KFOR Press Update: 25 Mar 2000
by Lt.-Cdr. Philip Anido, KFOR Spokesperson
High Level Visit to Kosovo
The NATO Secretary General, The Right Honourable Lord Robertson and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Wesley Clark, visited General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt and his staff at KFOR headquarters yesterday.
Their visit included meetings with local leaders and a trip to a school near Pristina to talk to school children, parents and teachers. Lord Robertson expressed his delight at the opportunity to see the new generation who will inherit the hard fought freedom from past oppression and the successes that their parents, together with the international community, will achieve in the months and years ahead.
The Secretary General and General Clark received a full update on the security situation in Kosovo, including the initiatives that are being taken in Mitrovica to restore normal life there.
Update on Exercise Dynamic Response 2000
Dutch, Romanian, Polish and US troops from the Strategic Reserve Forces (SRF) have now settled into their forward assembly areas (FAA) in Kosovo in preparation for Exercise Dynamic Response 2000. The week-long training maneuvers commence early on Monday morning, 27 March.
The Romanian and Polish infantry units are now located near Prizren, the American Marines north of Prizren in Suva Reka, and the Dutch Marines near Pristina. The Argentine Parachute Company arrived at the Skopje airport last night and will move into their FAA in Prizren.
Anniversary of NATO Bombing
A number of demonstrations were held throughout Kosovo to celebrate the allied bombing campaign, which had been launched on 24 March 1999 to end the brutal oppression that the Kosovo Albanians have suffered in the past.
Despite some illegal celebration fire, the events were attended by small numbers of citizens and were all short-lived and peaceful. In Vitina, noon hour crowds carrying signs saying, "Thank you USA" and "Thank you NATO." In Leposavic, a Serb crowd of about 300 protested against the bombing.
Leaders Met in Orahovac
Albanian and Serb leaders met in Orahovac yesterday to discuss the current situation and discuss ways to settle their problems. The talks, which were also attended by KFOR representatives, were held in a friendly and open-minded atmosphere.
KFOR considers the meeting to be an encouraging sign on the way to mutual acceptance among the citizens of this community. This type of strong and determined leadership is the key to Kosovo's future.
Murder Suspect Re-arrested
The young suspect wanted for the murder earlier this month on the KFOR Russian peacekeeper has been arrested in Durakovac. He was stopped at a vehicle checkpoint manned by KFOR Spanish troops. The youth had escaped from custody shortly after his original arrest.
Murder Suspect Transferred
COMKFOR and the SRSG have directed that Xhavit Hasani be transferred to the custody of UNMIK police at 11:00 hrs today on charges of attempted murder and possession of weapons without a license. Hasani was detained by KFOR on Jan. 9, 2000, in the community of Vitina. For further information, please contact UNMIK police.
Events and incidents in Kosovo during the last 24 hours:
In Pec (MNB West), KFOR troops and UNMIK police arrested a man for assault with a knife.
KFOR soldiers arrested a man at the Morina South border crossing (MNB South) who is wanted on suspicion of murder. He has been turned over to UNMIK police.
Searches and Weapons Confiscations
In Mitrovica (MNB North), one assault rifle, a machine gun and ammunition were found during a house search.
In Pec (MNB West), one man was detained for illegal possession of a pistol. In Dakovoca (MNB West), a pistol, two rifles, 30 hand grenades, one anti-tank mine, detonators, and primers were confiscated. One Albanian was arrested by KFOR military police. The case will be turned over to UNMIK police.
In Malisevo (MNB South), a KPC member delivered a hand grenade to KFOR explosive ordnance experts for disposal.
In Dobrava (MNB East), KFOR troops arrested three Albanian men dressed in UCK uniforms during a house search. An assault rifle and ammunition were confiscated. In Urosevac, an assault rifle, a hand grenade and 500 rounds of ammunition were confiscated during a house search and one Albanian was turned over to UNMIK police.