KFOR Press Update: 24 Mar 2000

Report
from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
Published on 24 Mar 2000
Pristina, 24 March 2000
by Lt.-Cdr. Philip Anido, KFOR Spokesperson

Tight KFOR Control Along Boundary

Last Wednesday, KFOR announced the measures Multinational Brigade Centre and the other Brigades are taking to control and eliminate illegal activity along the boundary of Kosovo. These measures include closing minor crossings and unofficial trails and conducting round the clock patrols and reconnaissance.

Contrary to Serbian radio broadcasts and information citizens in the Ground Safety Zone and elsewhere in southern Serbia are receiving, KFOR is not closing the border for normal civilian traffic. The well-traveled crossings remain open. Citizens must accept that any delays, due to vehicle and ID checks, are in the very best interest of their safety and security.

The strict KFOR measures have been imposed for the sole purpose of restricting the movement of criminals and extremists who are known to cross back and forth across the boundary. KFOR will not allow Kosovo to be used as a base for the export of violence.

High Level Visit to Kosovo

The NATO Secretary General, The Right Honourable Lord Robertson and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Wesley Clark, will visit Kosovo today. Their journey demonstrates the high level of support NATO maintains for the KFOR and UN mission in the province.

The visit will include a press conference for the local and international press corps and a visit to a school in the KFOR Canadian area of operation.

Since KFOR arrived in theatre last June, enormous strides have been taken to restore law and order and to assist all people of Kosovo rebuild normal lives. Today's visit highlights the international communities commitment to helping Albanians, Serbs and all citizens heal the deep wounds of fear and hatred and to work towards a democratic and prosperous future.

Update on Exercise Dynamic Response 2000

Dutch, Romanian, Polish and US troops from the Strategic Reserve Forces (SRF) continue to move into their staging areas in Kosovo in preparation for Exercise Dynamic Response 2000. Media will be advised of opportunities to cover all phases of the maneuvres. The employment phase commences on Monday 27 March and lasts until 3 April.

Events and incidents in Kosovo during the last 24 hours:

Searches and Weapons Confiscations

On Wednesday evening, KFOR troops confiscated three hand grenades, one pistol and a loaded magazine during a house search in Dusanovo (MNB South). Two Albanian men were questioned.

On Wednesday in Pec (MNB West), KFOR troops confiscated a rifle and questioned an Albanian man for illegal possession of a dangerous weapon. In Cupovac (MNB West), an Albanian was arrested at a vehicle checkpoint for driving around with three pistols and six loaded magazines. He was brought to the Italian Military Police station in Pec for questioning.

Yesterday in Urosevac (MNB East), an Albanian man called KFOR troops and UNMIK police to his home to hand over 12 anti-personnel fragmentation landmines, trip wire, and 12 blocks of TNT and 12 detonators.

Yesterday morning in Dubnica (MNB Centre), KFOR troops confiscated an AK-47 rifle at a vehicle checkpoint. A subsequent house search turned up no additional weapons.

Yesterday south of Pristina (MNB centre), KFOR Swedish troops searched 15 houses and confiscated one AK-47 rifle, two assault rifles, a shotgun, and military clothing. The search in the community is ongoing.

Early yesterday morning, KFOR soldiers carried out a house search in the Suvi Do (MNB North) district in the northern part of Mitrovica and confiscated one AK-47 rifle, an SKS assault rifle, a pistol, magazines, ammunition, two field telephones and a UCK uniform. In another district in the northern part of the city two assault rifles were discovered in an abandoned house.