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No Sign Of Ceasefire In Kosovo

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<p>As the Tuesday deadline looms, there is little sign of a ceasefire in Kosovo, with audible gunfire and new Serb troops arriving in the province.</p><p>Ethnic Albanians say Serb President Slobodan Milosevic is not sticking to his side of the October 12 deal, made to avert NATO airstrikes.</p><p>And they say police intimidation is stopping refugees returning to their villages.</p><p>More gunfire was heard in the hills of Kosovo on Thursday afternoon.</p><p>UPSOUND: (Gunfire)</p><p>It was not clear who fired or what the target was.</p><p>There are Serb positions in the area and Kosovo Liberation Army (K-L-A) soldiers evident on the ground.</p><p>These attacks will do little to persuade refugees to return to their homes.</p><p>Most are living in the open in makeshift plastic tents up in the hills.</p><p>Three Serb tanks were spotted moving around the outskirts of Pristina, although it was not clear whether they were withdrawing from the province, as demanded by the October 12 agreement, or if it was just the part of regular movement of troops stationed in Kosovo.</p><p>Meanwhile in Belgrade, diplomacy was still underway, with a meeting between American envoy William Walker and Serb President Slobodan Milosevic to discuss the arrival of 2-thousand international O-S-C-E observers in Kosovo.</p><p>Walker will head the O-S-C-E mission in Kosovo which aims to verify that Milosevic honours the agreement to withdraw his troops from Kosovo.</p><p>There are reports that Milosevic is still not complying with NATO demands to remove his troops from the province.</p><p>International observers already there have heard increased tank and artillery fire in some areas.</p><p>Kosovo's main ethnic Albanian leader has echoed these claims, saying there has been little progress made to defuse the crisis.</p><p>SOUNDBITE: (Albanian with English translation)</p><p>"On the other side thousands of people continue to live in the open. In a few villages people have been prevented from returning to their homes by police. Violence against political activists has continued to be exercised."</p><p>SUPER CAPTION: Ibrahim Rugova, Ethnic Albanian leader in Kosovo</p><p>But while the politicians talked there was still military activity in Kosovo, with, confusingly, yet more Serb police arriving.</p><p>Serb authorities say they've been sent in to protect Albanian Catholics who say their village is under threat from separatist fighters.</p><p>As some stood on guard around the village, others shared a brandy with the Albanian Catholics, who are a minority in the Province.</p><p>At least five thousand Serb police are still on duty in Kosovo, and new units are regularly rotated in for a period of duty.</p><p>In the village of Glodanje the latest batch of arrivals was shown how to use, and defuse, explosives.</p><p>But despite reports of sporadic violence in the Serb province, the police appeared relaxed.</p><p>It may well be they have a legitimate purpose in the province but it is clear elsewhere the Serb forces are doing their best to overturn the peace process.</p><p>The funerals of five ethnic Albanians from one family were held in Kosovo after they were shot dead by Serb forces as they tried to return to their home.</p><p>The family fled their village a month ago to escape the fighting, but decided to return after the agreement forcing Serbs to withdraw from the province.</p><p>About 800 people attended their funeral in the village of Grcina, 100 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital Pristina.</p><p>The attack happened as they were crossing the border back into Kosovo on Thursday,</p><p>Serb border guards lit flares and opened fire on them.</p><p>After a month in exile, they were returning to their village in Kosovo because they thought last week's political agreement meant there would be no more Serb attacks.</p><p>SOUNDBITE: (Albanian)</p><p>"The family decided to come back from Albania because they thought it would be safe."</p><p>SUPER CAPTION: Rindita Sylmetaj, Ethnic Albanian refugee</p><p>Of the 16 members of the Sylmetaj family, four of them were killed along with their guide.</p><p>The youngest to die was just two-years-old.</p><p>The Yugoslav army described the killings as a shootout between border guards and Albanian guerillas who used women and children as shields when smuggling weapons.</p><p>Whatever the real story behind these senseless deaths, it seems unlikely that a lasting stability will return to Kosovo for Tuesday's deadline.</p>

dc:identifier
018-00092145
dc:source
AP Archive
dc:title
No Sign Of Ceasefire In Kosovo
dc:type
MovingImage
mhub:credit
AP Archive
dc:description
<p>As the Tuesday deadline looms, there is little sign of a ceasefire in Kosovo, with audible gunfire and new Serb troops arriving in the province.</p><p>Ethnic Albanians say Serb President Slobodan Milosevic is not sticking to his side of the October 12 deal, made to avert NATO airstrikes.</p><p>And they say police intimidation is stopping refugees returning to their villages.</p><p>More gunfire was heard in the hills of Kosovo on Thursday afternoon.</p><p>UPSOUND: (Gunfire)</p><p>It was not clear who fired or what the target was.</p><p>There are Serb positions in the area and Kosovo Liberation Army (K-L-A) soldiers evident on the ground.</p><p>These attacks will do little to persuade refugees to return to their homes.</p><p>Most are living in the open in makeshift plastic tents up in the hills.</p><p>Three Serb tanks were spotted moving around the outskirts of Pristina, although it was not clear whether they were withdrawing from the province, as demanded by the October 12 agreement, or if it was just the part of regular movement of troops stationed in Kosovo.</p><p>Meanwhile in Belgrade, diplomacy was still underway, with a meeting between American envoy William Walker and Serb President Slobodan Milosevic to discuss the arrival of 2-thousand international O-S-C-E observers in Kosovo.</p><p>Walker will head the O-S-C-E mission in Kosovo which aims to verify that Milosevic honours the agreement to withdraw his troops from Kosovo.</p><p>There are reports that Milosevic is still not complying with NATO demands to remove his troops from the province.</p><p>International observers already there have heard increased tank and artillery fire in some areas.</p><p>Kosovo's main ethnic Albanian leader has echoed these claims, saying there has been little progress made to defuse the crisis.</p><p>SOUNDBITE: (Albanian with English translation)</p><p>"On the other side thousands of people continue to live in the open. In a few villages people have been prevented from returning to their homes by police. Violence against political activists has continued to be exercised."</p><p>SUPER CAPTION: Ibrahim Rugova, Ethnic Albanian leader in Kosovo</p><p>But while the politicians talked there was still military activity in Kosovo, with, confusingly, yet more Serb police arriving.</p><p>Serb authorities say they've been sent in to protect Albanian Catholics who say their village is under threat from separatist fighters.</p><p>As some stood on guard around the village, others shared a brandy with the Albanian Catholics, who are a minority in the Province.</p><p>At least five thousand Serb police are still on duty in Kosovo, and new units are regularly rotated in for a period of duty.</p><p>In the village of Glodanje the latest batch of arrivals was shown how to use, and defuse, explosives.</p><p>But despite reports of sporadic violence in the Serb province, the police appeared relaxed.</p><p>It may well be they have a legitimate purpose in the province but it is clear elsewhere the Serb forces are doing their best to overturn the peace process.</p><p>The funerals of five ethnic Albanians from one family were held in Kosovo after they were shot dead by Serb forces as they tried to return to their home.</p><p>The family fled their village a month ago to escape the fighting, but decided to return after the agreement forcing Serbs to withdraw from the province.</p><p>About 800 people attended their funeral in the village of Grcina, 100 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital Pristina.</p><p>The attack happened as they were crossing the border back into Kosovo on Thursday,</p><p>Serb border guards lit flares and opened fire on them.</p><p>After a month in exile, they were returning to their village in Kosovo because they thought last week's political agreement meant there would be no more Serb attacks.</p><p>SOUNDBITE: (Albanian)</p><p>"The family decided to come back from Albania because they thought it would be safe."</p><p>SUPER CAPTION: Rindita Sylmetaj, Ethnic Albanian refugee</p><p>Of the 16 members of the Sylmetaj family, four of them were killed along with their guide.</p><p>The youngest to die was just two-years-old.</p><p>The Yugoslav army described the killings as a shootout between border guards and Albanian guerillas who used women and children as shields when smuggling weapons.</p><p>Whatever the real story behind these senseless deaths, it seems unlikely that a lasting stability will return to Kosovo for Tuesday's deadline.</p>
dc:subject
unrest, conflicts and war
war
mhub:temporal-coverage
1998-10-231998-10-23