDPs are the result of new armed conflicts.

Radio B92 reports that a new guerilla group has formed in Kosov@. According to information that has been >circulating<, the new group calls itself >Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosova< and has the backing of Bujar Bukoshi, the >prime minister< of the parallel >Republic of Kosov@<. It is >believed< that the group is based in Tropoje, northern Albania, and that there are animosities between the new group and the KLA that might lead up to an armed conflict between them.

JAT Flight Ban

In response to the ban on flights of the Jugoslav Air Transport company JAT to several countries in Europe, the Serbian government issued a statement describing the ban as >another example of discrimination and ignorance < and as >indirect support for terrorists< in Kosov@. In return, it also suspended agreements with western European countries about the return of asylum seekers from Yugoslavia.

Opposition Civic Alliance Party leader Vesna Pesic qualified the flight ban as >a consequence of EU impotence to intervene in Kosov@ in a constructive way< and said that the ban also >added to the already existing irrational anti-western psychosis that has always been nurtured by the government<.

Refugee Situation

Radio B92 reports that the Montenegrin government ordered the police in Montenegro to re-direct to Albania a group of 3,500 Kosovar Albanian refugees who had just arrived in the republic. The refugees were put on busses and driven to neighbouring Albania. Reportedly, there were several armed individuals among the group.

Visa Denial

Dobrosav Vejzovic , the ambassador of FRY in Vienna, denied reports that the Yugoslav embassy in Vienna had refused to issue a visa to OSCE representative for press freedom Freymut Duve. He added that Duve had never applied for a visa, and if Duve wanted to talk about freedom of the press he could only do so after FRY has been re-admitted to the OSCE. The ambassador said, however, if Duve had applied for a tourist visa, he would have been granted one.


Danas reports that the strike at Nasa Borba is over and that the daily will be at the news agents' again from Monday, September 14. The owner of the newspaper agreed to appoint a new editor-in-chief and to pay outstanding wages by the end of October.

Following the order by the Federal Telecommunications Ministry to remove >its< transmitter from Radio Television Serbia property in Belgrade, Belgrade independent radio station B92 has launched a campaign asking >one Dinar from each citizen of Belgrade<. The desired outcome is to collect ND 400,000 and to buy its own transmitter.

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