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Kosovo Ethnic Cleansing Belied by Independent Western Witnesses

Until March 20 -

by Rollie Keith

        Returning human rights monitor with the OSCE Kosovo
        Verification Mission (KVM) offers a view from the ground
        in Kosovo

As an OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) monitor during
February and March of this year, I was assigned as the Director of the
Kosovo Polje Field Office, just west of the provincial capital of

 By the time I arrived, vehicles and other resources along
with the majority of international monitors were arriving, but the cease-
fire situation was deteriorating with an increasing incidence of Kosovo
Liberation Army (KLA) provocative attacks on the Yugoslavian security
forces. In response the security forces of the Ministry of Internal
police supported by the army were establishing random roadblocks that
resulted in some harassment of movement of the majority Albanian
Kosovars. The general situation was, though, that the bulk of the
population had settled down after the previous year's hostilities, but the
KLA was building its strength and was attempting to reorganize in
preparation for a military solution, hopeful of NATO or western military
support. Consequently the October Holbrooke-Milosevic agreement
restraining the Internal Security police and army was not strictly adhered
to, as unauthorized forces were deployed to maintain security within the
major communities and internal lines of communication. In my estimation,
however, the KLA was left in control of much of the hinterland
unchallenged, comprising at least some fifty per cent of the province. In
addition the parallel Albanian government of the Kosovo Democratic
League (KDL) continued to provide some leadership to the majority of the
Albanian Kosovars

This low intensity war since the end of 1998 had resulted in a series of
incidents against the security forces, which in turn led to some heavy-
handed security operations, one being the alleged "massacre" at Racak of
some 45 Albanian Kosovars in mid-January.  [NOTE: the "Racak
massacre" was so identified by William Walker, an American diplomat
leading an OSCE war crimes verification team. Walker's sordid career,
described in the APPENDIX to the present article, throws considerable
doubt on the veracity of his account of this event, which Javier Solana
himself identifies as a turning point in the  development of the Kosovo

Regardless, tensions were high and fatal casualties and kidnapping of
mine and security forces by the KLA had occurred prior to our arrival.
After our lengthy series of negotiations, all participants agreed not to
provoke their opponents and we were about to escort former village
delegations back to commence resettlement. If this kind of program could
have been expanded and built upon throughout Kosovo, perhaps
supported by an enlarged international monitoring mission to better reduce
the cease-fire violations, I believe both the international air
bombardment and intensified civil war would have been avoided. 
But western diplomacy would have to be more flexible for this to occur.
In May - by Paul Watson

The International Herald Tribune            Paris, Tuesday, May 18, 1999


        ''As an Albanian, I am convinced that the Serbian
        government and security forces are not committing any kind
        of genocide'' ^ spokesman for Kosovo Democratic Initiative,
        ethnic Albanian political party opposed to KLA

        By Paul Watson Los Angeles Times Service

SVETLJE, Yugoslavia - Something strange is going on in
this Kosovo Albanian village in what was once a hard-line
guerrilla stronghold, where NATO accuses the Serbs of
committing genocide.

About 15,000 displaced ethnic Albanians live in and around
Svetlje, in northern Kosovo, and hundreds of young men are
everywhere, strolling along the dirt roads or lying on the
grass on a spring day.

The presence of so many fighting-age men in a region where
the Kosovo Liberation Army fought some of its fiercest
battles against Serbian forces poses a challenge to the
black-and-white versions of what is happening here.

By their own accounts, the men are not living in a
concentration camp, nor being forced to labor for the police
or army, nor serving as human shields for Serbs.

Instead, they are waiting with their families for permission to
follow thousands who have risked going back home to
nearby villages because they do not want to give up and
leave Kosovo.
                   ANDRE GUNDER FRANK
250 Kensington Ave - Apt 608     Tel: 1-514-933 2539    
Westmount/Montreal PQ/QC         Fax: 1-514-933 6445 
Canada H3Z 2G8              e-mail:agfrank@chass.utoronto.ca 

My Personal/Professional Home Page> http://www.whc.neu.edu/gunder.html
My NATO/Kosovo Page> http://csf.colorado.edu/archive/agfrank/nato_kosovo/       
My professional/personal conclusion is the same as Pogo's - 
            We have met the enemy, and it is US 

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