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Czechs hold line in Kosovo
The Prague Post ^ | March 25, 2004

Posted on 03/25/2004 4:20:45 AM PST by joan

KFOR soldiers defend Serb enclaves against attacks by Albanians

By Eva Munk
For The Prague Post
(March 25, 2004)

Captain Jindrich Plescher had never seen anything like it.

"We were defending a Serb Orthodox church in the town of Podujevo against a mob of 500 Albanians, but there were too many for us," he recalled. "When they broke through the wall [around the church], we got orders to retreat.

"They smashed everything inside, including our communications center, made a big pile in front and set it on fire. Then they turned their attention to the adjacent Serb cemetery. They knocked over tombstones, dug up the coffins and scattered the bones in them."

For the first time March 21, the professionally optimistic voice of Plescher, press spokesman for the Czech-Slovak KFOR battalion in Kosovo, sounded tired.

"Sorry, we've been on our feet since last week," he said. "Our boys have been rounding up Serb families, pulling them out of cellars and out of burning houses -- saving their lives."

Czech and Slovak soldiers have been supporting KFOR's Brigade center -- a multinational unit consisting of Finnish, Swedish and Irish troops, located around the administrative center of Pristina -- since mobs of ethnic Albanians went on a rampage against Kosovo's Serb minority March 17.

"The Serbs are very happy to see Czech and Slovak troops. They see us as keepers of the peace," Plescher said.

For most of the week, they helped defend Serb enclaves in the towns of Lipljan, Plemetina, Babin Most, Caglavica and Gracanica. By March 21 they had consolidated around the village of Obiliç, a Serb enclave northwest of Pristina, and were evacuating the remaining Serb inhabitants to military headquarters in the city. The Serb homes in the village were ransacked and burned, said unit commander Josef Kopecky.

Albanian rage

In times of peace, the 500-strong Fourth Czech-Slovak KFOR battalion keeps the peace in an area of 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles) in the northeast corner of the province, including 104 kilometers (65 miles) of borderland and a long stretch of the Belgrade-Pristina highway. The area was expanded by 179 square kilometers March 22 to include more ethnically mixed villages.

Now their mission is simply to protect Serbs from enraged mobs of ethnic Albanians.

"The residents have gone to war with each other using whatever they can -- iron bars, rifles, handguns and even grenades," Kopecky said March 19. "In Serbian enclaves, Kosovo Albanians are destroying property, burning houses, chasing people away and even lynching them. The Serbs are trying to defend themselves and we are trying to keep them apart."

No Czech or Slovak soldiers have been hurt, except for one Slovak who was hit on the head with a rock, Plescher said. "He was up on his feet again the next day. Please, please tell everyone back home that all our boys are alive and well."

The Czech government had planned to withdraw 100 troops from Kosovo by May 1. But the performance of the Czech soldiers in quelling the riots has made the government change its mind about downsizing the force in the province, Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla told reporters.

The rampage broke out March 17 after two Albanian boys were drowned in the Ibar river, reportedly chased there by Serbs. That event triggered the worst violence the province has seen since 1999. Mobs of ethnic Albanians attacked Serb enclaves and KFOR units, leaving 24 dead and about 850 more wounded, 22 of them seriously.

Mobs razed hundreds of Serb houses and 17 Orthodox churches and monasteries.

Ironically, the riots started days after UN Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno praised evident progress in Kosovo and urged displaced persons to return to their homes.

That hardly seems likely now.

Instead, NATO plans to augment its 17,000-strong presence in the province with 2,000 more troops. UN officials and the commander of NATO forces in Southern Europe, Admiral Gregory Johnson, are now saying the riots appear to have been well-planned and organized.

In Serbia, the violence triggered anti-Albanian protests, and several mosques were burned.

Serbian Foreign Minister Goran Silvanovic said the riots prove that KFOR and UN forces have no real authority in the province and are incapable of protecting Kosovo's minorities.

Independence demand

For their part, Kosovar leaders say the only way to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict is to give the province independence. But European leaders agree that such a move could again destabilize the Balkans -- not to mention what such a move would mean for Kosovo's Serb and Romany minorities.

"Of course they would kill us or drive us out," said Romany journalist Jackie Buzoli.

So far, according to Romany activist and Kosovo correspondent Paul Polansky, the Albanians' rage has bypassed the Roma, who are merely being urged not to help the Serbs.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: balkans; campaignfinance; kfor; kosovo

1 posted on 03/25/2004 4:20:45 AM PST by joan
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To: *balkans
KFOR soldiers defend Serb enclaves against attacks by Albanians

Reading the article shows they DIDN'T defend the enclaves - the Albanians got in and destroyed them. What the Czechs did was evacuate the Serbs, save a certain number who were lynched.

2 posted on 03/25/2004 4:21:58 AM PST by joan
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
"Sorry, we've been on our feet since last week," he said. "Our boys have been rounding up Serb families, pulling them out of cellars and out of burning houses -- saving their lives."

Here are soldiers who are eyewitnesses AS IT HAPPENED. Come five years later as a peacekeeper and hang with Albanians - they'll say the wreckage was caused by Serbs, the bones found from the cemeteries they dug up - they'll say they are Albanians from mass graves...

3 posted on 03/25/2004 4:24:10 AM PST by joan
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To: joan
Albanian rage

Who's financing the thugs? Mebbe some of that missing several billion from UN's FFO program in Iraq found its way east.

4 posted on 03/25/2004 4:33:16 AM PST by dasboot (behold the power of the dark lord soros)
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To: dasboot
north? north-west? ugh!
5 posted on 03/25/2004 4:37:13 AM PST by dasboot (behold the power of the dark lord soros)
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To: joan
The Albanians are Muslims?
6 posted on 03/25/2004 4:43:12 AM PST by abclily
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To: abclily
The Albanians are Muslims?
__________________

What do you think? Actually 25% of them are Catholic of some kind but they don't make trouble.
7 posted on 03/25/2004 4:48:43 AM PST by dennisw (“We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.” - Toby Keith)
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To: MarMema
Ping!
8 posted on 03/25/2004 4:54:16 AM PST by sockmonkey (Is being referred to as an SOB in the Secret Service's job description?)
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To: joan
"The Serbs are very happy to see Czech and Slovak troops. They see us as keepers of the peace," Plescher said.

The Poles saved Vienna from the Muslim hordes (while the rest of Europe did nothing), maybe these two small countries will do the same...

9 posted on 03/25/2004 5:47:10 AM PST by 2banana
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To: *balkans; DTA
>>>>>They knocked over tombstones, dug up the coffins and scattered the bones in them."<<<<<<<

eyewitness account.

10 posted on 03/25/2004 5:52:14 AM PST by DTA (feja e shqiptarit eshte terorizm)
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To: dennisw
Catholic population of Kosovo was estimated at 60,000; total population at about 1.9 million. That about 3% Catholic. Perhaps 25% applies to Albania, not Kosovo?

I'm confused about where everyone is getting this 25-30% Catholic figure for Kosovo. Not trying to pick on you at all, just confused and curious.
11 posted on 03/25/2004 6:00:10 AM PST by wonders (Whoever said "All's fair in love and war" probably never participated in either.)
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To: dasboot
Who's financing the thugs?

Mainly they're financed by drug-running/white-slavery/gun-smuggling -- known to Interpol as "the scourge of Europe" -- typical mafia stuff. They also got some help from the good old USA and Germany and Iran and... You get the picture.

12 posted on 03/25/2004 6:05:43 AM PST by wonders (Whoever said "All's fair in love and war" probably never participated in either.)
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To: joan
"...Burning houses & churches, chasing people, even lynching..."

The sounds of peace,according to the U.N./NATO.

13 posted on 03/25/2004 6:18:11 AM PST by gitmogrunt (God Bless Our Troops)
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To: wonders
Catholic population of Kosovo was estimated at 60,000; total population at about 1.9 million. That about 3% Catholic. Perhaps 25% applies to Albania, not Kosovo? .................


YES ALBANIA is 25% Catholic. I'm sorry to be so sloppy.
14 posted on 03/25/2004 6:23:11 AM PST by dennisw (“We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.” - Toby Keith)
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To: DTA
think anyone will listen?

all from: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/decani/

Tanjug - International peacekeeping force for Kosovo and Metohija KFOR commander, German General Holger Kammerhoff on Tuesday said any attempt at rekindling violence in the province would be countered with a strong response. Anyone who tries to attack Serb enclaves or cultural objects will have to deal with KFOR, the German officer said in an interview to the Frankfurt daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. It would be necessary to return the strength of the KFOR composition to 40,000 troops in order to prevent murders of Serbs, General Kammerhoff said. KFOR currently has 20,000 troops.

OSCE chairman: there can be no talk of cutting down the number of international forces in Kosovo-Metohija or their departure, but only of beefing up the forces.

Montenegrin Premier Milo: Djukanovic and Russian Minister of Emergencies Sergei Shoigu agreed late on March 23 that strict adherence to the U.N. Security Council's resolution 1244.
15 posted on 03/25/2004 6:23:53 AM PST by getgoing
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To: dennisw
No need to apologize. You're usually very careful, dennisw. I just wondered where everyone was getting this 25-30% Catholic stuff lately.
16 posted on 03/25/2004 6:25:04 AM PST by wonders (Whoever said "All's fair in love and war" probably never participated in either.)
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To: wonders
Remember too that in Eastern Europe the Othodox Church is The Church, there is the Roman Catholic Church, and then there are Protestants. It is not like here where we refer to all churches that are not Roman Catholic as Protestant. Typically Croats are Catholic, Bosnians and Albanians are Muslim, and Serbs are Orthodox but sometimes reports lump Othodox and Roman Catholic together especially in majority Muslim areas.
17 posted on 03/25/2004 6:25:39 AM PST by Monterrosa-24 (France kicked Germany's teeth out at Verdun among other places.)
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To: wonders
Also I heard that Albanians worldwide are about 25% Catholic. This means all Albanians in USA, Europe, Canada, Kosovo, Albania etc., etc. This figure may be too high, eh?
18 posted on 03/25/2004 6:25:49 AM PST by dennisw (“We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.” - Toby Keith)
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To: Monterrosa-24
Are Christian Albanians Catholic or Eastern Orthodox? Thanks!
19 posted on 03/25/2004 6:27:02 AM PST by dennisw (“We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.” - Toby Keith)
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To: dennisw
No, I really don't think it's too high worldwide or in Albania. Just way too high for Kosovo.
20 posted on 03/25/2004 6:46:27 AM PST by wonders (Whoever said "All's fair in love and war" probably never participated in either.)
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To: Monterrosa-24
True for former Y -- if the reports are written by foreigners. The only Protestants I ran across in former Y (other than internationals working in the ara) were some Roma who converted to Jehova's Witnesses to avoid the draft!

Do we refer to Orthodox as Protestant here? Well, we shouldn't! They're hardly Protestants!

As for Eastern Europe: Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic are primarily Catholic, not Orthodox.

21 posted on 03/25/2004 6:52:25 AM PST by wonders (Whoever said "All's fair in love and war" probably never participated in either.)
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To: joan
Riots are why they invented machineguns and flamethrowers. Kill a few thousands of this scum and they'll stop. That is how you keep peace is pestholes like this.

We should have let the Serbians keep Kosovo; should have encouraged them in the ethnic cleansing.
22 posted on 03/25/2004 6:56:26 AM PST by Little Ray (John eFfing Kerry: Just a Gigolo!)
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To: dennisw
>>>>>Are Christian Albanians Catholic or Eastern Orthodox? Thanks!<<<<<

Both.

Generally, Orthodox Albanians live in south Albania, Kosovo is mostly Muslim, with some minor RC. Experienced people can easily tell by name wether Shqiptar (the name Albanians call themselves) is Muslim, Orthodox or RC Christian.

In Albania, Enver Hoxha tyranical regime abolished religion but in reality destroyed Christian base on behalf of Islamism. Also, forcibly integrated Hellenes, Vlachi, Serbs, Montenegrins into Albanian nation. There was a large Serb and Montenegrin minority in Albania after Albania was created. Almost none remain today.

Kosovo Shqiptars do not share that experience because they were free to express religious beliefs.

What I would really like to learn is about Orthodox Christian Shqiptars in Kosovo. I strongly suspect they were the victims of geneocide by their fellow Shqiptars during WWII.

Now, imagine being an Orthodox Shqiptar and watching destruction of Orthodox shrines in the name of Shqiptaria( Albanian Nazism).

23 posted on 03/25/2004 7:04:45 AM PST by DTA (feja e shqiptarit eshte terorizm)
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To: DTA
See my #11 on this thread. Do you think the 3% is correct? Maybe you have access to better figures than I do. I'm just curious.
24 posted on 03/25/2004 7:12:13 AM PST by wonders (Whoever said "All's fair in love and war" probably never participated in either.)
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To: joan
They knocked over tombstones, dug up the coffins and scattered the bones in them."

Somebody ask BOB DOLE...JOHN MCCAIN...and JOE BIDEN why their 'allies' are behaving in this matter. This won't make the public airwaves. I beg of FReepers to call their congressional offices and ask why this is allowed to happen.

25 posted on 03/25/2004 7:18:36 AM PST by MadelineZapeezda
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To: Admin Moderator
Can you add that "Muslims are scattering bones of dead Serbs" to the title???
26 posted on 03/25/2004 7:20:45 AM PST by MadelineZapeezda
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To: wonders
>>>> Do you think the 3% is correct?<<<<

It is hard to say. First of all, we do not know how many of Kosovo occupants are Kosovo Sqhiptars (i.e citizens of Serbia), how many are illegal aliens from Albania (i.e. Albanian Shqiptars), how many are Roma forced to decare as Shqiptars.

Only when we can determine this with certainty, we can speak of exact figures.

For illustrative purposes, I believe you are right.

Kosovo Shqiptars boycotted 1991 census on purpose - they were preparing for the fraud. Since there was no census, there was no way to reject their wild claim of 90% of kosovo population being Shqiptars. In reality, it was around 70%.

In 1999, rappid change of population occured. Over 250,000 Serbs, Roma and others were expelled from Kosovo, while at the same time influx of illegal aliens from Albania occured. So, after all the turmoil, Kosovo is 90% Albanian today. But it was not in 1999 and certainly not in 1991 when the claim first time appeared.

this is VERY IMPORTANT issue, because the guideline "Kosovo, population of 2 milion, 90$ Albanian" can be found in thousands of newsreports before Kosovo war. It is unerasable trace that the whole Kosovo story was a con game from the start.

27 posted on 03/25/2004 8:54:11 AM PST by DTA (feja e shqiptarit eshte terorizm)
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To: DTA
Good answer. Thanks.
28 posted on 03/25/2004 4:21:30 PM PST by wonders (Whoever said "All's fair in love and war" probably never participated in either.)
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To: katnip
ping
29 posted on 03/25/2004 7:46:25 PM PST by MarMema (Next Year in Constantinople!)
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To: joan
God bless the Italians, the Greeks, and the Czechs, for their honorable and integrity-filled actions in Kosovo.

May God judge the French and Germans accordingly for their racism and hatred.

30 posted on 03/25/2004 7:49:11 PM PST by MarMema (Next Year in Constantinople!)
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To: joan
"In Serbian enclaves, Kosovo Albanians are destroying property, burning houses, chasing people away and even lynching them."

Ronly Bonly Osama gets his wish!

31 posted on 03/26/2004 8:32:49 AM PST by FormerLib (Feja e shqiptarit eshte terorizm.)
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To: dennisw
How Catholic is the KLA?
32 posted on 03/26/2004 8:36:00 AM PST by Mamzelle (for a post-neo conservatism)
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To: Mamzelle
How Catholic is the KLA? ......

Very very little would be my estimate. KLA is a Muslim operation but possibly they have some Catholics who are gangsters and work with the KLA Muslim gangsters.
33 posted on 03/26/2004 8:43:15 AM PST by dennisw (“We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.” - Toby Keith)
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To: dennisw; Mamzelle
And they'd clearly be Catholic in name only. I don't think you'd find practicing Catholics willing to urinate on a desecrated Church.
34 posted on 03/26/2004 9:34:19 AM PST by FormerLib (Feja e shqiptarit eshte terorizm.)
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To: DTA
you dissing Enver ?
35 posted on 03/27/2004 7:22:30 AM PST by ehoxha
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To: MarMema; joan; wonders
6,000 of our own forces there also..........wadda they do ?
36 posted on 03/27/2004 7:24:14 AM PST by ehoxha
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