Freedom Fighters or...

Truth in facts and testimonies

- The Role of UCK-

Roma child wounded by Albanian extremists, summer 1999
Roma child wounded by Albanian extremists
summer 1999

This archive contains articles published in major newspapers since early June 1999 and describes KLA harassment, torture and murder of Serbs, Gypsies, Turks, Gorani, Croats, Jews and other minorities, not to mention loyalist Albanians who did not support either the KLA or Ibrahim Rugova's pacifist secessionist movement. Leaders of the KLA have constantly denied any responsibility for these serious violations but the facts prove opposite.


1. NYT Kosovar Attack on Gypsies Reveals Desire for Revenge
2. FOCUS Germans Free Tortured Prisoners Held by UCK
3. TANJUG Croats from Janjevo Afraid of Terrorists
4. FRENCH MARINES Albanians Loot and Burn Aiming Wrath at Gypsies
5. CSM Kosovo Gtypsies Caught Between Serbs and Albanians
6. REUTERS Kosovo Gypsies Flee the Wave of Ethnic Reprisals
7. AP Tales of Terror Stop Gypsies' Going Home
8. AP Gypsies Under Attack in Kosovo
9. TDN Kosovar Turks Fear Albanian Nationalism and Oppression
10. REUTERS Fate of Kosovo Minorities Alarms UN Rights Chief
11. AP Gypsies Flee From Ethnic Albanians
12. Daily Telegraph Gangs Bring New Terror To Streets of Pristina
13. REUTERS Macedonian Moslems Fear For Kosovo Mountain Kin
14. Boston Herald Belgrade People Won't Forget This
15. AP Gypsies Say They Were Driven Away
16. TIME All Ethnically Cleansed And Nowhere to Go
16. AP Kosovo Gypsies Demand Safe Passage

HRW - Violent Abuses by KLA Members, Report June 1999
Report by Human Rights Watch

Additional Links
Human Rights Abuses against Serbs in 1998
Human Rights Violations Against Kosovo Serbs in 1998 HRW
Dissapearances of Serbs and other non-Albanians Jan - July 1998 HLC
Chronology of anti-Serb terror in Kosovo Apr 1996 - Feb 1998, YUPress

KLA and Post-War Kosovo
NYT, In Kosovo, Gangs Dim the Luster of a 'Greater Albania'
NYT, Chaos and Intolerance Now Reign in Kosovo
LA Times, Kosovo Battles Resurgence of Organized Crime
WP, Kosovo Rebels Make Their Own Laws
Express (UK) Albanian Mafia, KLA and Kosovo Aid
NYT, Rebels Are Taking Charge of Kosovo
NYT, Kosovo's Rebels Accused of Executions in the Ranks
WSWS, Kosovo "freedom fighters" financed by organised crime

Italian KFOR has arrested several Albanians for criminal activity
Italian KFOR taking arrested Albanian paramilitaries to detention center, Pec summer 1999
Black clad members of the UCK Military police "PU" are known to have taken active role in illegal arrests, detentions and executions of non-albanian civilians. Their leaders have constantly denied any responsibility with these crimes but have never taken any steps to bring the "usubordinate" elements to justice.

A celebration
A UCK (TMK) Celebration - Name is changed but not the mentality

The Articles:

New York Times, June 7 1999

Kosovar Attack on Gypsies Reveals Desire for Revenge


STANKOVEC I REFUGEE CAMP, Macedonia -- For a moment, it seemed as if the mob of Albanian refugees would literally tear the 7-year-old Gypsy boy apart, limb from limb, said three
aid workers who saw the attack on Saturday night. Minutes earlier, 15 to 20 enraged Kosovo Albanian refugees had beaten the boy's older brother and father, whom they accused of
collaborating with the Serbs and killing Albanians inside Kosovo last month.

"The look in their eyes when they tried to tear this boy's arms out -- there was just fire in their eyes," said Ed Joseph, of the Catholic Relief Service, one of the aid workers who pulled the
boy from the mob. "I was just grabbing them and shouting 'No! No! You won't!' "

The attack was part of a chaotic and terrifying four-hour siege here as a mob of several thousand Kosovo Albanian refugees tried to seize and beat the Gypsy family.

The attack illustrated both the chaos NATO forces could face in Kosovo when hundreds of thousands of Albanian refugees return home to the shattered province -- and NATO's
reluctance to get involved in such conflicts. Many of the Albanians could arrive home intent on exacting revenge on former Serbian and Gypsy neighbors who attacked Kosovo
Albanians or destroyed their homes.

While most Serbs, and Gypsies have who allied themselves with the Serbs, are expected to flee the province before any Kosovo Albanians return, some elderly people could remain.
Before the NATO bombing campaign, Serbs made up roughly 10 percent of Kosovo's population and Gypsies about 2 percent.

The Gypsies attacked on Saturday had been in the camp for weeks after crossing the border from Kosovo. While refugees have reported that Gypsies in some Kosovo cities have allied
themselves with the Serbs, it was unclear whether this family was among them.

In the attack, the refugees, chanting and screaming for blood, tore down the fence surrounding the Catholic Relief Service's main office here, kicked in the front door, tore bars from its
windows and used a metal gutter as a battering ram.

The violence was only defused after hundreds of Macedonian riot police arrived, and Christopher Hill, the U.S. ambassador to Macedonia, addressed the mob at midnight and promised
that justice would be done in the case. Relief workers spirited the Gypsy family and other Gypsies out of the camp and took the men who were beaten to a Skopje hospital, where they
remained hospitalized Sunday.

"One man's face was the color of an eggplant and his eyes were swollen shut," said Paula Ghedini, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. "The other had been
beaten with a stick and had a very large wound on his head. It was very clear that if they had been caught they would have been killed."

Macedonia has been tense since refugees started pouring in from neighboring Kosovo after NATO began its bombing in late March. But it was the worst violence in Macedonia since
Serbian protesters ransacked the American Embassy at the outset of the NATO bombing.

The extraordinary authority NATO carries with the refugees and the political sensitivity of its mission was shown during the siege. The mob repeatedly demanded that NATO troops
come to take the Gypsies away to be held as war criminals. But officials of the U.N . High Commissioner for Refugees, in consultation with NATO officials, decided it was not part of
NATO's mission in Macedonia to carry out such an operation.

Exactly how NATO troops respond to similar situations inside Kosovo could be crucial in their success. NATO officials are already emphasizing that they will enforce any peace accord

Maj. Trey Cate, a NATO spokesman, said that if they fire their weapons, for instance, Serbian soldiers, as well as members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the separatist Kosovo
Albanian rebel group, could potentially be fired on by NATO soldiers.

In Bosnia, NATO's only other peacekeeping mission, whether or how NATO troops would intervene in such situations was the focus of fierce debate. At the outset of that mission in
1996, NATO commanders insisted they would not be involved in carrying out what they saw as "local police actions" and instead delegated much responsibility to local police forces
controlled by Bosnia's three ethnic factions. NATO officers feared being progressively drawn into a larger and larger role in the country.

Critics assailed the approach, saying it undermined NATO's authority and allowed local Muslim, Serb and Croat authorities to act in the sectors they controlled to thwart efforts by
refugees from other ethnic groups to return to the homes from which they were expelled from during the war. Most refugees in Bosnia have not returned to their homes more than two
years after the Dayton Peace Accord guaranteed that they could.

Kosovo represents a vastly different mission, but NATO is also likely to face difficult decisions over the scope of its mission. After NATO forces enter Kosovo, refugees now in the
sweltering camps here may grow tired of waiting for an organized return to their homes and simply decide to head into Kosovo on their own.

A chaotic scenario could develop in which NATO forces would be in the awkward position of potentially blocking refugees from returning to their country, a right they are guaranteed
under international law.

A far larger problem could be revenge attacks. The Saturday night attack here illustrates how intense the desire for vengeance may prove.

Joseph, who was still shaken by the attack Sunday, said the attack seemed to him to be a grim omen for what could happen in Kosovo when the refugees return. "I think it's a very bad
harbinger for any kind of reconciliation or easy peace," he said. "Any Serb still there has to be packing his bags."

In one sense, the refugee camps here are sweltering cauldrons of hate, where increasingly frustrated Kosovo Albanians can commiserate about their mutual victimization at the hands of
the Serbs. As might be expected, peer pressure is exerted in the camps to hate Serbs.

In the Cegrane camp here, which holds 40,000 refugees, children recited poems to a crowd of refugees last Thursday that glorified the Kosovo Albanian rebel soldiers and listed massacre
after massacre believed to have been committed by Serbs as their Albanian teachers looked on approvingly. And most refugees interviewed here Sunday said they believed the Gypsies
who were attacked did commit war crimes and applauded the mob's actions.

"We are the Hague for them," said Afrim Ademi, an Albanian refugee, referring to the international war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands.

Rumors of what sparked the attack on the Gypsies were already rampant Sunday. Nancy A. Shalala, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Relief Service who was trying to piece together what
occurred Saturday night, said that she repeatedly heard that a newly arrived ethnic Albanian refugee said he recognized the Gypsy teen-ager because he was wearing a piece of jewelry
stolen from the refugee's mother. The refugee reportedly said the Gypsy had killed his father and then robbed his mother.

The Gypsy teen-ager and his father were then beaten in separate attacks and brought at about 7:30 p.m. to the Catholic Relief building by Kosovo Albanians who work for the aid agency.
A group of 15 to 20 Albanian refugees stormed the building an hour later and beat them two men even more fiercely. The aid agency's staff staff finally pushed the group out of the

A large crowd then began forming around the building, led by a group of 150 to 200 men, Ms. Shalala said. The badly beaten father and son were moved to the building's bathroom to
prevent them from being seen by the crowd.

Aid agency workers also went to the family's tent to try to retrieve the mother and three younger children before they too were set upon by the Albanian refugees. When they arrived at
the relief agency's building, the 7-year-old boy was grabbed by the mob, but then wrestled free by aid workers. With other Gypsies in the camp being "hunted like dogs," aid workers said,
the aid workers tried to hide them to protect them.

The mob continued to grow. Efforts by Joseph and other aid workers to use megaphones to get them to disperse failed. The crowd repeatedly rushed the building, ripping bars from the
windows. At one point, Joseph said, he stood on a window ledge, imploring the crowd to stop. At other times panicked aid workers stacked cots against the chain link fence surrounding
the building to prevent it from giving way. They failed.

Ms. Ghedini, the refugee agency spokeswoman, said that at one point her agency considered evacuating all foreigners from the area. But when it became clear that the refugees' real
hostility was toward the Gypsies, she said, 17 Gypsies were evacuated from the camp.

* * * *

Reuters: FOCUS-Germans free tortured prisoners held by KLA

Date: 99-06-18 17:16:15 EDT

2. FOCUS-Germans free tortured prisoners held by KLA

PRIZREN, Serbia (Reuters) - German soldiers Friday freed about 15 prisoners who recently had been tortured in a police station occupied by the Kosovo Liberation Army but they came
too late to save one person who died only hours earlier, an army spokesman said.

The KLA's influential Commander Drini said the prisoners, a mix of Albanians, gypsies and at least one Serb, were criminals. But residents crowding around the feared ex-MUP special
police headquarters said they recognized at least two as informers for the Serbian police, who fled this southwestern city Monday.

The dead man, about 70 years old and not immediately identified, was found beaten and handcuffed to a chair in the central Prizren building the KLA occupied several days ago, German
army spokesman Lt. Col. Dietmar Jeserich said at the scene.

Angry Serbs who fled Prizren earlier this week charged the KLA often tortured Serbs but this appeared to be the first case of mishandled people in KLA captivity to be found in Prizren,
Kosovo's second largest city.

German spokesmen stressed they did not know why the prisoners had been held or who had beaten then. But Major Dietrich Jensch, who led the unit that cleared out the station, told
journalists: ``The injuries we found were all quite fresh.''

``We found many instruments that could be used as torture instruments,'' said Jeserich, adding these included a club with a chain, sticks with nails and some kind of skewers. Residents
said they believed these belonged to the Interior Ministry police.

Gani Berisha, a middle-aged gypsy who was among the freed prisoners, said he had been held for two days and nights without food or water after being hauled away from his home by
KLA men who he said had beaten his wife and children.

`They said that I stole things, but I didn't,'' he told journalists. ``I only confessed because they put a knife to my throat. They told us -- you all have to leave here, you cooperated with
(Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic.''

Drini, whose real name is Ekrem Rexha, strode out of the police station after witnessing the evacuation and angrily accused Berisha of stealing.

Asked about the incident, Drini admitted it was an embarrassment for the KLA but denied the prisoners had been held for working with the Serbs.

"Collaborators would not wait here, they would have escaped already,'' he told Reuters.

Some of the prisoners were found handcuffed to radiators or left with their hands tied behind their backs, said soldiers coming out of the cordoned-off building. Some were locked into
offices in the building, they added.

After taking control of the building, German troops seized about 40 pistols and Kalashnikov rifles, a 120mm mortar shell and several hand grenades. The 25 KLA soldiers found in the
building, including one woman in camouflaged fatigues, were disarmed, marched out and handed over to KLA officers.

Peacekeepers who inspected the building told journalists they found piles of arms, including anti-tank weapons, a supply of amphetamines with syringes and about 1,000 passports that
may have been confiscated from ethnic Albanians.

Most or all of this was presumably left by the Serbian security police.

The German NATO force announced Friday morning that it would take over the two main police stations in Prizren during the day. The KLA was supposed to have cleared out of them by
noon but had not left the special police headquarters by 2 p.m. when the German troops entered.

Jensch said the KLA soldiers gave themselves up without any resistance but tried to hide some papers and prisoners from them.

The police station takeover was part of the German forces' bid to exert greater control over Prizren, where the KLA has been acting as a kind of friendly parallel power.

The German army announced earlier Friday that KLA soldiers would be banned from carrying weapons around town from midnight.

``We are the authority in this town,'' Jeserich said. `KFOR (NATO's Kosovo Force) is the authority in this

country. We will do what we have to do without any compromises.''

Copyright 1999 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


* * * *

Croats from Janjevo Afraid of Terrorists

June 22, 1999

Zagreb, June 22 (Tanjug) - We are afraid that Albanians will return our good with evil, transfers the Vecernji List from Zagreb the words of a resident of the Kosovo town of Janjevo,
which is inhabited by another four hundred Croats.

In its reportage from this town, the newspaper quotes the words of Croats from Janjevo, who state that, with the arrival of the terrorist so-called KLA to this town, provocation from
Albanians has commenced, provocation that "the Croats found increasingly hard to bear".

A couple of days ago, disturbing information on the destiny of the Croats from Janjevo has arrived to the Croat embassy in Skopje. It was said that the members of the so-called KLA
maltreat them and that the Croats were once even lined before a firing squad, informs the Vecernji List.

Except that, the Albanians have, "for the first time in the decades long history under different rule", taken off the building of the primary school the tablet with the name of the poet
Vladimir Nazor.

Reporters of the Zagreb newspaper quote the words of the Croats from Janjevo, who state that it had been a lot easier for them while "the Serbs were in power" in their town. No one
bothered them, they could get food and cigarettes through Serb policemen and the Serb army and, when leaving, a Yugoslav Army unit left 350 kilograms of flour for the Croats at the
local bakery, accents the Vecernji List.

The newspaper adds that parish priest Matej Palic negotiates with the Albanians, representatives of the KFOR and the so-called KLA, in the hope that "reason will triumph". "I cannot
say with certainty whether it will be so but, if it be any different, we will have to move", Palic stated.

* * * *

The New York Times, June 24, 1999


Albanians Loot and Burn, Aiming Wrath at Gypsies


MITROVICA, Yugoslavia -- French troops are barely keeping the lid on violence here, in the main city of their sector of Kosovo.

The French on Wednesday deployed armored vehicles and foot patrols down the narrow streets of the Gypsy quarter, to stop Albanian looters, who ransacked houses and set fire to two
of them.

And earlier Wednesday, the French came under fire from a Serb gunman, who had forced his way into an Albanian house. They returned the fire and quickly apprehended the gunman,
without injury, but the incident added to the tense atmosphere.

With only 2,400 troops so far in their zone in northern Kosovo, the French soldiers admit that they do not have the manpower to guarantee safety on every street. "I cannot position a
soldier every few yards," explained one officer.

Albanians were the ones looting and burning this time, acting out grudges against Gypsies.

Young men and boys ran away across wasteland from the Gypsy quarter. One was carrying a rolled-up carpet on his head, another was weighed down with bulging bags. Behind them a
house was smoldering still from a blaze that had taken hold an hour before.

French troops blocked the streets and checked the houses, but their action was late. The houses spilled open with abandoned goods, furniture, cookers and fridges. Clothes were strewn
across courtyards and into the street, broken glass from smashed windows littered the ground.

"It's been going on for two days here," a French officer said of the looting. "They are largely Gypsy homes and it is Albanians doing it."

The Gypsy community seemed to have left the area. One old man was fetching his dog and talking to the French soldiers, but otherwise the district was abandoned. Serbs, too, were
pulling out of town, their belongings packed into cars and trailers.

There are some 5,000 Serbs still in Mitrovica, and they are making an aggressive bid to retain control of one section of the town and turn it into a Serb-dominated quarter. Over the last few
days they have prevented Albanians from entering the area and are providing living space to Serbs who have fled from elsewhere in Kosovo.

The Serbs' anger is palpable. They accuse Albanians of trying to penetrate their part of town and threatening them or forcing them to leave Kosovo. They have for several days gathered
in numbers at the main bridge to stop any Albanians they do not know, and most Albanian men, from crossing over.

They are scared, and with some reason. The previous day two Serbs were killed and one was wounded in a shooting on one of the bridges, French troops confirmed.

"The Serbs feel threatened, and they are rejecting the Albanians more and more," said a French marine, Capt. Jean-Michel Huet. "They say they are standing there because they are
scared and need to defend themselves. But there is a lot of paranoia."

The French are allowing the effective division of the town into ethnic districts, figuring that offers the easiest way to protect one ethnic group from another. "We do not advise anyone to
leave, but if someone leaves, we try to help," Huet said.

"It is easier to protect a block of people, rather than family by family," Huet said. "We cannot accompany everybody." The French have come in for criticism that they are encouraging
ethnic divisions, but Huet insisted they were trying to be neutral. He said other NATO forces were allowing the Serbs to be pushed out because that made keeping the peace easier, but
he did not want to allow that.

Mitrovica remains in a strange state of limbo. The French are the only force in town. There has been no police force since the Serb police pulled out at the weekend. The Albanian guerrilla
force, the Kosovo Liberation Army, does not appear to be present, except for a lone man wearing the KLA insignia on his sleeve chatting to friends on the street.

The Serb mayor is still working in his office, and is guarded by big, forceful plainclothesmen on the door. The French said they expect him to leave soon and to be replaced by an
Albanian, but it is not clear when and how.

It will be the job of the United Nations to form a police force and to run everything from refuse collection to prisons. But for the moment. the French troops are to keep the order by
themselves. But since they have no prisons, courts and police, when they rounded up a group of looters Wednesday, they searched them for weapons and let them go.

To encourage the Serbs and Albanians, and the hapless Gypsies, to live together will take a long time, maybe decades, Huet said.

Meanwhile, the balance is still changing. As more Albanians return home, they will vastly outnumber the Serbs here. Their growing presence is unnerving the remaining Serbs.

Branko Barovic, 47, a Serb, said that 20 years ago, the Serb community numbered 33,000 in Mitrovica, a town of 120,000 people.

Now it had dwindled to 5,000 and is falling further. Despite their efforts to form a Serb quarter, it does not seem to be holding.

"There will be Albanian schools, Albanian language, Albanian shops, complete "Albanisation," Barovic said. "There will be eight Albanians for one Serb in the administration. Everyone
will go for sure."

As he was speaking, shots rang out behind some high rise apartment buildings. "Someone is revolted. They are leaving and are shooting in the air. They are angry," he said.

Albanians across the river were also anxious. One family was washing obscene Serb graffiti off their living room walls. They said they had a Serb policeman still living in an apartment
below theirs. He was now wearing civilian clothes, they said.

"We could live with Serbs who did not commit any massacres. Like one Serb friend we have who did nothing bad. But this man downstairs, I cannot stand him," said Raif Cuna, 33, an
Albanian who owns a jewelry store.

Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company

* * * *

The Christian Science Monitor's electronic edition


Kosovo Gypsies caught between Serbs and Albanians

By: Lucian Kim, Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Date: 06/23/1999


They are Europe's most unwanted people. Roma, or Gypsies, are often denounced as a race and bounced from place to place.

Now, in the aftermath of the Kosovo war, tens of thousands of them who lived in the war-shattered province are in a state of dangerous limbo.

Like 50,000 or more Serbs who fled to Serbia proper last week, the Gypsies also left their homes, fearing reprisals from ethnic Albanians because many of them sided with the Serbian

Only days after they arrived in Serbia, however, the government ordered them to leave.

One group of several hundred made it back to the Kosovo capital of Pristina in 12 dusty buses on June 20, and then fled to a schoolyard in a predominantly Serbian town three miles
away. They stay there, afraid to venture outside the school gate.

"We want to go to Serbia, but they won't let us stay," says Tefik Avduli. "The KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army] will ..." He draws his index finger across his throat.

They hold little faith in the pledge of NATO, whose forces in Kosovo are known as KFOR, to keep all residents safe.

"We are a small people," says Mr. Avduli. "The Serbian police and government were a good guarantee. But KFOR, why don't they come here to guard our safety?"

The father of three, whose jampacked Volkswagen is parked behind a bus, says he and his family fled their hometown of Vucitrn in northern Kosovo last week. But after only a few days in
the Serbian city of Nis, they were told to return.

"We don't know where to go, because nobody is interested in us," says Rasit Zivoli, another Roma from Vucitrn. "At the same time, our houses are being robbed."

Despite their insecurity, the Gypsies here do not blame the Serbian government for their plight. Instead they heap abuse on ethnic Albanians and the international peacekeepers. "NATO
is the KLA," screams Nevri Hasimi, an old Roma woman. Another man claims the KLA killed four Gypsies in Vranjevac, a Pristina neighborhood, over the weekend.

In Vranjevac the story is rather different. "The Gypsies always came here and shouted insults at us," says Behar Hoti, a young ethnic Albanian who stayed with his family in Vranjevac
during the worst of the Serbian reprisals. "The Gypsies were together with the Serbs. They told them exactly who had money and where to go."

Many Roma acted as guides for paramilitaries from Serbia, say KLA guerrillas and locals alike. Ethnic Albanians almost universally hate the Roma - not necessarily for their dark skin color
or nomadic lifestyle as in other eastern European countries, but for their cooperation with the Serbian authorities.

"The Gypsies, they did everything: They looted, burned, and killed people," says Nazmir Gashi, a KLA fighter standing outside his whitewashed family compound. "Together with the
paramilitaries, they did that," he says, pointing at damaged houses on a nearby hillside.

Mr. Gashi, a former coal miner, agrees that the Serbs despise the Roma almost just as much. "They always go with those who are in power," he says.

Official Serbian statistics put the number of Roma in Kosovo at 97,000, out of a total population of some 2 million. As in other countries in the region, they live on the margins of society,
eking out an existence as best they can.

Skender Konxheli, Gashi's son-in-law, says he returned to his home on June 20. "When my Gypsy neighbors saw that I had returned, they ran away," he says. "The Gypsies have blood
on their hands and they fear revenge. I can't live with them, I must go my way, they must go theirs."

To read this story online: http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1999/06/23/fp7s1-csm.shtml

* * * *

Kosovo's Gypsies flee wave of ethnic reprisals

By Matt Spetalnick

PRISTINA, June 25 (Reuters) - Thousands of Gypsies are fleeing their homes in Kosovo because of revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians who accuse them of collaborating with their Serb oppressors.

Across the embattled Yugoslav province, Gypsies -- who call themselves Roma -- have begun streaming out of towns and villages in the third wave of refugees spawned by Kosovo's
bitter ethnic conflict.

NATO sources say renegade members of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army have joined in the violent reprisals. Dozens of Gypsy homes have been looted and burned, and there
have been increasing reports of abductions, beatings and killings.

About 3,000 frightened Gypsy refugees from across Kosovo have sought sanctuary in the past few days at a dilapidated schoolhouse in the town of Kosovo Polje, on the outskirts of the
provincial capital Pristina.

Hundreds who fled north toward Belgrade were turned back at the border by Yugoslav forces who told them they were not welcome in the rest of Serbia.

``We are innocent people who have done nothing wrong, yet the Albanians want to kill us all,'' a 20-year-old Gypsy man said at the Kosovo Polje encampment.

But ethnic Albanians paint a different picture. They accuse the Gypsies, who number about 150,000 in Kosovo, of forming special brigades to loot and burn homes during a brutal
crackdown that only ended with the withdrawal of Serb forces.

Even more troubling are accusations of war crimes, including the digging of mass graves to hide victims of Serb massacres.

But international relief officials caution against making snap judgments about the Gypsies' alleged role in the Serb campaign to purge Kosovo of its Albanian majority.

``During times of ethnic strife, people look for a scapegoat,'' said Paula Ghedini, a spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency. ``The Roma have a long history of being outcast,
marginalised and victimised in this part of the world.''

One of the first signs that ethnic Albanians were thirsting for revenge came earlier this month at a Macedonian refugee camp when a mob screaming for blood attacked a Gypsy family
they say had worked with Serbs forces.

Now that Albanian refugees are flowing back to find burned-out homes, mined fields and poisoned wells, the backlash is gaining strength.

In Mitrovica, under the noses of French troops, angry Albanians looted and torched already-abandoned Gypsy homes on Thursday in a classic example of Kosovo's cycle of ethnic

``They looted and burned our houses. Now that we have returned we are doing the same to them,'' said Sadik Derguti, a 65-year-old Albanian.

The numbers of displaced Gypsies -- estimated at more than 10,000 so far -- are dwarfed by the million ethnic Albanians and more than 50,000 Serbs who fled their homes in the Kosovo
refugee crisis.

Gypsies made up only a fraction of the province's pre-war population of two million. They are mostly poor but unlike their nomadic brethren in other parts of Europe, many have roots in
their Kosovo shantytowns that date back generations.

Despite that, aid officials warn the latest wave could grow into a flood unless NATO peacekeepers take urgent action to curb the attacks.

With violence between Serb and Albanian civilians now threatening to spiral out of control, NATO has sought to ease tensions by pledging to protect all groups equally. But that has
done little to soothe the Gypsies' fears.

In Kosovo Polje, returning ethnic Albanians spit out curses as they drive past the refugee compound. Outside the gates, a British tank stands guard to ward off trouble.

``NATO has only made things worse for us, so we will never trust them'' one Gypsy man said.

03:07 06-25-99 Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

* * * *

AP, June 29, 1999

Tales of terror stop Kosovo gypsies' going home

By Dina Kyriakidou

SKOPJE, June 28 (Reuters) - Tales of murder, rape and pillage have spread terror among Kosovo gypsy refugees in Macedonia, who say they won't go home while ethnic Albanians hold
sway in the Serb province.

``Albanians stormed into my in-laws' house in Kosovo Polje (near Pristina) and raped my 15 year-old sister-in-law in front of the family a few days ago,'' said Krieziou Tefik, 25.

Tefik, his wife and three children sought refuge in March from the Kosovo conflict among their Macedonian ethnic kin in the sprawling gypsy shantytown of Topana in the capital
Skopje, where they survive by begging.

Victims of the latest twist in the Balkan saga of ethnic hatred, gypsies tell of relatives killed and homes burnt in the mayhem that gripped Kosovo after the NATO air strikes ended. ``We
can't go back now that the Albanians have taken over, it's out of the question. NATO can't protect us, they are there for the Albanians,'' Tefik said.

Kosovo Albanians, themselves the victims of what the West described as systematic and brutal ethnic cleansing by Serb forces, accuse the gypsies of collaborating with their

Reprisals, mainly aimed at Kosovo Serbs who are now fleeing the region, have also been directed against gypsies, with increasing reports of abductions, beatings and killings.

``My brother went out to buy cigarettes and was shot dead. We had to leave and didn't even have time to bury his body,'' said Bajrami Berisha, 45, one of six brothers from the southern
Kosovo city of Kacanik who escaped to Macedonia.

About 20,000 Kosovo gypsies joined tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians taking refuge in their impoverished Balkan neighbour, according to Amdi Bajram, a Macedonian
parliamentary deputy and president of the Roma Emancipation Party representing gypsies.

Few dared to go to the camps, where they are easily recognisable. A gypsy family was attacked by a mob of ethnic Albanians in a camp earlier this month after being accused of

``They are a vulnerable group,'' U.N. refugee agency UNHCR spokeswoman Astrid Van Genderen Stort told Reuters. ``They were verbally and physically attacked even in the camps,
where the atmosphere had a tinge of mediaeval mass hysteria.''

Many have sought refuge in the colourful patchwork of crude dwellings that make up Topana, a 300-year-old gypsy quarter used as the backdrop of the 1989 film ``Time of the Gypsies.''

About 11,000 of Macedonia's 120,000 gypsies live in the labyrinth of narrow paths criss-crossed by heavy laundry lines, where children play in streams of waste water and barefoot men
sit cross-legged at their doorsteps.

Unlike their ethnic kin in other Balkan countries, Kosovo gypsies are not nomadic and most have roots in their villages and cities that span several generations.

While most estimates put the number of Kosovo gypsies at 150,000 out of the provinces's total population of 1,8 million, Bajram says the number is nearer 350,000.

Shrugging off reports that Kosovo gypsies participated in crimes against ethnic Albanians, Bajram said that even if a few were forced to cooperate, this was no excuse to condemn a
whole people.

``They exaggerate a few cases to stop the Roma (gypsies) from returning to Kosovo,'' he said. ``Kosovo is a multi-ethnic society and it's the Albanians who are doing ethnic cleansing

05:55 06-28-99 Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

* * * *

Gypsies Under Attack in Kosovo


.c The Associated Press

PEC, Yugoslavia (AP) - Ethnic Albanians seeking revenge for atrocities committed against them in Kosovo aren't just targeting Serbs. They are attacking the province's Gypsies, accusing
them of helping Serbs loot homes and dispose of bodies from mass killings.

Untold thousands of Kosovo's Gypsy minority have fled since the end of the NATO bombardment. Ethnic Albanians accuse Gypsies, also known as Roma, of joining with the Serbs in
the crackdown that prompted NATO's intervention in Kosovo.

Ethnic Albanians claim Serbs often paid Roma to dig mass graves or dispose of the corpses of massacre victims.

``They said Roma burned their homes, but they didn't. It was the Serbs. We are innocent,'' Nuri Gashi, a 54-year-old Gypsy, said last week in the western city of Pec as her ethnic Albanian
neighbors looted and burned other Roma homes around her.

The newly returned refugees had come back to the neighborhood to find the bodies of 17 ethnic Albanians in the yards and rooms of their burned houses.

Survivors of the May 10 massacre in the quarter said two Roma men had killed alongside Serb paramilitaries.

``They did awful things,'' said Kosovo Liberation Army soldier Nazmi Latifi, summoning onlookers away from the burning Gypsy houses to show them the newly dug graves and unburied
corpses of the massacre victims.

Many of the neighborhood's 100 Gypsy households fled with Serb civilians when Yugoslav soldiers withdrew earlier this month.

Arson and threats chased out the rest by late last week, leaving only Gashi, her husband, Shaban, 62, and three other Gypsies.

``All Roma, they did not behave as well as these two,'' said ethnic Albanian Selim Salihi, nodding at the Gashis.

Frightened by repeated KLA visits to their home, Shaban Gashi said: ``We have no money, no where else to go.''

Since the war, widespread attacks on Gypsies have included Roma men found beaten in KLA custody in Pristina, Gypsy men found with their throats cut in Pec, and countless arsons that
have consumed even the mansions of Roma leaders in the Kosovo capital, Pristina.

Even during the war, ethnic Albanians in refugee camps outside Kosovo attacked Roma refugees on occasion, claiming they recognized them as participants in Serb atrocities.

On Tuesday, a Roma man was in a Pec jail taken over by Italian NATO forces, brought in by KLA soldiers who wanted him investigated as a war crimes suspect.

Preliminary evidence indicated the man was an informant for Serbian police, Italian officers said, refusing to identify the man.

The man was the only known war crimes suspect to be held in the area.

Throughout eastern Europe, Gypsies, who have lived for centuries on the fringes of societies, are a large but often despised minority, blamed for thefts and other petty crimes. In
Yugoslavia, Gypsies traditionally have tried to keep a low profile, stay out of politics and avoid trouble with the authorities.

U.N. refugee workers say it's impossible to determine how many Roma have fled Kosovo, or even how many lived here before the war.

For a few days following the peace accord, Roma were the people seen most often in western Kosovo's villages - after Serb civilians withdrew and before ethnic Albanians returned.

Their homes were the only ones left unburned by Serbs in some villages, spared because of the ``Romi'' spray painted, probably by ethnic Albanians, on the doors or gates. When ethnic
Albanians returned, the same scrawled designations made them targets.

``Basically, they've always been accused as allies of the Serbs. In the old pecking order, they were higher than the Albanians, and as a result, they're coming under a lot of pressure now,''
said Judith Kumin, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commission for Refugees in Geneva.

AP-NY-06-29-99 1503EDT

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.

* * * *

Turkish Daily News Tue, 29 Jun 1999 Volume 1 : Number 43

Kosovar Turks fear Albanian nationalism and oppression

By SIBEL UTKU Ankara - Turkish Daily News

The virtual end of the Serbian rule in Kosovo does not outline a bright prospect for the nearly 20,000 Turks in the province. They believe that Albanian nationalism is more dangerous and
fear reprisal and oppression.

Accused of siding with the Serbs during the Kosovo crisis, the Turks are deeply concerned that once the Albanians take over the administration of the province, they will face pressure
and discrimination. And their worries are not baseless.

The Turkish Daily News talked with Kosovar Turks who found refuge in Turkey during the crisis. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, for obvious reasons, the Kosovo Turks
sounded pessimistic about a peaceful cohabitation between Turks and Albanians and warned that a mass exodus of Turks could start from the province if their security and rights are not

They explained that from the very beginning of the Kosovo crisis in the early 1990s, when the Albanians started boycotting state institutions, the Turks came under pressure to join the
rebellion. They did not. The

Turks did not support the armed resistance of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), either.

However, they say, this had nothing to with taking the Serbian side.

The Turks have their schools and departments of Turkish philology in the universities, their political party and cultural associations. Radio and television broadcasts in Turkish are
available, although in limited hours. They publish their newspapers and magazines, although with certain restraint. Religious activities are free.

"We are a tiny community. We had our rights, and we were concerned that if we turned against Belgrade, we might lose what we had already gotten. We had to be impartial," said one of
the refugees, stressing that when the Albanians started the mass boycotts of state institutions, Turkey advised them to stay at their jobs and continue their education.

"Maybe the Serbs also disliked us, but at least they always respected us," a refugee from Pristina said.

"We all admit that the Albanians faced unbelievable atrocities and oppression. But now that they think they are victorious, they want to exert the same oppression on us," he added.

Albanian accusations of Turkish collaboration with the Serbs seem to be only the visible tip of the iceberg. The detestation is deep-rooted and stems from the Albanians' extremist
nationalism, the Kosovar Turks say.

The religious, linguistic and cultural similarities between Kosovo's Turks and Albanians have failed to prevent the emergence of a confidence rift between them throughout the years.

The Turks say that the overwhelming majority of Albanians reject their Turkish identity and maintain that they are actually Albanians. This intolerance has lead to visible discrimination. It
has been also reflected in academic studies by Albanian scholars.

The Kosovar Turks say that Albanian scholars such as Esat Haskuka and Malic Osi have written theories rejecting the Turkish presence in Kosovo.

In another example, they remember with anger an article by an Albanian columnist in the early 1990s. The columnist, Teki Dervishi, maintained that "the Turks are the dirtiest nation in the
world." The Greeks and

the Serbs were respectfully the second and the third "runners-up" in this classification.

The Kosovar Turks say that the Albanian head of Pristina Radio and Television refused to give permission in the early 1990s for a limited broadcast of TRT-INT on certain days of the
week. In the same manner, the Albanian president of Pristina University did not allow the opening of a Turkish philology department. Permission for both was issued later, when Serbs
headed the two institutions. The Kosovar Turks also say that they are usually discriminated against when applying for jobs in institutions headed by Albanians.

The same barriers are equally visible in the very simplest matters of daily life.

"If you go to a shop run by an Albanian or to an Albanian doctor, in most cases you will not receive any service if you do not speak in Albanian... The prices may change, depending on
which language you speak," a Turkish Kosovar woman said.

Her husband remembered how a Turkish religious site dedicated to the Ottoman Sultan Murat was attacked by Albanians in the years before the crisis started, and police had to intervene.

"How can we side with them after living throughout all this? How can we trust [them]? What will be the gain of siding with the Albanians when they don't even want to accept us as
Turks?" the Kosovar Turks ask.

They admit that many Turks who were fed up with the pressure and who wanted to make their lives easier had accepted Albanian identity. "My cousin in Ipek says that he is an
Albanian," a Turkish university student from Prizren comments.

Now with reports coming from Kosovo about Albanian reprisals on Serbs and gypsies, the Turks' concerns are growing.

"We've never rebelled against the state. We will be loyal to any government that ensures our rights, our identity and safety. We are Turks, and all we want is to be acknowledged as
such," the student says.

He stresses that Turkey should immediately take action to protect the Kosovar Turks.

What the Kosovar Turks urgently ask is the opening of a Turkish consulate, either in Pristina or Prizren. They demand more attention from the motherland and believe that Turkey's
intensive support can be

their only guarantee.

"If we continue to feel unsafe, the only way out is immigrating to Turkey," the Kosovar Turks agree.

* * * *

Fate of Kosovo minorities alarms U.N. rights chief

By Andrew Gray

PRISTINA, Serbia, June 30 (Reuters) - U.N. human rights chief Mary Robinson, on a visit to Kosovo on Wednesday, expressed alarm at the fate of Gypsies and Serbs targeted by angry
ethnic Albanians in the province.

Robinson was clearly shocked at the tales she heard at a refugee camp for Gypsies, who said they had been forced to flee for their lives and told of beatings and looting by Albanians.

She said Serbs were also under pressure. Thousands fearing revenge attacks from Albanians have already quit the province since international peacekeepers took control earlier this
month. The U.N. estimates half the Serb population of Kosovo has left.

``I'm really very worried about the situation of minorities. I'm more worried now, having come here, than I was before I came,'' Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, told a news conference at the end of her day-long visit.

Ethnic Albanians, who make up the vast majority of Kosovo's population, have accused Gypsies of collaborating with the wave of Serb terror against them which swept the province this

Gypsies have also been accused of looting Albanians' homes set ablaze by Serb forces during the orgy of violence.

Many ethnic Albanians have taken advantage of a law and order vacuum created after Serb forces withdrew from the province to exact revenge on both Kosovo Serbs and Gypsies.

``If the Serb population drops too dramatically, then it will drop altogether and that, I think, can happen village by village,'' Robinson said.

She also insisted that Serbs who had carried out atrocities and human rights abuses against ethnic Albanians should not be allowed to escape justice. Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic must answer for his actions, she insisted.

``We must break the cycle of impunity,'' Robinson said.

The former Irish president was able to see the cycle at first hand during her visit. She toured an overgrown hillside just south of the provincial capital Pristina, where fresh mounds of
earth mark the graves of 20 ethnic Albanians.

Locals told Robinson the Albanians were killed by Serb police. Some bodies had been burned away to leave so little that several corpses had been buried in a single grave, said one man,
who counted his father and uncle among the dead.

At the camp for Roma Gypsies in the Pristina suburb of Kosovo Polje, Robinson found refugees living without even basic amenities. Many families were living together inside large tents.

``Do you think the situation is getting worse for minorities?'' she asked one man.

``Yes. It's worsening every minute,'' he told her. ``Two minutes ago, ten more families arrived here.''

Another man displayed huge bruises all over his back. He said he had been beaten by ethnic Albanians simply for continuing to work at a Serb-run factory.

``These are families with small children, elderly people and they're suffering in being, I think, very much caught in the middle so it's particularly tragic for them,'' Robinson said at the

``The conditions here are quite inadequate so I'll certainly be raising that,'' she added. ``We have to have particular concern for these people because they are so vulnerable and their
human rights really do need protecting.''

She stressed it was vital for the international community to keep pouring resources into Kosovo to establish security. ``These people are here because they're frightened,'' she said.

12:35 06-30-99 Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

* * * *

Gypsies Flee From Ethnic Albanians


.c The Associated Press

KOSOVO POLJE, Yugoslavia (AP) - As one of Kosovo's Gypsies, Naser Adiqi says he tried to get along with both Albanians and Serbs. Now, in the squalor of a refugee camp, he says
both sides are punishing him.

Adiqi is one of about 3,000 Gypsies who have jammed into the field outside a schoolhouse in this town six miles west of the Kosovo capital, Pristina, fleeing threats from ethnic Albanians
and seething with bitterness over being brushed off by Serbs.

Their number is miniscule compared to the 860,000 or so ethnic Albanians who fled Kosovo this spring, and the Gypsy refugees tell mainly of beatings and threats over the past three
weeks rather than massacres.

But the chaotic camp is a stark reminder of the ethnic tensions that still shoot through Kosovo following the end of the 78-day NATO air war last month and of the disdain directed at
Gypsies from many sides.

U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson cited the Gypsy refugee camp this week in her assessment that ``now is the most worrying time'' for restoring security to postwar

Gypsy houses have been torched across Kosovo since the Yugoslav army withdrew last month, part of a wave of retaliation by Albanians for years of violence and oppression at the
hand of Serbs. Albanians widely assert that Gypsies collaborated with the Serbs and even participated in mass killings.

That allegation is denied by Gypsies in the camp, who say they were caught between the two larger ethnic groups.

``We were the people who didn't take sides,'' said Adiqi, a leader in the camp. But, he said, last month Albanians came to his home in Magura and told him to leave in two hours.

``They took my 6-year-old daughter and threatened to cut her throat. They said, 'If you leave, we will give you your daughter back,''' he said.

``I just screamed,'' said his daughter Gjulijet.

``We haven't done anything, but they still chase us away,'' Shehide Gashi said while her friend Ikire Hasani stood beside her in the rain, miming gestures of throats and breasts being cut.

``I can understand the Albanians were bitter ... but now that they're returning, we're paying,'' Adiqi said, sitting in a filthy room in the schoolhouse while cries and shouts echoed in the

``But we are even more angry with Serbia because it will not accept us,'' he said. ``If there's no country that can take us, something catastrophic will happen.''

Many of the Gypsy refugees say their tormentors wore uniforms of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army, which they see as a bitter irony. Kosovo's Gypsies often have Albanian names and
speak Albanian as their mother tongue.

``I used to trust in the KLA. Otherwise, I would have left earlier,'' said Selman Berisha of the small settlement, Dobroje Vogel.

Lirak Celaj, a spokesman for the KLA in Pristina, denied that the group was involved. ``We have sent many of our people to appeal (to Albanians),'' he said. ``Stop doing this to these

But he acknowledged that resentment of Gypsies is high. Asked how many of the refugees he believes may have collaborated with Serbs, he said, ``Most of them.''

The displaced Gypsies feel betrayed also by aid agencies and say that food aid has been scarce. Adiqi said the 3,000 in the camp get only 600 loaves of bread a day.

Boro Boracic, a Serb who heads the Kosovo Red Cross that supervises the camp, said his agency is desperately seeking for more food donations and lamented: ``The simple people are
suffering the most.''

Then, showing the suspicion that so many in Kosovo harbor toward Gypsies, he said: ``Some of them in the camp, they're just there because they heard the food was free. They're used to
living without working.''

``If they want to go to another country,'' he added, ``we wish them a safe journey.''

AP-NY-07-02-99 1308EDT

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.

* * * *

NATIONAL POST, Friday, July 2, 1999

Gangs bring new terror to streets of Pristina

Young Kosovars looting their own people

By Julius Strauss - The Daily Telegraph

PRISTINA - Gang rule on the streets of Pristina is becoming an increasing headache for soldiers trying to restore peace to Kosovo.

The United Nations has set up an office in the city with the aim of trying to rebuild civic institutions, and aggressive patrolling by NATO has prevented total anarchy. But the soldiers can
do little to halt the

activities of the violent underclass from Kosovo and Albania intent on profiting from the chaos.

When the war ended nearly three weeks ago, the primary victims were Serb civilians and Gypsies who stayed in the capital. Many of them have since fled, and it is now the ethnic
Albanians who are being targeted by the thugs.

Under NATO's occupation plan, Pristina falls into the British sector of control. But troops, including Canadian soldiers attached to the British command, are hard pressed to curb the
activities of the gangs. If they find no guns on them or no proof they have committed a crime, they must let them go.

The lack of a civilian administration means that many Pristina residents now fear a knock on the door, particularly at night.

Young men -- some freelancers, others working as frontmen for gangs --prowl apartment blocks looking for empty flats to commandeer.

Lirie, a middle-aged ethnic Albanian housewife who stayed through the war in Pristina and lives in a well-to-do district, said: "We're having different kinds of problems now. Problems
with our own people and with the people from Albania. My son is living in my mother's apartment because we fear we may lose it."

Some Albanians showed unparalleled generosity to their ethnic cousins from Kosovo when the war began. But many saw the crisis as a way to profit, and it is they who have now come
to town to loot and profiteer.

Some of the looting is carried out by dispirited ethnic Albanians from the countryside who lost everything during the three-month Serb orgy of destruction. A few have moved into
houses vacated by Serbs.

For the NATO peacekeepers, sympathy with those who suffered under Serb rule is wearing thin. A Canadian soldier said yesterday he had to intervene after a group of Albanians moved
into a block where other Albanians already lived and began evicting them.

"Many of the problems are from people from small towns who have lost their houses," he said. "They come to Pristina looking for what they can get. But they can't go around attacking
their own people."

Machismo is now much in evidence in Pristina. Typically, gang members drive a Jeep or a Mercedes with as many as five men, some swarthy and unshaven, crammed in. They wear
sunglasses and smoke.

On the prowl for "business" opportunities, they operate against the background of general lawlessness that is overwhelming Pristina. As refugees return, scores are settled and houses
looted and burned.

Fatima, a young ethnic Albanian who has recently returned and is six months' pregnant, said: "It makes you feel uncomfortable watching all the looting and the burning houses. I am
scared I will lose everything I was so lucky not to lose during the war. Every time I see somebody disarmed by NATO, I thank God."

Letters to Editor: letters@nationalpost.com

* * * *

Macedonian Moslems fear for Kosovo mountain kin

By Dina Kyriakidou

JELOVJANE, Macedonia, July 11 (Reuters) - Macedonia's Moslems say their kin in Kosovo are helplessly trapped between two worlds and suffering the consequences.

``We are worried about our relatives. Groups of Albanian youths are terrorising them and they have little food,'' said Jese Misin, 45, at the northwestern Macedonian village of Jelovjane.

Believed to have converted to Islam during the centuries of Ottoman rule in the Balkans, these Macedonians share religion with the ethnic Albanian minority but language and customs
with their Slav kin, who are Orthodox Christians.

Named after the mountainous Gora region that straddles Macedonia and the Serb province of Kosovo, the 120,000 Goran are dubbed the ``pearl of the nation'' for their devotion to
Macedonian tradition and language.

This, the Goran say, is the problem.

``Nobody can tell me I'm an Albanian, I speak Macedonian and I am Macedonian,'' said Alija Fejzolovski, 31, slamming his ID on the table of the village coffee shop. ``The Albanians are
against the Goran because they think they side with the Serbs.''

Perched on a cloud-covered peak of the Shar Planina mountain range, the village founded by shepherds 500 years ago is seven km (five miles) of hairpin turns above Macedonia's largely
ethnic Albanian Tetovo region.

An asphalt road built last year to link it with civilisation did not appear to affect its customs -- women dressed in traditional costumes, covered from chin to toe with thick black wool
capes, walked three paces behind their men.

``I have to cover my face and wear this outside but I take it off when I'm home,'' one young woman said, opening her heavy coat to reveal brightly coloured pantaloons and layers of

The Macedonian World Congress has raised the alarm over the fate of the 40,000 Goran in Kosovo, appealing to Albanians to refrain from abusing this unique group and to the world
community to rush food and medicine there.

``(We) ask that a new humanitarian disaster is stopped,'' the Macedonian diaspora organisation said in a protest letter.

Ethnic Albanians returning to Kosovo to find death and destruction have lashed out against Serbs and Gypsies. There was no independent confirmation the same was true for the Goran.

German KFOR Kosovo peacekeepers in charge of the area said their villages were just too remote and had not been reached.

Many among Jelovjane's 600 villagers said they had family across the mountain in Kosovo -- the border dividing them was drawn just eight years ago, when Macedonia declared
independence from Yugoslavia.

War-shattered telecommunications prevented direct contact but shepherds who made a centuries-old trek over the mountains brought them discouraging news.

``Shepherds come to sell their cheese here because they are afraid to go to the market there. They tell us our families are harassed by Albanians, Misin said.

Ten of his relatives who took refuge in Jelovjane during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, returned to their village of Restelica last week after hearing their homes were being looted.

Some pinned their hopes on the recent arrival of Turkish KFOR troops in the Gora town of Dragash.

``I am sure that the Goran in Kosovo will feel much better because the Turkish army will be protecting them,'' said Abdi Murat, 61, the head municipal official.

04:48 07-11-99 Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

* * * *

Belgrade's people won't forget this

by Don Feder

Boston Herald

Thursday, July 8, 1999

BELGRADE - On a van from Sofia, a little girl cringed when her mother told her I was an American. ``Is he going to put a bomb in our car?'' she asked. In light of what my country did to
her country, the question was not unreasonable.

When Jamie Shea, NATO's minister of disinformation, said the alliance bombed with precision, I can believe it. In tens of thousands of sorties, U.S. planes managed to hit civilian targets
with reckless abandon.

We were, President Clinton insisted, degrading Slobodan Milosevic's military capacity by bombing a defenseless people from an altitude of 15,000 feet. In Belgrade and Novi Sad, I began
to understand the enormity of the lie.

Strolling the streets of this lovely capital at the confluence of the Danube and Sava, the evidence isn't glaring. True, there are buildings with large chunks missing. My interpreter, Ivana
Vulic, and I had coffee on a terrace across from the Belgrade TV station NATO ``degraded'' on April 26.

The entire facade was ripped away; the interior is a mass of rubble. In this particular ``strategic strike,'' 17 died. The justification was that Serbian television was spreading Milosevic's
``propaganda'' - i.e., it had the chutzpah to object to the unilateral war on its country. (On that basis, NATO presumably could have justified bombing the newspapers that carry this
column too.)

But elsewhere, the rubble has been cleared away. The bodies were buried; the psychological scars remain. For three months, residents hunkered down like soldiers in the trenches.

We drove to Novi Sad, the nation's second largest city. This cosmopolitan provincial capital, with an ethnically diverse population, took the brunt of NATO's wrath.

The allies bombed the 2 million-acre Fruska Gora national park, possibly to keep the animals and birds from joining the Yugoslav army.

Novi Sad's refinery was hit 13 times. The resulting fires burned 50,000 tons of crude oil, sending billowing clouds of toxins and carcinogens into the air, contaminating groundwater.

Environmental scientists say it could take decades to assess the impact of this deliberate poisoning of water, soil and air Perhaps Al Gore will include a chapter on the bombing of Novi
Sad, ordered up by the man he hailed as ``one of our greatest presidents,'' in a revised edition of ``Earth in the Balance.''

Once there were three bridges in Novi Sad spanning the Danube and linking two sides of the city - bringing patients to the hospital on one, carrying food to the other and transporting
workers and school children. Now there are none.

Each day, 30,000 cross by barge. What happens when the Danube freezes over in the winter? It takes two to three years to build a bridge and seconds to sever these vital arteries.

The principal of the Svetozar Markovic Elementary School points out cracks in the school's foundation, collapsed ceilings and ruined equipment. Without water or electricity, the school
will somehow try to hold classes for its 1,400 students in the fall.

A bomb made a crater 10 meters deep in the schoolyard. There is nothing that could conceivably be considered a strategic asset in this residential neighborhood - unless NATO was
trying to get the animals fleeing the national park.

Someone had scrawled on an outer wall of the school, ``Do you think of your children while you bomb ours?''

``It is the decline of Western civilization,'' says Aleksandar Mosic (whose name means ``little Moses'' in Serb), a leader of Belgrade's Jewish community. ``What the Western governments
did and what Western opinion conceded - it is barbaric.''

Now 80 and a retired chemical engineer, at the outset of World War II Mosic left Belgrade for the Dalmatian coast. His parents told him not to come back. They died. He spent the war
fighting alongside Tito's partisans.

``To speak of ethnic cleansing of the Albanians is such stupidity,'' Mosic maintains. ``Why weren't the 100,000 Albanians in Belgrade ethnically cleansed?'' Mosic asked if I knew that the
Serbs saved Jews during what he calls the ``War of Annihilation,'' and the Yugoslav army evacuated Sarajevo's Jews during the Bosnia war.

Today, Serbs are being cleansed from Kosovo under the eyes of NATO peacekeepers. Yesterday, NATO tried to rinse them from the rest of Serbia.

Even if the allegations against Milosevic were true, did that justify the terror bombing of civilians - many of whom opposed to his policies?

And what if they weren't true, or if Kosovar Albanians and Serbs were both at fault? Then the International War Crimes Tribunal should begin making arrests in Washington and

* * * *

Gypsies Say They Were Driven Away


.c The Associated Press

DJAKOVICA, Yugoslavia (AP) - Though they all have homes nearby, hundreds of Gypsies are camping out along a muddy stream, chased into the open by returning ethnic Albanians
who accuse them of collaborating with the Serbs.

Facing retribution, untold thousands of Kosovo's Gypsy minority have fled Kosovo since the end of the NATO bombardment and the departure of Serbian forces in June.

Djakovica's Gypsies tried to stay but said Saturday that they now feel pressured to go. Many of the 400 camped along the stream say their homes had been destroyed in the past week.
Home, for now, is a makeshift camp secured by Italian soldiers.

Conditions are squalid. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has given them tents, though most of their shelters consist of lean-tos of blue plastic sheeting.

Many wash clothes in muddy puddles, but 7-year-old Valentina Behluli found a blue plastic bucket to wash her pink pants. Drying laundry hung over headstones in an Albanian cemetery
next to the camp.

The Gypsies' recent experience has fueled their hostility. They shout at curses at passing bus carrying ethnic Albanians.

Shirtless on a sunny afternoon, Muharem Ibrahimi shaved himself near a footbridge as his wife held a mirror near his face. He says his house was burned down by Kosovo Liberation
Army soldiers, many of whom aspire to an independent ethnic Albanian state. Ibrahimi recognized some of the soldiers as neighbors.

He doesn't want to return home, and neither do the others. Nor do they want to be repatriated elsewhere in Kosovo, or elsewhere in Yugoslavia. The UNHCR is negotiating to get them
out of the country.

AP-NY-07-11-99 1607EDT Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.

* * * *

All Ethnically Cleansed and Nowhere to Go

TIME July 8 1999

Whether or not they helped the Serbs, Kosovo's Gypsies are being driven out — and that's nothing new for this continually tormented group

They’d lived in Kosovo for generations, but that meant nothing when angry men in uniform went from door to door through their neighborhoods, beating them at random, dragging them
off to be tortured, giving them five minutes to leave and torching their houses.

But that was before NATO took control of Kosovo, right? Wrong. The ethnic cleansing of Kosovo’s estimated 100,000 Gypsies began only after the Serbs withdrew and the Kosovo
Liberation Army moved in, and it has continued right under the noses of Western peacekeepers. And unlike Kosovo’s Serbs, the Gypsies have nowhere to go. Those who tried to leave
with the Serbs were turned back at the border, leaving them to the face the wrath of the Kosovar Albanians. Although NATO's KFOR peacekeepers have vowed to protect them, the
understaffed force isn’t geared up to deal with low-level ethnic cleansing. Instead, Gypsies have been forced to abandon their homes and flee to makeshift refugee camps in some of the
major Kosovo towns, where the peacekeepers are able to protect them.

For a despised people living at the margins of society all across the Balkans and the wider European continent from Russia to Spain, their persecution at the hands of returning ethnic
Albanians in Kosovo is simply another chapter in a long history of suffering. Originally from Northern India, the Gypsies — or Roma people — were nomadic tribesmen skilled in crafts
and music who were scattered westward more than a thousand years ago by successive waves of war and occupation. Passing through the Persian, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, they
settled throughout Asia Minor, the Arab world, the Balkans and Europe but maintained common threads of language, culture, music and religious belief throughout their diaspora. But
rarely have their host countries made them feel welcome. They were legally able to be enslaved in Europe until the mid-19th century, and the hostility they suffered throughout the
continent reached its zenith during World War II, when more than half a million died in Nazi concentration camps –- losses almost proportional to those suffered by Jews.

But the Kosovar attacks on the Roma aren’t based simply on traditional European stereotyping of Gypsies as a menacing criminal element; they’re a response to the Gypsies’ perceived
support of Serb savagery against ethnic Albanians. Enraged by tales of Gypsies looting Albanian property or being enlisted by Serb paramilitaries to bury the bodies of massacred
Albanians — and even some accounts of torture and rape at the hands of individual Gypsies –- returning refugees and the KLA have vowed to rid the province of its Roma population.

That many Roma people worked for the Serbs — usually as manual laborers –- throughout their campaign of violence against ethnic Albanians is not in dispute. "Ever since Serbia
withdrew Kosovo’s autonomy in 1989, the authorities have been reluctant to hire ethnic Albanians even as street cleaners," says TIME Central Europe bureau reporter Dejan
Anastasijevic. "Because they accepted employment by the Serbs at a time when Albanians were boycotting all Serb institutions, they gained a reputation for siding with the Serbs. But as
is the case all over the Balkans and Europe, Gypsies have always been the lowest class of citizen in Kosovo. Serbs don’t like them and Albanians don’t like them, so they’ve always been
kept down no matter who is in charge –- so they’ve simply tried to adapt and accommodate themselves with whoever is in power."

And when the Serbs were butchering Kosovar Albanians, they paid Gypsies to clear rubble and dig the graves. The Roma population — many of whom painted the word "Rom" on their
houses — were also spared by the rampaging Serb paramilitaries. Some individuals are alleged to have played a more actively violent role in the Serb campaign; others to have given the
Serbs political support. Other Gypsies actually joined the KLA, although a number have subsequently complained of being forced at gunpoint to do so.

Amid the fury of the returning Kosovars, however, the Gypsy population as a whole is being targeted for retribution, regardless of whether they actually worked for the Serbs or not.
"What’s being done to the Gypsies now is ethnic cleansing –- it can’t be called by any other name," says Anastasijevic. "It’s directed against an entire ethnic group. And if those
responsible this campaign against the Gypsies are allowed to get away with it, it will legitimize further violence against other minorities in Kosovo, such as the Turks."

Unlike Kosovo’s Serbs and ethnic Albanians, its Gypsies have few international advocates speaking out on their behalf. U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson and its high
commissioner for refugees, Sadako Ogata, have both visited some of the thousands of Gypsy refugees crammed into makeshift facilities inside Kosovo, and vowed to provide them with
support. And pan-European Gypsy organizations such as the Romany Union and the European Roma Rights Center have sought urgent undertakings from NATO to protect their kin in
Kosovo. In the end, though, there may be some cynical politics in play. "The campaign against the Gypsies may also be a power play by the KLA," says Anastasijevic. "That raises the
question of whether the West will be willing to challenge a key player in the territory in order to save the Gypsies." Although NATO remains formally committed to protecting Kosovo’s
minorities, the history of the Roma throughout Europe over the last five centuries will give the Kosovar Gypsies little cause for comfort.


* * * *

Kosovo Gypsies Demand Safe Passage


.c The Associated Press

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AP) - As new reports surfaced of retribution by ethnic Albanians, a Kosovo Gypsy leader today demanded safe passage to another country for thousands of his
people who have sought refuge in camps in the turbulent province.

Many Gypsies have fled Kosovo since NATO's bombing campaign ended last month and Serb military and police departed.

Others packed into a huge camp outside Pristina, or took refuge elsewhere, out of fear of persecution by ethnic Albanians who accuse them of collaboration in the Serbs' violent campaign
against the Albanian majority. The Gypsies say their houses have been burned or destroyed by angry Albanians.

``We would even go to the Himalayas to have freedom and rights,'' said Ibrahim Hasani, co-leader of more than 5,000 Gypsies encamped at a school in Kosovo Polje since June 13.

If international officials or Kosovo peacekeepers don't provide a safe corridor for them to leave, ``we'll open corridors of our own,'' he said.

Minority Serbs have been the primary target of ethnic Albanian retribution since the refugees began returning.

In the latest such reported attack, an official in Serbia's ruling Socialist Party and his wife were severely beaten in Pristina, the provincial capital, the Yugoslav news agency reported. The
Tanjug report said Zivorad Igic and his wife Mirjana were clubbed and kicked by ethnic Albanians during an apparent kidnapping attempt.

There was no immediate confirmation by the NATO-led peacekeeping force, known as KFOR.

Other incidents reported by KFOR reflected continuing unrest in the province, where at least 662,000 of the estimated 860,000 Kosovo Albanians who fled during NATO airstrikes and
Serb repression have returned.

A half-dozen fires were reported in Prizren, and Serbs set a house in Pec ablaze. KFOR soldiers also arrested Serbs and ethnic Albanians for having weapons in Kosovo.

The aid groups Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) and Oxfam have been providing aid to the Gypsies living at Kosovo Polje, where goats and horses wander among tents.
Peacekeepers also have kept an eye out for the Gypsies' safety.

But refugee officials are reluctant to guarantee the Gypsies, also known as Roma, passage out.

``If their situation becomes untenable then we'll have to resort to evacuating them,'' Kris Janowski, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in Geneva. ``But we
don't have any particular plan for safe passage at this stage.''

The issue of where they would go is difficult, he added, noting that even Serbia is ``very, very wary of accepting anybody, including the Serbs from Kosovo at the moment.''

In the Yugoslav capital today, Serbian opposition activists resumed a campaign to oust Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic despite a police ban of their action. Some 200 people
signed the petition calling for Milosevic's resignation within about 20 minutes at just one of about two dozen points set up in Belgrade.

The main pro-democracy group, the Alliance for Change, has gathered some 150,000 signatures for the petition.

But one key opposition leader, Vuk Draskovic, refused to join protests organized by the group. He announced today that he would campaign on his own for a change of leadership in

AP-NY-07-13-99 0830EDT Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.