17 Jan. 1999


by the Secretary General of NATO, Dr Javier Solana on behalf of the North Atlantic Council following its meeting on Sunday, 17th January 1999

  • The Council condemns the massacre of Kosovar Albanians that was carried out in the village of Racak last Friday. This represents a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.

  • The Council calls on the Yugoslav Authorities to cooperate fully with the ICTY in accordance with UN resolutions, including by granting immediate and unrestricted access to Chief Prosecutor Arbour, and international investigators including Finnish forensic experts. We also call on the FRY Authorities to ensure the security of the ICTY personnel.

  • The Council demands that the Government of the FRY take immediate steps to ensure that those responsible for this massacre are brought to justice. The names of those who participated in the killing and those who gave the orders must be divulged and they must be handed over to the ICTY for prosecution if requested.

  • Milosevic must comply with all his commitments to NATO and to the OSCE which are based on UNSC Resolution 1199.

  • The FRY must bring VJ and MUP force levels and posture into compliance with its commitments to the Alliance last October. As the signatory of this agreement, President Milosevic is responsible for ensuring that these force levels are respected. He is also personally responsible for the behaviour of his security forces.

  • The North Atlantic Council received briefings from the Chairman of the Military Committee and SACEUR on the military situation and on the status of NATO planning. It reaffirmed that the ACTORDS for air operations remain in effect.

  • The NAC has decided to send the Chairman of the Military Committee and SACEUR to Belgrade to impress upon the Yugoslav Authorities the gravity of the situation and their obligation to respect all their commitments to NATO, and to report back to the NAC. The Chairman of the Military Committee and SACEUR will also reaffirm NATO's support to international efforts to bring peace to the region, including by the United Nations, OSCE and the European Union.

  • The Council fully supports the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission and its Head, Ambassador Walker. It expresses its strong condemnation of the attack against two members of this mission last Friday and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice.

  • The Council insists that the FRY authorities respect their obligations to ensure the security of the verifiers. Both sides must refrain from actions that put OSCE verifiers in danger.

  • Finally, NATO condemns all acts of violence. It calls on both sides to cease hostilities immediately and to begin negotiations towards a lasting political solution which provides greater autonomy for Kosovo and which preserves the territorial integrity of the FRY.

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