YU army commander says army's return to Kosovo 'becoming neccessary'

May 1, 2000

(BBC) - A ceremony was held in Murino on Sunday[30th April], anniversary of NATO's first bombing of this town in the north of the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro, to mark the start of post-NATO-war reconstruction. About 20,000 people gathered for the ceremony, attended by Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic, to pay their respects to the victims of the March-June 1999 NATO aggression on Yugoslavia.

Addressing the assembled multitude, Bulatovic said that, a year ago, NATO had attacked Montenegro, because it had known that Montenegro was part of a united front for the defense of Yugoslavia. "Despite the sycophantic behavior of its current government, they treated (Montenegro) as part of a united system of defense which, deplorably, they attacked, inflicting wounds. Today, Serbian workers are here to begin rebuilding this country. The Serbian Reconstruction Directorate, whose rebuilding efforts have impressed the whole world, has come together with the Yugoslav federal government to help and to ease the troubles of the people of this area," Bulatovic said...

At the ceremony, 2nd Army Commander Gen Milorad Obradovic said the Yugoslav Army, and the 2nd Army within it, was acting and would always act within the law and the constitution, and be a factor of stability and peace.

"The 2d Army has never threatened... [agency ellipsis] Stories about responsible or irresponsible estimates at the [Montenegrin] government level of a threat coming from the army are groundless fabrications which nobody needs," Obradovic said.

He stressed that a realistic assessment of the opponent, in all his elements, was part and parcel of the military profession. Measures were therefore being taken to raise the army's combat capability so as to preclude the possibility of surprises that might threaten the country's security...

"We are protecting and shall protect our country, we are securing the state borders and controlling all routes to (the UN-ruled Serbian province of) Kosovo-Metohija. But, as (the international force) KFOR [Kosovo Force] in the area has not done its job within the given mandate, it is becoming necessary to implement UN Resolution 1244 in full and return the Yugoslav Army to Kosovo-Metohija, which is an integral and inseparable part of Yugoslavia and (its republic of) Serbia. The Yugoslav Army is making a huge contribution also to the reconstruction of the country where it is most necessary. We are building facilities for our needs and helping the people across the country, and the 2d Army is part of this effort," he said...

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