Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Albanians damage EU cars in Kosovo

Albanians damage EU cars in Kosovo
Aug 25, 2009, 14:01 GMT


Pristina - Some 28 automobiles belonging to the European Union's law-enforcement mission (EULEX) in Kosovo were damaged and 21 people were arrested Tuesday during a protest in Pristina by members of the Albanian movement Vetevendosja (Self-Determination).

Vetevendosja seeks an end to what it sees as international interference in Kosovo. It has organized several demonstrations in the past against Belgrade and the international community.

'Twenty-one persons are under police custody and are being investigated,' Agron Borovci, a spokesman for Kosovo police, told German Press Agency dpa. 'Our reports say that 28 cars parked in downtown Pristina have been damaged.'

'From what we saw they turned over the EULEX vehicles in their parking lot,' Borovici added.

The EULEX vehicles were damaged during a protest by Vetevendosja against cooperation between EULEX and Belgrade.

Glauk Konjufca of Vetevendosja told dpa that three activists were injured during the protest. He accused police of using violence against them and added that 'more than 40 cars were damaged.'

EULEX condemned the damage of the vehicles.

'Whilst EULEX supports the idea of peaceful protest as an important element in any democratic society, committing criminal damage does not further the interests or the arguments of any such protestors,' EULEX said in a statement.

Kosovo's Albanian majority declared independence in February 2008 after years of international supervision. Serbia opposes independence, and Belgrade still controls the northern part of Kosovo, where the Serb minority lives.

EULEX was deployed late last year after more than 60 countries, including United States and a majority of European Union members, recognized the new state.

Kosovo and Ongoing De-Christianization

Kosovo and Ongoing De-Christianization
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent


His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia
The ongoing de-Christianization of Kosovo continues and unlike the past frenzy of the anti-Serbian mass media in the West, we mainly have a deadly silence about the reality of Kosovo and the continuing Albanianization of this land. However, how is it “just” and “moral” to persecute minorities and to alienate them from mainstream society; and then to illegally recognize this land without the full consensus of the international community?

How ironic it is that the same United States of America and the United Kingdom, two nations who were in the forefront of covertly manipulating the mass media; remain mainly silent about the destruction of Orthodox Christian churches, Serbian architecture, and of course the past killings of Serbians and other minorities in Kosovo.

After all, according to America and the United Kingdom the initial conflict was about human rights, democracy, and liberty. However, what about the liberty and freedom of Orthodox Christian Serbs, Gypsies, and other minorities in Kosovo? Are these minorities free in modern day Kosovo and can they move around without the fear of discrimination, persecution or death?

Obviously, vast parts of Kosovo are out of bounds for the majority of minorities in Kosovo, therefore, the answer is no and many areas which were cleansed of Serbians and other minorities remain cleansed.

According to Minority Rights Group International (MRG) which is based in the United Kingdom, it is apparent that exclusion and discrimination is rife. Therefore, minorities face a bleak future and Serbians, Bosniaks, Roma, Croats, Turks, Gorani and Ashkali Egyptians are either being forced out because of alienation or because of limited economic opportunities.

The MRG is not alone in thinking that minorities have been badly betrayed because it is clear that Kosovo remains in limbo and minorities will continue to leave because of the ongoing situation.

Patriarch Pavle (His Holiness the Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Patriarch of Serbs) is highly respected and a man of reason. He stated the following many years ago ( http://kosovo.net ):

“This humble publication is our cry and appeal to the Christian and civilized world. It is distressing to learn that in the year of the greatest Christian Jubilee, at the end of two millenniums of Christianity, Christian churches are still being destroyed, not in a war but in the time of peace guaranteed by the international community. We hope that these photos of the destroyed and desecrated Orthodox shrines will awaken the conscience of those who are able to stop the crimes and believe that they who already stood up against one evil will not remain just passive witnesses of another evil happening now in their presence.”

“We also make our appeal to all Kosovo Albanians, who reasonably see their future in their joint life with Serbs, to resist and prevent the acts of insanity.”

“In Kosovo and Metohija there will be no victory of humanity and justice while revenge and disorder prevail. No one has the moral right to celebrate the victory complacently, as long as one evil is being replaced with another and the freedom of one people is becoming the slavery of another.”

Patriarch Pavle stated this many years ago and sadly his words of wisdom have been ignored and instead America and the United Kingdom decided to create a new world order; this new world order was to carve up Serbia and to break international law. This breach of ignoring international law ultimately had greater repercussions because the Russian Federation would support Abkhazia and South Ossetia after conflict erupted in Georgia.

Therefore, a “new can of worms was opened” and the “Kosovo model” could inspire future mayhem because it is clear that international law was rendered to be unimportant.

Like I stressed in my last article about Kosovo (Kosovo and Systematic Persecution by KLA) it is clear that all sides committed atrocities, just like what happens in all wars. Pain can be felt on all sides and sadly many innocents were killed during the various civil wars which engulfed the former Yugoslavia.

However, the Serbian story war largely untold and the same can be said about the persecution of other minorities in Kosovo. Yet what is clear is that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was involved in running brutal death camps and this even applies to the killing of people for organs.

At the same time the KLA supported the ethnic cleansing of Serbians and other minorities, and the same applies to the destruction of Christian churches, monasteries, and other historical architecture which was a clear reminder of the roots of Kosovo.

Also, the hard sell by America, the United Kingdom, and other nations who support independence, is that independence was justified on the grounds of Serbian atrocities. Yet if the KLA was found to be involved in killing civilians for organs then “the spin machine” collapses and “democracy” rings hollow.

Therefore, in one part of Europe we are a seeing the silent destruction of Serbian Orthodox Christianity and the ongoing persecution and alienation of minorities in Kosovo.

It would appear that the violation of international law is deemed to be a viable policy for both America and the United Kingdom. Therefore, important questions, for example the role of the KLA in killing innocents for organs, the rise of the KLA in such a short space of time and a host of other vital questions remain unanswered.

However, it is vital to counter this cover-up and blatant violation of international law because it is clear that murky covert acts have been implemented by higher powers. Also, the world is still divided about the future of Kosovo but why did some nations behave so hastily without the full facts, and without taking into consideration the ongoing persecution and alienation of minorities in Kosovo?

Serbs and Albanians clash in northern Kosovo, seven injured

Serbs and Albanians clash in northern Kosovo, seven injured
Aug 25, 2009, 10:14 GMT


Pristina - Seven people were injured Tuesday in northern Kosovo after groups of Serbs and Albanians clashed in Mitrovica town, Kosovo police reported.

Groups of Albanians and Serbs threw stones at each other at a construction site in Brdjani neighborhood in northern Mitrovica. Some 100 Serbs gathered to protest the rebuilding of Albanian houses in Serbian part of town.

'There was no physical contact but they have thrown stones at each other. The EULEX special police units intervened using tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and the situation is under control,' police said in a press release.

Five Albanian workers and two Serbs were injured in the incident. Police also said that a bomb exploded in the area and that several shots were fired.

Kosovo's minority Serb population, which dominates Kosovo's northern parts, protested in April against the rebuilding of the houses belonging to the ethnic Albanians ousted during the 1999 war in Brdjani area. Several people, including a French soldier, were injured then.

Kosovo Albanian leaders in Pristina declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, nine years after NATO drove Serbian security forces from the province to end bloodshed.

The EU law-enforcing mission in Kosovo, EULEX, was deployed late last year, after the United States and most EU nations recognized the new country despite vehement opposition from Serbia, which claims Kosovo as its own land.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bosnian Judiciary Shields Muslim War Criminals from Due Processes

Bosnian Muslim wartime leader, war criminal Alija Izmetbegović visiting the El Mujahideen unit


“As long as Bosnia’s War Crimes Prosecution is dominated by David Schwendiman [PDF], not a single Bosnian Muslim general will find himself in the docket, regardless of the evidence proving their responsibility for war crimes committed by the Bosnian Muslim forces against the Serb population,” Dževad Galijašević, member of the South-Eastern Europe’s Expert Team for the War Against Terrorism and Organized Crime, told Banja Luka daily Fokus.

Born into the Muslim faith, former mayor of Maglaj Municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina Galijašević is one of the very few Bosnian Muslims willing to openly speak about the wide scale war crimes committed by the Izetbegović’s troops in former Yugoslavia.

Author of three books, including The Era of Terrorism in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Galijašević asserts that Alija Izetbegović’s Islamic Declaration “laid the cornerstone for the mujahidin to come to wartime and postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

He stresses that the current Islamic political leadership of Bosnia are the “same people who during the war sent pleas to the Taliban and other Islamic regimes to send their best jihad fighters to Bosnia to fight the Christians”. After the war has ended, the response of these leaders to anyone who would bring up the fact of war crimes committed by the Bosnian Muslims is that only the foreign fighters are responsible for war crimes on the Muslim side and none of the natives.

This, says Galijašević, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Mountain of Evidence of Atif Dudaković’s Atrocities Insufficient to Get him Before the Court

Speaking to Fokus reporter, Galijašević said that commander of the Fifth Corps of the Bosnian Muslim army, general Atif Dudaković is the prime example of the double standards practiced by the Bosnian Muslim leadership and foreign officials running Bosnian war crimes prosecution department.

Dudaković is accused of war crimes committed in the region of the municipalities of Bihać, Sanski Most, Bosanski Petrovac and Prijedor, and (together with Alija Izetbegović, Croat war leader Franjo Tuđman and Croat general Ante Gotovina) for war crimes committed during the joint Croat-Muslim ethnic cleansing Operation “Storm” in 1995, on the territory of the municipalities of Jajince, Šipovo, Mrkonjić Grad and parts of the municipalities of Banja Luka, Ključ and Drvar.

Izetbegović’s general, trumpeted as a “revered wartime commander”, stands accused of grievous war crimes which include wanton destruction of Serb-populated villages, execution of the civilians, murder of the Bosnian Muslim negotiators (non-allied with Izetbegović’s war party) and torture and execution of the POWs (on a number of occasions, many of which have been videotaped and preserved on some 30 DVDs).

Sarajevo regime announced its planned jihad against the Serb population of Bosnia well ahead of the war, in October 1991: Cover of the New Vox magazine showing rosy-cheeked Bosnian Muslim fascist with severed heads of prominent Serbs (his boot on severed head of President Radovan Karadžić), with titles “Handzar [SS Waffen] Division Ready” (on the left) and “The Fourth Reich is Coming: Welcome!”

He is also responsible of running one of the Bosnian death camps for Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Muslims non-allied with Izetbegović’s jihadists, where prisoners were regularly tortured, mutilated and executed.

NATO court in Hague was not interested in processing high ranking Bosnian Muslim wartime commander for the crimes committed by one of the favored parties in Yugoslav civil wars. As for the Bosnian war crimes prosecution, even as the evidence of Dudaković’s atrocities kept piling up, it limited itself to indicting Dudaković’s subordinate in 2007 — based on the same video recordings that are incriminating Dudaković — but not his savage commander. Instead, Sarajevo prosecution allegedly “opened an investigation” of Dudaković’s crimes, which hasn’t moved an inch in more than two years, leaving Dudaković free to roam Bosnia and enjoy his life of impunity.

Bosnian Muslim Commander in Charge of El Mujahideen Savages Still Free

In addition to Dudaković, the case of general Sakib Mahmuljin, wartime commander of the Third Corps of Bosnian Muslim army which incorporated the atrocious El Mujahideen unit (El Mujahid, in some sources) also remains open, Galijašević said, adding the Hague Tribunal had established that El Mujahideen unit, comprised of thousands of foreign mercenaries and responsible for countless atrocities against the Serb and Croat population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was under direct command and control of the Bosnian Muslim Third Corps, led by Mahmuljin.

“In its verdict to Enver Hadžihasanović and Amir Kubura, the Hague Tribunal determined El Mujahideen unit was an integral part of the Bosnian Muslim army from 13 September 1993. Since then, the El Mujahideen unit was a legal military formation in the composition of the Bosnian Muslim army, operating within its Third Corps. This implies full responsibility of Sakib Mahmuljin for all the war crimes committed by this unit, some of which were documented in the verdict issued to Rasim Delić [wartime commander of Main Staff of the Bosnian Muslim army],” Galijašević said.

He added that Internal Affairs Ministry of the Serbian Republic in Bosnia processed a number of cases in which Sakib Mahmuljin’s direct responsibility for these atrocities was proven beyond the reasonable doubt.

According to Galijašević, the key person responsible for freezing the processing of war crimes committed by the Bosnian Muslims is David Schwendiman, former Utah Assistant United States Attorney, currently employed at Sarajevo War Crimes Prosecution Department.

NATO Court Declined to Process High Ranking Bosnian Muslim War Criminals

Branislav Dukić, head of the Republic of Srpska Association of Prisoners of War Camps, said the Association submitted in 2003 to Carla Del Ponte, Hague’s ex-chief prosecutor, over 300 cases involving some 7,000 Bosnian Muslims and Croats who have committed crimes against the Serb population in Bosnia. The case of Sakib Mahmuljin is among those 300 cases.

“In October 2004 the cases were returned to the Bosnia-Herzegovina prosecution. Two years later, we had seven meetings with Schwendiman, who promised this case will also be processed, but nothing has happened until this day,” Dukić said.

He announced the Association of Prisoners of War Camps will block the state court and prosecution at the end of the month, because of their continual evasion of processing the war crimes committed by the Bosnian Muslims.

Republic of Srpska protesters will be joined by the Bosnian Croats.

“We shall organize peaceful protests together with Republika Srpska Association of Prisoners of War Camps, in order to point out that Bosnia and Herzegovina judiciary works solely to the advantage of Bosnian Muslims”, head of Croatia Libertas NGO Leo Pločkinić said, adding that “Bosnian Muslims who have committed monstrous crimes against Serbs and Croats in 1992-1995 war are freely strolling Bosnia”.

“We intend to send a message to the international community that, if they wish to have Bosnia and Herzegovina, everyone who committed war crimes must face justice, including Bosnian Muslims, who were committing atrocities against the Serbian and Croat population,” Dukić said, adding that they will once again request a meeting with Bosnia’s chief prosecutor Milorad Barašanin and David Schwendiman, who have refused to meet with the Association representatives on four occasions.

Serb and Croat NGOs in Bosnia Request Serbian and Croatian States to Process Bosnian Muslim War Criminals

In the meantime, Dukić’s Association and Croatia Libertas have submitted requests to the state prosecution offices of Serbia and Croatia for opening an investigation against the members of the Bosnian Muslim forces who committed war crimes against the Serbs and Croats in Bosnia from 1992-1995.

“According to the documents in our possession, which we submitted to the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution, mujahideens committed war crimes against the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then in Kosovo and Metohija province,” Dukić said.

He reminded that the Hague Tribunal determined in two of the issued verdicts that Bosnian Muslims are responsible for some of the worst atrocities committed on the Bosnian territory during the war.

Bosnian-based Croatia Libertas submitted similar request to the Croatian state prosecution.

“Croatia Libertas submitted around one hundred bills to Croatia’s chief prosecutor Mladen Bajić, half of which are the charges of war crimes Bosnian Muslims committed against the Croats”, Leo Pločkinić told Serbian news agency Tanjug.

Both Dukić and Pločkinić expressed utter distrust towards the Bosnian judiciary which, as they said, when it comes to war crimes, hounds only Serbs and Croats, while Bosnian Muslims are decidedly shielded from the obligation to face justice for their deeds.

So far, Bosnian state court has issued combined prison terms to the Serbs charged before them in the length of 1,118 years, 146 years to the Croats and 41 years in total for all the Bosnian Muslims who were made to stand the trial before the Bosnian court.

Karadzic to blame self-interest of west for Yugoslav break-up

Karadzic to blame self-interest of west for Yugoslav break-up


By Neil MacDonald in Belgrade

Published: August 21 2009 03:00 | Last updated: August 21 2009 03:00
Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, will seek to put western powers on trial for the break-up of the former Yugoslavia as he prepares to defend himself against charges of war crimes and genocide.

In a written interview with the Financial Times, Mr Karadzic said he had already begun "requesting information from countries such as Germany, France, [the] United Kingdom and the United States" that he claimed would detail how they had put their strategic self-interest ahead of peace for Balkan ethnic groups.

"I hope that through my trial, the people of Bosnia will see what was done to us by members of the international community, and how we were manipulated," said Mr Karadzic, who has also pressed Italy and Malta for records of arms shipments to the Bosnian army that his troops fought against.

Mr Karadzic's inquiries about the late cold war period could become fodder to delay one of the most anticipated trials to emerge from the 1992-1995 war that left about 100,000 dead.

The trial, at the United Nations tribunal in The Hague, is expected to begin in weeks after the presiding judge said yesterday the case was ready to proceed.

Mr Karadzic will conduct his own defence, like Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian and Yugoslav president who died while on trial three years ago.

He declined to say how he would characterise the July 1995 massacre at Srebrenica - already deemed genocide by the tribunal - or the three-and-a-half year siege of Sarajevo by his forces.

Ethnic Serbs initially fought to stay in Yugoslavia, where they formed the largest group. Muslims and Croats in the crippled federation's most ethnically mixed republic had voted for secession in 1992, knowing Bosnia-Herzegovina would win quick recognition from leading EU member states and the US.

"The break-up . . . was not in the interest of the people of Yugoslavia, but it was in the interest of certain western powers . . . after the death of Tito," Mr Karadzic said, referring to the long-time communist ruler who died in 1981.

While he expressed regret about the Bosnian war, Mr Karadzic did not acknowledge personal culpability. Instead, he said, Bosnian Muslim leaders should have respected the deal hammered out by EU officials just before fighting broke out, dividing the country internally into three separate "national" units.

"The war in Bosnia was a useless exercise," he said. "After rejecting the Lisbon agreement in 1992, the Muslims ended up with the same territory in 1995."

Mr Karadzic's views echo those of the Serb-controlled entity's prime minister, Milorad Dodik - a former western favourite who has tangled with the EU and US diplomats holding postwar supervisory powers.

"High representatives . . . have managed to alter the letter and spirit of the Dayton agreement by decree," Mr Karadzic said.

"However, I am optimistic that positive changes can be made once democracy, rather than dictatorship, is allowed to return to Bosnia."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jihad from North Carolina to Kosovo

Jihad from North Carolina to Kosovo

Al Qaeda flags keep showing up around the globe.
by Stephen Schwartz
08/19/2009 1:30:00 PM

On Tuesday, August 18, U.S. authorities unsealed a warrant that had authorized searching the homes of two individuals from the vicinity of Raleigh, N.C. The pair were among eight men charged late last month with plotting Islamist terrorism. The target zones for the extremists: Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, and Pakistan. The federal document revealed that authorities seized several weapons, $14,000 in cash, and media clippings about the atrocities of September 11, 2001, from the home of Daniel Boyd. An American-born 39-year-old, Boyd became Muslim and claims he fought against the Russians in Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992.

When he was arrested, Boyd entrusted Khalilah Sabra of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation (known as MAS Freedom, and identified with the international radicals of the Muslim Brotherhood) to deliver a statement on his behalf. Sabra declared, "He was there [in Afghanistan] fighting against the Soviets with the full backing of the United States government." But the chronology of Boyd's adventures as an armed tourist is mistaken, since the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989.

According to the New York Times, Boyd and his brother were once threatened with amputation of their right hands and left feet by authorities in Pakistan for robbing a bank, but were saved by the U.S. State Department and the Pakistani Supreme Court. Daniel Boyd's journeys also took him to Gaza, though a second trip to Israel was prevented by that country's government.

The warrant also disclosed that a computer and jihadist literature had been seized from a second suspect in Boyd's group, Hysen Sherifi, 24. Boyd, Sherifi, and five more of their associates are in jail and have been denied bail as flight risks. An eighth suspect, Jude Kenan Mohammad, 20, remains at large.

Hysen Sherifi is the only arrested member of the group who is not a U.S. citizen. He is a Kosovar Albanian who has lived in the United States as a legal immigrant since the war in his homeland a decade ago. American and Kosovo media both have reported that local police in the Balkan republic assisted in the investigation of Sherifi. The Kosovar suspect hails from the town of Gjilan, fairly close to the Serbian border. I have often traveled to Gjilan. Its residents are notably suspicious of local Serbs, whom they fear will be awarded administration of rich agricultural holdings inside Kosovo, under the UN-backed plan for the country's "decentralization," aka ethnic partition. The border is also somewhat artificial, in that the part of Serbia on its other side has an Albanian majority. Albanian Christians are few on the ground in the area, and some old Albanian families in Gjilan still speak an archaic form of Turkish.

It has become fashionable, with the arrival of the Obama era of "good feelings" toward radical Islam, to downplay the significance of such cases. The same issue of the Times that reported the arrest of Boyd and his cohort added, "Federal officials in Washington said that the men charged on Monday were not seen as serious terrorist threats to the United States or American interests abroad, and that there were no indications of ties to Al Qaeda or other militant groups."

Albanians in Gjilan, and elsewhere in that small and distant land, were unconvinced. Kosovar sources said Sherifi planned to attack the U.S. military base at Camp Bondsteel. Radio commentator Hugh Hewitt recently visited Bondsteel, and described Kosovo as "what has to be the most pro-American country on the globe outside of North America"--only two weeks before Sherifi's arrest.

With news of the alleged plot, rage at Sherifi swept the Kosovo media. The daily newspaper Express, published in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, and known for its firm stance against the new Wahhabi infiltration of the Balkans, gave Sherifi all the attention he could have wanted, had it not been uniformly negative. The Kosovo paper contacted the federal prosecutor in North Carolina and printed much more detail about Sherifi than appeared in U.S. media, including surveillance photos and transcripts from telephone conversations. Express publishes an online edition with a comment space, which proved well worth reading through.

For example, "Tahir" (a Muslim name), addressed Sherifi as follows: "Shame on you and cursed be the milk that your Albanian mother fed you with You have no right to call yourself an Albanian . May you never see the light of the day again!" "Refik" (also Muslim) expressed himself in a similarly traditional idiom: "The Albanian people will forever be grateful to the saintly, generous and great nation of America because America has always helped our people This bad seed that planned these horrible attacks is cursed forever by the people of Kosovo... We ask forgiveness from the American people for this ungrateful person who became part of a plot against America and Israel, another country that has helped the Albanians. May he never have enough bread, water and light." The denunciatory flood rose higher.

Then, on August 11, Sherifi's sympathizers, if not accomplices, struck back in Kosovo. The Express website was vandalized, with the screen showing the word HACKED in English, plus threats in English and Albanian, and an Al Qaeda flag:

This act elicited even sharper online remarks. Besi from the city of Peja wrote, "Oh believe me, these wretches with beards are forcing me to leave Islam and convert to Christianity." The leading Bosnian and Kosovar Muslim clerics were accused of protecting the radicals, and one commenter called for Saudi-financed Wahhabism to be banned altogether.
As it happens, just before the hack attack on Express, the officially-Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which had held off recognizing Kosovo's independence for a year and a half, announced on August 8 that it would do so. Kosovar Muslims had complained that the Saudis viewed them pejoratively as "America's Islamic favorites," but with the "new and friendlier" message from the White House, the Arabs seem to have decided to renew their past Balkan ambitions. The increasingly serious Wahhabi campaign on Islam's European borderland may be a leading indicator of more al Qaeda flags showing up around the globe.

Thus, the most trenchant question was asked by a resident of Gjilan, Sherifi's home town, who called himself "Mr. X": "Didn't someone say a few days ago that there are no extremist Islamic groups in Kosovo? So what do you call these?" And one must add, do we not hear the same ameliorative claims about the Muslim leadership in America? So what do we call those like Khalilah Sabra and MAS Freedom, who twist the history of Afghanistan to whitewash the biographies of those charged with terrorism?
Stephen Schwartz is a frequent contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Serbia formally protests Berisha's statement

Serbia formally protests Berisha's statement


BELGRADE, Serbia -- The foreign ministry announced on Tuesday (August 18th) that it has sent a protest note to Albania's charge d'affaires in Belgrade over recent statements by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha. He was quoted on Saturday as saying that the national unity of Albanians should be among the priorities of all politicians in Albania and Kosovo. "There should be no customs administration between the two countries. We should by no means allow Albania and Kosovo to view each other as foreign countries," Berisha said in a televised interview.

The Serbian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the "provocative statement" which, according to Belgrade, violates Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. (Beta, RTS, Blic, B92 - 18/08/09)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Albania PM Berisha Calls for Unity with Kosovo

Albania PM Berisha Calls for Unity with Kosovo
World | August 16, 2009, Sunday


Berisha also thanked to all the tourists from Kosovo who visited Albanian resorts. Photo by BGNES
The Albanian Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, has called for unity with Kosovo, and between Albanians.

"The national unity idea is based on the European principles and ideals and needs a lot of efforts. Because of that the Kosovo PM, Hashim Taci, and I will work towards removing all bariers that keep Albanians from feeling like a unity no matter where they live", Berisha said in an interview.

In his words, between both countries there must not be customs administration, and Albania and Kosovo should not look at each other as foreign countries, which has nothing to do with their sovereignty.

According to Berisha the relations with the Kosovo politicians are excellent, regardless of whether they are from the opposition or from the majority.

"We are opened for talks. We appreciate the role of every party. They all have significant part in the resistance and winning of Kosovo's independence", he added.

Berisha also thanked to all the tourists from Kosovo who visited Albanian resorts.

Local elections are being held today for the Kosovo municipalities of Peć and Priština. The polling stations are in Gračanica and Goraždevac, however.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bosnia is back on the brink of ethnic conflict, warns Hague


Shadow Foreign Secretary fears 'Europe's black hole' is slowly falling apart again

By Nigel Morris, Deputy political editor

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Bosnia is on the brink of collapsing back into chaos and violence as its ethnic tensions escalate, the shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague warned yesterday.
Fourteen years after the end of the war that tore apart the former Yugoslav republic, Mr Hague called for urgent action to prevent a new crisis gripping the Balkans. He warned that the situation risked turning Bosnia-Herzegovina into "Europe's black hole".
David Cameron's unofficial deputy said that he was determined to cast a fresh spotlight on Bosnia, which is governed by a complex federation of Muslims, Serbs and Cr oats. He stressed that he was not forecasting a return to all-out war but said that violence was "not far below the surface" as the situation became "grimmer".
In an interview with The Independent, he said he had been alarmed after a two-day visit last month to Srebrenica, where 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were massacred in 1995. Meetings with community leaders had demonstrated to him that the country was being "pulled apart".
He said: "You would think you were going to a place where the people have moved on and communities have got together 14 years later. But actually the atmosphere is grim and it is very difficult for the refugees who lost all their menfolk to move back there – it's a rather unwelcoming atmosphere. Politically, around them, their country is sliding backwards and further apart."
Mr Hague, who also had extensive meetings with political leaders in a visit to Bosnia last autumn, said he feared the tensions could deteriorate into something worse. He said: "In some form [Bosnia] could break down – this is a country being slowly pulled apart."
He was alarmed that Bosnia's Serbian leadership was pressing for greater autonomy and eventual secession from the fledgling state, with Russian cash fuelling the renewed nationalism. It was also pressing for the closure of the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia, which oversees the peace agreement between its ethnic grou pings.
Mr Hague attacked the "weak and confused" EU response to the "pressure to fragment the country" and said: "It is moving slowly in the wrong direction and – despite all the efforts and all the bloodshed and all the sacrifices there – it's moving in the wrong direction without alarm bells sounding in most European capitals."
He added: "The evidence is they [only] get together in Bosnia when there is some strong outside pressure on them." The shadow Foreign Secretary denounced suggestions that EU peacekeepers could be pulled out of Bosnia, insisting: "There should be no talk of withdrawing European forces. A strong signal should be sent that Europe will not ignore this situation."
And the prospect of a crisis in Bosnia hampered efforts to expand EU membership to Croatia, Serbia and Turkey. "If that doesn't work, there will be a hole in the heart of Europe of discontent, of people trafficking," he said. "People think the Balkans are what we debated in the 1990s and now we can forget about it. In fact, it's a crucial area in foreign policy in the next five to 10 years and will get a lot of emphasis in the next Conservative administration."
In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Hague set out his foreign policy priorities if the Tories win the election expected in May. He said his first action as Foreign Secretary would be to order a fresh approach to Afghanistan.
A new National Security Council – a Cabinet committee chaired by the Prime Minister – would become the "real centre of decision-making" on the war. It would press Nato partners for an "acceleration of the building up of the Afghan army and police" but he made it clear that a Tory government would be likely to deploy more troops if army chiefs thought it necessary.
Mr Hague conceded that the public was losing confidence in the war – as demonstrated by an opinion poll in The Independent this month – and promised to tackle that disillusionment by making the case for military action. MPs would also be given regular updates on its progress.
He accused the Government of being "complacent and slow" in examining accusations that Britain had turned a blind eye to the torture of terror suspects abroad. He promised a "more thorough investigation" of the allegations. Its form would be announced in the run-up to the election.
Mr Hague also said an incoming government "reserved the right" to change the terms of reference of the Iraq inquiry and order more of its sessions to be held in public.
He was unrepentant over the Tories' membership of the anti-federalist European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament: "I would be very surprised if other parties did not join it."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Serb couple found dead in Kosovo

Serb couple found dead in Kosovo


7 August 2009 | 19:23 | Source: FoNet, Beta, Tanjug

GNJILANE -- A Serb man and a woman were found dead in their home in the village of Parteš, close to Gnjilane, it has been confirmed.

Kosovo police, KPS, spokesman Arben Beka stated today that the pair was found dead, but gave no further information.

News agencies are reporting that the victims were Trajanka, 58, and Bogdan, 64, Petković.

Thus far, reports say, there are no indications that their murder might have been "ethnically motivated".

Their neighbor Zoran Karadžić discovered their bodies.

He said that he was suspicious that the Petkovićs had not been out of their house all day, and that when nobody answered the locked door, he looked through the window to see them lying on the ground in a pool of blood, with "things thrown around the house".

Karadžić said he then notified the police.

Neighbors say that the Petkovićs lived alone near the Gnjilane-Uroševac road.

Minister for Kosovo and Metohija Goran Bogdanović reacted to the news this evening by saying that he expects an impartial international group to conduct the investigation in order to uncover the truth about the crime.

"The murder in Parteš should be condemned by all and is something that has unfortunately been happening in the past several years in Kosovo and Metohija," he was quoted as saying.

The minister stated it can be considered that this crime was ethnically motivated and that for this reason, the investigation should be conducted by an impartial group.

Bogdanović said it is "absolutely unacceptable" that since 1999 until today not a single crime committed against the Serbs – in the majority ethnic-Albanian province – has been solved, and added that "this is one of the reasons why the murders continue".

"This, and similar kind of unsolved crimes, have encouraged people to commit evil acts against Serbs and other non-Albanians, motivated ethnically, or because of greed or other reasons," Bogdanović said.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

U.S. "ready to extradite Nazi to Serbia"

U.S. "ready to extradite Nazi to Serbia"

6 August 2009 | 17:21 | Source: Beta

BELGRADE -- The U.S. is prepared to extradite its citizen Peter Egner to Serbia, the War Crimes Prosecution has announced.

Egner is suspected of committing war crimes in occupied Belgrade during the Second World War.

"We have received assurances that Egner can be extradited to Serbia, without first being stripped of his American citizenship. All we must do is send an extradition request," prosecution spokesman Bruno Vekarić was quoted as saying in Belgrade on Thursday.

He specified that the Serbian representatives heard these assurances recently when they traveled stateside, for meetings on future cooperation between the two countries in processing war crimes cases.

The text of a cooperation memorandum was also harmonized on that occasion, and will soon be signed, Vekarić revealed.

Serbia's judiciary started an investigation against Egner almost a year ago, and planned to send a request for his extradition once his American passport had been revoked.

Egner, an ethnic German from Vojvodina, is suspected having been a member of the Nazi German Gestapo police in Belgrade, where in late 1941 he took part in taking people to concentration camps, with the goal of exterminating the Jewish population.

This resulted in the death of 150,000 victims.

He is also suspected of, from late 19412 until mid-1942, working as a guard and securing transports of several groups of Jews to the Old Fairground camp.

For similar crimes committed during the WW2 Nazi occupation, the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution has started investigations against Sandor Kepiro, who now resides in Hungary, and Croat Milivoj Ašner, now holding Austrian citizenship

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

IAEA to Remove Spent Nuclear Fuel From Serbia


IAEA to Remove Spent Nuclear Fuel From Serbia
Thursday, July 30, 2009

The International Atomic Energy Agency is preparing to remove two and a half tons of spent nuclear fuel from a shuttered research reactor site in Serbia, the organization announced yesterday (see GSN, July 6).
"The unused nuclear waste is in poor condition and needs to be moved as soon as possible. The situation is under control for now, but it could be very dangerous from a safety and security point of view," IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said earlier this month, after viewing the Russian-origin fuel rods stored in a poorly maintained cooling pond at Serbia's Vinca Nuclear Institute.
"For the Vinca project, we've needed access to huge, expensive technologies to move this massive amount of fuel back to Russia," added IAEA Special Program Manager John Kelly.
Workers would remove debris from the cooling pond, which contains water contaminated by nuclear reaction by-products, and then outfit the pool with advanced radiation detection equipment. After using specially designed equipment to remove the spent fuel, experts would then stabilize and analyze the material and load it into steel storage casks for shipment.
Roads to the fuel storage center require strengthening for use by the trucks and cranes needed to remove the fuel.
The agency has recruited more than 50 specialists for the project, which is expected to begin this fall and conclude before the end of next year (International Atomic Energy Agency release, July 29).

Around 100,000 refugees live in Serbia

Around 100,000 refugees live in Serbia

4 August 2009 | 07:30 | FOCUS News Agency


Belgrade. There are more than 97,000 refugees living in Serbia at the moment, as 2/3 of them are from Croatia, Serbian B92 Radio reports. Over the last years, a small number of refugees, mainly foreigners, returned to their homes.
Some of these refugees, mainly young people, have moved to other foreign countries, while others have managed to permanently settle in Serbia.
However, 14 years after the Operation “Storm” of the Croatian army, big part of the refugees still lives in collective centers. For more than a decade they have been waiting for help to get integrated or be returned to their homes, the radio comments.

Ethnic Albanians push for "region" in south

Ethnic Albanians push for "region" in south


3 August 2009 | 09:56 | Source: Tanjug
PREŠEVO -- Ethnic Albanian councilors in Serbia's south have launched an initiative to form Albanian regional institutions and a separate region of Preševo Valley.

A political declaration, adopted in an assembly of councilors of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac, reminds that this initiative comes "in the spirit of the political platform of January 2006".

Albanians from the south of central Serbia wish to speed up talks between the government and "legitimate Albanian institutions and political representatives of the three municipalities, with international mediation, in order to accelerate the political process renewed in March this year, in line with the most progressive regional and European standards".

Riza Halimi, MP and leader of the PDD, in power in Bujanovac, but no longer in Preševo, told Tanjug news agency that this document "confirms the declaration from 2006".

"The latest document is also an answer to an irresponsible approach that the government of Serbia has to the problems of Albanians in the south of Serbia," said he, and explained that the Albanian councilors' assembly has 59 members.

The declaration also calls for proportional representation of Albanians in state structures and organs, public institutions, "and especially in local and border police".

The documents insists on finding an acceptable solution to recognizing diplomas issued in Priština after February 2008, when Kosovo's ethnic Albanians unilaterally declared secession.

It once again calls for Albanians arrested in Preševo in December 2008 on terrorism charges to be released from custody, and to have their case "processed within international legal mechanisms, since it is evident that the question has been politicized", and says that all members of the so-called Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa Liberation Army (OVPMB; UCPMB) "are being incriminated without exception".

The armed group launched numerous attacks in the area from 1999 until 2001, seeking to join the three municipalities to Kosovo.

The local ethnic councilors expressed "doubt" that the process against the captured members, accused of 1999 crimes committed in Gjilane, in the east of Kosovo, "would be legitimate".

The political declaration came after First Deputy PM and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić met with political representatives of local Albanians.

Dačić told Tanjug on Sunday that he had met with the leaders last week, "aiming to maintain political stability and security", and that the talks would continue.

“The talks were good and will be continued. I wish our security forces in the south to have understanding and support of citizens, but I also want us all to join forces against crime, corruption, because it is in the interest of all,” Dačić said in an interview with Tanjug.

He reiterated that the Serbian police (MUP) elite Gendarmerie force will be present in the south "until the situation gets fully stabilized".

Dačić pointed out the need for joint engagement on stabilization of the situation in the south, because, he said, "there is security and intelligence information, provided by Western services, on existence of certain groups in Kosovo and Metohija that originate from the area and who wish to destabilize the region".

The minister did not reveal the names of the Albanian leaders he met with, but the meeting came after the recent incidents, including an attack and wounding of two Gendarmes near Bujanovac, and a bomb planted in front of a residential building in Preševo.

The southern region is home to the largest ethnic Albanian population in the country outside of Kosovo itself.


02 August 2009.


Episcope of Raska and Prizren Artemije has called upon the Serbs not to take part in the local elections in Kosmet, scheduled for November 15, as according to him it is a trap to make the Serbs recognize the illegal situation in the Province. Artemije told TANJUG that all those who turn out for the elections will obviously support the independence of Kosmet, adding that himself and priesthood of his eparchy as believing people will never agree to that. The Serbs have no need to approach the elections, unless they wish to recognize the independent Kosmet and live in a state outside Serbia, the episcope pointed. Also stating against the Serbs’ participation in those local elections are President Boris Tadic and the Serbian Government. The President believes that there are no conditions to invite the Serbs to turn out for the elections, while the Government has concluded that these elections are in discord with UN Resolution 1244, as well as with the Constitutional framework for the interim self-government in Kosmet.