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KosovaLive Aug. 10, 2001

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  • Snezana Lazovic
    http://www.kosovalive.com/english/english.htm U.S. Office Calls for Respect of Ceasefire and Political Dialogue August 10, 2001 PRISHTINA (KosovaLive) - The
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2001
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      U.S. Office Calls for Respect of Ceasefire
      and Political Dialogue

      August 10, 2001

      PRISHTINA (KosovaLive) - The U.S. Office in Prishtina expressed its concern
      Friday that the media in Macedonia, Kosovo, and elsewhere in Europe were
      conveying false reports on U.S. support for the so-called National Liberation
      Army in Macedonia.

      Michael McClellan, U.S. Office Prishtina Spokesman, said in his statement that
      spreading misinformation makes it harder to restore a climate in which
      Macedonia's parties can implement the agreement initialed on August 8. In
      particular, the U.S. Office is concerned about patently false information reported
      in the London Sunday Times and Der Spiegel that has been repeated in local
      media without verification or substantiation. Irresponsible and inflammatory
      reports undermine the genuine efforts of the international community to support
      a peaceful solution, he said.

      According to McClellan, there can be no military solution in Macedonia, and all
      parties need to respect the agreement reached at Ohrid. "President Bush's July
      24 statement in Kosovo leaves no doubt: the U.S. stands against all who use or
      support violence against democracy and the rule of law. We have acted to block
      the flow of private funds from the U.S. to armed extremist groups.

      "U.S. troops in KFOR (Task Force Falcon) are heavily engaged in interdicting
      the flow of arms to the so-called NLA. Thousands of grenades and mortars,
      hundreds of landmines, and numerous weapons and ammunition rounds have
      been seized and destroyed. KFOR's intensive, continuous border patrol
      demonstrates our commitment to act against violent extremists in the region.
      U.S. soldiers have been wounded and injured during interdiction operations,"
      McClellan stated.

      He called on ethnic Albanian political leaders in Macedonia and Kosovo to
      support the resolution of the Macedonian conflict through political dialogue and
      publicly to call for respect of the ceasefire agreement and the full
      implementation of the peace agreement.

      KFOR Stops Five Mules Laden with
      Ammunition Close to Macedonian Border

      August 10, 2001

      PRIZREN (KosovaLive) - KFOR stopped five mules carrying 50 boxes containing
      70,000 pieces of ammunition Thursday, but failed to detain the people guiding
      the animals, Multinational Brigade (MNB) South spokesman Udo Grobner
      reported Friday.

      Grobner said the mules were seized in the municipality of Dragash, close to the
      Macedonian border.

      Grobner also said that 120 German and Austrian soldiers had been sent as
      KFOR reinforcements to the city of Mitrovica near Kosova's boundary with

      Grobner added that the unit would serve in southern part of the city from August
      9 to 30. Their deployment is based on a COMKFOR decision to have soldiers
      other than French KFOR working in the area controlled by MNB North. (qm)

      64 Refugees Cross Sharr Mountains to Tetovo Highlands

      August 10, 2001

      PRIZREN (KosovaLive) - Some Macedonian refugees sheltered in the
      Sharr/Dragash municipality risked their lives to return home over mountainous
      roads. In doing so, they discounted the recommendations of organizations
      monitoring the situation, according to a refugee shelter organization in Sharr.

      "According to information from the field, nine families with 44 members from the
      Blace village of Opoja returned home, while five families with 20 members
      returned to the village of Kaper," Red Cross representative Jeton Ramadani told
      KosovaLive Friday. The returnees were from the villages of Vesalo, Buzovac and
      Sipkovica in the Tetovo highlands.

      Although refugees have been told to report if and when they decide to return,
      this group did not do so. The roads in the highlands are suspected of being
      mined. A number of explosions were heard a few days ago in the region,
      resulting in the deaths of some animals. Ramadani warned all refugees to be
      extremely careful on their return. (qm)

      New Location for Muslim and
      Catholic Cemeteries in Mitrovica

      August 10, 2001

      MITROVICA (KosovaLive) - A new location has been chosen for the Muslim and
      Catholic cemeteries in the Shipol neighborhood in southern Mitrovica, on land
      that was formerly used by the Fidanishta agricultural corporation.

      Head of the Mitrovica municipal assembly Faruk Spahija told KosovaLive that
      the assignment of the location would solve the problem of cemeteries for
      Albanians in Mitrovica for several decades. "We Â…had pressure from Kosova's
      Islamic Community and ordinary citizens for a quicker solution," said Spahija.

      Since the end of the war, lack of security has hindered Muslims in Mitrovica
      from burying loved ones in cemeteries located in the northern part of the city,
      which is controlled by Serbs. Muslims have been buried in cemeteries in nearby
      villages. "For two years, we have only been able to visit the cemeteries twice
      during religious feasts. The first time 80 people managed to go and the second
      time 100," Professor Asllan Murati told KosovaLive.

      Vicar of the Catholic Church in Mitrovica Don Jak Prenku called for joint Muslim
      and Catholic cemeteries because both shared the same ethnic background.

      A contemporary urban plan is to be developed in the area where the new
      cemetery will be built, implemented by the Directorate for Urban Issues at the
      Mitrovica assembly. Spahija did not rule out the possibility of foreign investment.

      Within the cemetery, there will be a separate resting place for veterans of war,
      which will be given a monumental character. "With this, we hope to wipe out all
      misunderstandingÂ…because there are many honorable people who survived [the
      war in Kosova] and tomorrow will be able to have a special place," Spahija told
      KosovaLive. (v.hyseni)

      Politicians Should Influence Citizens to Register to Vote,
      Says OSCE Head Everts

      August 10, 2001

      PRISHTINA (KosovaLive) - Head of the Organization for Security and
      Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Daan Everts asked Kosovar leaders to use their
      influence to encourage the people of Kosova to register to vote in the November
      17 general election.

      Ambassador Everts discussed the registration issue in a meeting with senior
      Kosovar politicians, including president of the Democratic League of Kosova
      (LDK) Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, president of the Democratic Party of Kosova (PDK)
      Hashim Thaci and president of the Alliance for the Future of Kosova (AAK)
      Ramush Haradinaj.

      "I am making my rounds with all the political parties to review the preparations
      for registration and for the upcoming elections," Everts said Friday. He added
      that in order to take part in the general election two groups of citizens absolutely
      must register: young would-be voters who turned 18 after the municipal elections
      in October 2002, and people who returned to Kosova after the election.

      OSCE reported that some 3,000 people had approached registration and voter
      services centers to date. The centers will remain open to register voters until
      September 8. (bb)

      Mass Grave in Suhareka Won't be Reopened Until It Goes
      Through Identification Process

      August 10, 2001

      PRISHTINA (KosovaLive) - The identification of 1,200 corpses found in mass
      graves throughout Kosova by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
      Yugoslavia (ICTY) has not been carried out because of lack of evidence, Guido
      Van Rillaer of the UNMIK Police Missing Persons Unit told KosovaLive Friday.

      Most of the bodies were reburied in a cemetery in Theranda municipality
      because of the lack of evidence necessary for identification.

      Rillaer said that the cemetery would not be opened until the identification
      process was completed. "The police are gathering information so that the bodies
      can be identified as soon as possible," Rillaer said.

      Identification cannot take place due to the unclear status of the bodies and the
      lack of information on how they got there, according to Rillaer. He considers it
      unlikely that additional mass graves will be discovered, however. (shp)

      Will War Bring Peace or Vice Verse, Albanians in Tetovo Ask

      August 10, 2001

      TETOVO (KosovaLive) - Fierce fighting broke out late Thursday between the
      National Liberation Army (NLA) and Macedonian security forces in the
      municipalities of Tetovo, Tearce and Xhepcishta. Nine civilians and a
      Macedonian policeman were brought to the hospital in Tetovo for treatment,
      local authorities reported.

      Tetovo mayor Murtezan Ismaili said Friday that the security situation seemed
      hopeless. "The day before yesterday, Tetovo was a second Sarajevo," as violent
      clashes took place in the city's neighborhoods. Ismaili said that "Macedonian
      police threatened the local population, so the NLA went in to protect them."

      According to Ismaili, Macedonian sniper fire posed a serious threat to the
      mobility of the local Albanian population.

      "Today, nothing is open, neither the market nor any business premises. I appeal
      to the citizens not to leave their homes unnecessarily, not to approach police
      checkpoints and to be on guard against any provocations," said Ismaili.

      Head of the Tearce municipality Llokman Elezi said Friday that he had briefed
      OSCE observers, who came to see the place where bombs had been dropped
      by military helicopters.

      At 1.28 p.m. a Tearce resident told KosovaLive via telephone, "The people of
      Neproshten village were given an ultimatum by Macedonian government forces
      to abandon the village and head towards Sllatina." They further said that the
      Macedonians had threatened to destroy the village, and that people were hiding
      in their basements, uncertain what the outcome would be.

      Macedonian joint police and military units used helicopters and heavy artillery in
      the attack on Tearce. Elezi confirmed the bombing of civilian targets. He said
      the attack began at 6 p.m. on Thursday and went on until Friday morning. "It is
      fortunate that in this calamity of undeclared war, we haven't had victims and
      injured because civilians went into their basements in time," said Elezi.

      Xhepcishta mayor Vebi Ismaili assessed the security situation in his
      municipality as very tense. "The people of Xhepcishta are the constant target of
      bombing by military planes and helicopters," Ismaili said Friday.

      He also asserted that the population of Xhepcishta was living in a state of war
      and had spent another night of horror in the midst of bombs dropping and
      artillery fire. He said that Xhepcishta had been fiercely bombed but there were
      no civilian victims.

      "Now the Albanians of Xhepcishta raise a question: Will war bring peace, or the
      other way around, will peace bring war? These are moments of confusion, where
      on one side peace is launched, while on the other, the civilian population is
      bombed," Ismaili added. (xh.neziri)

      Roma Woman Fabricated Attack Story at Voter
      Registration Center, Says UNMIK Police in Gjilan

      August 10, 2001

      GJILAN (KosovaLive) - UNMIK Police in Gjilan denied that a Roma woman was
      attacked outside a registration center by unidentified individuals, after she
      admitted lying about the incident.

      UNMIK Police spokesman Carl Shrank told KosovaLive Friday that reports of an
      attack against a Roma woman were not true, and that the woman admitted that
      she had fabricated the story.

      Shrank's comments came one day after the OSCE in Prishtina reported an
      attack on a Roma woman by two Kosovar Albanian men near a voter registration

      An official at the communication center in Gjilan, Hank Bogres, issued a news
      release in which the police notified the Roma community in Gjilan that their
      investigations determined that the Roma woman had given false information.
      She said that two people had grabbed her by the throat and threatened her, and
      that she was taken to the hospital in Vranja for treatment.

      UNMIK Police also reported that during the registration period police would be
      present at voter registration centers to maintain the safety of those who want to
      register. (sd)

      UNMIK Police and Kosovo Police Service
      Call For Support from the People

      August 10, 2001

      PRISHTINA (KosovaLive) - International Police and the Kosovo Police Service
      (KPS) have called for greater cooperation with ordinary citizens in order to
      reduce the rate of crime and violence in Kosova. According to UNMIK Police,
      burglaries are on the increase, while violent crimes have decreased.

      "No killings have been recorded this month. However, people should be more
      careful and cooperate with police in reporting crime," UNMIK Police spokesman
      Dennis Norton told KosovaLive Friday.

      KPS officials said they were not yet fully prepared, as an institution, to fight
      crime. "We still do not have full authority to carry out our policing, which would
      make us more successful in investigating crime," KPS spokesman Behar Selimi
      told KosovaLive.

      It seems that one of the failures in solving crimes has been lack of cooperation
      between police and the people. "People are interested in crimes being solved,
      but they should be aware that their cooperation would [not only] affect the
      solving of crimes [but] even prevent them," said Selimi.

      KPS currently has 3,765 policemen. Police officials say the service should have
      a total of 7,000 members. "In order to provide security, 7,000 KPS members are
      needed. Meanwhile, the 16th generation is about to graduate and this will
      produce 267 new policemen," Selimi said.

      Interest in joining the KPS is generally very high, especially during July, when
      45,000 people applied for 1,500 places.

      International representatives said Friday that the work done by the KPS was
      positive. "The Kosovo Police is doing great job and gradually its authority should
      be increased," KPS public relations officer Anna Hermann told KosovaLive.

      Eight Macedonian Soldiers Killed
      and Six Wounded By Landmines

      August 10, 2001

      SKOPJE (KosovaLive) - Police sources in Skopje reported that eight
      Macedonian soldiers were killed and six wounded when their truck hit landmines
      near the Albanian-dominated village of Ljuboten.

      Military sources also confirmed the incident, saying that troops died when their
      vehicle hit three landmines approximately seven kilometers north of the capital.

      Following the incident, fighting broke out between Macedonian joint police and
      military forces and the National Liberation Army.

      Several KosovaLive sources confirmed that the civilian population of Ljuboten
      could be seen heading toward Skopje, while the sound of explosions and
      helicopters was heard from 7 a.m. (ar)

      OSCE Not Satisfied with Pace of Voter Registration Process

      August 10, 2001

      FERIZAJ (KosovaLive) - Ten days after the voter registration process began, the
      number of people registered in the three available registration centers in Ferizaj
      has not surpassed 670. The local OSCE office once again encouraged people to
      come forward to register to have their names put on the voting lists as soon as
      possible. They hope to avoid long queues as the deadline approaches in the first
      week of September.

      "If you can register or do the verification today, do not leave it for tomorrow,"
      registration officials Jurgen Henriks and Martin Hejs said. They added that the
      average number of people registering or coming for verification in one day was
      only 75.

      Two additional centers are to be opened in Ferizaj in the second half of August.

      Six Kosovar Importers Participate
      in International Trade Fair in Italy

      August 10, 2001

      PRISHTINA (KosovaLive) - The Italian Institute for Foreign Trade has asked the
      Euro Info Correspondence Center (EICC) select six Kosovar importers to
      participate in the international trade fair for the agricultural machinery and
      construction material sectors, held in Bar, Italy. The selection will be made in
      cooperation with the Kosova Chamber of Commerce and the Department for
      Trade and Industry (DTI)

      The aim of the trade fair is to promote close cooperation between international
      importers and producers of agricultural machinery and construction materials.
      Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will open the fair, DTI officials said.

      "We are authorized by Italian foreign trade representative to make a selection of
      six companies to part in the trade fair in Bar. We have asked the Kosova
      Chamber of Commerce and DTI to help us in this," EICC Director Ejup Qerimi
      told KosovaLive. He added that the fair would be held from September 8 to 15,
      and that the organizers would bear all the expenses.

      The participation of Kosovar companies in the trade fair and international tenders
      is a step forward in the field of economic cooperation between Kosovar
      entrepreneurs and their international counterparts, and could lead to expanded
      representation in foreign markets. (ng)
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