Albanian Daily News
Belgrade says OSCE report on Kosovo 'political pamphlet'

Feb 10, 2000

BELGRADE - The Yugoslav government dismissed an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) report on human rights in Kosovo as a "gross political pamphlet," the official Tanjug news agency reported on Monday.

The OSCE report, published in December, described crimes committed in Kosovo by Serbian paramilitaries and police, as "disquieting, disturbing, at times appalling" and catalogued atrocities committed mainly against ethnic Albanians. The report said that the Serbian leadership responsible for atrocities had to be brought to justice to dispel the prevailing notion of the collective guilt of the Serbian community.

"It’s not a regular document, but a gross political pamphlet to justify the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia," the Yugoslav government said in a statement run by Tanjug.

The voluminous OSCE report covered human rights abuses committed in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, before and after the NATO forces intervened to stop Serb aggression there against Kosovo’s ethnic-Albanian majority.

According to the Yugoslav government, the OSCE report was founded on "fabricated accusations on supposed mass graves and fabricated mass executions of Albanians in Kosovo."

"All the investigations and reports of independent medical experts have proved the non-existence of mass crimes and mass executions against Albanians in Kosovo," the government said in its statement.

At the end of the Kosovo war in June 1999, the British government estimated that 10,000 people had been killed in the conflict. Larger Western estimates were published during the conflict.

International Criminal Court experts suspended a programme of exhumations from mass graves this winter, with the toll standing at 2,100 corpses.

"Even a report which is so biased and unilateral was not able to hide the facts... that there had been no humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo before the NATO aggression," the Yugoslav government statement said.

Yugoslavia demanded on Monday that international peacekeepers and administrators in Kosovo put an end to the violence erupting in the province, describing the attacks as terrorism being waged by ethnic Albanians. At least eight people were killed in clashes last week in the northern flashpoint Kosovo town of Mitrovica, which is under the protection of French troops from the NATO-led Kosovo force (KFOR).

"A wave of terrorist activities is continuing in front of the very eyes of KFOR and UNMIK," the UN mission in Kosovo, said Deputy Foreign Minister Nebojsa Vujovic. "This must be put to an end."

"This is the very best evidence that KFOR and UNMIK must act immediately to put an end to the terrorism and separatism in Kosovo," he added.

Belgrade has repeatedly accused KFOR, UNMIK and other international organisations in charge of Kosovo of failing to fulfil their obligations to provide security for the remaining Serb and non-Albanian population in Kosovo.

Original article