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Kosova Daily Report #1348, 98-02-18

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

From: Kosova Information Center <kic_pr@zana-pr.ztn.apc.org>

Kosova Information Center

KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1348

Prishtina, 18 February 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives U.S. Diplomat
  • [02] Negotiation on Kosova Requires 'Massive U.S. Diplomatic Effort', Abramowitz Says
  • [03] Albanians in Sk&nderaj Region Facing Constant Repression
  • [04] Mounting Repression in Klina Municipality
  • [05] Serb Military Deployed at Pantin& and Frasher Villages of Mitrovica
  • [06] Repatriated Albanian to Be Send Back to Germany

  • [01] President Rugova Receives U.S. Diplomat

    PRISHTINA, Feb 18 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today (Wednesday) in Prishtina Mr. Richard Miles, Chief of U.S. Mission in Belgrade. Participating in the meeting were also Nicholas Hill, First Secretary in the U.S. Embassy, and Richard Huckaby, Director of the American Center in Prishtina.

    Issues of common interest for Kosova and the United States of America were discussed in the meeting. The coming Kosovar elections, scheduled for March 22, as well as prospects for an early implementation of the Education Accord, were among the topics of discussion.

    Mr. Richard Miles conveyed the deep concerns of the U.S. government over the recent developments and the potential for increased violence in Kosova. The implementation of the Education Accord would pave the way for a broader dialogue on Kosova, the U.S. diplomat remarked.

    Regarding the current situation in the country, President Ibrahim Rugova said the continued campaign of violence and repression of Serb forces against Albanians has been further stepped up. This poses the danger for a further deterioration of the situation in Kosova, which we have been trying to avert by political organization and self-restraint, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova said. He underscored that the people of Kosova is committed to implement its will for independence by peaceful means and dialogue.

    The Kosova President reaffirmed the need for the Kosova issue to be resolved peacefully, in a talks process effectively intermediated by the United States of America and assisted by the European Union.

    The chief of U.S. Mission to Belgrade, Mr. Richard Miles said the U.S. opposes any kind of violence in Kosova, irrespective of who is behind it. He encouraged the political leadership and the people of Kosova to stick to non-violent approaches in the pursuit of a settlement to the Kosova issue.

    Resident Ibrahim Rugova expressed appreciation for the continued U.S. support for Kosova and the significance of friendly relations between Kosova and the United States of America.

    [02] Negotiation on Kosova Requires 'Massive U.S. Diplomatic Effort', Abramowitz Says

    PRISHTINA, Feb 18 (KIC) - The Washington Post carried Monday, February 16, 1998, an article by Morton Abramowitz, formerly a senior U.S. diplomat. The writer, now a member of the International Crisis Group and a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, makes the Kosova crisis and the U.S. role in its settlement the topic of his analytical essay, entitled "Ominous Rumblings from the Balkans".

    At the outset, Abramowitz recalls that since the Serbian crackdown on the Kosova autonomy eight years ago, the Albanian population has "considered itself no longer part of Serbia and has acted that way".

    Belgrade rules with a strong and oppressive hand, he says, adding that in the past eight years, "articles have been written that Kosovo is about to explode".

    "So far Kosovo has been the dog that has not barked, despite the execrable situation that exists between the province's 1.8 million Albanians and the Belgrade regime."

    Kosovo steadily deteriorates, as Serb repression increases, and violence in Kosova is rising, Abramowitz says, noting that the "Albanians agree that Western intervention is the answer for achieving independence".

    As far as the tactics on achieving this are concerned, the present majority headed by elected president Ibrahim Rugova, "pursues a non-provocation policy", he notes, adding that another, "more amorphous school", believes Albanians must be more assertive in publicly demonstrating their opposition to Serbian rule if they are to get more from the West than "sermons on nonviolence".

    Most ominous has been the emergence of a little-known militant group called the Kosovo Liberation Front, which believes that violence is the only way to achieve Albanian political aims; the front is responsible for a number of recent violent incidents, Morton Abramowitz writes.

    The day is drawing closer when Kosova can erupt. "The West knows it. Yet Western policy toward Kosovo can be described as hand-wringing, i.e. rising rhetoric directed at Milosevic and much diplomatic to-ing and fro-ing, all signifying little."

    The United States "failed to beard him [Milosevic] on Kosovo", Abramowitz says, afraid to do anything that might undermine Milosevic's ability to help implement Dayton.

    A major change in Kosova - large-scale violence, a massive outflow of Albanians, a change in borders - could wreck Dayton by its impact on Serbia's leadership, on the Bosnian Serbs and on the region in general, the Washington Post article notes.

    Serbia cannot become "a democratic country or a normal state until it deals with Kosovo", Abramowitz remarks.

    "The Kosovo conundrum has no easy solution, which is probably another reason why the United States has not gotten involved... No solution [on Kosova] can be delivered without outside help."

    Morton Abramowitz's essay offers this in the way of a proposal on how to address Kosova: "What is needed, nearly everyone agrees, is to start a serious negotiating process between the two parties [Prishtina and Belgrade]. That will require the United States - the only external power the two sides are prepared to accept - to get deeply involved in generating such talks and participating in them. The parties themselves must be brought to some initial agreement.

    Almost certainly such an agreement must entail the end of an oppressive Serb regime in Kosovo, Albanian self-rule and no change in borders.

    A negotiation on Kosovo will require massive U.S. diplomatic effort with no assurance of success. That means a serious capability to carry out such a major initiative, a capacity that has yet to be marshaled within the U.S. government. It means overcoming the fear that our getting deeply involved in Kosovo negotiations will make Belgrade more uncooperative in Bosnia."

    Kosovo threatens the U.S. massive investment in Bosnia and stability in the region, Abramowitz maintains. "We will be courting folly if we continue to act as if Bosnia can be settled without substantial change in Serbia or without sustained U.S. effort in Kosovo", the writer says, concluding that the past 10 years in the Balkans have shown "the critical role of the West and the enormous cost of getting there too late."

    [03] Albanians in Sk&nderaj Region Facing Constant Repression

    PRISHTINA, Feb 18 (KIC) - The local population in the Sk&nderaj (in Serbian 'Srbica') municipality, an area in central Kosova which has found itself virtually under a curfew, has been subjected to daily repression and torture by the Serbian police.

    The LDK Information Commission in Sk&nderaj said in a report issued today that Serbian police established check-points in several junctures in Sk&nderaj, as well as Runik and Klina e Ep&rme villages.

    The Serb police stopped and ill-treated Jashar Durmishi, an activist with the "Mother Tereza" Charitable Association, together with the driver who was transporting the aid. He was held at Klina e Ep&rme for several hours, and was insulted on national grounds and provoked with various questions. They were let go after having been considerably fined.

    They were likewise stopped at Runik, where they were threatened never to be seen there again.

    Serbian police at Runik beat severely Bekim Spahiu and Fetah Sejdiu from Runik, Naim Hyseni from Kastriot, Januz Seferi from Sohog&rla, and Beqir Shala from Padalisht& village.

    Jonuz Seferi had the car documentation seized.

    Meanwhile, at the same place the Serbian police ill-treated some 20 men and women who were heading for a funeral procession.

    The Serbian police have been ill-treating the Albanian students in particular. Agron Draga, a student, native of Leqina, was reported subjected to severe torture.

    Sources in Sk&nderaj said that on 12 February a local Serb resident from Leqina threatened his Albanian neighbors with an automatic rifle.

    Reportedly, on Monday and Tuesday, four vans, without license plates, full of people in police uniforms and masked individuals roamed through Sk&nderaj and other parts of Drenica.

    [04] Mounting Repression in Klina Municipality

    PRISHTINA, Feb 18 (KIC) - Sources in Klina reported that scores of Albanians were ill-treated and beaten severely at the newly established check-point at the entrance of Ujmir village.

    They Serbian police beat severely Ismet Prekadini, from Jashanica e Ul&t, while he was on his way to work. He had to seek medical treatment.

    Yesterday (Tuesday) the Serbian police stopped a bus of "Benita" bus company, ordered all forty people to get off the bus and forced them to stand with their hands up for half an hour. Most of them were subjected to physical ill-treatment. The police beat up the driver Isuf Prekadini and the bus conductor Nazmi Kalludra severely.

    Muhamet Dushi, former Kosova policeman, was likewise hand-cuffed, accusing him that he had fought against them a night before.

    The police beat severely Bajram Tov&rlani in downtown Klina.

    Bardhec and Xhevdet ^upeva were arrested at their home in Pograxh& village. Their homes are in immediate neighborhood to the newly established Serbian police check-point in this area.

    In Klina the Serbian police beat severely Valdrin Krasniqi, Valmir Kryeziu and Adem Shala, Albanian fourth-form pupils at "Motrat ^iriazi" local primary school.

    In Kijeva the police beat brutally Petrit Krasniqi from Cerovik, a student at the "Lasgush Poradeci" secondary school in Kijeva. He was beaten for having not hello to the police.

    Sources in Klina say Albanian teachers and students have been missing classes as a result of increased Serbian police repression in the area.

    Sources in Klina said three police vehicles with armed police, and masked persons left Klina and headed in the direction of Sk&nderaj yesterday at noon.

    [05] Serb Military Deployed at Pantin& and Frasher Villages of Mitrovica

    PRISHTINA, Feb 18 (KIC) - This morning a 7.30 a.m., a Serbian army convoy was deployed at Panit& village of Mitrovica, LDK sources reported.

    The Serbian army convoy arrived there from Mitrovica.

    Another convoy of twenty army truck, five cannons, and one antiaircraft were positioned at the Frasher village of Mitrovica.

    Frasher has been used as a training site by the so-called Yugoslav army (JNA) in the past.

    Reportedly, the Serbian soldiers did not allow the local residents to use some of the roads they always used in the past.

    [06] Repatriated Albanian to Be Send Back to Germany

    PRISHTINA, Feb 18 (KIC) - Mentor Shala (19), from Bare village of Mitrovica, was arrested 14 February at the Prishtina airport upon his repatriation from Germany.

    From there he was sent to the Belgrade airport, and is awaiting to be sent back to Germany, Mr. Shala's brother told KIC.

    Kosova Information Center


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