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<nettime> (Fwd) FRY: Churches' Statements On NATO Strikes
Fiona Dove on Sat, 10 Apr 1999 23:48:27 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> (Fwd) FRY: Churches' Statements On NATO Strikes


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Date sent:      	Thu, 01 Apr 1999 16:17:55 +0200
To:             	dimitras {AT} ceu.hu
From:           	Panayote Elias Dimitras <dimitras {AT} ceu.hu>
Subject:        	FRY: Churches' Statements On NATO Strikes


YUGOSLAVIA
 
                        POSITION OF ARCHBISHOP CHRYSOSTOMOS OF CYPRUS
 
Macedonian Press Agency quoting Cypriot Press Agency (29.03.1999) / HRWF
(31.03.1999)  Website: http://www.hrwf.net - Email: info {AT} hrwf.net -  
Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos when asked to comment on the situation in
Kosovo stated that the Church of Cyprus reacted immediately because "our
Orthodox brethren are being bombarded," and the whole situation, as he
remarked "has its origin in the Muslim element."
 
Further on explaining his opinion, Archbishop Chrysostomos said that Turkey
in collaboration with Israel has managed to use "the Jewish lobby of
America," which "is very powerful and influences American politics." He
added that indicative of this state of things is the fact that all those
who have been sent to "examine the Cypriot problem" are Jews. This is why,
he added, "we do not reach any solution."
 
"Jews" on the other hand, he added "need Turkey because they are amidst
Muslims," while "Turkey deceivingly  promises them that it will fight along
with them, that it will become their protector."
 
Referring to the Greek lobby in USA, the Archbishop said that "we did not
manage to organize it" in satisfactory way.
 
The Archbishop expressed his regret about the bomb attacks against the
Serbs, which "are a product of the Muslim element" of Yugoslavia.
  
***************************************************************************
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*

            ARCHBISHOP SPYRIDON ASKS PRESIDENT CLINTON TO HALT BOMBING  AND
YUGOSLAV 
                         PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO SEEK PEACE

New York, NY / HRWF (31.03.1999) - His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon,
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America has written a private
letter to President Clinton, asking the President to halt the bombing of
Yugoslavia.  In a letter dated March 26, 1999, and hand delivered to the
President on Sunday March 28th  by Archdiocesan Council President John
Catsimatidis, the Archbishop appealed for a cessation of hostilities during
the Holy Weeks of both Eastern and Western Christians, which also coincides
with Passover observances as well as Muslim religious observances.
 
In a separate letter today to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic,
delivered to the Yugoslav Mission to the United Nations, the Archbishop
urged him to use all of his powers to seek peace in the region.
 
In his letter to President Clinton, Archbishop Spyridon recalled that when
". . . the United States and the United Kingdom conducted similar air
strikes against Iraq . . . . the initiation of that action was planned so
as not to begin after the commencement of Ramadan, which is regarded as a
holy month by persons of the Islamic faith."
 
The Archbishop further suggested that ". . . the same consideration for the
Christian people living in the territory now subject to air attacks by NATO
forces may provide an opportunity to re-initiate the negotiation process
without loss of life.  As you know, we are
approaching the most holy season of the Christian year: that of the death
and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Glorious Resurrection.  The
Serbian people, with hundreds of millions of other Orthodox Christians,
this year celebrate the Resurrection on April 11.  For the Roman Catholic
minority among the Kosovo Albanians, Easter is celebrated the week before,
on April 4, in common with other Western Christians. Accordingly, I implore
you to suspend the current bombing campaign beginning on Thursday, April 1,
at least until after Monday, April 12.   This will allow for a respite of
hostilities and an opening for peace."
 
In his letter to President Milosevic, the Archbishop wrote "I have written
to the President of the United States, suggesting that the coming holy days
commemorating the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are
an auspicious time for a cessation of all hostilities, but it requires that
both sides in the conflict take action to allow for a return to the process
of negotiation." 
 
The Archbishop further stated to President Milosevic: "Let your
counterparts know of your willingness to allow the holy days of our blessed
Orthodox Faith to be an opportunity for peace and cessation of violence on
all sides.  Together with all the Orthodox People of America, we are ready
and willing to be of any and all assistance to bring peace and stability to
your people."
 
In another letter to his Beatitude Patriarch Pavle, Archbishop of Pec,
Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac and Patriarch of Serbia, the
Archbishop wrote of his efforts.
 
"With great sadness for the current turn of events and the suffering of
your Christ-loving people, I express to Your Beatitude the support and the
prayers of the Greek Orthodox People of America during this time of great
trial and human suffering.
 
"We earnestly pray for peace and for a return to the process of negotiated
settlement in place of the destruction caused by the weapons of war.  I
have written both to President Clinton and President Milosevic, urging them
to consider the Holy Season of our Lord Jesus Christs Passion, Burial and
Resurrection as a sign from God to restrain all military violence and
return to a political and diplomatic settlement.  It is our most fervent
prayer that the mercy and life that dawns from the All-Holy Tomb of our
Risen Lord will enlighten all sides to seek peace and pursue with all
diligence and sincerity.  During this difficult hour, please be assured of
our unceasing supplications on your behalf and for our constructive efforts
in helping to put an end to the force of violence as a means to peace."
 

***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
**

             STATEMENT OF THE ORTHODOX AUTOCEPHALOUS CHURCH OF ALBANIA

HRWF (31.03.1999) - We wholeheartedly participate in the pain of those who
are  suffering because of injustice and violence due to the crisis in
Kosova.  We are not  in a position to make eloquent speeches or easy
statements in this extremely difficult situation.  But, interceeding daily
"for those who hate us and those who love us," we humbly pray to the God of
truth and love to perform His miracle so that peace and justice prevail
over our troubled area.  We have already helped on a large scale and are
continuously working to the best of our ability for the relief of the
refugees of the conflict who take refuge in Albania.  
 
March 29, 1999
The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania

***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
** 

                STATEMENT BY ALBANIAN CATHOLIC BISHOP MASSAFRA OF SCUTARI
 
SCUTARI, MAR 26 (ZENIT).- Albanian Catholics have responded to the NATO
bombings of Kosovo and Serbia with days of adoration for peace in the
Balkans, held in the Scutari cathedral. The idea was launched by Archbishop
Angelo Massafra, who is responsible for the Albanian dioceses on the border
with Kosovo. "Our only weapons are prayer and solidarity. I hope the
conflict will not involve Albania as well," the Archbishop said to the Holy
See's agency 'Fides.'
 
Since February 27, Albanian Catholics have been on pilgrimage with the
Virgin of Good Counsel, all along the border towns. "I am all day on
pilgrimage and out of my chancellery, inviting everyone to pray. We hope
that everything will be resolved soon, and that the way will be opened to
understanding the need for mutual rights and duties. There is little time
left until Easter; for us Christians, Orthodox and Catholics alike, every
victim of the war renews the sufferings of Christ. All this must come to an
end."
 
Archbishop Massafra said that the refugee centers organized by the Church
in Scutari and Tropoje are fully active. As these centers cannot
accommodate the columns of exiles, many of the refugees are taken in by the
diocese, either in Church buildings or by families.
 
Both Catholics, and the vast majority of Albanians, are living hours of
real terror. Some do approve of the NATO intervention, as they believe the
humiliations suffered by the Albanians in Kosovo have gone too far. But
they are terrified about what my happen to their families and Albanian
friends on the other side of the border.
 
***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
**
        AMERICAN METHODIST CHURCH OFFICIALS URGE END  TO KOSOVO BOMBING

 United Methodist News Service (29.03.1999) / HRWF (31.03.1999) -   Calls
for the immediate cessation of  NATO air strikes on Kosovo have been made
by the staff executive for United Methodism's social action agency in
Washington and Church World Service (CWS), the humanitarian assistance arm
of the National Council of Churches.
 
In a statement released March 26, the Rev. Thom White Wolf Fassett of the
United Methodist Board of Church and Society, points to official United
Methodist policy that rejects any form of war as an instrument of national
foreign policy and insists that the first moral duty of all nations is to
resolve conflict by peaceful means. 
 
Church policy further states that "war is incompatible with the teachings
and example of Christ,'" he said.

***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
**

          POPE AND PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA ADDRESSES AN APPEAL TO STOP
AIR-STRIKES AGAINST SERBS.

HRWF (31.03.1999) - His Beatitude PETROS VII, Pope and Patriarch of
Alexandria and All Africa, spiritual Leader of all Orthodox Christians of
the Dark Continent, condemned NATOs air - strikes against the Orthodox
Serbian Nation. His Beatitude addressed a warm request to all leaders of
NATO, to end immediately the bombing of Serbian land, and to find essential
solution of the political problems of that region.  
 
The peace can be achieved only in the spirit of true love and peace.  In
such a way justice will prevail. War, during the long history of man, never
brought forth any good result.  
 
The enforcement of peace, never will bring peace amongst the nations.  The
only way is through honest discussions and a just political solution. All
men, either as Political or Religion Leaders or as simple civilians,  are
awaiting the rising of the year third millenium of Christendom.  Are we
going to welcome the year 2000 with wars, with the shedding of human blood,
with the slaughter of innocent infants and children, women and defenseless
human beings?  
 
Let the slaughter of Abel come to an end!  Let us stop watering the Earth
with human blood.  Are not so many previous wars enough?  Have not the
rulers and those in power come to their senses?  
 
Have they not satisfy their thirst, drinking from the cup of vainglory and
tyranny of poor nations? We are coming closer to celebrate Holy Easter. 
Let us not celebrate Christs Crucifixion, with the crucifixion of the
Serbs.  Let us not bury Christs Immaculate Body, with the funeral of an
Orthodox Nation. Let us not celebrate Christ's glorious Resurrection with
tears and lamentations for the loss of the lives of so many human beings. 
But, let us turn our hearts and our souls to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of
mankind.  Because, He is the only King of kings and Ruler of rulers and let
us ask Him, to give peace within the hearts of all rulers of the earth and
to bring peace not only to Serbia, but to all nations around the world.
 
Statement of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa
http://www.greece.org/gopatalex   e-mail : goptalex {AT} tecmina.com
 
Mailing Address: P.O.Box 2006, Alexandria - EGYPT
Tel: + 203-4824577 / 4835839  Fax: + 203-4835684

***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
**
 
              STATEMENT BY PATRIARCH ALEXY II OF MOSCOW  AND ALL RUSSIA

HRWF (31.03.1999) - Reports on the NATO decision to deliver air-strikes
against Yugoslavia have caused profound concern among all the faithful of
the Russian Orthodox Church.
 
The decision on air-strikes can become a dangerous precedent and lead to
unpredictable military and political consequences.
 
As is known, the Balkans, where local armed conflicts take place today,
have a complex history. Provoked there in our century, World War I brought
much suffering not only to Europeans, but also peoples in other continents
who were involved in the armed confrontation.
 
It is extremely disturbing that the implementation of the bombing plan can
lead to another bloodshed and loss of lives including losses among the
civilian population. Besides, it may hit unique cultural and religious
monuments in the Serbian land. For the Orthodox Serbs, Kosovois not only an
object on  the geographical map, but a shrine with old churches and
monasteries.
 
We support the position of the Holy Authority of the fraternal Serbian
Orthodox Church that a military intervention of NATO in the conflict in
Yugoslavia is inadmissible.
 
We are convinced that it is only a patient dialogue and peaceful settlement
of all political differences that can lead to the resolution of tension
around Kosovo. Undoubtedly, the efforts of the world community should be
aimed at helping all the parties in the Kosovo conflict to make an
objective assessment of the tense situation and though joint diplomatic
efforts seek a way to settle the accumulated problems at the negotiation
table.
 
On behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church, I appeal to the heads of NATO
member states and to the leaders of the North Atlantic alliance itself to
prevent the use of military force against the sovereign Republic of
Yugoslavia, since it can provoke an inevitable escalation of hostilities in
the very heart of Europe.
 
I also call upon the parties to the Kosovo conflict, both the Serbs and the
Albanians, to gather themselves up and stop the bloodshed, to low down arms
and begin building peaceful life with justice on the basis of mutual
agreements and respect for each other's civil rights and religious views.
"Love truth and peace" (Zech. 8:19)", says the Lord in Holy Scriptures. I
trust and pray that common sense may prevail in those who make decisions
today.
 
March 24, 1999
 
Alexy, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia 
 
Russian Orthodox Church Department for External Church Relations
Communication Service
 
Address: 22, Danilovsky val, St.Danilov monastery, DECR, 113191 Moscow,
Russia
Internet: http://www.russian-orthodox-church.org.ru.
E-mail address: commserv {AT} mospat.dol.ru
 
***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
**

                              HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX
CHURCH
                                                       PUBLIC STATEMENT

HRWF (31.03.1999) - The Serbian Orthodox Church, in the misfortune which
has affected our Homeland by NATO's bombardments, appeals to the
governments of all countries in the world for their action in order that
the bombardment would be stopped and that the just solution for the exit of
the actual crisis may be found through negotiations.
 
The Serbian Orthodox Church appeals to the military and civilian
authorities of Serbia and Yugoslavia to do everything so that peace may be
established.
 
We call upon all diocesan bishops, in Serbia and abroad, priests and
faithful people of our Holy Church, in this calamity which came upon us, to
multiply their prayers to the Good Lord, the only One who is in the
possession of peace, that peace would be granted to our tortured and
suffering nation, but also to other people who live together with us. May
this Appeal of ours, to the World and domestic public, not remain only as
the "lone voice from the wilderness".
 
Belgrade, March 25, 1999
 
Serbian Patriarch Pavle, President of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the
Serbian Orthodox Church 
 
***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
**

                   STATEMENT BY ARCHBISHOP FRANC PERKO OF BELGRADE

 
Zenit (26.03.1999) / HRWF (31.03.1999) - "It would have been much better to
find a solution without a military intervention, but the greatest
responsibility is that of Yugoslavian  policy and, in particular, the fact
that Milosevic wants to hold on to power, making use of the myth of Kosovo,
which means so much to the Orthodox Serbs." This was the moral judgement
expressed by Archbishop Franc Perko of Belgrade in an interview with the
Udine (Italian) diocesan weekly, 'La Vita Cattolica'(Catholic Life).
 
"It is important that the NATO forces take Kosovo; after that, peace will
come easily, because only the NATO forces can stop the Serbian army and the
Albanian combatants," the Archbishop said.
 
According to Archbishop Perko, "the Albanians in Kosovo are demanding too
much, but Belgrade is wrong in saying that these claims are proposed by
small criminal groups of terrorists. It is not true. The Albanian army of
Kosovo is made up of the Albanian people."
 
***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
** 

                BAPTIST WORLD ALLIANCE SENDS PASTORAL LETTER TO BAPTISTS IN
THE BALKANS
 
Baptist Press / HRWF (31.03.1999) - The Baptist World Alliance has sent a
pastoral  letter to Baptists in Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia,
Macedonia  and Slovenia assuring them of the support of Baptists around the
world,  and praying for an end to the NATO bombing and an end to "the
slaughter  of innocent children, women and men" in Kosovo. 
 
"War has come again to the Balkans," wrote Denton Lotz, general  secretary
of the BWA. "Bombing and senseless killing continue. ...  "Too long have
you been in pain, too long have you suffered,"  Lotz wrote. "The BWA stands
with you in your suffering and  assures you of our prayer and support." 
 
Using the biblical example of Barabbas, a revolutionary leader preferred by
the people over Jesus Christ who was crucified, Lotz  wrote, "... until
this day, men and women continue to choose Barabbas  and refuse the Prince
of Peace." 
 
"We call upon our people everywhere to pray fervently for peace,  Lotz
wrote. "Pray for wisdom that leaders will repent and put  down their
swords. Pray that the Church of Jesus Christ will  witness prophetically to
the call of Christ that we become peacemakers." 
 
Lotz also called on the international Baptist community to be  prepared to
help through Baptist World Aid to bring relief to  war victims and
refugees. "We call upon Baptists worldwide to  continue to support Baptist
World Aid as it seeks ways of  supporting the neediest and those who suffer
most," he wrote. 
 
The full text of the pastoral letter is available on the BWA Internet site,
www.bwanet.org. 

***************************************************************************
***************************************************************************
**

                                 JOHN PAUL II  AND THE WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA

Zenit (26.03.1999) / HRWF (31.03.1999) -  The bombing of Yugoslavia cast a
dark shadow  over yesterday afternoon's meeting between John Paul II and
some 22,000 young people of the Roman diocese --, a trial run for the World
Youth Day which this year will be held on Palm Sunday in the local
churches.
 
"I hope with all my heart that the arms will be silenced, and that dialogue
and negotiations will begin again, so that with everyone's contribution, a
just and lasting peace will finally return to the whole region," the Pope
said, in response to questions from youths, many of whom -- because of lack
of space -- followed the event on large screens in the courtyard next to
the Vatican Paul VI Audience Hall.
 
A young girl opened the meeting with these words: "It is difficult to
understand how the Father can love us in face of the human madness of war.
At this very hour, in a country as close as former Yugoslavia, wars and
hatreds continue," she said. "Your Holiness: can you help us understand
that the Father does not stop loving us even when we experience the
suffering of the just and the innocent?"
 
"The profound problem you ask me to address sinks its roots in the very
heart of man," the Holy Father answered. Quoting from Dostoevski's 'Legend
of the Grand Inquisitor' he said: 'How can I believe in God when He allows
the death of an innocent child?' "We see, and can almost touch with our
hand, the problem of evil in daily life. The great explanations to this
problem do not seem to immediately convince, especially when you are
experiencing illness, suffering, or the death of a loved one."
 
But before giving a full response to the question, the Holy Father
challenged the youth with another question. "You ask me how it is possible
to understand the Father's love when one faces hatred, division, a variety
of ways of destroying personality, and war. Mention has just been made of
the conflict blooding Yugoslavia, which causes so much concern for the
victims, and for the consequences it might have on Europe and the whole
world."
 
Addressing the youth directly the Pope said: "Why do we question the love
of the Father and fail to address the consequences stemming from men's sin.
In other words, why do we have to blame God when those responsible are men
with free will?"
 
"Sin is not an abstract theory; in fact, its consequences can be verified.
The evil for which you want an explanation is grounded in sin and in the
rejection of living life according to God's teaching. It lacerates life and
leads to a rejection of the good. We are locked in envy, in jealousies, in
egotism without realizing that this kind of behavior leads to loneliness
and robs us of the real meaning of life."
 
The Holy Father ended by saying that "in spite of everything, God's love is
unaltered, as God Himself wished to share our suffering and death. And what
he experienced, has also been saved and redeemed. The force of love defeats
evil."
  
 
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ARTA (7 January 1999)

	- Looting and burning of Albanian houses
	- Atacks on the Albanian Media during
	- Kosova Liberation Army Political Representative on Albanian
	  Television (TVSH)
	- Gjakovė: Albanians arrested
	- Looting and burning of Albanian houses
	- "The Macedonia factor" by  Janusz Bugajski


Kosova Liberation Army Political Representative on Albanian Television
(TVSH)

Demaēi: Rugova should unite, not divide

"He (Rugova) should have spoken as the commander of this army and the
people, stating that an army fighting for the liberation of the people
cannot be a terrorist one. However, he declined in doing so"

Prishtina, 7 December

"The President must unite the people, not divide them. He should protect the
army of his people and not offend and underestimate it", Adem Demaēi, the
KLA political representative, said in an interview on the Albanian Radio
Television, broadcasted via-satellite on Wednesday.

"He (Rugova) should have spoken as the commander of this army and people and
say that an army that fights

for the liberation of a people, cannot be a terrorist army", added he. "But
he declined in doing so. During his stay in Hague, in summer, he said the
Kosova institutions will fully engage in calming the 'extremists'. Six days
after, after he took the liberaty of reffering to the KLA as 'extremists',
the Belgrade regime, got the green light to launch the offensive in Llap and
attack the innocent population.

As for his meetings in Tirana, KLA Political Representative said he was
pleased by Albanian PM statement that he will "support Kosova Albanians and
those who want their support".

"This is the best statement. It prejudges nothing and it makes Albania a
serious country", Demaēi evaulated.

"Today, we face the final stage of our national evolution. The tasks ahead
are very difficult", stated after being asked on the difficulties in
unifying the Albanian political structures.

"We need to gather around the KLA. The ones ready to join and accept the
sacrifice, will promote unity, victory and solution to our issue. Those who
intentionally sabotage this unity, will prolong the process of liberation,
despair and bloodshed", Demaēi concluded.

Demaēi valued as "great hipocrisy" the fact that the "international
community" recognized Rugova as the only legitimate Kosova Albanian
political representative during the talks with Belgrade.

"If the world respects the will of Kosova Albanians, it should recognize the
one expressed on the '91 Referendum, and then accept Rugova. They disrespect
both Rugova and that will. What they need is an obedient man who supports
the imposing of autonomy to Kosova Albanians, thus solving the Albanian
problem once for all".

"Let us help our army", stated Demaēi reffering to the KLA, "through
knowledge, fundraising and personal readiness, so it can become more
qualitative".

He that "it is not true that the KLA is not allowing the officers throughout
the world to go out and fight. The KLA will not allow to enroll in its
units, people that are here to gain posts, and disappear during the
offensives".

"I am ready to talk to everybody. I am even ready to get down on my knees,
if necessary, only to get the work done properly", said in the end Demaēi.



Unclarified killing of a Serb worker triggers Bosnia scenarios

Prishtina under armed Serbs siege

All major entrance roads to the capital were blocked by armed Serb
civilians, as Serb police followed them by setting up moveable roadblocks --
Buses and vehicles were prevented from entering or leaving town -- Incidents
came as U.S. Kosova peace mediator Chris Hill arrived in Pristina

Prishtinė, 7 January

Armed Serbs of the village of Prellc blocked the Prishtina – Prizren road,
denying access to the village even to police, say Serb sources in Prishtina,
local and Belgrade media, is reported in Thursday.

According to the BETA news agency, frustrated by the killing of a Serb
civilian Nebojsa Denic (35) under unknown circumstances, the villagers
blocked this road from 06:00, sources reported.

Denic, a security worker in Kosova Electroeconomy power plant was killed in
an ambush by automatic gunfire.

Serb villagers demanded Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic and
Serbia's president Milan Milutinovic to visit them, chairman of the Movement
of Serb Resistance – Democratic Changes (SPO-DP) Momcilo Trajkovic said to
Beta.

"Going to Liberate Prishtina"

The siege started around 05.00 AM, when some 100 Serb villagers from Prellc
blocked a 100 meters of the road strip, being followed by their compatriots
from the villages nearby villages of Ēagllavica and Llapleselė. At noon,
Beta agency reported that a group numbering some 50 Serb civilians from
Ēagllavica were seen mounting a roadblock in a road peak called Veterrnik,
at the entrance to Prishtina from the direction of Shkup. They were reported
armed and holding banners which stated: "Going to liberate Prishtina".

Serb police units were blocking the road, as Serb civilians were claiming
they will persist in keeping the road blocked "for indefinite period of
time". On both sides of the road Serb police had sustained a so-called
"tampoo-zone" preventing all persons from getting close to the area.

Trajkovic said that they are preventing all persons from passing through and
that the efforts of the local authority representatives in Prishtina to
convince them to move the blockade have failed.

The president of SPO-DP thinks that Milosevic and Milutinovic are those "who
bare the greatest responsibility" for the killings in Kosova and called on
them to "do something rapidly" to stop the killings.

"We've had enough. Terrorists are killing us at our workplace, and throw
bombs at our kids," a protester told a local journalist at one roadblock,
some 10 km (six miles) south of Pristina on the road to the Macedonian
capital Skopje, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Siege as a retaliation

The Serb-run Media Centre said it was an attack by "terrorists" -- a term
used by the Serbs for the ethnic Albanian Kosova Liberation Front (KLA)
guerrillas.

Another roadblock was set up by some 60 armed Serb civilians on the southern
outskirts of Pristina, the provincial capital. Police prevented foreign
reporters and ethnic Albanians from heading in that direction for security
reasons.

"The protesters prevent everyone, including police, from getting close. We
had to use walkie-talkies to contact our people in the area," a source close
to police in Pristina said.

The local journalist said protesters had threatened to flee Kosova.

Police also said they had mediated the release of three young ethnic
Albanians detained briefly by the protesting Serbs. The three were released
unharmed, police said.

Sandy Blyth, spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE), said a team of OSCE observers was discussing the situation
with police.

"We have OSCE verifiers from the regional centre who are at this moment
speaking with the police, trying to ascertain what the problem is," Blyth
told Reuters.

The roadblock incident came as U.S. Kosova peace mediator Chris Hill arrived
in Pristina on Thursday.

Kosova Information Center sources in Lipjan, 13 km south of Prishtina, said
the road has been closed off by Serb civilians in Ēagllavicė and Llaplesellė
villages. Serb police has not allowed cars to proceed to Prishtina via these
villages


Prishtina-Podujevė road remained closed until late afternoon

The passengers on board two buses commuting between Prizren and Prishtina
were turned back by police at Veternik, at the south-eastern entrance to the
Kosova capital.

On late afternoon the Prishtina-Podujevė road was the next route to be
closed by Serb civilians armed with rifles and automatic guns, ARTA sources
reported from Podujevė. Witnesses from the suburbian areas of Prishtina
reported that a heavy gunfire could be heard above the Dragodan neighborhood
(north part of town). The shooting reportedly lasted from 16.00-16.30 GMT.
The claims were confirmed by Sandy Blyth, spokeswoman for the OSCE
Verification Mission in Kosova. Witnesses add that during the day, a large
number of buses and vehicles were stuck between villages of Orlloviq and
Stanoc -- Prishtina-Mitrovica road -- after being stopped by a group of
armed Serb civilians wearing masks, numbering some 200-250.

The road was later on reported open. According to the local witnesses claims
and Reuters agency reports, the Podujevė road was closed, whereas armed Serb
civilians groups were to be seen mounting a roadblock at the entrance of
Devet Jugoviq village.

Entrances to Prishtina from the direction of Shkup (FYROM), as well as the
Kosovar towns of Prizren, Gjilan, Ferizaj, and Lipjan remain completely
closed, KIC report said.


Armed Serbs roam the streets of Lipjan

The LDK source in Shtime, southwest of Prishtina, quoting accounts by bus
commuters turned back, said a 'chaotic' situation prevailed in the village
of Ēagllavicė, whereas in the small town of Lipjan they said they had seen
armed Serb civilians roaming the streets.

LDK sources in Lipjan and Shtime have been unable to account for the kind of
situation created in Lipjan and the Serb villages of Ēagllavicė and
Llaplasellė.

Another KIC information report on heavy shooting from Serb civilian
villagers during the past 24 hours. Serb citizens were reported as "engaged
in an unprecedented shooting spree in capital Prishtina", arguably in
connection with the Christmas festivities of eastern Orthodox Serbs.



US mediator to Kosova reaches Prishtina using side-roads in the aftermath of
Serb civilians roadblock operation

Hill: Guns and roadblocks solve nothing, absolutely nothing

"People are carrying guns, I saw that myself and there is a great deal of
frustration and a great deal of concern and the only way to deal with that
is to have an invigorated political process"

Prishtina, 7 December

"Nothing can be solved by guns and blocking the roads, absolutely nothing",
stated the main American mediator to Kosova, Christopher Hill, who arrived
in Prishtina to "invigorate the political process", sunk in crisis following
the last Christmas incidents in northeast of Kosova, ARTA sources reported
Thursday.

"People are carrying guns, I saw that myself and there is a great deal of
frustration and a great deal of concern -- and the only way to deal with
that is to have an invigorated political process", Hill stated after
reaching Prishtina through side-roads, since the main ones were blocked in
the morning hours by armed civilians.

"I had to take an side-road to get to Prishtina, because the main road was
blocked and this is an indication more that we have to get a political
process going; it can gain momentum and lead us to a peaceful spring", Hill
said on his way out from meeting Ibrahim Rugova, President of the Republic
of Kosova.

According to Hill, they were aiming at invigorating the political process
which remains "the only way to solve the problem, and not the violent
incidents in the field".

The US Ambassador to Shkup (FYROM), said that recently they were discussing

the ways of approaching properly the political agreement on which they have
some specific ideas. The talks will eventually resume the forthcoming week,
ARTA sources claim.


"I am working widely on the framework issue -- on how we can continue with
further negotiations and further political settlements", he said.

Recently, Hill noted that "the shuttle diplomacy" he has used in trying to
put a lid on escalating situation in Kosova by travelling back and forth to
Prishtina and Belgrade, is approaching the end of its functioning, and that
the time has come "for both sides to deal with the issue together",
announcing the possibility for direct Albanian-Serb negotiations.

Late Thursday evening Hill was supposed to return to Shkup.


Kosova - 24 hours

After Kalasnikov-Christmas Eve, the Roadblock-Day Dawns

The fiercest shooting was reported around the municipal villages of Deēan --
the Orthodox Christmas Eve passed through continuous Serb shooting --
Villages of the municipality of Klina, spent Wednesday night through Serb
machinegun shooting

Prishtina, 7 January (ARTA) 1800CET --

A tense situation has prevailed all the towns of Kosova during the Orthodox
Christmas celebrations. Shooting from different weaponry was witnessed in
all locations, as no information were issued about the eventual victims or
material damages.


The fiercest shooting was reported around the municipal villages of Deēan,
local sources reported, adding that the shooting from artillery from the
Serb positions at Suka e Baballoēit, Bitesh, Gllogjan and Irzniq, in the
direction of the villages of Baballoē Dubravė, Gramaēel and Ratish, started
on Wednesday at 1800CET.

The same sources notified that no victims resulted from this shooting.

Shooting to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas was also heard in Deēan, Junik
and other localities.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Serb police patrol arrested Avni Selmanaj, from
the village of Baballoē, for the second time. Reportedly, he is still kept
under arrest at the police station.

Gjakovė: Albanians arrested

Gjakovė, 7 January (ARTA) 1810 CET --

In Gjakovė, as well, the Orthodox Christmas Eve passed through continuous
shooting from different weaponry. In many town squares, Serbs gathered about
fires they set, singing and shooting with automatic weapons, LDK information
and CDHRF sources in Gjakovė inform.

Artillery shelling was also evidenced along the bordering belt, particularly
by the village of Morinė.

According to LDK sources in Gjakovė, the Serb police arrested on Wednesday,
Agim Thaēi (19) from the village of Skivjan, Haki Idrizi (35) from Ponoshec,
Natyrė Rama (21) and Afrora Rama (16) both from the village of Jabllanicė.
After 4 hours Afrora Rama, was the only one to be released.

Hydajet Beqiri (29), from the village of Rracaj, was also sent to the Pejė
prison on Wednesday.

After the wounding of Rasim Rexhaj from the village of Dobrosh, in the
village of Tomoc, municipality of Istog, increased movements of police
patrols were witnessed in the area.


Suharekė: The bullets hit an Albanian house

Suharekė, 7 January (ARTA) 1820CET --

Heavy shooting was heard starting from 1800CET and lasting until the early
morning hours, in the Serb resided localities and in points where the Serb
police\military forces are concentrated, local sources from Suharekė
reported on Wednesday.

Same sources claim there were cases of bullets hitting the Albanian-owned
houses, such as the house of Ilmi Bujari, from the village of Duhėl,
inducing great fear among the people.

Representatives of the OSCE Verifying Mission, went out in the field from
1900CET, and visited the village of Mushtisht.

Klina: Automatic guns shootout in Volljakė, Dush and Sferkė

Klinė, 7 January (ARTA) 1830CET --

The villages of the municipality of Klinė, also spent Wednesday night
through Serb machine gun shooting, the KD correspondent from Klinė informs.

He further notified that a Serb soldier committed suicide, at the Serb
stationing place at Pishat e Volljakut. The spot was visited by OSCE
verifiers, immediately after.

The villages of Volljakė, Dush and Sferkė were shot at throughout the nigh
on Wednesday and during the early morning hours of Thursday. 18 Albanian
villages were also shot at with machine guns, from 11 Serb stationing spots.

On the other hand, three Serb soldiers robbed a 70-year old woman, on the
road that leads from Sferkė to Volljakė.




Looting and burning of Albanian houses

Mitrovicė, Podujevė, 7 January (ARTA) 1845CET --

Serb police and civilians shot in the direction of the neighborhoods of
"Kroi i Vitakut", "Ibri", "7 Shtatori" and in one part of the "Tavnik"
neighborhood in Mitrovicė, on Wednesday afternoon, LDK Information sources
in Mitrovicė inform. These shooting continued until Thursday. There are
reports that fire arms shooting was also witnessed in the villages of
Frashėr i Madh, Frashėr i Vogėl, Suhadoll and Zveēan i Vogėl.

On the other hand, Albanian sources from the villages Klinė e Epėrme,

Municipality of Skėnderaj notify that the Serb police arrested Jetullah
Behrami (40), from Kotorr, a teacher at the "Idriz Berani" elementary
school, in Klinė e Epėrme, of whose whereabouts nothing is still known, ever
since the day of his arrest.

Meanwhile, a police APC, drove to the house of Bajrush Murati, which was
burned during the attack against Tabet e Llapashticės on Wednesday at around
1300CET, the "Kosova-Press" agency informs. According to these sources, this
time, the police went there to loot the things that survived the fire. This
event was followed by the OSCE representative who was there for an official
meeting with the Command of the Operative zone in Llap, stated the KLA
information service of this Operative zone.






The Macedonia factor

Progress in Macedonia would in turn become an important force of stability
throughout the south Balkans. However, if the current VMRO-DPA agreement
were to break down then the reverberations could be severe

Writes: Janusz Bugajski

6 January 1999

There are several keys to security and stability in the Balkans and
Macedonia remains the critical door. Domestic and external factors of
instability are closely interwoven in this central Balkan state.

Although the recently formed coalition government in Skopje is a progressive
step, caution is necessary among policy makers in case many of the former
doomsday prophecies about Macedonia rapidly turn to euphoric predictions
about the country's future.

The new coalition government, however positive and pragmatic, faces an
uphill struggle to prove its conciliatory and constructive credentials.

It has made a promising start but it faces numerous problems that have
accumulated under the previous administration including economic stagnation,
rampant corruption, and a lingering ethnic division.

The solution to long-term stability, regardless of any potential external
threat, is the settlement of the internal Albanian question, as well as
progress on the economic front.

These goals can only be accomplished by giving the Albanians a substantial
political and economic stake in the survival of an integral state. Progress
in Macedonia would in turn become an important force of stability throughout
the south Balkans. However, if the current VMRO-DPA agreement were to break
down then the reverberations could be severe.

For example, the Kosova scenario (in other words, the creation of a parallel
governmental structure) could become increasingly appealing among the
Albanian political elites. This could in turn intensify KLA activities in
Macedonia and throughout the region. At present, this prospect seems highly
unlikely as the war in Kosova may have dampened rather than kindled calls
for separatism in Macedonia. But we only dismiss worst case scenarios at our
peril.

Escalating conflicts in the neighborhood will have definite repercussion
inside Macedonia, and most of these will be negative. There are several
destabilizing possibilities on the horizon. The non-settlement of the Kosova
question is clearly the most urgent issue. The probable resumption of
large-scale violence this spring could challenge Skopje even more severely
than in the past because the violence is likely to be bloodier, more
intensive, and more prolonged.

There are several dangers for Macedonia regardless of the policies of the
current government. These include, a large outflow of refugees that will
further strain the country's resources and undermine ethnic coexistence; the
use of Macedonian territory by KLA supporters and volunteers that may
radicalize a section of Albanian youth; the possibility of a military
spillover either through hot-pursuit operations by Yugoslav forces or
attacks by the KLA on Yugoslav border posts; and the further corruption of
the Macedonian economy as a consequence of growing arms smuggling and other
illicit trade.

The biggest danger is that the government in Skopje will split on major

policy questions, particularly on how to handle refugees, guerrillas, and
illicit traders, and on Macedonia's relations with both Belgrade and
Pristina. This could ultimately push the Albanians out of the coalition and
precipitate ethnic polarization and radicalization at the cost of economic
reform.

Closely related to the Kosova effect is the potential breakup of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia and the impending independence of Kosova and
Montenegro. We must not automatically assume that the breakup of what is
left of Tito's Yugoslavia will provoke a regional war, although it certainly
could if NATO simply remained on the sidelines. At present, it is the
survival of Milosevic's Yugoslavia, and Belgrade's attempts to hold this
anomaly together by force, repression, and nationalist propaganda, that
continues to be the major destabilizing factor in the region.


Moreover, we should not assume that because the international community
currently opposes Kosova's and Montenegro's independence that both entities
will necessarily remain under Serbian control. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and
Macedonia gained statehood irrespective of prevailing international opinion.

Given that the democratization of Yugoslavia is nowhere in sight, the big
question on the agenda is how we can shield Macedonia from Yugoslavia's
probable disintegration particularly if this disintegration is bloody and
prolonged.

In other words, how can the West prevent Milosevic from exporting
disintegration to Macedonia, through provoking of ethnic conflict, and how
can we prevent the pan-Albanianists from exporting a chunk of Macedonia.

Clearly, ethnic accommodation and economic progress in Macedonia hold most
of the answers as far as the majority of Albanians are concerned. Greater
Albania or Greater Kosova will have little appeal if Macedonia becomes more
stable and prosperous and the international community has a permanent and
constructive presence in the country.

Moreover, it will become incumbent on the international community to
diminish any serious aspirations to Macedonian territory and a part of
Macedonia's population. For instance, any new Kosovar administration would
need to quickly sign a bilateral treaty with Macedonia and recognize the
existing border, something that Belgrade has consistently failed to do.

Lawlessness in Albania will continue to have negative effects on Macedonia
even without any Greater Albania project. The conflict in Kosova may help
fuel the conflict in Albania but it is not the cause or the consequence of
that conflict. The challenge is how to help Albania restore a fully
functioning, territory-wide government while eliminating the worst criminal
gangs operating across borders. The process could take years and even then
not all parts of the country will necessarily remain loyal to Tirana.
However, it is difficult to see a Greater Albania arising from a turbulent
state such as Albania.

The potential for a Third all-Balkan war certainly exists. It has almost
become ritualistic to repeat the scenarios of Bulgarian, Turkish, and Greek
involvement and entrapment if the ethnic peace in Macedonia were to collapse
and the authorities begin to loose control of the state. At present, such a
scenario does not seem probable as Macedonia's relations with all three
south-eastern neighbors are visibly improving.

What we should fear most, however, in the months and years ahead, is that a
prolonged politically inspired ethnic conflict and a low-intensity war
anywhere in the south Balkans will directly and indirectly effect all the
neighboring states. It will distract attention from pressing economic
reforms, it will divert energy toward ethnic and territorial questions and
away from critical issues such as citizens education, institution building,
and infrastructural development, and it will discourage foreign trade and
investment throughout the region.

Hence, the Balkans may fall further behind the European mainstream at a time

when all countries in the region need to conduct painful and necessary
reforms simply in order to catch up with the Central Europeans whose
progress into NATO and the EU has already been assured.





Atacks on the Albanian Media during Christian-Orthodox Christmas Eve

"Koha Ditore" paper-distribution worker beaten -- vehicle smashed

As the bystanders report, from a greater group of Serbs three got out from
the group and smashed the "Koha Ditore" paper-distribution vehicle


Prishtina, 6 January -

"Koha Ditore" paper-distribution worker was brutally beaten by Serb police
in Prishtina during the Christian-Orthodox Christmas Eve, on Tuesday, ARTA
reports.

Rrahim M. Sadiku, 50, says that he was beaten in the road in and a lot of
passers-by could see the incident.

"I suffered rib and leg injuries", Sadiku said.

A certain amount of paper copies was destroyed while a significant amount of
money was confiscated by unknown Serb civilians. This case represents the
second beating of "Koha Ditore" employees in the campaign of brutalities
against Kosova Albanian media.

While rallying the main streets of Prishtina under the police guard, a group
of Serb youngsters smashed the "Koha Ditore" paper-distribution vehicle with
rubber and wooden sticks.

Three Serbs separated from a larger group, which was celebrating the
Christmas Eve with an unseen brutality and gunfire, and attacked the vehicle
in the presence of several "Koha Ditore" workers.


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Fiona Dove
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The Netherlands
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Date sent:      	Sun, 21 Feb 1999 21:35:42 +0100
To:             	dimitras {AT} ceu.hu
From:           	Panayote Elias Dimitras <dimitras {AT} ceu.hu>
Subject:        	Kosovo: New Reports

 Serbian Perpetrated Violence in Kosovo continues unabated despite and
during the Peace Conference in Rambouillet
 
http://www.ihf-hr.org/appeals/990219.htm
 ___________________________

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Fiona Dove
Director
Transnational Institute
Paulus Potterstraat 20
1071 DA, Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: 31-20-6626608
Fax: 31-20-6757176
<http://www.worldcom.nl/tni>

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Cuba To Back Help To Kosovo

.c The Associated Press

 By ANITA SNOW

HAVANA (AP) -- Cuba will back any humanitarian help for the tens of thousands 
of people made refugees by the Kosovo conflict, the Foreign Ministry said 
today in its first official statement on the situation.

Without stating its specific position on plans to use the U.S. Naval Base at 
Guantamano, Cuba, to house 20,000 ethnic Albanian refugees, the government 
said it ``will not put up any obstacles, and is even willing to help'' any 
humanitarian support efforts.

The Foreign Ministry statement, published on the front page of Granma, the 
Communist Party daily, comes two days after Cuba's vice minister of foreign 
investment criticized plans to use Guantanamo to house the refugees.

The vice minister, Raul Taladrid, has no say over foreign policy but because 
the government had not issued any other statements about Kosovo or the 
refugees, his comments were widely reported by the foreign media.

``It is necessary to clarify that these opinions are strictly personal,'' the 
Foreign Ministry said of his statements.

``The innocent victims, whatever their nationality, ethnicity or religion, 
should receive maximum aid, both within and outside of Yugoslavia,'' the 
ministry said.

The statement also criticized the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

Cuba greatly resents the continued existence of the American base, which was 
set up under a lease agreement after the Spanish-American War.

In the past, the Cuban government has criticized the alleged treatment of 
refugees held at the base, including tens of thousands of Cubans seeking 
political asylum.

The 20,000 refugees who will be sent to Guantanamo will not be eligible to 
apply for asylum or any other benefit because Guantanamo is a military base, 
not U.S. territory.

AP-NY-04-08-99 1041EDT

 Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.  The information  contained in the AP 
news report may not be published,  broadcast, rewritten or otherwise 
distributed without  prior written authority of The Associated Press. 

 
------------------------------------------
Fiona Dove
Director
Transnational Institute
Paulus Potterstraat 20
1071 DA, Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: 31-20-6626608
Fax: 31-20-6757176
<http://www.worldcom.nl/tni>

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