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Kosova Daily Report #1491, 98-07-15

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 #1491
Prishtina, 15 July 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] LDK General Council Discusses Final Preparations for the First Session of Kosova Parliament
  • [02] U.S. Condemns Belgrade for Food Embargo on Kosova
  • [03] NATO Planning on Kosova Continues, Pentagon Spokesman Says
  • [04] Three Albanians Killed, One Wounded During Serb Shelling of De^an Villages
  • [05] One Albanian Killed, One Wounded in Reka e Keqe
  • [06] Twenty 'Yugoslav' Soldiers Desert in FYROM, Albanian Daily Says
  • [07] Three Serb Policemen Wounded Tuesday near Carrabreg, Western Kosova
  • [08] Serb Police Opens Blind Fire on Albanian Village in Suhareka
  • [09] Serbs Shell Llausha Tuesday Night and Today Morning
  • [10] Albanian House Set in Flames in Serb Shelling of Obiliq Village
  • [11] Serbs Supplied with Weapons in School Building in Gjilan

  • [01] LDK General Council Discusses Final Preparations for the First Session of Kosova Parliament

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - The General Council of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) - the party executive - met today for the second time in two days to examine the final preparations for the inaugural session of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosova.

    The meeting was chaired by the LDK leader and President of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova.

    A spirit of open and constructive dialogue prevailed in the discussions today, the LDK said. There was a strong emphasis on the importance of the Parliament of the Republic being constituted as well as the choice of people who will lead it.

    The General Council of the LDK drafted lists of the composition of the parliamentarian commissions as well as other bodies of the Kosova legislature.

    The Parliamentarian Group of the LDK, the biggest in the Parliament, will meet tomorrow to round off preparations for the first session of the top Kosova legislative body.

    [02] U.S. Condemns Belgrade for Food Embargo on Kosova

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - State Department spokesman James Rubin reported July 14 that the United States has reason to believe that there is an artificial shortage of basic food and other supplies in Kosova.

    Following is the full text of the State Department release, entitled KOSOVO: ARTIFICIAL SHORTAGE OF COMMERCIAL COMMODITIES: (Begin text) United States has reason to believe there is an artificial shortage of basic food and other supplies in Kosovo. We have seen this kind of intimidation tactic before and condemn such action as a violation of human rights. We have raised our concerns about a food embargo with senior FRY ["Federal Republic of Yugoslavia"] and Serbian officials.

    In keeping with his commitment to allow unfettered access of humanitarian supplies, we expect President Milosevic will not hamper the local populations' access to food and basic commercial commodities.

    The United States is monitoring the development of the situation closely. We intend to hold Milosevic to this commitment in this regard.

    (End text) It should be recalled that it was two months ago today, on May 15, that Milosevic imposed a food blockade on Kosova. It was that very day that 'FRY' President met in Belgrade with Kosova President Ibrahim Rugova in what was hastily hailed by the West as Milosevic's readiness to press ahead with peaceful and political means to solve the Kosova issue.

    The May 15 full food blockade was released a bit after a week, to only be reimposed a month later with so-called 'internal' Serb government decrees placing heavy restrictions on the trading of commercial commodities with Kosovar firms.

    [03] NATO Planning on Kosova Continues, Pentagon Spokesman Says

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - NATO is still considering a range of options (on Kosova)", Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Tuesday during a briefing in Washgintong.

    NATO hasn't completed that consideration yet, he said, adding that what's changed in Kosova over the last few weeks "is the appreciation of the complexity of the problem."

    This is how he described the new appreciation of the situation: "Several weeks ago people thought of the problem as almost one-sided.

    It was a problem of Yugoslavian police or military forces attacking Kosovar Albanians. What has become clear in the last couple of weeks is the Kosovar Albanians have become more energetic in their independence movement and more energetic in their own military activities."

    There has been, I think, an appreciation of the greater complexity of the situation on the ground, Bacon concluded.

    He stressed that the NATO planning on military options continues, adding that everybody is still looking for a diplomatic solution.

    The planners clearly are aware that the circumstances have changed, Bacon said, adding that one of the advantages of contingency planning is that "you usually plan for more than one contingency."

    But the more contingencies you have to plan for, the longer the planning takes, which is one of the reasons why NATO planners have been hard at this for the last month and may still have some time to go. It's also a reason why a diplomatic solution remains the preferred outcome here.", the Pentagon spokesman concluded.

    [04] Three Albanians Killed, One Wounded During Serb Shelling of De^an Villages

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - Serbian military and police forces attacked with artillery the villages of Carrabreg i Posht&m and Strellc i Ep&rm in the municipality of De^an, western Kosova, for three hours yesterday (Tuesday), from 19:00 through 22:00 hrs, local sources said today.

    In the exchange of fire with the Serbian forces, two Albanians - Artan Nezir Qorraj (17) and Rexh& Sadik Qorraj (35) - were killed, and one other, Haki Ram& Qorraj (27), wounded in the village of Carrabreg t& Posht&m. In the Strellc i Ep&rm Enver Hasan Avdimetaj (29) was killed yesterday evening, the LDK Information Commission in De^an reported.

    The two villages were shelled in retribution for the Albanian resistance forces having prevented the Serb infantry units advance into them, local observers said.

    As usual, while retreating Serbian forces set Albanian houses on fire - three in Carrabreg i Ul&t and four in Strellc i Ep&rm.

    The LDK Information Commission in De^an said fighting of a lower intensity occurred in the village of Prejlep, whereas the villages of Gramaqel and Baballoq were shelled by Serb military positions in Suka e Biteshit.

    Two Albanian houses were levelled to the ground in Grama^el last night, whereas several others suffered damages.

    The LDK Information Commission in De^an quoted U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) reconnoiters as saying Serb police have plundered Albanian houses in several villages in the municipality, adding that an number of Serb paramilitaries found shelter last night in the De^an Monastery.

    The LDK chapter in De^an says it calls upon the Serb Orthodox Church not to allow that religious facilities be turned into housing units for the armed forces of the Serb regime as well as paramilitary Serb troops. On the contrary, they would be treated as accomplices in the crimes being committed against the Albanians, the LDK sources said.

    The population of this municipality is hopeful that the trips of international monitors as well as the OSCE mission to De^an and other war- torn areas will contribute to getting a real picture of the situation and help overcome it, the LDK Information Commission in De^an said.

    [05] One Albanian Killed, One Wounded in Reka e Keqe

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - The Serbian military and police offensive against the border area villages with Albania, known as 'Reka e Keqe' region, has been going on unabated, local sources said.

    Lats night and today (Wednesday) Serbian forces have been shelling the villages of Nec, Ramoc, Stub&ll, Berjah, Smolic&, and the area stretching as far as the outskirts of Junik, the LDK Information Commission in Gjakova reported.

    Local Albanian resistance forces, in tandem with the U^K, have been resisting Serbian attacks.

    During the Serbian military attack on the village of Dev& on Monday evening, Vllaznim Jetishi (20) was killed, and Qerim Jetishi (30) badly wounded, local sources said.

    The body of Jetishi was taken to the Gjakova morgue Tuesday, whereas the wounded Qerim I. Jetishi to the Gjakova hospital.

    Meanwhile, LDK sources said Ms Fatime Boshnjaku, a coordinator with the local chapter of the Mother Teresa charity, arrested by Serb security earlier this was has been sent to the Lipjan jail.

    Serb inspectors returned back the confiscated items of the Mother Teresa charity, but held back the car and the medicines they had seized too.

    Meanwhile, LDK sources said Serb inspectors have confiscated in the premises of the charity organization a continent of medicines of the International Red Cross, which was destined for the inhabitants of the Junik region.

    Serb Police Withdraws, U^K Retains Its Positions near Trep^a Mine PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - There was no shooting in and around Mitrovica yesterday, and the road to the mining-metallurgical Trep^a complex was passable and without police roadblocks/checkpoint, Prishtina-based Bujku reported today.

    Only random passers-by could be seen in the miners' neighborhood, because the population has fled the area temporarily.

    The region around the mine is under the control of the U^K units, Bujku said, adding that there was no police presence on the roadway from Mitrovica to the mine.

    Serbian workers did not show up in their workplace, the mine, yesterday.

    The displaced population has started drifting back to their homes, the Bujku daily said.

    [06] Twenty 'Yugoslav' Soldiers Desert in FYROM, Albanian Daily Says

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - Twenty 'Yugoslav' soldiers deserted in FYROM, near the north-western town of Kumanova, several days ago, the Shkup/Skopje- based Fakti daily reported.

    The recently launched daily newspaper in Albanian in FYROM quoted eye- witness accounts.

    [07] Three Serb Policemen Wounded Tuesday near Carrabreg, Western Kosova

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) -Three Serbian policemen were wounded yesterday (Tuesday) in a police checkpoint on Peja-De^an road, near Carrabreg, the Serb press reported.

    Reportedly, they have received serious wounds, and been hospitalized in Peja ('Pec').

    [08] Serb Police Opens Blind Fire on Albanian Village in Suhareka

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - Serb police on board of an armored vehicle opened indiscriminate fire on the village of Bllaca, municipality of Suhareka, yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

    The LDK chapter in Suhareka said a Serb police armored vehicle drove back and forth from Suhareka to the Qafa e Duhl&s mountain pass on a couple of occasions yesterday. When passing nearby Bllaca the police opened fire on houses in the village from a machine gun on top of the car.

    A resident of Bllaca, Ms Xhemile Suka, was reported wounded, the LDK said, adding that damage was caused to several houses.

    The LDK Information Commission in Suhareka said the Albanian population in the town has been subjected to continued harassment and intimidation by the Serb police. Shaban Elshani was tortured for a couple of hours in the local police station in the town on Tuesday. Mr. Elshani was initially harassed on the street without any pretext, then taken to the police station, where he was beaten up brutally.

    Two other residents of Suhareka, Shefqet Gajraku and Bajram Haxholli, were arrested by Serbian police at a petrol station in the town last Saturday. Their families have not been able so far to learn a word about their whereabouts, the LDK chapter said.

    [09] Serbs Shell Llausha Tuesday Night and Today Morning

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - The Llausha village near Skenderaj ('Srbica') was reported shelled for about two hours by Serb forces Tuesday night.

    The village came under a renewed attack by Serb forces today morning, sources said.

    Mr. Fadil Geci, head of the local LDK sub-chapter in Llausha, told the KIC Serb forces shelled a number of Albanian farmsteads in the village from 10 p.m. through midnight yesterday. Today's Serb attack was concentrated on Gecaj neighborhood, he said.

    The LDK activist said he could not learn if there were any casualties among the Albanians, noting only that the local forces put up a fierce resistance.

    The Llausha village has been held inside a deadly Serb siege since early March. There has been a sharp shortage of food and medical supplies in the village, sources said.

    The harvesting of the wheat has been impossible in the village as the whole area is being kept under constant Serb sniping.

    [10] Albanian House Set in Flames in Serb Shelling of Obiliq Village

    PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - The farmstead of an Albanian, Adem Dedinca in Lajthishta (Leshkoshiq) village of Obiliq, was burned down Tuesday evening after having been fired upon by Serb forces.

    Sources in Obiliq, a town 10 km north-west of Prishtina, said Serb forces attacked Lajthishta village with machine-gun fire from the neighboring village of Janovoda, which has been turned into a huge Serb forces base for a couple of weeks now.

    Witnesses told the LDK chapter in Obiliq the house and barns of Adem Dedinca were burned to the ground yesterday evening. No human casualties were reported.

    Meanwhile, sources in Obiliq and the neighboring town of Fush& Kosova said Serb forces have continued to deploy fresh troops and heavy armament around the open-pit coal mines in Bardhi ('Bella^evc') village. Large-caliber cannons have been dug in many places around the mines. Serb forces were seen today digging with bulldozers tank-size ditches in two locations in villages west of the mines, Grabovc and Shipitulla, can be held at gunpoint.

    [11] Serbs Supplied with Weapons in School Building in Gjilan

    Serb opposition leader says he was 'surprised' learning Serbs in Kosova were give arms PRISHTINA, July 15 (KIC) - The Serb population in Budrika village of Gjilan was seen being supplied with weapons and ammunition in the local school building today morning.

    Sources in Gjilan said the Serbs in Budrika were given armament from the Serb police authorities.

    Budrika is a large village in Gjilan, eastern Kosova, with around 300 Serb families. The local Serbs were supplied with weapons earlier during the past years. They are now being given additional supplies of ammunition and heavier arms, including automatic rifles, sources in Gjilan said.

    Reports from Kosova towns and municipalities in which there is Serb population say the Serbs have been supplied with additional armament on a daily basis.

    During the last decade, the Serb regime has overtly delivered weapons to the Serb population in Kosova. On the other hand, thousands of Albanians were persecuted, had their homes raided by Serb police under the alleged pretext of arms possession. There were cases when Albanians had to even buy pieces of weapons and, ironically enough, from Serb regime agents to deliver them to the police in order to spare themselves and their families from additional harassment.

    The Serbs could get their pieces of weapon in the Serb police stations and buildings of the community, including schools, such as was the case of Obiliq and Lipjan a couple of days ago, and in Budrika of Gjilan today.

    The leader of a Serb opposition party, Zoran Djindjic, said on Tuesday he "was surprised by reports that Serbs in Kosova were being given arms". Noting that it was a dangerous move, Djindjic sounded as if he had heard about it for the first time!

    The Kosovar leadership, domestic and foreign human rights groups and the population at large, have been continuously warning of the overt armament of Serbs in Kosova by the Belgrade regime. Over the past years, one could encounter on a daily basis, in shops, markets, hospitals, buses and street of Kosova, Serbs, including teen-agers, carrying guns in their belts. In many a cases, Serbs were eager to display them in front of their Albanian neighbors, or even intimidate and attack them openly.

    Kosova Information Center

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