Ljubinko Zivkovic on Thu, 12 Mar 1998 07:35:10 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> Daily News on Kosovo

      C O N T E N T S


        Belgrade calls for negotation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
  15    Kosovo Albanians reject invitation . . . . . . . . . . . . .  44
        Gelbard urges cooperation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  55
        Serbian police bury victims  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  64
        The Hague moves on Kosovo  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  78
        Sanctions begin  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  86

  20  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-



      BELGRADE, SERBIA.  The Serbian Government on Tuesday called on
  25  Kosovo Albanians to begin an open dialogue with Serb authorities.
      The statement from the Ministry of Information addressed the call
      to what it described as ``all responsible ethnic Albanian
      representatives. The same statement emphasised that Serbian police
      actions in the southern province had been a response to Albanian
  30  terrorism.

      The statement reiterated Belgrade's position that the crisis in
      Kosovo has been precipitated by militant Albanian terrorists and
      that the situation is purely an internal affair of Serbia.

      The statement calling for dialogue came one day after the Contact
  35  Group, meeting in London agreed to reimpose international
      sanctions on Yugoslavia, because of Belgrade's failure to resolve
      the situation in Kosovo.

      Serbian Information Minister Radmila Milentijevic acknowledged in
      an interview with the BBC yesterday that there had been civilian
  40  casualties of last week's police actions in the Drenica area.
      Milentijevic stressed, however that police had besieged a
      terrorist stronghold and called on all civilians to leave before
      opening fire.


  45  PRISTINA, SERBIA.  The Democratic League of Kosovo has described
      Belgrade's call to negotiation as not serious. The League's Fehmet
      Agani told Radio B92 on Tuesday that the offer was impudent and
      irresponsible in linking the invitation to negotiate with its
      approval of what he described as a monstrous crime. Agani added
  50  that by not addressing the invitation to negotiate to anyone
      specific, the Serbian Government appeared to be calling for some
      kind of open bid, rather than serious political discussion.

      There has not as yet been any formal response from any Kosovo
      Albanian group to Belgrade's statement.


      PRISTINA, SERBIA.  US Special Envoy Robert Gelbard on Tuesday
      condemned the violence in Kosovo. He said that the Contact Group
      had been disappointed and frightened by the death toll in Kosovo.
      He accused Serb authorities of ignoring the rule of law, and
  60  condemned their refusal to allow international humanitarian
      organisations into the region. Gelbard urged Kosovo Albanian
      leaders not to put demanding conditions on their participation in
      dialogue with Serb authorities.


  65  PRISTINA, SERBIA.  The Serbian police force on Tuesday night
      consigned the bodies of 29 victims of last week's conflict to a
      mass grave. The bodies had been lying in a construction depot near
      Skenderaj for two days. The families of the dead had refused to
      claim the bodies until an international medical organisation had
  70  performed autopsies. The police moved in the early evening to
      collect the bodies, before brying them in the village of Prekaz.

      Only ten mourners were permitted to attend the burial. Officials
      of the Islamic Union of Kosovo and clergy from the Kosovo Catholic
      Church were also barred by police from attending. Three Catholic
  75  clerics were stopped at a police checkpoint and threatened with
      beatings if they proceeded, according to local Albanian language
      daily Koha Ditore.


      THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS.  The Hague Tribunal has begun an
  80  investigation into last week's violence in Kosovo. A statement
      from the office of Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour on Tuesday said
      that the Tribunal was examining the Serbian police action. The
      statement emphasised that the Tribunal's jurisdiction covered any
      serious human rights violations on the territory of the former
  85  Yugoslavia.


      OTTAWA, CANADA.  The Canadian Government has begun the immediate
      implementation of sanctions against Yugoslavia. US Secretary of
      State, Madeleine Albright visited Ottawa on Tuesday. Her visit was
  90  followed by an announcement that all exports, loans and other
      programs of cooperation with Yugoslavia had been suspended. The
      Canadian Government also announced that it had stopped
      negotiations with Yugoslav Airlines for landing rights in Canada.

      The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday debated an embargo
  95  on arms export to Yugoslavia. Its final decision has been
      postponed for ten days, the period given by the Contact Group for
      Belgrade to take steps towards a resolution of the Kosovo problem.

      Translated by: Goran Dimitrijevic
      Edited by: Steve Agnew

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