Tagesnachrichten 9. November
von dpa, from ALBANEWS and others
News of the day - November 9, 1998
Kosova Information Center : Daily Report No 1607
Die Bibel sagt - The
|If available you find on this page
- Soweit verfügbar finden Sie auf dieser
2. Remarks - Hints - Special informations
3. Reports about deportation and persons repatriated to Kosova in deutsch und englisch
4. Daily Report from KIC (Kosova Information Center)
5. news from ARTA (Koha ditore)
6. news from RFE/RL NEWSLINE
7. news from Fr. Sava (Decani Monastery)
8. Reports from Human Rights Organisations
especially CDHRF (Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, Prishtina)
9. news from ATA /ENTER and so on
10. eventual additional press news
|1. Meldungen von dpa|
Erste Regierungserklärung Schröders vor dem Parlament
Soros bekräftigt Unterstützung für Jugoslawien und Weißrußland
Bonn will Beitritt der Nato-Kandidaten bis zum Gipfeltreffen
Bundeskanzler Schröder empfing Solana zu politischem Gespräch
Demaci: UCK entscheidet über Krieg und Frieden im Kosovo
Bonn erwartet Ausweitung des Streitkräfte-Einsatzes im Ausland
Zwei im Kosovo entführte serbische Polizisten tot aufgefunden
Bonn erwartet Ausweitung des Streitkräfte-Einsatzes wegen Kosovo
Tribunal setzt Untersuchungen über Kriegsverbrechen im Kosovo fort
|2. Remarks - Hints - Special informations|
||ONE has to begin
oecumenic Decade for Peace
from November 8 until 18, 1998
30 minutes prayer for PEACE
30 Minuten Gebet für
Jeder, der kommen moechte
LINK zu: Vorschlag für den Ablauf den Friedensgebetes
- auch als WinWord97-Datei erhaeltlich !
|3. Reports about deportation and persons repatriated to Kosova|
Kennen Sie Fälle von Abschiebungen nach Kosova ? - Bitte senden Sie mir Ihren Bericht !
Do you know cases of deportations to Kosova ? - Please send me your report !
* Nichtamtliche Übersetzung
UNHCR-Positionspapier über die Behandlung von Asylsuchenden aus
dem Kosovo in Asylländern: Maßgebliche Überlegungen
25.8.1998 mit Anhang Stand: 13.8.1998
* UNHCR-Eckpunkte zu Problemen des Flüchtlingsschutzes in Deutschland
|4. Daily Report from KIC (Kosova Information Center)|
Kosova Information Center
Prishtina, 9 November 1998, 16:30 CET
KOSOVA DAILY REPORT # 1607
President Rugova Receives French Ambassador Serb Police Attacks Malisheva Villages, Three Albanians Wounded Sunday Night Serb Forces Pound with Fire Grabovc Village of Fushë-Kosova Serb Civilians Open Machine-Gun Fire in Mitrovica Area Redeployment, No Withdrawal of Serb Troops in Prizren Area Increased Serb Police Movements in Podujeva Area Serb Troops and Heavy Armament Deployed in Badovc, Prishtina Bodies of Two Serb Policemen Found near Malisheva Albanian Tortured for Failing to Communicate with Police in Serbian
President Rugova Receives French Ambassador
PRISHTINA, Nov 9 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today Mr. Stanislas Filliol, Ambassador of France, and Gerard Fauveau, First Secretary in the French Embassy in Belgrade, to discuss the situation in Kosova.
The situation continues to be grave and volatile amidst a heavy presence of the Serbian military and police in Kosova, Rugova said. "These forces have been hampering the return of the displaced Albanian population to their homes", he added.
A speedy deployment of the OSCE and NATO verification missions in Kosova would have an impact in the situation in the country and help alleviate the humanitarian situation, President Ibrahim Rugova said.
The full implementation of the international community's demands on Kosova would contribute to the creation of an appropriate environment for a negotiated settlement to the Kosova issue, Rugova concluded.
Serb Police Attacks Malisheva Villages, Three Albanians Wounded Sunday Night
PRISHTINA, Nov 9 (KIC) - Albanian villages around the small town of Malisheva in central Kosova came under heavy Serb forces fire on repeated occasions on Sunday evening and night, local sources told the KIC today morning.
At around 19:30 hrs, Serb forces posted at the local police station in Malisheva as well as those in the outposts near the villages of Tërpezë, Kijevë, Llazicë and Carallukë unleashed a heavy machine-gun attack against Albanian villages in their vicinity, the head of the LDK Information Commission in Malisheva said.
Parts of Carralluka, Tërpeza, Kijeva and Llazica, as well as a suburb in Malisheva came under heavy fire.
These communities were intermittently attacked during the course of lats night, he said.
The LDK activist confirmed that at lats three Albanians were wounded in Malisheva during the last night's Serb attack, naming them as Sejdi Berisha, in his early forties, resident of Kijeva, and Jahir Mazreku (34) and Nahit Mazreku (18), both from Malisheva. He added that a decomposed body of a man was found today at a location called "Përnica" near Malisheva. His identity could not be established as the corpse was pretty much decayed.
Meanwhile, the Prishtina-based Serb regime-run Media Center said today that the Serb police station came under severe attacks by armed Albanian groups on Sunday. Four grenades hit the police station, it said. There was no word on casualties.
Serb Forces Pound with Fire Grabovc Village of Fushë-Kosova
PRISHTINA, Nov 9 (KIC) - The village of Grabovc, 18 km north-west of Prishtina, was pounded again from a Serb forces base near the village, the LDK Information Commission in Fushë-Kosova (Kosovo Polje) said.
Grabovc continues to be under a virtual Serb siege for four months now, the head of the commission said. Besides at a huge base at "Te kërshat", Serb forces have been dug in in at least two other places near the village.
Only a few elderly people who found themselves holed up in Grabovc are residing in the village. The displaced population is reluctant to return as long as their houses are within the range of Serb gunmen in the area.
The LDK activist said that firearm shooting was heard last evening in the mining town of Bellaçevc. He could not specify whether there were any clashes or possible casualties.
Serb Civilians Open Machine-Gun Fire in Mitrovica Area
PRISHTINA, Nov 9 (KIC) - For three hours on Sunday, from 20:30 through 23:30, armed Serbs in plain clothes in "Tuneli i Parë" suburbs of Mitrovica opened automatic and machine-gun fire in the direction of the outlying Albanian villages, the LDK Information Commission in Mitrovica reported.
Roofs of a number of Albanian in the village of Rekë were reported hit and damaged, whereas the residents were forced to flee their homes and spend the night rough in the open, LDK sources said.
A local Serb, Goran Miljkovic, notorious for his provocative behavior towards the Albanians, opened machine-gun fire for an hour in the Kroi i Vitakut suburb on the night of Saturday, they added.
Redeployment, No Withdrawal of Serb Troops in Prizren Area
Movement of Albanian population in the countryside restricted
PRISHTINA, Nov 9 (KIC) - There has been no withdrawal of Serb forces form the Prizren area. There has been only a redeployment of such troops which have been illtreating Kosova Albanian citizens, the LDK chapter in Prizren said.
Serb military troops have been deployed and dug in for a month now in the village of Planejë of the Hasi region. The Serb army has usurped three local Albanian businesses and the building of the "Vëllezërit Frashëri" elementary schoolhouse in the village. The village population has had its movement hugely restricted.
Serb police troops have been patrolling the Prizren-Prishtina highway, especially the road between Duhël and Shtimje.
A Serb police expedition, deployed in the village of Piranë, has been reported illterating Albanians in the village of Zojz and elsewhere in the region along the Drini river.
Meanwhile, sources said Serb military forces surrounded and sealed off today at 10 a.m. the villages of Dedaj and Lugishtë of Hasi region. People were not allowed access to the area, LDK sources said.
The Albanian residents of Dedaj village were assembled near the elementary schoolhouse today, whereas Serb forces prevented the buses from commuting in the area.
Increased Serb Police Movements in Podujeva Area
PRISHTINA, Nov 9 (KIC) - There has been a stepped up movement of Serb police forces in the northern municipality of Podujeva, local sources said.
The Podujeva LDK chapter said 20 Serb policemen on board two APCs went to the Përpellac village, bordering on Serbia. They stayed there for an hour, and opened firearms and threw tear gas. On their way back, they passed through the villages of Dumnicë, Llaushë, Bajçinë and Letanc.
A similar police expedition travelled the Podujeva-Kërpimeh roadway today (Monday), LDK sources said.
Serb Troops and Heavy Armament Deployed in Badovc, Prishtina
PRISHTINA, Nov (KIC) - A long mechanized convoy of Serb forces was seen heading today morning for the Badovc village, north-south of Prishtina. Local villagers said the Serb police were stationed in the old neighborhood of the village, near the Badovci lake.
Witnesses told the KIC that other Serb forces were seen moving in the direction of Badovc later today (Monday).
Bodies of Two Serb Policemen Found near Malisheva
PRISHTINA, Nov 9 (KIC) - The bodies of two Serb policemen, Ilija Vujosevic (1950) and Dejan Djatlova (1975), who were reported kidnapped on Friday, were found today near Malisheva, the Media Center, a mouthpiece of the Serb occupation authorities in Kosova reported.
The two Serb policemen were apparently killed with fire-arms, the Serb center said.
Albanian Tortured for Failing to Communicate with Police in Serbian
PRISHTINA, Nov 9 (KIC) - An 18-year-old Albanian, Bekim Hoti, resident of Rogova village of Gjakova, was beaten up brutally by the Serbian police because he failed to communicate fluently in Serbian with them.
Bekim Hoti said he was halted Sunday at a police checkpoint at Krusha e Vogël village near Prizren, where he was tortured for over half an hour. Another Albanian, whose identity has not been reported, was beaten there under the same pretext.
|5. news from ARTA (Koha ditore)|
KOSOVA (clashes – Malishevë)
Corpses of two policemen abducted on Friday, found close to Malishevë
Malishevë, 9 November, (ARTA) 1930CET--
Relying on the reports of the Serb Media Center, the KIC informs that, "The corpses of the policemen Ilija Vujosevic and Dejan Djatlov abducted on Friday in the road Malishevë-Orllat, were found today morning not far from Malishevë".
It is asserted that the abducted policemen were shot at point-blank.
"Ilija Vujosevic (1950) a policeman from Prishtina and Dejan Djatlov (1975), a reservist policeman, were abducted on Friday while driving the truck loaded with nutritive articles for police units. Their corpses were found today by the police patrol", claims KIC relying on the reports of the Serb Media Center.
There are claims of a severe attack against the Police station in Malishevë. The police station was attacked with mortars, hand-grenades, and automatic weapons. Four mortar projectiles have hit and badly damaged the building of the police station. Also a terrain vehicle was destroyed, states the information issue of KIC relying on the reports of Serb Media Center.
KOSOVA (Serb attacks – Malishevë)
Serb police attacks several Malishevë villages
Malishevë, 9 November, (ARTA) 1730CET--
Three Albanians were wounded during the attack on the Malishevë municipal villages on Sunday evening, informs the CI LDK in Malishevë. The wounded persons were Sejdi Berisha (40) from Kijevë, Jahir Shaban Mazreku (34) and Nahit Selman Mazreku (18) from Malishevë. The attack lasting almost half an hour was conducted on Sunday at 1900CET by the Serb forces positioned in Malishevë, Tërpezë (place called Smonicë) Kijevë, Llazicë and Carallukë, informed the CI of LDK branch in Malishevë on Monday.
Serb forces installed in Carrallukë shelled some suburbs of Carralukë, Malishevë, Tërpezë, Kijevë, and Llazicë late in the evening. The KLA units were compelled to defend themselves and therefore it is suspected that the Serb side had casualties, while there are some wounded KLA soldiers as well.
The corpse of an Albanian killed during the first Serb offensive was found in the place called Përnica on Monday, states the CI LDK in Malishevë.
KOSOVA (abduction – Klinë)
The presence of the Serb police and the abduction of the Albanians continue - population returns and flees after shooting
Klinë, 9 November, (ARTA) 1800CET--
The arrival of the Serb police forces as well as the mobilization of the civilian population continues in the Klinë municipality. Their behavior towards the returning refugees is arrogant, provocative and threatening reported the "Koha Ditore" correspondent from Klinë, Maxhun Smajli.
Numerous Serb military and police forces, installed in 13 points of the region of Sverkë, continuously conduct shooting from tanks, APCs, and other weaponry against the houses and the displaced population near the Koznik Mountains.
Shooting from APCs, weapons and flares were conducted last night by all the Serb positions in the Sverkë region. Consequently, the population that has returned into the villages of Dush, Sverkë, and Volljakë fled again and spent the night into the neighboring forests.
The people of Sverkë region demand the immediate release of the doctor Zajm Gashi, who is being kept on the Serb jails since the September the 3rd.
The one-year-old baby of Murat Musaj from Bokshiq died because of the hard conditions staying in the mountains and lack of food.
Serb police patrols continuously abduct people (mainly youth), while the UNHCR teams are trying to help the pregnant mothers and sick people who are still living on plastic tents. Serb police and local mobilized Serbs continue to mal-treat the returnees in Gremnik village. They keep them outside their houses for hours, and then threat them with killing.
KOSOVA (clashes – Mitrovicë)
Serb civilians open fire from weapons
Mitrovicë, 9 November, (ARTA) 1600CET--
According to the CI LDK on Mitrovicë, Serb civilians from the suburb of "Tuneli i Parë" opened fire from machine guns on Albanian villages on Sunday evening, between 2030CET and 2300CET.
Dozens of bullets damaged the roofs of some Albanian houses in the village of Rekë, compelling the local residents to spend a night out-of-doors.
KOSOVA (Serb forces – Prizren)
No police withdrawal, just re-positioning
Prizren, 9 November (ARTA) 2045CET --
No signs of withdrawal of the Serb police units were noticed in the municipality of Prizren. On the contrary, only mal-treatments of the Albanian citizens, informs the CI of LDK in Prizren.
Heavy Serb police forces are installed since a month ago in the Has regional village of Planejë. Serb police has usurped in three shops of this village, as well as the building of the elementary school "Naim Frashëri".
There are claims that Serb Army is keeping under the isolation, some suburbs of this village and they are stopping the Albanian local residents everyday. Serb Army has also dug trenches.
The Serb Army forces seized the Has regional villages of Dedaj and Lugishtë on Monday at 1000CET. They do not allow any resident to get through this area.
The correspondent of "Koha Ditore" from Prizren, Bashkim Sulejmani informs that Serb forces has set a siege around the village of Lubizhdë, and they provoke and mal-treat the residents of the border area. The witnesses state that all the roads leading in and out of Lubizhdë were blocked, while the bus, which comes from Prizren, was canceled.
The reports claim that the residents of Dedaj village are locked in the building of the local school, and it is conducting a repressive action over the local Albanians in search for weapons.
The military forces are installed also in near the cemetery of the village of Dedaj, while the Serb forces are controlling the crossroad at Ura e Landovicës. The police forces are continuously patrolling through the way Landovicë-Krushë e Madhe, and they mal-treat the local residents by the way. At the moment, they see the international observers these police forces hide in the Wine stock in Krushë e Vogël.
Serb police forces are installed also in Prizren municipal village of Zoja, while the Serb military forces along the border belt are being reinforced especially in the villages Dobruzhdë, Shkozë, Zhur and Vërmicë until Opojë municipal village of Dubravë.
After the killing, on Friday, of five Albanians near Rahovec municipal village of Opterushë, the prevailing situation in the municipality deteriorated again, reports the correspondent of "Koha Ditore" from Prizren. A Serb police patrol returned again and at the place called Rrasat, in the crossroad Rahovec-Malishevë-Pristine and Rahovec-Drenoc-Zatriq.
Only the previous checkpoint (after the agreement in Belgrade) was removed, while the repression over the Albanian passers-by continue.
KOSOVA (Rugova – French diplomats)
Rugova: "Serb forces are impeding the return of the population"
Prishtina, 9 November, (ARTA) 1500CET--
The President of the Republic of Kosova, Ibrahim Rugova met the French Ambassador in Belgrade, Stanislas Filiol and the senior secretary of this embassy Gerard Fauveau, today. They discussed the most recent events in Kosova.
President Rugova claimed that, Serb forces are preventing the returning of the forcibly displaced population into their houses. He estimated that an accelerated arrival of the OSCE and NATO verification mission in Kosova would help on the improvement of the humanitarian crisis and the situation in general.
Concerning the political solution, President Rugova claimed that, these missions and the compliance of the decisions of the international community would create a convenient environment for solving the Kosova problem through negotiations.
KOSOVA (Demaçi – French diplomats)
Demaçi: "The Serb regime is not complying with the agreement"
Prishtina, 9 November (ARTA) 1830CET--
The French Ambassador in Belgrade, Stanislas Filioi and the senior secretary of this embassy, Gerard Fauveau visited the Office of the KLA Political Representative, Adem Demaçi.
The diplomats were initially interested to hear the opinion of Demaçi concerning the recent events and his evaluation on the activity of the international community in Kosova, with emphasis on the Milosevic-Holbrooke agreement.
Demaçi claimed that he evaluates the Milosevic-Holbrooke agreement as a positive process, but the problem is that the Serb regime is not complying with it. This could be seen from the fact that, the Serb forces have not withdrawn, the damage caused is not reimbursed, there is no cooperation with the Hague Tribunal and the terrorist and repressive campaign of the Serb regime against the Albanian people in Kosova has intensified.
Asked by the diplomats whether the Albanians are ready to negotiate with the Serb side and whether they accept the interim period, Demaçi responded that, in principles they accept it, but the interim period as a process should imply the status of Kosova out of Serbia and it ought to include the right of plebiscite of people, in order to realize the determination of the Albanians according to the referendum of 1991.
KOSOVA (KLA representative – Geneva)
Mahmuti: "We are only in the beginning"
Geneva, 9 November (ARTA) 2100CET--
The KLA political representative in Switzerland declared that his group is scrutinizing the last American proposal for the future of Kosova, which was presented in the secret talks in Geneva.
Bardhyl Mahmuti, the KLA representative in Switzerland, declared to Reuters that the proposals for autonomy are presented during the meetings held in Geneva on Thursday and in Malishevë on Friday.
Mahmuti claimed that, he met a senior official of the US State Department in Geneva, the chief for Central and Southern European issues, Lawrence Ross, as well as three other American diplomats.
The officials of the mission refused to give any comment. Mahmuti claimed that, the talking in Geneva were held parallel with the meeting of American mediator Christopher Hill with KLA High officials (including Jakup Krasniqi and Ramë Buja) held in Malishevë.
"American brought us the proposal of Hill about the future of Kosova. We are scrutinizing the documents", stated Mahmuti adding further "this was a constructive meeting. Our contacts with Americans are expanding".
KLA was excluded from the agreement, which was achieved last month between the American envoy for Balkans, Richard Holbrooke and the Serb President, Slobodan Milosevic. The agreement ostracized the threat of NATO air raids against the Serb military targets and forces them to halt the fighting in Kosova.
Hundreds of people were killed and around 300.000 were forced out during the fighting which burst out on February between KLA who seeks independence and the Serb forces.
Diplomats regard the recent American contacts with KLA as an indication that Washington is aware that the peaceful agreement could hardly succeed without the presence of KLA into.
Mahmuti declared that, "Our meeting is an evidence that Americans have official contacts with the KLA now on".
The diplomats stressed that Washington is asking the KLA support for establishing a kind of Police and other modalities including the governance and jurisdiction.
Mahmuti claimed that, the negotiating process has not started yet. "We are only in the beginning", he claimed.
KOSOVA (missing persons – Prishtina)
"We came again to ask for our father. Again they told us that he is nowhere"
Prishtina, 9 November (ARTA) 2210CET --
From the windows of the warm room in the house rented by the ICRC, in its garden, members of Hafir Shala's family could be seen, waiting for someone to tell them something about the fate of their son, father and husband.
The police, on 10th of April in the village of Sllatinë kidnapped Hafir Shala, a doctor, and an activist of "Mother Theresa" charity organization from Gllogoc, according to CDHRF.
"We are going to stay here all night long. We won't go away unless they tell me if my son is dead or alive", Isuf Shala said, the father of Hafir Shala, while his nieces and nephews were walking around him with red faces from the cold, with their noses running and sometimes crying from the cold.
Six of his children from the age of 13 to 3 months old, his wife and Hafir's father, were protesting in front of the beautiful house of the ICRC, where a cold wind was blowing from all the sides and where from time to time the "guards" of the houses and a "Champion" dog wandered around.
"Hafir was taken seven months ago. Today, we came here to protest", claimed Hafir's father, 64, and while the tears started rolling from his eyes he added "I am telling you, please give us back the corpse".
ICRC officials had no clue how to "get rid" of Hafir's family. Hafir's family members came in front of ICRC at 10, and only a foreigner went out to talk to them. "The talks" have ended in the garden of the house, where Hafir's family continued its "stay" until 1445CET. Inside, at the reception people that were working there were keeping themselves warm while heating the room with an electric heater, while some were having lunch. From time to time, the secretary looked through the window and was evaluating how "pity it was for those people standing outside".
The ones staying in the reception room could not give any kind of information, "bosses" were not around and the secretary had difficulties finding in which restaurant her "boss" went.
"No one here can give any information without consulting the bosses", claimed the secretary and proposed to wait for them by the time they get back.
"They said: Wait and then we'll see", said Shukrie Shala, Hafir's wife, while she was holding and covering sometimes with her coat Aurela, her 3 month-old daughter that was born in the Mountains of Berisha.
"Nobody is showing interest. Only words, nothing else", she said and added that one week ago she was in front of ICRC offices with her children, and that she informed them that she was coming back today.
"Don't bother us here, we'll let you know", an interpreter translated the words of an "English lady" to Hafir's father.
Gentrit, Hafir's only son, complained to his grandfather and his mother that he was hungry and cold. "We've come to take daddy, again. Again they told us he is nowhere", said Gentrit. "I miss him a lot, they say he is nowhere, and he is still in prison", he says while staring somewhere... at some distant point...
KOSOVA (refugees - Prishtina)
Albanian landlords evict eight refugee families - ask compensation for their sheltering
Prishtina, 9 November (ARTA) 1600CET--
Eight Albanian families, numbering 113 members, that have sought refuge in Prishtina from the warring area, were thrown out of the houses where they were sheltered up to now, since their Albanian landlords wish to rent their houses to more profitable tenants, claims the shelter coordinator of the Emergency Council in Prishtina, Bujar Lepaja.
"These 'landlords' have asked for them to leave the houses, or pay 250 DM per month", said Lepaja. "These people are all such that have no financial difficulties and are pretty well-off".
Lepaja goes on by saying that in the Prishtina suburb of "Kodra e Trimave", known to be inhabited by low middles class people without sufficient incomes "this does not happen, for he who knows what it is like to have not, know his kin in suffering".
The arrival of the OSCE verifiers and the cash offered for renting houses for their settling has made that a number of people hope to let their houses for rental.
"The OSCE has not come to make living difficult, thus we should have more consideration", says Lepaja.
An OSCE official says that houses sheltering refugees "will not be rented".
"It would be favorable for those that have already taken in refugees to take back their offers for rental by the OSCE", said the OSCE official, who preferred to remain anonymous.
Hydajet Hyseni, vice-president of the LBD said he does not "oppose houses being let for rental to international organizations, of course not kick-out the refugees, but furthermore to donate a percentage of the money paid for the refugees".
"A moment ago an old man came over crying. He was kicked of the house he was staying in. These people do not care for throwing people out in the cold, for a handful of Deutsche Marks", says Lepaja.
"If this goes on, soon we shall have 10.000 refugees on the streets".
|6. news from RFE/RL NEWSLINE|
|7. news from Fr. Sava (Decani Monastery)|
Reports from Human Rights Organisations
especially CDHRF (Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, Prishtina)
|9. news from ATA /ENTER and so on|
|10. eventual additional press news|
Taken without permission, for fair use only._______________________________________________________________________
Despite Progress, Kosovo Solution More Elusive than Ever
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AP) -- Tears are plentiful in Kosovo these days, welling up slowly as a voice quavers or pouring suddenly from tired eyes surveying rubble that was a home or bones that were a man.
Men weep beside the ruins of their houses. Women wail at funerals. Refugee children sob inside the cold, unfamiliar walls of a stranger's house.
The fighting that killed hundreds and left tens of thousands homeless may have ended, but the towering task of rebuilding lives and somehow resolving a deeply rooted political and ethnic conflict has barely started.
With the Balkan winter imminent, that means months more misery for those who have suffered the most.
The hardship faced by an estimated 150,000 refugees who still have not returned to their homes in the predominantly ethnic Albanian province already was overwhelming.
A visitor to virtually any village in the mostly devastated countryside encounters people facing almost unimaginable trauma, both physical and emotional. All tell the same story -- shelling and attack by Serb forces, families hiding in the woods for months, returning to loss and grief.
In Bobovac village in central Kosovo, a young woman held a canvas bag containing the bones of her uncle, who was killed three months earlier by a Serb artillery shell. His remains lay where he fell until the family returned last week.
Near the border with Albania, a woman explained that she sleeps in her clothes in case she has to flee suddenly in the night. A few miles away, Zenel Ahmeti cried at the destruction in Jablanica while his daughter, Florije, tried to put the pain of her people into words.
"We had everything before the Serb offensive and now we don't have a place to spend the night," she sobbed. "We never believed that this could happen to us. I've lost the will for living. We've lost our hope."
An estimated 300,000 Kosovars, most of them ethnic Albanians, fled the fighting that began in February when Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic cracked down on Albanian separatists in the province.
About half went abroad, relief officials believe, and most of the rest moved to the larger cities such as Pristina, the provincial capital, and a few others unaffected by the fighting. More than 50,000 hid in the mountains and woods.
Western powers led by the United States threatened NATO airstrikes to force Milosevic to end the offensive a month ago. Under an agreement he signed with U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke, extra military and police forces sent to Kosovo for the crackdown had to withdraw and people were supposed to be free to return to their homes.
Four weeks later, Western officials and relief agencies believe the initial goals of the agreement have mostly been reached. Fernando del Mundo of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said dropping temperatures and the reduced presence of Serb police in some areas have brought virtually all refugees down from the mountains and into villages.
Convoys of emergency food and other supplies have been delivered mostly without incident, and U.S. officials and others say they have averted the threat of a humanitarian catastrophe -- refugees dying of starvation and exposure in the woods.
That amounts to dodging one form of crisis for a less dangerous but still threatening situation. With entire villages damaged beyond any kind of immediate repair and the wet, freezing winter weather expected any day, many refugees have been unable to move into their homes. They live instead in crowded conditions in the houses of friends and relatives.
Del Mundo described his agency's goals simply: Deliver food and supplies regularly, and help people construct some kind of temporary shelter to get them through the winter.
"There's no way you can reconstruct the houses," he said. "The best you can hope for is one warm room for the entire family."
Relief agencies spent the past week scouring the region to compile a census of where people are and how many homes and villages have been damaged or destroyed. The report, expected soon, will provide a framework for how to proceed with delivering aid, del Mundo said.
The Serb attack on the province's Albanians was a systematic campaign to force as many as possible to flee forever. Besides the routine looting and burning of villages, schools and hospitals were ransacked and wells contaminated with animal carcasses.
In Malisevo, a virtual ghost town in central Kosovo, teacher Rexhep Mazreku, 38, rummaged through the debris that was his classroom.
"They've broken about everything," he muttered. "Look what they did here. Look."
Diplomas from the Albanians' self-run education system, the result of a boycott of Serb-run education, have been vandalized, with Republic of Kosovo crossed out and Greater Serbia written over it.
Publicly, Western diplomats and relief officials point out major changes: The fighting has stopped. Refugees are down from the hills. People generally have free movement. Relief supplies are reaching them.
Privately, they are less optimistic. U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity say sporadic violence by both Serb forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas is increasing. That could scuttle immediate progress needed to have any chance to help refugees further before winter sets in.
Serb police continue to operate checkpoints that limit movement in the countryside, particularly for young Albanian men who say they are accused of being guerrilla fighters of the Kosovo Liberation Army. That can mean immediate arrest, with a conviction likely after a lengthy detention that can include torture, Albanian lawyers say.
In some areas, the police presence, with patrols and the checkpoints, keeps people from attending to basic needs like taking a sick child to the doctor. Villagers complain of regular gunfire by police, particularly at night, and routinely run into surrounding fields and woods for safety.
"It's the tenth time we've fled," Abdur Kelmendi said Thursday as he and his cousin led their families, including a grandmother, two infants and nine other children, down a road from Sibovos village near Pristina.
Under the peace agreement, ethnic Albanians are supposed to regain the self-rule stripped by Milosevic in 1989, allowing them to create local institutions like a civilian police force.
A European-led mission of 2,000 unarmed observers is being created to monitor Milosevic's compliance with the peace plan. But the verification mission remains in the early stages, with the official launch unlikely until late November at the soonest.
A civilian police force and similar steps must await a political agreement, which is still snagged.
No matter the outcome of the political wrangling, the warfare and its aftermath have widened the already intense ethnic divide of Kosovo.
"Things will never be the same," said Skender Berisha, 25, as he cleared burned debris from a friend's shop in Malisevo. "There is no chance that we are going to live with them like we used to.
"We were neighbors and we used to say hello to them. Right now, if they expect us to live with them as neighbors, to get along with them, that will never happen. They massacred women and children. We can never do that."
Copyright 1998& The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Skopje, 9 November, 1998
IN NEGOTIATING FOR COALITION, ACCENT PLACED ON ALBANIAN PARTIES
Negotiations between `For Changes' coalition and parties of the Albanians in Macedonia PDP and PDPA / NDP for the new Government began taking place during this weekend, reports A-1 Television. Unofficial sources say the discussions are conducted in a presidential and expert manner. So far, there are no specific details of the results. Macedonian media unofficially consider the PDPA / NDP coalition of Arben Xhaferi to be a little closer to forming a coalition with VMRO-DPMNE and DA, although they do not exclude the possibility of both Albanian parties entering the Government, together or not. Meanwhile the negotiations among the `For Changes' coalition and LDP / DPM are set aside, i.e. they have not even started yet. This is primarily owed to all estimations that show a coalition with one or both Albanian parties is more important at the moment. Some fear the new Government is not going to be stable if the Albanian factor does not participate. Another reason for the possible distance from LDP / DPM is the fact that VMRO-DPMNE / DA still wait upon the final results of the elections after the rulings on the complaints and objections by electoral commissions and appellate courts. With regard to the large number of complaints submitted by VMRO-DPMNE / DA (nine) and the possibility of some of them being ruled in their favor, the option of the `For Changes' coalition winning majority of 61 representatives is still not excluded. If so, they would enter the Parliament and form a Government in a much relaxed manner.
Today the State Electoral Commission is to announce the final results of the third parliamentary elections in Macedonia after it receives the rulings of appellate courts with regard to the submitted complaints in constituencies. This therefore means that the names of candidates who have secured a seat in the Parliament should be officially announced, and the number of constituencies where the vote must be repeated.
06 November 1998
TEXT: NOV. 5 KOSOVO DIPLOMATIC OBSERVER MISSION DAILY REPORT
(Compiled from daily reports of U.S. element of KDOM) (500)
(The following KDOM Daily Report was compiled by EUR/SCE (202-647-4850) from daily reports of the U.S. element of the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission and released by the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, Office of South Central European Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC)
KDOM Daily Report
November 5, 1998 Although there continue to be incidents of apparent sporadic violations, the cease-fire in general is holding. Heightened tensions between police and KLA are most evident in the Suva Reka, Stimlje, and Vucitrn areas, as well as in the Malisevo/Komorane region. KLA presence is increasing in several areas and they appear to be responsible for some of the reported violations. The Serbian police claimed to have been attacked twice today by the KLA. A senior KLA official told KDOM, however, that "armed Albanian civilians," rather than his forces, are responsible for the incidents. A vehicle operated by OSCE (and clearly marked) was fired on from the tree line as it drove closely behind a FRY military convoy between Suva Reka and Stimlje. KDOM, accompanied by Belgrade Chief of Mission Dick Miles, was denied access to roads in the Podujevo area today. The KLA personnel who stoped the vehicle demanded (again) a letter from Adem Demaci. KDOM will once again remonstrate with Demaci about this denial. One of the three miners shot on November 3 near Grabovac has been transferred to Belgrade due to the gravity of his condition.
Serbian police are now providing security at the mine. On November 4, Belgrade Chief of Mission Dick Miles and Canadian Ambassador Gerard toured the Drenica area with KDOM. They saw a convoy of five armored police vehicles on secondary roads northeast of Lausa. They also noted the presence of a special police convoy south of Malisevo. They asked for an explanation of the latter activity from Kosovo Prime Minister Andjelkovic and Police Commander Lukic. Lukic proposed that he and KDOM jointly investigate the situation. Early today, KDOM checked the place where the special police had been seen and it was empty. KLA personnel in the area told KDOM that the police had withdrawn from the position early today. At a VJ position on the Suva Reka road, a VJ officer told KDOM that his men regularly deny passage to local villagers for "security reasons." KDOM confirmed VJ activity in the area of Zur where troops were seen hiding in the bushes along a road. KLA troops in Operusa told KDOM they engaged police in a fire fight today. They said the police provoked the fight by firing on them. Police reports blame the KLA for starting the fight. A KDOM observer was unpleasantly surprised when the rifle of a KLA soldier discharged while the two were shaking hands. The observer suffered no permanent damage. Total personnel today: 177 Americans, 122 local-hires.
06 November 1998
TEXT: AMBASSADOR TUFO ON HUNGARY'S ROLE IN BALKAN PEACEKEEPING
(Surveillance aircraft for Kosovo verification Hungary-based) (530)
TASZAR AIR BASE, HUNGARY -- U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Peter Tufo hosted a press event November 6 to highlight the new role for the Hungary-based unmanned Predator surveillance aircraft in Operation Eagle Eye -- the NATO mission to verify Serbia-Montenegro's compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1199.
"We appreciate the contributions Hungary has made to peacekeeping in the Balkans," Tufo said. "We stand, literally, on one of those contributions: the SFOR base at Taszar, which has done so much to support the IFOR and SFOR [Implementation Force and Stabilization Force] peacekeeping effort in Bosnia, and now supports NATO's Eagle Eye surveillance missions."
He added that Hungary "has repeatedly demonstrated its support for peacekeeping operations and its intent to stand by its NATO partners. Within the very near future Hungary will officially join NATO, but it is already playing the role of a full member and is fully involved in decision-making in Brussels."
The one-ton, propeller-driven Predator normally flies surveillance missions over Bosnia; more than 100 such missions have been conducted in 1998. The aircraft is controlled by a pilot and sensor operators from the ground control station at Taszar.
Following is the full text of Ambassador Tufo's statement.
AMBASSADOR PETER TUFO U.S. AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY
Taszar Air Base, Hungary
November 6, 1998
This week, the Predators that you see here became part of an important NATO mission: Operation Eagle Eye, designed to keep close surveillance of the withdrawal of Serbian military forces from Kosovo.
The unarmed, unmanned Predator is one component of NATO's program to monitor the situation in Kosovo and movements of Serbian military units. It provides real-time intelligence to our military and can survey an entire terrain. As you have heard, it is deployed to help keep the peace -- a mission to which the government in Belgrade has given its consent.
The Predator is not only an American military asset but an asset of NATO. Its deployment in and out of a Hungarian air base and through Hungarian air space is something which NATO has requested -- and the Hungarian government has granted. As Political State Secretary Bela Gyuricza said last week, these flights are authorized under international agreements and Parliamentary decisions. The United States and Hungary are therefore working together as partners to fulfill our joint NATO missions.
We appreciate the contributions Hungary has made to peacekeeping in the Balkans. We stand, literally, on one of those contributions: the SFOR base at Taszar, which has done so much to support the IFOR and SFOR peacekeeping effort in Bosnia, and now supports NATO's Eagle Eye surveillance missions.
The recent Parliamentary decision to allow NATO to use Hungarian air space for Kosovo-related missions is welcome, but not unexpected. Hungary has repeatedly demonstrated its support for peacekeeping operations and its intent to stand by its NATO partners. Within the very near future Hungary will officially join NATO, but it is already playing the role of a full member and is fully involved in decision-making in Brussels.
06 November 1998
TRANSCRIPT: ALBRIGHT, DINI Q&A WITH REPORTERS NOVEMBER 6, 1998
(Best antidote for terror is implementation of Wye accord) (2630)
Washington -- Secretary of State Albright told reporters at the State Department November 6 that "It's very clear that this terrorist outrage (in Jerusalem) was intended not only to kill and harm Israelis, but to kill the promise of peace embodied in the agreement reached at Wye River."
"We must not let the purveyors of hate and violence keep Israelis and Palestinians mired forever in the conflicts of the past," she said.
Albright spoke by phone early in the morning of November 6 with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to convey her condolences over the terrorist attack in Jerusalem. She was scheduled to speak to Palestinian Authority Chairman Arafat "later today and call on him to do everything that he must do to fight terror."
The Secretary of State said that "It is customary for there to be a short pause in the wake of this kind of an attack." But she added that "it is important that the Israeli Cabinet resume its deliberations quickly and make it possible to carry out the promise of Wye. I believe, based on my conversation with the Prime Minister, that he wants to find a way to do this."
James Rubin, the State Department spokesman, said "an indefinite limbo is dangerous, because it just increases the window for these extremists and opponents of peace to try to kill it."
"The fact is that for Israel, the best antidote for terror is the implementation of the agreement," Secretary Albright said, "for it is based on a clear and credible Palestinian work plan to fight terror and it creates a structure of security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians and with the United States to step up that fight."
Albright said that "those who take the violent road are the enemies of not only peace but the aspirations of the Palestinian people that I think will be best served by an implementation of the Wye agreement and the beginnings of permanent status talks."
"I have never believed that violence is the answer to dealing with the aspirations of the Israelis or the Palestinians," the Secretary of State said, "and that it is frankly as Foreign Minister Dini said, as you get closer to peace, the more extremists come out because they believe they don't have a stake in it."
"But as President Clinton made very clear at Wye," Albright said, "the Palestinians, Chairman Arafat, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the Israelis have the same enemies, and those are the extremists who would wish that the peace process not go forward."
The Secretary of State called on the Palestinians to "work on fighting terror every hour and every day."
Following is the State Department transcript:
Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini
Press Remarks Prior to Their Meeting
November 6, 1998
As released by the Office of the Spokesman U.S. Department of State
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Hello. It is a great pleasure for me to welcome my good friend, the Italian Foreign Minister, Lamberto Dini, to the State Department today.
Not only is Italy a strong partner and an ally of the United States, but Minister Dini is a valued friend of mine, and I'm very glad to see him in Italy's new government.
The Foreign Minister and I have a broad range of shared concerns to discuss today -- from the Middle East peace process and the Russian economy to Albania and Kosovo.
Let me begin, though, with a comment on today's terrorist attack in Jerusalem. This morning, I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu and conveyed to him my condolences. I will speak to Chairman Arafat later today and call on him to do everything that he must to fight terror.
Our prayers are with those Israelis who were injured and with their families. It's very clear that this terrorist outrage was intended not only to kill and harm Israelis, but to kill the promise of peace embodied in the agreement reached at Wye River. We must not let the purveyors of hate and violence keep Israelis and Palestinians mired forever in the conflicts of the past. This means that both Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu must marshal again the courage and determination that produced the Wye agreement.
It is customary for there to be a short pause in the wake of this kind of an attack. It is now the Sabbath in Israel. It is important that the Israeli Cabinet resume its deliberations quickly and make it possible to carry out the promise of Wye. I believe, based on my conversation with the Prime Minister, that he wants to find a way to do this.
The fact is that for Israel, the best antidote to terror is implementation of the agreement, for it is based on a clear and credible Palestinian work plan to fight and it creates a structure of security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians and with the United States to step up that fight. Implementation will also enable Palestinians to realize their aspirations, and it will allow the launch of permanent status negotiations so critical to achieving a lasting peace. The United States will continue to do all it can to achieve those goals.
Foreign Minister Dini and I will also discuss the situation in Kosovo, which though improved, remains far from ideal. Serb compliance with UN resolutions is not yet complete; the Kosovo Liberation Army also has not fully met its obligations to observe a cease-fire and ensure freedom of movement for international observers. And we continue to face substantial obstacles in our work toward a negotiated settlement that will secure the legitimate rights of all the people of Kosovo.
Italy is playing an important role in planning for the Kosovo verification mission, and for that we are very grateful.
We will also discuss our efforts to deepen and strengthen the partnership between Europe and the United States. We could not have the strong ties we do without the firm foundations of trust and friendship, like those we share with Italy. I'm confident those ties will endure. And I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to build on them with Foreign Minister Dini today.
FOREIGN MINISTER DINI: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Would you like to say something?
FOREIGN MINISTER DINI: I would say that we are in full agreement with the statement made by the Secretary on the various fronts. We share the same concern, point of fact, we view and we regard the Wye Plantation agreement as the single most important step forward of the last two years. Now we must see to it that there is no sabotage and that Israelis, as well as the Palestinians agree and move on on implementation.
It was to be expected there would be some setbacks at the moment the peace process is going on. This has happened in the past. It is unfortunate, but the enemies of peace are always present in that area. We must fight them out.
Also, on the questions of Kosovo, I think Italy intends to make a contribution to the verification scheme and also to the rapid intervention force in Macedonia and be present in the area. We are certainly, as Italy, as concerned as most countries due to the vicinity and the spill-over effects that instability in that region causes to our country.
We are also looking, as far as Italy is concerned, on Albania; there, too, the situation is not settled -- although there are signs of improvement. These I will be discussing with the Secretary later on.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, both you and the President have used the phrase, "aspirations of the Palestinian people." I wondered if there was a message implied there -- certainly there's one inferred here. Are you suggesting that those who would take violent action would be better served if they delayed or if they deferred or if they -- still not the right word -- if they stopped taking violence and just waited for negotiations to produce more for the Palestinians?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that it is clear to me that those who take the violent road are the enemies of not only peace, but the aspirations of the Palestinian people, that I think will be best served by an implementation of the Wye agreement and the beginnings of permanent status talks.
I have never believed that violence is the answer to dealing with the aspirations of the Israelis or the Palestinians, and that it is frankly, as Foreign Minister Dini said, as you get closer to peace, the more extremists come out because they believe they don't have a stake in it.
But as President Clinton made very clear at Wye, the Palestinians, Chairman Arafat, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israelis have the same enemies; and those are the extremists who would wish that the peace process not go forward.
Q: Does the Administration have a position on whether Israel has the right to retaliate to terrorism or should it place its bets on the peace process as the best solution?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think that the best solution is the peace process and, as I made clear in my statement -- and will over and over again -- it's very important for Chairman Arafat, who has with -- they have developed a good work plan to fight terrorism; and it's now important to carry it out. I think that that is the best way, is to make sure that the work plan is implemented, and that the Wye agreement can begin to go into force, so that we can move forward in this very important process.
Q: A question for Mr. Dini -- which could be the role of Europe in the peace process in the Middle East?
FOREIGN MINISTER DINI: First of all, Europe -- and we will be discussing this in the foreign ministers' meeting on Monday -- must be supportive of the Wye River agreement.
Second, Europe is an important provider of economic assistance, especially to the Palestinian side. We want to see that the terms of the agreement that deals also with matters and projects that have been financed directly by the European Union are going to be implemented. I have in mind, for example, the Gaza airport. And we are sorry to see that the first steps for using that airport have not been taken as yet. It was expected that President Arafat could fly in and out of that airport yesterday, but that has been delayed on the request of the Israeli authorities.
There's also the question of the port. All these are measures that intend to support the Palestinian economy that we do know is in very poor shape. So we want to work on the economic side and support the terms of the agreement as far as security is concerned and then also the land-for-peace provisions that are implied in it.
Q: Madame Secretary, the UN resolution against Saddam Hussein has now been passed. You have said that all options are on the table. Is this country, in concert possibly with others, ready to take a decision on an option, and what to do next?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, let me say first of all that we very much welcome the Security Council resolution, which was unequivocal in its call for Saddam Hussein to live up to his obligations and rescind his decision of not cooperating with UNSCOM.
I think that the Security Council sent a very strong message. It is now important for Saddam Hussein to hear it and listen and understand what it is that the international community has been saying.
I have said, the President has said, that all options remain on the table. We are going to be consulting with our allies in terms of next steps. Obviously, this is the kind of discussion that I'm going to be having with the Foreign Minister.
Q: On this, what is the Italian position? Because the United States is saying that no other authorization is needed from the Security Council for air strikes against Iraq. What is the Italian position?
FOREIGN MINISTER DINI: We must make the maximum effort to have Saddam Hussein to back down from his latest attempt to block, as he does, the inspections that must continue. He has no alternative to that.
We support, as is in line with the Security Council resolution, that Saddam Hussein allows the resumption of the inspections. And then also we -- perhaps if that resumes and the inspections can be resumed, maybe Security Council can work on that comprehensive review that has been asked for that should provide also for a timeframe for, perhaps, completing the work of UNSCOM inspections.
But first of all, that resolution cannot go ahead unless there is a resumption of the inspection and the United Nations teams are allowed to operate in Iraq without restrictions.
Q: Secretary Albright, this morning the Palestinian Authority called on the United States to become even more -- or rather, to intervene on behalf of the implementation of the Wye River memorandum. Do you foresee the US becoming even more actively involved -- not only as a mediator and an arbiter, but in trying to get beyond this latest incident?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, we obviously have been very involved in all the follow-up to Wye, as we were in the lead-up to it and Wye itself; and we will continue to play what is an appropriate role in our trying to make sure that the process goes forward.
We've been on the phone a lot -- I have and Ambassador Ross has -- and we will continue to do everything we can, because we believe that the Wye River agreement was a very good agreement, in which the security of Israel would be in better shape. Because we think that the work plan is one that deals with how -- or explains and takes actions on how to deal with terror. The question is now to make sure that that work plan is carried out; and also that the reciprocal obligations of Wye are carried out. We obviously will continue to play a role in this.
Q: Just a follow-up. How much of a problem is it; because in order to carry out the work plan, doesn't the accord itself have to be passed by the Israeli Cabinet? So are we in a holding pattern right now or --
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, let me say that I think the Palestinians agreed to Wye. And they are, in fact, we think, they've taken some significant steps in terms of the arrests that they have made. They need to keep pursuing the work plan and fighting against terror, which is a sine qua non of the whole process.
So I think it is important for the Israeli Cabinet to make its decision. But I don't think that the Palestinians should hold back; in fact, the contrary -- they should work on fighting terror every hour and every day.
Q: Mr. Dini, what's your position about war crimes in Serbia, after Mr. Milosevic didn't allow the investigators from the United Nations to do their job?
FOREIGN MINISTER DINI: Well, that has been the most recent development and with regard to that, we should be able to induce Mr. Milosevic to accept all inspection teams from international organizations and bodies, as he had agreed in the past, and as part of the agreements. So we look forward for him to also accept that particular inspection team to go and visit Kosovo and investigate the matter.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much.
06 November 1998
TEXT: TALBOTT VIEWS SITUATION IN RUSSIA, KOSOVO - NOV. 5 SPEECH
("Russians' future course is no one's choice but their own") (3440)
Los Angeles -- "The Russians' future course is no one's choice but their own," U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott said in a November 5 speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
"Not surprisingly, there is widespread disillusion (in Russia) with the very word 'reform' and with what are seen as 'Western' economic models," Talbott said.
"The trouble is that, in the name of course-correction, they are in danger of lurching toward hyperinflation, protectionism, and the reimposition of state control of wages and prices. This is one of the key issues that President Clinton will discuss with Prime Minister [Yevgeniy] Primakov when they meet in Kuala Lumpur" at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum later this month, Talbott added.
"The good news is that Russia, so far at least, is grappling with its economic dilemma in a democratic fashion," he continued. "As long as constitutionalism, civil society, and pluralism continue to set down sturdy roots in Russa -- as long as Russia can avoid the twin dangers of economic and political meltdown -- there is a good chance that those immensely talented and deserving people will eventually overcome their hardships, recover from their setbacks, and complete their transformation from a dictatorship and empire into a normal, modern state."
Turning to the Balkans, Talbott said: "Kosovo is more than just an affront to our values and our sense of decency. It's also a clear and present danger to our vital national interests.... Kosovo is the most explosive of all powderkegs in the Balkans. That's because of where it is: on the fault line between Europe and the Near East. If it blows up, it could ignite tinder all around."
"We are making progress in Kosovo today," he said. "Serbian forces are, by and large, back in their barracks, no longer terrorizing the local population. Kosovar Albanians are returning to their homes after months in the mountains and relief organizations are delivering supplies."
Following is text of Talbott's remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Thank you Chris, not just for that kind introduction, but for being a terrific boss, mentor and friend. The chance to work at your side was one of the great good fortunes of my life. This nation is mighty fortunate, too, to have had you at the helm of its foreign policy during a period of extraordinary challenge and opportunity.
Los Angeles has a lot going for it in my book, not least because it's Warren Christopher's home. In fact, even though I'm born and bred a Midwesterner, I feel a bit as though today is a homecoming for me. I say that because this is the city where I first courted my wife, a Westlake girl who initiated me to the wonders of taco parlors and San Vicente jogging. An important part of my family is still here: my parents-in-law, Marva and Lloyd Shearer, and my friend and cousin, Page Ackerman, who was for many years the chief librarian at UCLA. Chris, thanks to you and Curtis Mack and Caroline Ahmanson for including Marva, Lloyd and Page in this event.
Let me quickly add, though, that while I have plenty of personal ties here, I'm in town today very much on public business: I'm reporting to an important part of the constituency on whose behalf all of us in the U.S. Government work.
Let me, therefore, get down to business. Secretary Albright and the rest of us who make up President Clinton's foreign-policy team have had our hands full these last several months. In fact, I can't recall a period in recent years when we, as a nation, have faced quite so many tough challenges on so many fronts. I'll kick off for you just the most obvious examples.
On the Middle East Peace Process, the President, the Vice President and Secretary Albright achieved something remarkable and, we hope, lasting at the Wye Plantation two weeks ago. They were building, not incidentally, on four years of patient, persistent, painstaking and skillful diplomacy by this gentleman here (former Secretary of State Christopher). No one knows better than he does how tough the going was on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, because he's been there and done that, both literally and figuratively; and no one knows better than he does how determined we must now be following up on the agreement -- and how vigilant we must be against extremists who will step up their attempts to ruin the chance of peace in the Middle East.
In that same rough neighborhood, one of the world's most dangerous bullies, Saddam Hussein, is acting up yet again, refusing to cooperate with the United Nations inspectors whose job it is to make sure he isn't developing and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.
Meanwhile, halfway around the globe, the North Koreans have threatened to restart their own nuclear-weapons program, even as they continue to develop ballistic missiles and to export dangerous technology to other countries.
In Central Africa, the armies of nine nations and the forces of numerous ethnic militias are embroiled in a war that has killed thousands of civilians and displaced thousands more since August.
And so it goes on virtually every continent -- old troubles erupting alongside new ones.
Moreover, all this is happening against the backdrop of what may be a shift in the tectonic plates of the global economy. What started a year ago with collapse of the Thai currency has become the most serious and far-reaching financial crisis in 50 years. It has spread to our own hemisphere, bringing a big and important neighbor, Brazil, to the edge of an economic free fall.
This is a dizzying kaleidoscope of problems. In many ways, they're vastly different, one from the other. Yet they all have three things in common.
The first is that each affects us -- our country, our community. In other words, each is an illustration of a basic fact of life in this increasingly interdependent world of ours: what happens there matters here.
"There" can be the Middle East, where a new round of Arab-Israeli conflict would hurt every economy in the world, including our own, that relies upon on a steady flow of oil.
Or "there" can be Iraq and North Korea. If rogue states like those are able to provide to every other bad actor in the world the means of unleashing death and destruction, Americans will be in danger -- at home and abroad. Just imagine how it will affect the ability of the World Affairs Council to sponsor the trips it has planned in the coming year to East Asia, Southern Africa, the Middle East and Latin America if the terrorists who bombed our embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam in August had nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
As for the world financial crisis, U.S. exports to the wounded economies in Asia and elsewhere are down by nearly a third. That matters directly and ominously to a state like California and a city like Los Angeles that depend heavily on the manufacture of goods for global markets.
The second common denominator of the problems I've touched on here is that their solutions cry out for American engagement -- and more than that for American leadership. That's exactly what President Clinton and his two Secretaries of State, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, have been determined to provide. It's what we get up every morning and go to work to do. That's why the President, the Vice President and the Secretary undertook their diplomatic marathon at the Wye Plantation last month. That's why we are working both through the UN and through the deployment of our military might in and around the Gulf to compel Iraq to comply with the will of the international community. That's why we are negotiating with the North Koreans, the South Koreans and the Chinese to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. That's why my colleague, Assistant Secretary Susan Rice, is conducting shuttle diplomacy in Central Africa today.
And that's why the State Department is cooperating with the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and other agencies to address the global financial crisis on a number of fronts. The crisis will be Topic A, for example, when President Clinton meets with his counterparts at the annual Leaders Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum -- APEC -- in Malaysia in two weeks. A crucial goal at that meeting and others is to identify ways of preventing crises like the current one from occurring in the future -- and to do so, 54 years after Bretton Woods, by designing a new financial architecture for the 21st century.
That point illustrates the third feature that all the challenges I've mentioned have in common: in every case, we are searching for solutions not only in concert with other countries but also in ways that strengthen international institutions and increase their ability to complement and reinforce each other.
Any and all of the cases in point I've mentioned so far -- the Middle East, the Gulf, the Korean Peninsula -- are fair game for our discussion this afternoon. But first I'd like to sharpen the focus of that discussion a bit by zeroing in on three tasks that I'm concentrating on in my own work. First is the conflict in Kosovo. Second is the economic and political turmoil in Russia. Third is danger of nuclear war on the Asian Subcontinent.
Once again, this is a diverse trio of headaches. But they have those three common aspects: each affects us and our lives; each requires a high degree of American leadership; and each represents an opportunity to make international institutions more relevant, more effective, more synergistic.
Let me give you a capsule report on all three, starting with Kosovo. As recently as the beginning of this year, few Americans knew much, if anything, about that remote, impoverished corner of the Balkans. Now Kosovo is a household word, a synonym for man's inhumanity to man.
But Kosovo is more than just an affront to our values and our sense of decency. It's also a clear and present danger to our vital national interest. Again, it's the principle of what happens there mattering here. "There," in this case, is Europe. A threat to the peace of Europe -- any threat to the peace of Europe -- endangers the safety and prosperity of the United States.
Kosovo is the most explosive of all the powder kegs in the Balkans. That's because of where it is: on the fault line between Europe and the Near East. If it blows up, it could ignite tinder all around -- to the northwest, in Bosnia, where a fragile peace is only beginning to take hold; to the southwest, where Albania is already in danger of coming apart at the seams; to the southeast, where the fourth Balkan war of this century could bring in two of our NATO Allies, Greece and Turkey, on opposite sides.
We are making progress in Kosovo today. Serbian forces are, by and large, back in their barracks, no longer terrorizing the local population. Kosovar Albanians are returning to their homes after months in the mountains and relief organizations are delivering supplies. An international mission is moving into place to verify compliance with the pullback and the cease fire, and we are working with the parties to restart direct negotiations.
These encouraging developments vindicate a principle that Secretary Christopher helped establish during his own four years as Secretary of State and that Madeleine Albright considers a first principle of her own stewardship of our foreign policy: the quest for a peaceful resolution to a regional conflict often requires that American-led diplomacy be backed by the credible threat of American-led force. They both helped President Clinton apply that principle in restoring democracy in Haiti, in bringing peace to Bosnia, and during earlier showdowns with Saddam Hussein.
Slobodan Milosevic is, like Saddam, an archetypal bully: he won't get serious about peace until threatened with war. He's finally behaving in Kosovo because we held a gun -- loaded, cocked, safety off -- to his head. The gun was NATO airpower.
But NATO has not acted alone. It has worked, hand-in-glove, with four other bodies: the United Nations Security Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union and the so-called Contact Group on the Balkans.
It is significant that Russia is a member of three of those bodies -- the Security Council, the OSCE and the Contact Group -- and that Russian is working closely the with the fourth, NATO to enforce the peace in Bosnia and to verify compliance with international demands over Kosovo.
This brings me to the second part of my report to you this afternoon -- an update on Russian in its own right. Much of what's happening in that vast country is perplexing; some of it downright ominous. But we can't lose sight of a core fact: Russia's decision eight years ago to abandon Soviet Communism and to associate itself with the growing international consensus in favor of political and economic freedom is the one of the most important and most positive developments of the second half of this century.
Russia is opening itself to the world to an extent and in a way unprecedented in its long, troubled history. Post-Soviet Russia has gone from being a spoiler to being an international joiner. Increasingly, it is working within, rather than against, the institutions that make up the superstructure of the international political and economic system. Since '91, it has become a member of the G-8, the successor to the Group of Seven Major Industrialized Democracies; the Council of Europe, the Arctic Council, the Council of Baltic Sea States, the Permanent Joint Council created by the NATO-Russia Founding Act and, as I ready mentioned, the Contact Group on the Balkans. President Clinton will meet Prime Minister Primakov in Kuala Lumpur during the APEC Summit, which is yet another international grouping that we have helped the Russians to join.
The question of the hour and I suspect of the coming decade -- is whether Russia will continue to move in what we regard -- and in what many Russians regard -- as the right direction, or whether it will pull back into it shell.
The question arises because of the crisis that has befallen the Russian economy this year. This past summer and fall, the Russians saw their currency collapse, may of their banks go belly-up, payrolls and pensions go unpaid, the bottom fall out of their fledging stock market, and goods evaporate from stores.
Not too surprisingly there is widespread disillusionment with the very word reform and with what are seen as "Western" economic models. Hence the temptation to look for a uniquely Russian remedy to insolvency and social pain. The trouble is that, in the name of course-correction, they are in danger of lurching toward hyperinflation, protectionism and the reimposition of state control of wages and prices. This is one of the key issues that President Clinton will discuss with Prime Minister Primakov when they meet in Kuala Lumpur.
The Russians' future course is no one's choice but their own. The bad news -- and it's quite serious -- is that they may repeat some mistakes from the past, particularly in the massive printing of money.
In that case, the economic situation will probably get worse before it gets better, and we will be far less able to help Russian through the International Monetary Fund.
But the good news is that Russia, so far at least, is grappling with its economic dilemma in a democratic fashion. Its own citizens have a major say in who governs them. The Primakov government came into office because President Yeltsin and his many opponents in the Parliament played by the rules of the post-Soviet constitution. They have cut deals, made compromises and embarked on programs for which they will be held accountable to voting citizens in parliamentary elections a year from now and in a presidential election scheduled for the year 2000.
As long as constitutionalism, civil society, and pluralism continue to set down sturdy roots in Russia -- as long as Russia can avoid the two dangers of economic and political meltdown -- there is a good chance that those immensely talented and deserving people will eventually overcome their hardships, recover from their setbacks and complete their transformation from a dictatorship and empire into a normal, modern site. That's not only in their interest -- it's in our own. That's why we're going to stay actively engaged with Russia and its struggling reformers on every front.
We also have a huge stake in what happens in -- and between -- India and Pakistan. This is the last of my reports to you today.
These two countries occupy a critical part of the world, a bridge between Asia and the Near East. One -- Pakistan -- used to be a Cold War Ally of the United States; the other -- India -- is the world's most populous democracy. Once is an Islamic nation, the other is largely Hindu. Together, they are home to over a billion people -- almost a fifth of all humanity. Since they came into being as independent states 51 years ago, in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars. The makings of a fourth war still simmer in Kashmir.
Six months ago, India set off a series of underground nuclear explosion at Pokhran Desert in Rajasthan. Then, two weeks later, Pakistan followed suit, with its own nuclear tests in the Chagai Hills of Baluchistan. Overnight it became all the easier to imagine an apocalypse in the cradle of several of the world's great religions and civilizations.
Even if they don't unleash that ultimate catastrophe, India and Pakistan are straining in the starting blocks of a ruinously expensive arms race. Moreover, their defiance of the worldwide compact against the acquisition of nuclear weapons has increased the peril that other countries -- especially ones with less responsible governments than those in New Delhi and Islamabad -- will accelerate their own nuclear-weapons programs.
It's against that backdrop that the President and Secretary Albright asked me, seven months ago, at the time of the tests, to go to work with the Indians and Pakistanis on three goals: 1) preventing an escalation of nuclear and missile competition in the region; 2) strengthening the global non-proliferation regime; and 3) promoting a dialogue between India and Pakistan on the long-term improvement of their relations, including on the subject of Kashmir.
So far, I've held six rounds of discussion with my India counterpart, Deputy Planning Commissioner Jaswant Singh, and I'll be holding a seventh in Rome next meet. I've also held seven rounds with my Pakistan one, Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad, including one just yesterday in Washington.
In this effort, I've been guided not just by the instructions of the United States Government, but also by a set of goals, or benchmarks, that we worked out back in June with three international bodies: the so-called P-5, the Permanent Five Members of the United Nations Security Council, the G-8 and the South Asia Task Force, a group of fifteen countries plus the European Union established in the wake of the May test to persuade India and Pakistan to re-establish themselves in the good graces of the international community.
In the talks I've held to date my interlocutors and I have made some tentative but welcome progress. A lot of tough work remains --- by them, and by us. To be very frank, I don't know if we -- or they -- will succeed.
But, ladies and gentlemen, this much I do know about the future of South Asia, just as with Kosovo and Russia -- just as with the Middle East, Iraq, North Korea, Congo, and the international financial crisis -- everyone in those regions and around the world is looking to us; counting on us; depending on us, the United States, to provide the combination of brains and brawn, head and heart, vision and energy, will and wallet, in help them help themselves. And we'll do so because in helping them, we're also helping ourselves to ensure that the 21st century will be safer, more prosperous, more peaceful than the 20th has been.
That much-ballyhooed millennium by the way, is right around the corner. It begins in one year, one month, three weeks, four days, ten hours, and about forty-five minutes -- which barely leaves us time for what I'm sure will be a lively discussion, so let's get started.
05 November 1998
TRANSCRIPT: NOV. 5 AMB. HILL IN BELGRADE ON BOSNIA, KOSOVO
(At dedication of Holbrooke book on Bosnia, Dayton pact) (2380)
Belgrade -- Ambassador Christopher Hill, the U.S. special mediator on Kosovo, spoke November 5 at a ceremony here dedicating Ambassador Richard Holbrooke's book on Bosnia and the Dayton peace accords, "To End a War."
While the 21 days spent in Dayton, Ohio, in 1995 hammering out a peace accord for Bosnia were very difficult, Hill said, the indirect negotiations he is mediating between Serbia-Montenegro and the ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo are even more challenging.
"Because difficult as [Dayton] was, I think we were able to get something done in those 21 days and nights," Hill said. "Many more than 21 days and nights have already elapsed in my current mission, and I am afraid we still have some time to go. But I would like to assure you all who follow events in Kosovo that we are very much on the road, we are very much moving ahead, and I do anticipate getting to a destination, and getting to that destination soon."
There is a long way to go "not only in resolving the issue of Kosovo.... But we also have a way to go in terms of creating the democratic institutions that are going to be needed in this part of the world. It's been particularly disappointing to see the recent crackdown on independent media here, because I really feel that the independent media in Yugoslavia are very much something which needs to be reinvigorated, and must play a very important role as we look ahead to the future," he said.
On the positive side, Hill said, "I believe that we have made serious progress in addressing not only the reduction of violence, which is absolutely essential, but also in coming around to some sort of political solution that will meet the basic interests of either side....
"We are not there yet, but I can assure you, we are going to stick with it until we reach an agreement. Sometimes, you have to be a little stubborn in diplomacy, and we are going to do just that."
Following is a transcript of Ambassador Hill's remarks prepared by USIS Belgrade:
AMBASSADOR CHRISTOPHER HILL'S REMARKS AT THE DEDICATION CEREMONY FOR AMBASSADOR HOLBROOKE'S BOOK "TO END A WAR"
November 5, 1998
AMBASSADOR HILL: Thank you very much. It's a real pleasure to be here in the Media Center again, this time to participate in the announcement of the publication of the book by my friend, colleague, and mentor in many respects, Richard Holbrooke.
I must say, Dayton was a very long negotiation, 21 days and nights, and I would say at the time it was certainly the most difficult and challenging experience I'd ever had in the Foreign Service. But given what I've been doing recently, I look back to Dayton with a certain amount of nostalgia. Because difficult as it was, I think we were able to get something done in those 21 days and nights. Many more than 21 days and nights have already elapsed in my current mission, and I am afraid we still have some time to go. But I would like to assure you all who follow events in Kosovo that we are very much on the road, we are very much moving ahead, and I do anticipate getting to a destination, and getting to that destination soon.
I think one of the things that was perhaps most disappointing about Dayton for me was that it was not so much the road to Dayton that was important, but the road from Dayton -- where we would go after Dayton. I really had higher hopes about the aftermath of Dayton, in terms of making progress not only on Bosnia, where a lot of progress has been made, but more generally, progress on resolving the outstanding issues of the Balkans, being able to push ahead and doing what is, I think, the historical task for all of us in this room: joining the Balkans permanently, indelibly to Europe. Clearly, we are not there yet. Clearly, we have a way to go on this road.
We have a way to go not only in resolving the issue of Kosovo, which, I want to stress, is only part of the problem. But we also have a way to go in terms of creating the democratic institutions that are going to be needed in this part of the world. It's been particularly disappointing to see the recent crackdown on independent media here, because I really feel that the independent media in Yugoslavia are very much something which needs to be reinvigorated, and must play a very important role as we look ahead to the future. So, I want to stress that, while Richard Holbrooke may have written the book on the road to Dayton, I would like to write a book on the road from Dayton, and perhaps have an equally happy ending when we get there. Thank you very much.
Q: I have two questions. First, Mr. Holbrooke says that former Yugoslav leaders were warlords, but the history tells us that big nations have always been the lords of war and peace. How come such a small nation suddenly became so important as to become a warlord? Second, the Europeans, who also were mediators in the peace process, accused the United States of not wanting to achieve peace at proper time. There are many indications of this, such as when Mr. Zimmermann requested Mr. Izetbegovic to withdraw his signature from the European proposal. How do you explain that?
AMBASSADOR HILL: I don't know how to answer the first question, in the sense that it is not a question for me as a diplomat, it's more a question for people who want to philosophize about how little places can sometimes bring big problems. I think, though, that big problems don't happen in large, established countries. They happen on the periphery; they happen in countries that are small and between two other forces.
How it all happened in the Balkans, you know the history better than I do. The fact of the matter is that we had a problem in the 1990s that clearly wasn't going to go away without a concerted effort.
As for the U.S. role, I think I'd like to stress first of all that we did work very closely with the Europeans on this, and we did have, of course, a lot of differences with them on many things. You know, to some extent, what Dick Holbrooke's book has done is to take you from the restaurant into the kitchen of what we've done. Sometimes when you look at the things in the kitchen, they don't look as attractive as they do when they are served in the restaurant.
You are probably rather shocked by some of the things that went on to get people to agree to various things, and by the sort of arguments we had, but you know, overall, I think we ended up with the Western Alliance intact, which, I might add, was probably our first objective -- to make sure that these little countries didn't do any damage to Euro-Atlantic structures. I think in the end they certainly did not. It was a problem and certainly a challenge for the Euro-Atlantic relationship, the first post-Cold War challenge. While we all may have been a little late, I think we eventually did meet the challenge.
Q: Mr. Hill, if you compare the peace efforts for Bosnia at Dayton, and the Kosovo talks, in what stage are the talks regarding Kosovo now? Are we near a meeting at which the final text of the agreement is going to be proclaimed? Second, are you going to talk with President Milosevic today?
AMBASSADOR HILL: As I said earlier, we are really not there yet at the final, end game. I do believe we've made a lot of progress in terms of understanding what the important issues are for the two sides. One of the problems of a negotiated document is that it never looks quite as eloquent as a document written by one person and offered as a sort of diktat. In short, a negotiated document by its nature is less eloquent and perhaps more cumbersome, and frankly, sometimes difficult to understand because of its being written in a way that might be intended so that different sides can read it in different ways.
The problem of Kosovo did not just come up a few months ago. For those of us who know something about the Balkans, we know that the problem of Kosovo has been around for quite a long time. I believe that we have made serious progress in addressing not only the reduction of violence, which is absolutely essential, but also in coming around to some sort of political solution that will meet the basic interests of either side. I do have a plan to meet with your president today, but I've got to check the schedule to make sure it's still on.
Q: I would like to ask Ambassador Hill if he is willing to take concrete questions about changes that have occurred in the draft proposal on Kosovo, and to explain, if he can, the future relationship between the autonomous, republican, and federal authorities. Secondly, has the issue of the Provincial Assembly representatives and their participation at the republican and the federal levels been sorted out?
AMBASSADOR HILL: Well, those are all issues for the negotiation. I don't think we have an agreement on it. So its hard to say today what those relationships are going to be.
I think the basic concept behind the agreement is not to work on the status of Kosovo, but rather to work on self-government, autonomy -- although, frankly speaking, I try to avoid the word "autonomy" because it has so many different historical meanings to the peoples of the Balkans -- to establish democratic institutions in Kosovo, which are very necessary in Kosovo and, I might add, elsewhere. But I am working on Kosovo right now, to make sure that these democratic institutions work in a way that empowers people, and allows people to make decisions for themselves concerning the things that affect their lives.
Another element of what we are doing is that we are enshrining the protection of peoples' rights -- human rights, but also their rights as a national community. I think we have got to be very sure that everyone's rights are protected in Kosovo. Our agreement will do that.
Another thing we are doing in the agreement is to try to push responsibility downward to the local areas. This is the trend all over the world. Look at what has happened in the United States, or in the United Kingdom. There is a real effort to devolve power -- that is, to put power where people can make the decisions that affect their daily lives. This is very much the future in our agreement in Kosovo. Now, to be sure, misunderstandings abound. Some people would regard this feature as an effort on our part to weaken Kosovo-wide structures, when, in fact, it is an effort to bring democracy down to where people can best use it. So, there are a lot of elements in this agreement which, I believe, are in everyone's interest in Kosovo -- I would add, in everyone's interest in Belgrade, in Yugoslavia, and in Serbia as well.
Of course, there is a mountain of mistrust between Albanians and Serbs. It hasn't gotten any better in the last six months. Frankly, it's gotten a lot worse. We've got to address that, because, I think, you will all agree that when you wake up the day after this agreement is done, you will find that you are still living next to Albanians, and the Albanians are still living next to you, in the same part of the world. Ultimately, you are going to have to work things out.
So we are proceeding with this. As I have said several times, we are not there yet, but I can assure you, we are going to stick with it until we reach an agreement. Sometimes, you have to be a little stubborn in diplomacy, and we are going to do just that.
Q: Is there any chance of getting the two sides to the negotiating table for direct talks any time soon?
AMBASSADOR HILL: This issue of direct talks comes up a lot. Lots of people ask about that. My feeling is, if the two sides want to meet in direct talks and feel that they can resolve things through direct talks, then I would be happy to see that happen. It would certainly save me a little wear and tear! I am getting older by the day working on this, and I'd rather they would just sit down and work this out. But if they are not interested in doing this, its O.K. We'll continue to do what we are doing -- which is to have indirect talks. Whatever is most useful, we support. Whatever the parties can agree, we will support. If they want to do direct talks, it's fine with me.
Q: Ambassador Hill, do you think that both sides are serious about entering these negotiations, or do you have impression that they are not very openhearted?
AMBASSADOR HILL: The usual diplomatic answer to that is to say "you should ask them," but frankly, I believe that people are serious about this. I think both sides understand that the status quo is unacceptable and that they have got to move on.
I don't know if you have visited Pristina lately, but there is a whole new atmosphere being created by the arrival of this OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] mission. I think there is an understanding that there's got to be a political process there, a political settlement for the OSCE mission to assist in implementing. Based on the fact that people are now reacting to specific elements in the draft agreement, I am confident that we have a serious discussion under way now.
05 November 1998
TEXT: NOV. 4 KOSOVO DIPLOMATIC OBSERVER MISSION DAILY REPORT
(Compiled from daily reports of U.S. element of KDOM) (520)
(The following KDOM Daily Report was compiled by EUR/SCE (202-647-4850) from daily reports of the U.S. element of the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission and released by the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, Office of South Central European Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC)
KDOM Daily Report
November 4, 1998 Tensions between police and KLA are rising in several areas as the KLA becomes more overt and assertive. The KLA is actively recruiting new members and has in the past few days carried out three retribution killings of ethnic Albanians accused of collaborating with Serb authorities during the fighting. Serb police are winterizing many of their positions. They have also created a number of new positions not authorized under the agreements. KDOM spotted a heavily armed police convoy moving to high ground near Malisevo, an area of particular KLA activity. The convoy consisted of military Land Rovers with guns mounted on roofs, smaller APC's, and civilian vehicles. The passage of the convoy provoked a new outflow of population from Orlate. UNHCR reported seeing another police unit made up of armored vehicles and 80 men moving into a post office in the village of Crmjan. Police reported to KDOM that unidentified assailants opened fire on a Serbian Orthodox church near Opterusa today. While most of the Kosovar population is now sheltered for the winter and normal activity is returning to towns and villages, the number of potential flash points is increasing. On the night of November 3, three mine workers were shot at a coal mine near Grabovac. The men were ambushed by KLA, according to mine officials with whom KDOM met. KDOM visited the site of the shooting and observed shell casings and other evidence of the incident. One of the three victims is not expected to live; the other two will probably survive, according to mine officials. In apparent response to the shooting of the three mine workers, UNHCR reports reinforcement of the police presence in Grabovac. KDOM revisited Zur to investigate reportedly increased military activity in the area. Villagers told KDOM that there had been no VJ presence until 3 days ago. They expressed fear, saying there was nightly firing at the village from nearby hills. KDOM has not confirmed this report. KLA forces continue to impede freedom of movement in many areas despite KDOM's protest to LDK leader Adem Demaci. KDOM met again with Demaci today. While he said he could not guarantee KDOM's safety, the LDK leader agreed to get the word to his people that KDOM can move anywhere in Kosovo without KLA permission. Despite the friction between police and the KLA, the civilian population is better off than it was a few weeks ago. Some limited housing repairs are underway in many villages and children are back in schools. NGOs are in full force getting supplies to the returned Kosovars as the weather worsens. KDOM has 174 Americans and 113 local-hires today.
Link to earlier news - so far as room is given by my provider on the server
Die Bibel sagt
siehe, jetzt ist der Tag des Heils.
2. Korinther 6, 2b
Ehe denn die Berge wurden und die Erde
und die Welt geschaffen wurden,
bist Du, Gott, von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit.
Der Du die Menschen laessest sterben
und sprichst: Kommt wieder, Menschenkinder !
Denn tausend Jahre sind vor Dir
wie der Tag, der gestern vergangen ist,
und wie eine Nachtwache.
Du laessest sie dahinfahren wie einen Strom,
sie sind wie ein Schlaf,
wie ein Gras, das am Morgen noch sprosst,
das am Morgen blueht und sprosst
und des Abends welkt und verdorrt.
Unser Leben waehret siebzig Jahre,
und wenn's hoch kommt, so sind's achtzig Jahre,
und was daran koestlich scheint,
ist doch nur vergebliche Muehe;
denn es faehret schnell dahin,
als floegen wir davon.
Wer glaubt's aber, dass Du so sehr zuernest,
und wer fuerchtet sich vor Dir in Deinem Grimm ?
Lehre uns bedenken, dass wir sterben muessen,
auf dass wir klug werden.
HERR, kehre Dich doch endlich wieder zu uns
und sei Deinen Knechten gnaedig !
Fuelle uns fruehe mit Deiner Gnade,
so wollen wir ruehmen und
froehlich sein unser Leben lang.
Psalm 90, 1-6.10-14
The Bible says
behold, now [is] the day of salvation.
2Kor 6, 2b
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God.
Thou turnest man to destruction;
and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
For a thousand years in thy sight [are but]
as yesterday when it is past,
and [as] a watch in the night.
Thou carriest them away as with a flood;
they are [as] a sleep:
in the morning [they are] like grass [which] groweth up.
In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up;
in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten;
and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years,
yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow;
for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knoweth the power of thine anger?
even according to thy fear, [so is] thy wrath.
So teach [us] to number our days,
that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom.
Return, O LORD, how long?
and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
O satisfy us early with thy mercy;
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90, 1-6.10-14
Authorized Version 1769 (KJV)
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