Updated: 9 December 1999 KFOR Press Updates


9 Dec. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesman

KFOR Committed to Protection and Help for Minorities

The news agency SRNA reported recently that in the villages of Drajacic, Musnikovo and Bogosevac, in the southwest of Kosovo, Serbs would live there in ghetto-like conditions, cut-off from the rest of the world. The agency also states that international and humanitarian organizations are prevented from entering the area by German KFOR troops. The article mentions that the Chairman of the Yugoslave Red Cross Committee, Mr. Stanimir Vukicevic, has sent a protest note to Commander KFOR, accusing the Germans for being responsible for the "ghettoization of Serbs in Kosmet".

All these accusations published in the article are totally unsubstantiated and misleading. In Drajacic, Musnikovo and Bogosevac, no Serbs are cut-off from the world. They have freedom of movement. No regional, national or international help organization have ever been prevented from entering this region by KFOR. Indeed, NGOs, supported by KFOR, are quite active in the region in the delivery of humanitarian aid, including food winter ration parcels sufficient for sustaining the local population for three months.

Furthermore, Commander KFOR, General Dr. Reinhardt, has never received the alleged letter from Mr. Vukicevic.

KFOR condemns this unsubstantiated "news" report, which contains only purely invented "information". This misreporting can only mislead the population, especially members of ethnic minorities, who are in fact receiving KFOR's undivided attention, both in the areas of humanitarian aid and security.

Events and incidents in Kosovo over the last 24 hours:

Two bodies found:
The body of an unidentified man, apparently killed by a firearm, was found yesterday morning in the area of Belo Polje, in Multinational Brigade Centre. UNMIK Police are currently conducting an investigation.

The body of a Kosovo:
Albanian man was found near the Partisan Monument in Pec yesterday morning. Initial reports reveal no apparent signs that would suggest a violent death, although KFOR Military Police has launched an investigation and requested an autopsy.

Attacks against property:
A rocket was thrown at a previously burnt bar last night in Durakovac. Nobody was injured and a search of the surrounding area did not allow the perpetrators to be apprehended.

A bomb attack against the house of a Roma family occurred yesterday night in Dakovica. A first charge detonated on the roof at 23:30 hrs, causing only material damage. KFOR troops investigated the attack and found another charge in the area. An explosive ordnance disposal team performed a controlled explosion to neutralise the second device.

In Dakovica yesterday evening, two hand grenades were thrown at a house. Only one of them exploded, causing minor exterior damage.

Yesterday evening at 19:30 hrs, an explosion was heard in the northern part of Mitrovica, near a building used as a meeting place for Serbs and Bosniacs. No injuries were reported and the explosion caused only slight damage in the vicinity of the building. KFOR troops, including an explosive ordinance disposal team, were dispatched to secure the area.

KFOR looking for kidnappers in Multinational Brigade North:
Yesterday evening in Vucitrn, a criminal report indicated the kidnapping of an Albanian girl by two men driving a red Volkswagon Golf car. In the same area in the early evening, a KFOR United Arab Emirates patrol prevented the abduction of two boys. Four suspects wearing hoods abandoned their attempt at kidnapping and sped away in a car before the soldiers were able to intercept them.

KFOR and UNMIK Police are adopting a robust approach in their fight against serious crimes, including kidnappings. In addition to law-enforcement measures, they are now in the process of developping "stranger awareness programs", to be presented in the schools.

Successful search operation uncovers prostitution base KFOR French troops conducted a search operation in a bar in Vucitrn yesterday evening. They found three teenage girls, who reported they were involved in prostitution against their will. KFOR troops arrested ten individuals, including one woman, for further questioning and investigation.

More weapons confiscated:
Vehicle checkpoint operations in the area of Piskote, in Multinational Brigade West, allowed the confiscation of one pistol and seven bullets from a Kosovo Albanian woman yesterday night.

Illegal border crossing prevented:
Multinational Brigade South reported that three individuals attempted to enter Kosovo illegally through the Kosovo-Albania border. They all returned to Albania when spotted by KFOR patrols.

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