Monday, April 24, 2006

Serbia: No independence for Kosovo

The Article

14 February 2005

President Boris Tadic has rejected calls for Kosovar independence while on an official visit to Serbia's southern province.

His visit to Kosovo on Sunday marked the first time a Serbian head of state has entered Kosovo since it became a UN protectorate at the end of the 1998-1999 war.

"I am against the independence of Kosovo and for me, it is unacceptable. I will never accept such a solution," Tadic told some 2000 Serbs gathered to greet him in the central Kosovo town Strpce.

Tadic said his trip was designed to remind the world of the plight of Serbs in Kosovo, the historic heartland of Serbian culture and religion.

The visit comes before long-awaited talks on Kosovo's final status, expected to start later this year under UN auspices.........(continued).........
COMMENT: Although an old article, it gives some perspective of past comments concerning the attitude about Kosovo becoming independent.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

UNHCR and WHO to displace Serbs

The Article

20 April 06

BELGRADE -- Kosovo Serbs officials claim that the UNHCR and WHO plan on forcing Serbs out of the region. At a press conference, Milan Ivanovic and Marko Jaksic said that the UNHCR and the World Health Organisation in Denmark are preparing a plan for relocating 40,000 Kosovo Serbs to Central Serbia, once the final status is decided. The UNHCR denied the claims. Jaksic said that Kosovo Serbs will not accept being relocated to Serbia, but will rather stand in front of the embassy and ask for visas for relocating to countries of Western Europe and the Republic of Srpska and Bosnia-Herzegovina, where they will ask for the rights of a constituted community. Commenting the “announcement of relocating and adapting” Kosovo Serbs to Central Serbia, Jaksic said that with ethnic cleansing and institutional pressure, everything is being done to create one “monstrous Albanian nation in the Balkans.”.........(continued)..............

SERBIA & MONTENEGRO: Senator Says Some Form of Independence for Kosovo Inevitable

The Article


George Voinovich, a Republican senator from Ohio, has said that some kind of independence for Kosovo is an inevitable "reality" and added that Kosovo is not Serbia's only problem. Voinovich told the Voice of America that he personally greatly cared about seeing Serbia-Montenegro as a full EU member as soon as possible, stressing that the condition for that was the extradition of Ratko Mladic to The Hague. "What the Serbs should understand," Voinovich said, "is that when Mladic is in The Hague, the U.S. will provide an excellent package meant to help the Serbian economy, which is a project I am involved in myself." Mladic's extradition to The Hague is very important as it will allow the U.S. to start helping Serbia, as it has helped Croatia, Voinovich added. He pointed out that the U.S. had invested in Serbia more than any other country in the world. "I am working on the most favorable possible reduction of Serbia's foreign debts. The Serbs should not allow the Serbian Radical Party to trick them in the matter of Kosovo by leading them in the wrong direction," Voinovich said. He urged the Serbian citizens to ask themselves what will happen if the Radicals came to power and whether life will improve for them. "I told both (Serbian President Boris) Tadic and (Premier Vojislav) Kostunica that Serbia today needed leadership. We keep talking about that, but we cannot seem to get around to actually doing it. Kostunica and Tadic should join forces, at least for a few years, and take care of their people," Voinovich stressed. He added that he personally cared about Serbia's progress, because his roots were in this region. Source: BETA News Agency

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Al Qaeda men have been transiting Balkans for years

The Article

April 18, 2006

Report claims militants took advantage of Balkans’ porous borders to meet, train and possibly plot attacks in EuropeSARAJEVO: Islamic militants with ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations have been crisscrossing the Balkans for more than 15 years, according to an intelligence report focusing on their activities in Bosnia. The 252-page analysis, compiled jointly by US and Croatian intelligence and obtained by The Associated Press, said extremists financed in part with cash from narcotics smuggling operations were trying to infiltrate Western Europe from Afghanistan and points further east via a corridor running through Turkey, Kosovo and Albania. The report offers new evidence to support what authorities long have suspected: that terrorists have taken advantage of the Balkans’ porous borders and relatively lax security to meet, train and possibly plot attacks elsewhere in Europe. .....(continued).............

Terrorists Recruiting Bosnia's White Muslims

The Article

April 18, 2006

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- His code name was Maximus, and he held secret meetings in a shabby room at the Banana City Hotel on the gritty outskirts of Sarajevo.

Bosnian police put him under surveillance, and in a raid on his apartment on Poligonska Street last fall, authorities seized explosives, a suicide bomber belt and a videotape of masked men begging Allah's forgiveness for the sacrifice they were about to commit.
It was a chilling discovery, say investigators, who believe the cell was close to carrying out a plot to blow up a European embassy. But more troubling, they say, was the ringleader's background: Maximus turned out to be Mirsad Bektasevic, a 19-year-old Swedish citizen of Serbian origin with ties to a senior al-Qaida operative.

Terrorists have been working to recruit non-Arab sympathizers -- so-called "white Muslims" with Western features who theoretically could more easily blend into European cities and execute attacks -- according to classified intelligence documents obtained by The Associated Press........(continued).............

Another bomb in Novi Pazar

April 18, 2006 B92

Novi Pazar (FoNet)NOVI PAZAR -- A bomb exploded last night in the backyard of Sandzak Party President Fevzija Muric. Muric said that no one was injured but that slight damage was done to his and his neighbour’s home. “At about 12:10 am, a bomb exploded in the yard of my home. No one was injured or located near the bomb at the time of the explosion.” Muric said, adding that according to the police, the explosive device was similar to the one made and thrown in front of the Municipal Building one week ago. This is the second bombing attack in Novi Pazar since the Serbian Government decided to disband the Municipal Parliament in which Rasim Ljajic’s Sandzak Democratic Party and Muric’s party had the majority.

Three Police Arrested In Gjilan

11 Apr 06 (RTK) – Three KPS members are being detained in Gjilan for misuse of their duties and taking bribes. The KPS spokesperson, Naser Ibrahimi stated that the police are suspected of requesting a citizen to pay for their lunch as an exchange for not giving him a speeding ticket. According to the spokesperson, the investigations have begun who also added that no one should be above the law especially those who are supposed to protect it.

Bomb Explodes In Downtown Novi Pazar

Novi Pazar, 11 Apr 06 (B92) - An explosive device was set off at the intersection directly in front of the Novi Pazar municipal building last night.
The incident follows Serbia-Montenegro Human and Minority Rights Minister, Rasim Ljajic’s, warning that a radicalisation of the situation in Novi Pazar will ensue as a result of the Serbian Government’s decision to disband the municipal government this weekend.
No one was injured in the explosion, though several vehicles and windows in the vicinity of the municipal building were damaged. The police are investigating the incident. (Beta)

Cattle Theft In Serbian Villages Continues

Belgrade, 11 Apr 06 (Tanjug) – The Coordination Center for Kosovo and Metohija announced today that in the village Banje, Srbica municipality, unknown persons stole a cow and a calf from Djordje Mojsic.
In the past year four cows were stolen from the barn of the Mojsic family, and three days ago a tractor was stolen from the Kovacevic family in the same village.
In the past six years 20 cows and 5 tractors were stolen from Serbian households in Banje. The coordinator for Srbica Dejan Tomasevic confirmed that unknown persons stole the cow and calf from the barn around midnight.

Burns: Goal Of Negotiations Is Independent Kosovo

Prishtina, 11 Apr 06 (Beta) – Nicolas Burns, America undersecretary for political issues, stated that the goal of negotiations on Kosovo status is independence.
Radio Television Kosovo (RTK) reports that talking at a ceremony in Washington located at the Center for Strategic Studies, Burns said that most likely by the end of this year, Kosovo will be proclaimed independent. This gathering at the Center for Strategic Studies was attended by ambassadors from a lot of European countries, as well as Henry Kissinger, former US state secretary.
“Our job in Europe is still not done, because the Balkans remains an island in heart of Europe, which is still not connected with the two largest transatlantic institutions; European Union, and NATO,” said Burns.
He expressed the US’s hopes that “once Serbia becomes democratic, just like Croatia, Albania, and Macedonia, as well as independent Kosovo, if this year it is proclaimed as such by UN, which is actually the goal of the ongoing negotiations, then all of these countries should be a part of Europe”.
Burns said that the US believes Europe should make it clear that future of these countries is in the EU.
NATO also needs to give a strong signal, said Burns.

EU prepares its biggest ever security mission in Kosovo

The Article

By Ekrem Krasniqi

EU prepares its biggest ever security mission in Kosovo11.04.2006 - 10:02 CET By Ekrem KrasniqiThe EU on Monday made its first step towards a new and increased security role in Kosovo, in what could be its biggest ever civilian and security mission, Balkans news agency DTT-NET.COM writes. Foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday (10 April) agreed to establish an EU Planning Team, a group of experts to design the future policing role of the EU in Kosovo, once the status of the UN- administrated territory is resolved.In line with earlier proposals by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn, the planning team should develop plans for an EU crisis management operation, particularly in the field of rule of law and police.According to Monday’s decision, the team should prepare a "smooth transition between selected tasks of UNMIK and a possible EU crisis management operation, in the field of rule of law and other areas that might be identified by the EU Council in the context of the future status process." The mandate of the UN security mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is to end after ongoing negotiations between Belgrade and Prishtina on Kosovo are finalised.According to a recent paper by Mr Solana and Mr Rehn, the EU mission in Kosovo in the post-UNMIK period would be the union's biggest and most expensive mission ever. The EU, Russia and the US said last week that they hope that the status of Kosovo will be resolved by the end of the year.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Who in the Balkans wants to destroy America?

The Article

11 April 06

The news that a group of mujahadeens headed for Osama bin Laden’s jihad were captured on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan would be nothing new, had the Pakistani authorities not announced that one of them was an Albanian citizen. Clearly, Clinton’s cooperation with Balkan Islamists in the 1990s is only now turning like a boomerang against the US.

While the official affront is that Bosnian Muslims and Albanians are American allies in the war on terror, the US forces are tied up in Bosnia monitoring and chasing the jihadists who have made Bosnia and Albanian inhabited areas in the Balkans their domicile. Overtly then, Balkan Muslims are supporting the West, while covertly they may seek destruction of it.

The American strategists believed that by caving into territorial demands Balkan Muslims are making, the newly established Islamic entities will, because of the American influence and endorsement of it, be a model to the Islamic world, showing the right political path. The Christians of Bosnia, for example, are increasingly being centralized under Islamic authority; Christian Croats are spliced within Muslim federation and dominated by them while the Serbian entity is under tremendous political pressure and may disappear. Meanwhile, Bosnian Muslims want to offer Muslim Turks a dual citizenship because they consider these centuries old occupiers of Bosnia their liberators.........(continued)............

Albanians In Presevo Protest

Presevo, 10 Apr 06 (KosovaLive) - About a thousand Albanians gathered in Presevo this Saturday for demonstrations. The motto of the protest was “We demand serious measures in solving the problems of the Presevo Valley.”

The demonstration was held in downtown Presevo, with many of the protesters carrying placards with mottos such as “Presevo Valley is Kosovo” and “We demand a demilitarization of the region.”

Presevo Municipal President Ragmi Mustafa said that Albanians in South Serbia must solve their problems exclusively through peaceful methods.

Leader of the Democratic Progress Movement in Presevo, Orhan Rexhepi, said that the multi-ethnic police in the Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja region must have greater jurisdiction in order to secure peace for the Albanian community living in that region. Some people gathered at the protest, which ended without incident, were referring to the Presevo Valley region as “East Kosovo.” (Beta)

Jovanovic: Serbia To Recognize Kosova Independence

10 Apr 06 (Epoka e Re) – The Former Prime Minister and current Leader of Serb opposition, Cedomir Jovanovic asked Serbia to recognize Kosova independence. “This is a good chance to take off our historical chains that are dragging us down and to create a civilized Serbia. Serbia can no longer govern Kosova” stated Jovanovic for Belgrade daily newspaper “Danas”.

Former deputy of the murdered Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, currently President of Liberal-Democratic Party, has proposed a constitutional contract between Kosova and Serbia, which will recognize the sovereignty of Kosova, and through which the Serb minority should have a veto for every amendment in constitution.

“Serbs should have the same rights in Education, Justice, Police and a guaranteed number of Serb representatives in Parliament. Till the day when these requests are fulfilled, Kosova must have a conditional independence”, stated the President of Liberal-Democratic Party for “Danas”.

He declared that the current Governors of Belgrade are still under the trap of nationalism for a “Greater Serbia” and accuses them for holding back the development of Serbia through their “false patriotism”. LDP Leader stated that Serbia will only have benefits through Kosova independence, adding that Kostunica and Tadic have to stop bluffing their nation.

The recognition of Kosova independence by Serbia will possibly make a better constitutional situation for Serbs in Kosova. Based on this, the key for Albanians and Serbs agreement is clear: “First, the recognition of Kosova independence by Serbia, and Second the recognition of Serbs’ status in Kosova by the Albanians”.

Asked what he thinks about virtual sovereignty towards Kosova, on which the Serbian Policy is insisting, Jovanovic answered: “When Kostunica and Tadic talk about sovereignty, they talk from “Garasinin’s Necertanije” point of view.

When they talk about the protection of Serbs’ national interests, they talk about the protection of territory and not people. Because of this wrong Policy, we have paid our bills in Croatia and Bosnia”.

“It is absolutely clear that since 1999 Kosova is independent from Serbia, and Serbia can have influence in Kosova issues only through an agreement with the International Union”. At this point, Jovanovic stated that his Party is ready to take over responsibility, due to their approval for independent Kosova.

Jovanovic names the Vienna negotiations as a “Political Farce”, which represents a dialogue between deaf people. In the second part of 2006, the international community will submit a document to Belgrade and Prishtina, in which the IC will guarantee a qualitative perspective of Kosova, instead of the current frustrating situation.

This will be the formula “Take it, or leave it”, in which case the Albanian team has no reason to give up from such a thing, while our politicians have too many personal interests to give up on such a solution, because the approval from their side would have been an introduction in Serbia redefinition, which is a premise for creation of modern Serbia, where they have nothing to look for, because their vision for Serbia belongs to the vision of 19th Century.

Former UNMIK Spokesperson Leader Of Criminal Organization

Prishtina, 08 Mar 06 (Balkan Web) – The PDK President Hashim Thaçi made fierce accusations against the former UNMIK spokesperson, Simon Haselock and the Kosova Government of having ties with criminal organizations. In an interview to the daily Kosova Sot, Thaçi stated that Haselock is one of the leaders of a criminal organization operating in Kosova, which is being financed by the current government.

“You can see the current situation in Kosova. We have a catastrophic power supply situation. The current Ministry has not managed to create policies that would provide power to the citizens of Kosova. This ministry is not the Ministry of Energy, but the Ministry of Darkness. Different regions in Kosova have stayed and still stay 12 hours without power. This was and is political punishment for the disobedience of the citizens in relation to the current ruling coalition. The privatization process is privatized by the current authorities. Double and punishing standards are being applied in the privatization process. Unfortunately, several UNMIK officials are involved in these negative phenomena. One of them is the former UNMIK Spokesperson Simon Haselock. Now, he is one of the leaders of a criminal organization in Kosova. He is being financed by the current government and receiving 90 thousand euros a month,” said Thaçi.

Albanian fugitive arrested in Macedonia after regional police action

The Article

7 April 06

TETOVO, Macedonia -- Lulzim Berisha, wanted under an international arrest warrant for numerous crimes, was arrested in Tetovo, Macedonia, following a joint action of the Macedonian, Albanian and UNMIK police, according to local media reports Friday (7 April). Officials say he was carrying a forged Macedonian passport when he was detained. Berisha, 38, is charged in Albania with murder, as well as charges related to trafficking and prostitution. (A1 TV, Makfax, Focus - 07/04/06)


RS organised crime prosecutors could start operations in June

The Article


BANJA LUKA, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) -- Republika Srpska's (RS) new special prosecutors for organised crime and grave economic crimes could begin operations in June, according to RS Justice Minister Omer Visic. In an interview in Monday's (10 April) edition of Nezavisne novine, Visic said that if the newly adopted law, which provides for the launch of special court and prosecutorial departments to process organised crime and war crimes cases, is promulgated in the Official Gazette by 15 April, the units can open 15 days later. That in turn would clear the way for proceedings in May, which could lead to the launch of probes in June, he explained.

In other news, BiH Human Rights and Refugees Minister Mirsad Kebo criticised the Federation of BiH (FBiH) government Sunday for failing to respond to his inquiry regarding Sarajevo Serbs missing since the BiH conflict. Kebo told reporters that he sent a letter on 17 March to FBiH Prime Minister Ahmet Hadzipasic, requesting information about activities undertaken by the entity government to establish the fate of the missing, but has received no answer thus far. (Nezavisne novine, Dnevni avaz - 10/04/06; RTRS - 09/04/06)


Serbia promises to deliver Mladic

The Article

7 April 2006

Vojislav Kostunica, the Serbian Prime Minister, assured Carla del Ponte, the UN chief prosecutor, that it would hand over the former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic to The Hague war crimes tribunal by the end of April, her spokesman said.

NI_MPU('middle'); The handover of Mr Mladic, indicted twice for genocide in the 1992-95 Bosnia war, is a condition for closer ties between Serbia and the EU.

Belgrade has said that it is doing all it can to deliver Mladic.Ms Del Ponte has said that the death of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic last month before a verdict in his war crimes trial has made arresting Mr Mladic all the more urgent.

Mr Mladic commanded Bosnian Serb forces and is indicted for genocide along with his political boss, Radovan Karadzic, for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslims and the long siege of Sarajevo in which more than 10,000 civilians were killed. (Reuters)

Montenegro: Anti-Independence Campaign Kicks Off

The Article

6 April 2006

Opposition activists go door to door to convince voters that they are better off staying in the state union with Serbia. By Bojana Stanisic in Podgorica(Balkan Insight, 6 Apr 06) The Montenegrin opposition, which backs the existing state union with Serbia, is rallying its supporters in the run up to May's referendum on possible independence. More than 15,000 pro-union activists are taking part in an ongoing door-to-door campaign orchestrated by a new referendum headquarters located in Podgorica. "

Our principal objective is that every opponent of [pro-independence] Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic's regime casts their ballot for the joint state with Serbia," said Dobrilo Dedeic, a spokesman of the Serb People's Party, one of the four Montenegrin opposition parties in the unionist coalition. Podgorica analysts expect the opposition to highlight the state union's economic and security benefits for Montenegro in its campaign, while accusing the pro-independence coalition government of corruption and involvement in organised crime.......(continued)...........

Bosnian Serb found guilty of war crimes

The Article

SARAJEVO, April 7, 2006 (Reuters) - A Bosnian Serb was sentenced on Friday to more than 13 years in prison for crimes committed during the 1992-95 war -- the first verdict and sentence by Bosnia's war crimes chamber after a year of operation.

"Nedjo Samardzic is found guilty of crimes against humanity committed in 1992 and 1993 during the large-scale and systematic attacks by the Bosnian Serb army and police ... he aided and abetted persecution, rape and torture," the judge said.

Samardzic, now 38, was serving a prison term for murder when he escaped and joined the Bosnian Serb army in 1992. His unit attacked Muslim villages near the eastern town of Foca, scene of some of the most gruesome atrocities in a war that claimed more than 100,000 lives.
The judge said he imprisoned and tortured civilians and repeatedly raped women, including three underage girls who were held for months.

Samardzic was sentenced to 12 years in jail for the wartime crimes and to another 16 months for escaping prison........(continued).............

EU prepares for police mission in Kosovo

The Article

7 Apr 06

The EU is stepping up preparations to increase its presence in Kosovo once the future status of the territory has been decided, according to Balkans news agency DTT-NET.But any security mission in the region is likely to put a serious strain on the EU’s finances.EU officials on Friday (7 April) announced that foreign ministers will on Monday agree to create a team of security and law experts, charged with planning and designing a new role for the 25 nation bloc in providing security to Kosovo."The (EU) Council is due to adopt a Joint Action establishing an EU planning team regarding an envisaged EU crisis management operation in the field of rule of law and possible other areas", said an official from Austria, which currently holds the EU presidency........(continued)...........

Monday, April 10, 2006

Selimi: TMK Fulfills All Conditions For Becoming Kosova's Army

06 Apr 06 (Epoka e Re) – TMK commander, Gen. Sylejman Selimi, declared on Wednesday that the TMK as an organization fulfills all conditions in becoming an army, but according to him TMK’s future depends on the status solution.

In the interview for BETA news agency, Selimi said that “TMK is an institution for all Kosova citizens, regardless of their nationality, always ready and capable to defend their interests”.

In their composition TMK has 3,000 active and 2,000 reserve troops. “In the many activities that we had in the mixed municipalities, and in the places where only the minorities live there was an outstanding level of cooperation between the residents and TMK, even though in the beginning it was different but it changed during the activities” said the TMK commander.

According to Gen. Selimi, at the moment in the TMK are 6.2% representatives of the minorities, including Serbs, Bosnians, Turks, Ashkali, Romas, Egyptians, Croats, Muslims and Gorans. Gen. Selimi emphasized that there are 44 Serbs, 35 Turks, 34 Ashkali, 13 Croats, 25 Bosnians, 16 Muslims and 14 Roma.

He said that the number of the minorities in the TMK is constantly increasing and that next week they will review 30 requests of which 15 are Serbs. The Serbian candidates who want to join the TMK are under Belgrade’s pressure not to join the TMK, said Selimi.

“It they join the TMK they have to face a huge amount pressure calling on them to quit. That’s why we had differences within the Serbian members who couldn’t face these pressures and quit the TMK” said Selimi.

Ethnic Albanians protest in Presevo

The Article


PRESEVO, Serbia-Montenegro -- About a thousand ethnic Albanians gathered for a protest on Saturday (8 April) in Presevo, southern Serbia, demanding more rights and sustainable solutions to the problems in the region. Demonstrators raised banners calling for the demilitarisation of the area, as well as for the granting of more powers to the multiethnic police there. Addressing participants in the rally, the acting mayor of Presevo, Ragmi Mustafa, stressed that the ethnic Albanians in southern Serbia must seek resolution of their problems exclusively by peaceful means. No incidents were reported during the protests. (RTS, B92 - 08/04/06)incrementCount('setimes/newsbriefs/2006/04/09/nb-03','setimes','en_GB');

Independence by Minority?

The Article

10 April 06

Montenegro’s ethnic-Albanian minority may prove decisive in the forthcoming independence referendum, potentially pushing the yes vote over the 55 percent quota required by the EU.All polls so far have shown the pro-independence bloc leading by only a few percentage points.The Albanian vote has been an important issue in Montenegrin elections of the past.

Ethnic Albanians account for roughly 5 percent of the population, or about 30,000 out of a total just over 600,000 people.Under stringent voting rules demanded by the EU, a pro-independence vote must garner at least 55 percent of the votes cast and a voter turnout of at least 50 percent to be valid.Montenegro is the last republic of former Yugoslavia to still be associated with Serbia, in a dysfunctional state union brokered by the EU in 2003.

Two recent events reminded Montenegrins of the importance of the Albanian vote: a protest in Podgorica on 23 March by residents of Tuzi, a mostly ethnic-Albanian district of the Montenegrin capital, and an interview by a former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) with the pro-Serbian daily Dan. In the interview, former UCK leader Adem Demaci made several radical statements, suggesting that Kosovo and Montenegro might one day be “united” and that ethnic-Albanian votes would bring independence to Montenegro.


Demaci’s statements added fuel to an already heated dispute between the pro-union and pro-independence blocs. It didn’t help that Demaci – the former leader of a group that Serbia and Montenegro consider a terrorist organization – praised Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, saying Kosovars would be honored to have him as their prime minister.....(continued)......

Today Kosovo Tomorrow Israel and the West

The Article

10 April 06

Negotiations regarding the future status of Kosovo have begun and it is increasingly clear that the overwhelming majority of the world media, not to mention the government of the United States and its allies, favor giving independence to the Serbian province of Kosovo, which since the 1999 war has been administered by the United Nations under NATO military control. In effect, the western world is in favor of detaching Kosovo from (Christian) Serbia by fiat of power and making it into an independent Muslim state.

The main argument of those supporting this scenario - notably in the United States, where advocates of the Muslim Albanian cause are very well funded - is that by doing so America would repair its image in the Islamic world and show that Americans do not have anti-Islamic inclinations. This, they think, would co-opt the influence of Islamic "extremists" and thus spare another possible 9/11 type attack.

Such sentiments can be found in the official report by the 9-11 Commission where it is recommended that America "defends, Muslims against tyrants and criminals in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. If the United States does not act aggressively to define itself in the Islamic world, the extremists will gladly do the job for us." ............(Continued)......

Turkish police break PKK cell

The Article


ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Turkish police have broken a Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) cell and have arrested nine suspects, according to Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler. He said police seized almost 8kg of plastic explosives, as well as equipment to make bombs and fake ID cards, during the raid Friday (7 April). Media reports Saturday said police have also arrested a PKK member suspected of last summer's bombing in the Kusadisi resort, which killed five people and injured 13.

Meanwhile, Turkish security forces have killed seven Kurdish militants in clashes in the southeast of the country. Five of the victims were involved in an earlier ambush in which five soldiers died. The authorities also reported that two police officers, one of them a lieutenant-colonel, were killed by a landmine in the province of Elazig. ( - 09/04/06; Turks.US, BBC News - 08/04/06; NTV, AFP, BBC - 07/04/06) increment Count('setimes/newsbriefs/2006/04/09/nb-10','setimes','en_GB');

UNMIK gets ultimatum for protecting Visoki Decani Monastery

The Article

8 April 06

In yesterday's issue of the Pristina Albanian language daily "Epoka e re" the rightwing extremist organization "Vetevendosje" (Self-determination), which is headed by Albin Kurti, continued to threaten the Serbian Orthodox Church and UNMIK by citing a series of unfounded accusations for the purpose of heightening ethnic tensions and provoking violence against Christian Orthodox holy shrines in Kosovo.

Since the UNMIK chief is expected on April 15 to extend his executive decision of last year regarding the proclamation of a Special Zoning Area around the Visoki Decani Monastery, which prohibits illegal construction, industrialization and unregulated exploitation of natural resources near the monastery, Kurti's organization warned the UNMIK chief together with other signatories for "abusing these sites for the purpose of repulsive political goals". In its letter quoted yesterday, April 7, in its entirety by "Epoka e re" Vetevendosje states that by this act UNMIK has proclaimed "extraterritoriality of land that belongs to Albanian farmers" and that by this decision UNMIK "has carried out expropriation of 200 hectares of land".

The letter goes on to accuse UNMIK of allegedly preventing Albanian land-owners from cultivating their land because of its decision and states that the presence of a KFOR security checkpoint prevents freedom of movement. The letter even mentions non-existent companies which allegedlly cannot work under the zoning restrictions.

Western Macedonia, Illirida, and Greater Albania

The Article

7 April 06

The Greater Albania ideology envisions not only Kosovo and Metohija as integral part of a Greater Ethnic Albania, but also Western Macedonia, or Illirida. The basis for the Greater Albania strategy can be found in the 1878 League of Prizren. The map and borders for the future Greater Albania were determined by the Ottoman Turkish vilayet system. Kosovo and Metohija and Western Macedonia were part of the Kosovo vilayet. The capital of the Kosovo vilayet was Skopje.

Kosovo-Metohija is not the end of the Greater Albania ideology, but only the beginning. Western Macedonia is central in the Greater Albania goal to create an Ethnic or Greater Albania. Albanian separatism begins with Kosovo, but does not end there. Western Macedonia, or Illirida, and Southern Serbia, or Preseheva, are integral parts of an Ethnic Albania under the Greater Albania ideology. They are the next targets, after Kosovo, of Albanian separatism. Western Macedonia and Southern Serbia were part of the Kosovo vilayet in Ottoman Turkey. During World Wear II, the Kosovo vilayet was incorporated into a Greater Albania. The goal of Albanian separatism is to incorporate all the territory of the former Kosovo vilayet into a Greater or Ethnic Albania.......(continued)........

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Six dead, dozen injured in new clashes in Turkey's southeast

The Article


ANKARA, Turkey -- New clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorists left six dead and about a dozen injured, according to media reports Wednesday (5 April). According to the local media, five Turkish soldiers were killed in the fighting late Tuesday in the southeast province of Sirnak. Another six soldiers, as well as two terrorists, were injured. In the town of Genc, one policeman was killed and seven others wounded in a PKK attack on a police station.

Also Wednesday, two people were injured when a bomb exploded in front of the ruling Justice and Development Party's district office in Istanbul, causing significant damage. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. (AFP - 06/04/06; NTV,, CNN - 05/04/06)


Speaker Wrong on Kosovo

The Article

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

To the Editor:

I am responding to the item “Former Ambassador Calls for Kosovo’s Independence” (THE HOYA, March 24, 2006, A5).

Apparently, Ambassador Morton Abramowitz has never changed his view that “Kosovo must be independent.” One has to wonder what brought about that gem of wisdom by the esteemed ambassador. The degree of disinformation that is out there vis-a-vis Kosovo is unbelievable. According to Mr. Abramowitz’s logic, the criteria for Kosovo’s independence are murder, mayhem and barbarism. Is Europe ready and willing to embrace an intolerant, ethnically cleansed and terrorist-supported Islamic state in its underbelly?

Canada’s retired Maj. Gen. Lewis MacKenzie said it best in an op-ed piece published by the National Post in 2004:

“The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius [violin],” he wrote. “We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early ’90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary.”

Mr. Abramowitz, be careful what you wish for.

Liz Milanovich
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
March 25, 2006

BiH prosecutors reportedly to charge five people with terrorism

The Article


SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) -- Sources cited in Wednesday's (5 April) edition of Nezavisne novine say BiH prosecutors plan to file charges against five people suspected of terrorism. Three BiH citizens -- Almir Bajric, Bajra Ikanovic and Senad Husanovic, along with Turkish citizen Cesur Abdulkadir and Swedish citizen Mirsad Bektasevic -- reportedly have been linked to a terror plot in Denmark. They were detained last November in the Sarajevo Canton.

In other news, the BiH Court's appeals chamber upheld on Tuesday a five-year sentence handed down to former Islamic militant Abduladhim Maktouf, stemming from war crimes committed in Travnik. The BiH Court issued the initial sentence in 2005. Maktouf, a former member of the Army of BiH's El Mudzahid unit, was convicted in the October 1993 abduction, imprisonment and torture of five Croat civilians. (Nezavisne novine - 05/04/06; PBS BiH - 04/04/06)

Six Bosnian Serbs plead not guilty over Srebrenica

The Article

4 Apr 2006

AMSTERDAM, April 4 (Reuters) - Six former Bosnian Serb officers pleaded not guilty on Tuesday at the U.N. war crimes tribunal to charges of genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys.The men have already appeared individually before the court but last year their indictments on charges of genocide or complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war were combined in a single indictment.Presiding judge Carmel Agius said in court he plans to start the combined trial in August.

The six men -- Vinko Pandurevic, Ljubisa Beara, Vujadin Popovic, Drago Nikolic, Milorad Trbic and Ljubomir Borovcanin -- all surrendered to the tribunal.Zdravko Tolimir, however, is still on the run.Tolimir was one of several aides to wartime Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic, who is also still at large and one of the tribunal's most wanted men.

Mladic is also indicted over the Srebrenica massacre, the worst mass killing in Europe since world War Two, and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo in which more than 11,000 people died.The Hague tribunal's chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte insists Mladic is sheltered by hardline army officers in Serbia, which Belgrade denies.

Two other Mladic aides are also named in the indictment but they are not charged with genocide.Radivoje Miletic and Milan Gvero, who are currently on provisional release, are charged with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of wars including murder, persecution, forcible transfer and deportation.

Dangerous Albanian Criminal Arrested in Macedonia

The Article

7 April 2006

Dangerous Albanian criminal Lulzim Berisha who is wanted for murder, trafficking of drugs and arms and for instigation to prostitution was arrested in Tetovo during joint operation of Macedonian and Albanian police and UN Mission in Kosovo, Albanian Interior Minister Sokol Olldashi stated yesterday evening cited by Macedonian agency Makfax. Minister Olldashi explained Berisha was arrested yesterday in flat in Tetovo; during the arrest forged passport was found on him with which he traveled around Macedonia. According to Tirana media Lulzim Berisha is the main organizer of a criminal group. It is suspected the members of this group committed numerous murders, larceny, etc. Berisha left Albania a month ago.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Indictment of a People

The Article

April 04, 2006

By Robert Leifels

The politicians and intellectuals have missed the boat regarding the death of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and label their Wall Street Opening Bell-like screaming as a rush to judgment. It is quite natural for them to worship at the shrine of the perceived beauty of their own words; a need to sell newspapers and so on. After all, a scorpion can't help himself for being what he is. But the “judgment” they blabber on about was already passed down years ago. I know because I witnessed it while it was happening.Mr. Milosevic, according to Western law, was to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet he was found dead before his case was finished. So one can say that according to the rule of law, when Milosevic died he was innocent.

All the journalists who heralded the trumpet of freedom and democracy in denying this condition have therefore forgotten this basic principle of Western law. And the Hague judges too have most certainly lost their way in their quest for self-glorification. Mr. Milosevic’ corpse wasn't even through rigor mortis yet when the Bench declared he was “probably” going to be found guilty anyway. In America, such a statement made by a sitting judge would be grounds for a mistrial, were the defendant alive.

Respect for the System

Throughout twenty years of service as a New York City police officer, I and my colleagues were constantly under scrutiny. Sometimes oversight verging on the fanatical, we thought, was enforced to ensure that the power of law enforcement entrusted to us and those we served with was not abused. It is well known that power unchecked will lead to abuse, and the truism that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” can apply to anyone in a position of power, not just to high politicians. Most of the time, the feeling of being under a microscope was unpleasant and it was resented. But fundamentally, such oversight was a good thing; there were indeed times when justice did prevail and “the system worked.”

Continued to Article............................................

One killed, four injured in blast in Albania

The Article


VLORA, Albania -- One man was killed and four were injured after a bomb planted in a Mercedes exploded in the southwest Albanian town of Vlora on Saturday (1 April). According to local police, the man who was killed was identified as Astrit Elmazi, 35, while the injured were children aged 13 to 15, who were playing near the parking lot where the explosion happened. The local media reported that the police suspect two motivations for the blast -- revenge or drug trafficking. (Focus - 03/04/06; AP - 02/04/06)

Petersen Requests Serb Authorities To Stop Trial Against Lekaj

Prishtina, 03 Apr 2006 (Radio Kosova) – UNMIK Chief Søren Jessen Petersen requested Serb authorities to stop the trial against an Albanian, Anton Lekaj. In a letter sent to Serb authorities on March 9th, Petersen stated that based on UN Resolution 1244, only UNMIK has the right to initiate legal procedures against acts committed in Kosova. He added that this is the reason that the trail against Lekaj is a violation of Resolution 1244 and it must be stopped immediately.

Time’s Up, 12:44 UNMIK Go Home

03 Apr 2006 (Epoka e Re) – Dozens of Self Determination! Activists on Saturday had an action in Gjilan where they wrote “Time’s up 12:44 UNMIK go home” slogan on the internationals’ vehicles which were parked in the UNMIK parking lot.

According to the movement representatives the action was a success, adding that activists from Prishtina, Mitrovica and Dardana took part in this action.

According to them, their targets were the white UNMIK vehicles, which were parked in the UNMIK parking lot on “Bulevari I Pavarsise” road in Gjilan.

Through a communiqué the Self Determination! Activists reacted to the violent behavior of some international police officers, whom they say were too brutal towards the activists and especially towards, Blerim Zeka, who is from Prishtina.

“Not only that they were violent and brutal but they also insulted and humiliated the Self Determination! Activists” stated the communiqué released by Self Determination! Movement.

Natasha Micic: Kosova's Independence Is Reality

03 Apr 2006 (Epoka e Re) – The head of the Serbian Citizens Alliance (GSS), Natasha Micic, said on Saturday that “Kosova's independence is reality and that Kosova is not a part of Serbia”, Micic is the former Serbian parliament chairman.

She made these statements during a press conference in Uzice, adding that “unfortunately Kosova has been independent since 1999, when Slobodan Milosevic withdrew his last clerks from that territory”.

She said that the border with Kosova is one of the safest borders in Europe, and that Kosova's problem comes as a consequence of Milosevic’s policies. Micic said the political forces are using Kosova's citizens for their own benefit.

Suspect Arrested For Bombing Attacks

Pristina, 3 Apr 2006 (B92) - Pristina police have arrested a Kosovo Albanian who is suspected of perpetrating a number of bombing attacks last year.

An unidentified male has been arrested in relation to three separate attacks which took place at nearly the same time.

The attacks were done in June; one was an explosion in the parking lot of the UNMIK building in Pristina in which three vehicles were destroyed. The second attack was made close to the OSCE building, about 100 meters away from the UNMIK building, while the third was an attack on the Government building, which caused minimal damage.

One bomb was uncovered before it exploded, near Radio Television Kosovo’s main building. (FoNet)

Raskovic-Ivic Says Albanians See Chance Through Montenegro

Belgrade, 3 Apr 2006 (BETA) - President of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija Sanda Raskovic-Ivic said that announcements that Albanians in Montenegro will help Montenegro achieve independence in an upcoming referendum are part of "the strategic concept of a greater Albania."

Former political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army and president of Kosovo's writers' association Adem Demaci said that Albanian votes would be decisive in Montenegro's referendum on independence.

Raskovic-Ivic told BETA that Demaci’s stances were nothing new, as Demaci had already served time for his Greater Albanian ideas, but that it is worrisome to see him inciting Albanians to vote for Montenegrin independence.

She stressed that "unfortunately, there is a pro-Albanian policy in Montenegro," adding that "backs are being turned on Serbia, the KLA flag is being waved, Podgorica's elite are boasting about its harmonious relations with Pristina's leadership. All-in-all, the Montenegrin political leadership is blinded by its anti-Serb stances," Raskovic-Ivic said.

Halimi: Bad Situation In South Serbia

Presevo, 03 Apr 2006 (B92) – Riza Halimi’s Party for Democratic Action (PDD), the most influential party of Albanians in the municipalities of Presevo, Medvedja, and Bujanovac, evaluated the situation in Presevo valley is very tense. They pointed out this is not just because of the recent protest gatherings of the Albanian in Bujanovac, but because of the general dissatisfaction over the socio-economic and political positions of the Albanians in this region.

“It is clear that the past political processes have not achieved the desired results, above all because of the lack of readiness of the current government in tackling complex problems of Albanian in this region,” states the announcement issues by the PDD.

This political party also evaluates that last year’s reconstruction of the Coordination Center was unsuccessful because the government was not ready to allow the Albanian representatives which were at the same time representatives of local authorities, to be fully involved in the work of this state institution.

This political party estimates that “all factors including government, international community, and Albanian representatives need to intensify their efforts with the goal of fully implementing the government program for resolving the crises in municipalities of Presevo, Medvedja, and Bujanovac. It is also necessary that all governing institutions become more responsible in resolving the positions of the Albanians in this region”. (FoNet)

No Negotiations with Serbia

01 April 2006 (Lajm) – The leaders of Organization for National Unity (OBK) will protest in “Skanderbeg” town squire, on April 3d, against negotiations with Serbia.

Former member of LKÇK General Council, Agron Xhemajli who’s currently member of OBK stated for “Lajm” that with these negotiations Kosova’s destiny is becoming a marketplace.
“The people of Kosova have the right to decide on their destiny. There’s no need to negotiate with Serbia for our own country. The continuation of these negotiations with Serbia is in absolute contradiction with people’s interests and rights”.

He hopes that people will join the protest on April 3d, to give a clear message to politicians that they shouldn’t negotiate on Kosova’s destiny.

Serbian Police Confiscates 15 Kilos Of Marihuana At The Border Crossing With Kosova

April 1, 2006 (Koha Ditore) – Serbian Police confiscated 15 kilos of marihuana in Merdar border crossing, which is the administrative border between Serbia and Kosova.
Marihuana was found during a routine police control check, in the trunk of the bus which travels from Dragash to Belgrade, and escorted by KPS on its way to Kosova.

The bus, where the narcotics were found, is the property of “Adio Trans” from Vladiqin Hani. A source of the newspaper in the police station emphasizes that these Serbian convoys are controlled by no one during and on their way to Kosova.

“They get in and out, just like in Hani i Dilit, nobody controls them. It is possible that everything can be transported”, emphasizes the source.

Meanwhile, official sources from police were not ready to say whether the Serbian convoys that transport Serbians in Kosova, are controlled or not.

“For this issue you will get an answer on Monday”, said the information officer from KPS, Sabrie Kamberi.

Eight People Arrested During An Operational Plan In Ferizaj

April 1 06 (Koha Ditore) – The regional KPS (Kosova Police Service) Spokesman, Agim Demiri, reported on Friday about some police actions, which resulted on arrests of criminals. He said that the Regional Command implemented an operations plan on Thursday evening, for the purpose of investigation, detecting and stopping the crime.

During the implementation of the operation 4 people have been arrested, 3 of them Albanians from Bujanovc and one Kosovar, who possessed fake money, in an amount of 1,200 American dollars.

Also, a wanted person from the police has been arrested, who is known as the robber of some taxi drivers. During the search in his house a pistol, type TT 7.62 mm, was found. Demiri announced that the police also arrested a person who was wanted from the Court of Kacanik, and who was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

It is also report that in all of this police action, two persons were shackled because they broke public law and order. According to spokesman, Demiri, all the arrested persons have been sent in the detention center in Gjilan.