Sunday, March 21, 2004

Don't know if you've been aware of the news from Kosova these past several days. NATO's sent a 1000 US, British, and Italian troops. The French and Germans are sending between 400 and 600.

This wave of violence started, they say, because three Albanian boys in the
village
of Г‡abГ«r, drowned in the Ibri River as they were running away from Serbs with dogs, in Prishtina. So far, at least 31 have died, say UN officials. Some Albanians have torched churches and monasteries, and in reprisal, Orthodox have burnt mosques.

To my aquaintances and former neighbors who have ancestors from Gracanica Catholic community south of Prishtian--Serb communities have been attacked near there.

According to the New York Times: "But while the fresh troops continued to flow into Kosovo, it was unclear if they would be able to repair the damage. South of Pristina in the ethnically mixed town of Lipjan, Serbian families began to load up tractors with belongings before driving them to the nearby Serb-dominated enclaves of Suvi Do and Gracanica."

The outbreak of violent incidents was not surprising
to
the COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS & FREEDOMS in
Prishtina, Kosova. In its previous press releases, the CDHRF has warned of the
threat for the escalation of the situation and has identified the
causes
which could lead to it. The accumulated frustration due to the
difficult
economic situation in Kosova, grave security situation and the lack of
political prospects has resulted in the escalation of the situation.

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