nettime's_indigestive_system on Sat, 15 May 1999 17:52:23 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> geertogram 051599 [digest]: staging staging, kandic, appeal

Geert Lovink <>
         (fwd) Re: warning for 'staged' massacre
         (fwd) n. kandic report from montenegro

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Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 08:01:04 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <>
Subject: Re: warning for 'staged' massacre

From: Norman Cigar <>
Subject: Re: warning for 'staged' massacre

The source for the "staged" massacre rumour mill seems to be a Tanjug
(the state-run Yugoslav "news" agency) report.  In Saturday's POLITIKA,
a Tanjug report from Zagreb (yes, Zagreb !?!), alleges that the Croatian
Air Force has transferred MiG-21s (which it has), as well as Galebs,
Supergalebs, and Oraos (which I don't think it has) to NATO.  According
to Tanjug, these aircraft have been allegedly repainted with Yugoslav
markings and will bomb an airfield within Albania to make it look like
the Yugoslav Air Force did it.  Politika claims that bodies of those KLA
who have been killed are now being collected and will be placed at the
bomb site to make it look like they were victims (it must be quite a
trick to get those bodies out of Kosovo to Albania; I wonder how it
would be done).  Politika further assures its readers that (who else?)
CNN's Christiane Amanpour is stage-managing the event.
I hope that the state-run Serb press on the Internet is not cut off--
it's so entertaining and imaginative.

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Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 11:35:06 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <>
Subject: (fwd) n. kandic report from montenegro

From: natasa kandic <hlc_nk@EUNET.YU>

Dear friends,

I am currently in Montenegro, consulting lawyer - refugees from Kosovo -
about ways to conduct research into events in Kosovo after 24 March.
There are over 80,000 Albanian refugees in Montenegro.  Approximately
60,000 of them are from Pec, Mitrovica and Istok.  Interviewing refugees
will help us obtain relevant material about the pattern of ethnic
cleansing in the above places.  This material will be useful to the
ICTY's Office of the Prosecutor for their decisions on conducting
investigations and bringing indictments.

The office in Montenegro, in Ulcinj, is the third office of the
Humanitarian Law Center.  The office in Pristina does not exist any
more.  Last time I was there  on 3 April, was my second visit to
Pristina since 24 March.  Through the open door, I saw books and paper
scattered all over the place, desks with no computers, and the usual
mess after a police search.  Mentor Nimani, one of my lawyers, lived in
the neighborhood.  I will never forget 29 March in Pristina, and Mentor
on the staircase of his block, at his wit's end from terror and ready to
flee Kosovo.  We had been in contact on daily basis in the previous
days, so I had known he lived in fear that someone might come, knock on
his door and kill him, but the terror I saw in his eyes made up my mind
then and there to depart immediately.  I had already found my other
staff, so we were ready to go.  Vjollca stayed in Pristina.  Her father
was adamant that she stayed with her family and that they were not to
loose contact.  She phoned me from Albania several days later.  All
families from her part of town had been expelled, transported by train
to Blace, a village close to Macedonian border.  She spent a few days
there, out in the open together with a group of 20,000 people.  They
were put on buses and taken to the Albanian border by night.

On that 29 March, we started from Pristina towards the Macedonian
border, Ariana, Nora, Kushtrim and some friends whose names I cannot
disclose for their personal security.  Several hundred cars followed
us.  We returned after we had received information that the border had
been closed, and when we saw policemen wearing masks on their faces.  We
returned to Pristina, dropped Ariana off, as she decided to stay until
my next visit, and turned Belgrade bound.  I do not know how we managed
to leave Kosovo, there must be God somewhere.  A car with three
Albanians and two Serbs.  We cleared all check points, each in fear that
they will discover who we were, arrest and separate us.  Mentor's fear
did not disappear in Belgrade.  It was easier for him, but that was no
freedom either.  Several days later, we went to Montenegro, Mentor then
went to Albania and subsequently to the US.  Nora stayed in Montenegro
working with refugees for a while.  She left for Budapest on 4 May.
She, too, is US bound.  Ariana was waiting for my arrival in Pristina.
She was looking after our Jeep.  She left for Macedonia on 5 May.  She
is currently visiting camps and interviewing refugees.  She plans to
return to Kosovo as soon as it is safe to do so.

Whenever I show up in Pristina, people can hardly believe it possible.
It amazes me that I manage to do it.  The first time I went back, on 27
March, I took a taxi to the bus station in an attempt to find a bus for
Kosovo.  Some ten meters away from the bus station, it occurred to me to
ask the driver if he would take me to Bujanovac, a small place 100
kilometers from Pristina, thinking that I would be able to catch a lift
to Kosovo from there.  He agreed to my proposal, and when we were near
Bujanovac, he accepted, for a generous fee, to take me all the way to
Pristina.  If it had not been for him, I could not have taken three
Albanians out of Kosovo.  He had a way of chatting with policemen, an
air of nonchalance when clearing check points, asking about fuel and
cigarettes, that left an impression he was one of their own kind.  I
went with him two more times.  He would always ask, "who are we getting
out this time" before each trip.

When I travel to Kosovo, on roads with no traffic, with police and
military check points, I never think about the possibility of something
bad happening to me.  Riding through Serbia, my primary concern is
fuel.  I keep bothering the driver about how much fuel we have already
spent.  When I see the road sign for Kosovska Mitrovica, I start to look
round.  The villages were intact until 5 May.  They were obviously
empty, but there was no arson.  I took a note that on 23 April, I met a
large group of people on the same road, who were walking towards
Vucitrn.  These people were returning to their homes having spent two
weeks in woods hiding, and were anxious whether the police would allow
them to go back and whether their houses were still standing.  They were
looking at me in utter disbelief when I told them they should return
home, that people were going back to Pristina from the border.
Unfortunately, these same people as well as others from Vucitrn, have
been expelled from their homes.  On 5 May, I saw that the town was
empty, and many houses were on fire.  The same day, I passed through
Mitrovica.  There were neither police nor military in the town center.
There wasn't a soul to be seen.  Large sections of town had been
destroyed.  One could see that houses had been plundered first, and then
set on fire.  There were some people in the suburbs.  Serb parts of town
were intact.  Afterwards, when I talked to Albanians from Mitrovica who
came to Montenegro, I found out that approximately 30,000 Albanians were
expelled from Mitrovica on 15 April, and that they had been ordered to
leave for Montenegro.  They traveled on foot, it took them three days to
reach Dubovo, a village 80 kilometers away from Mitrovica, where the
Yugoslav Army stopped them.  The army kept them there for three days,
when three officers announced there had been an "order for refugees to
return home".  They were put on buses and shipped back to burnt down
Mitrovica.  Hunger and fear made many of them leave Mitrovica again and
go to Montenegro.

Every time I enter Pristina, I feel relieved.  I say to myself, "It's
still standing".  Bajram Kelmendi is gone.  He was murdered on the first
night of NATO bombardment.  He was taken from home with his sons that
first night.  Fehmi Agani is gone, too.  I never managed to meet him in
Pristina.  He was last seen at Bajram Kelmendi's funeral on 27 March.
People were saying he was in Pristina in hiding, changing houses, and
that it was good he was not going out.  I tried to find him, but no one
knew where he was.  Now I wonder if it was possible that he was still
free at the time, and if it was his decision not to communicate with
anybody.  I shall not have peace until I find out how he was murdered
and what was happening with him after Kelmendi's funeral.  He was an old
friend.  I can still hear his words: "How is it going Natasa, are you
less busy, how is your health, your family?"; and in the same breath:
"There is hope, we must believe that things will get better".  A long
time ago, in 1994, we both attended the Conference on the Hague Tribunal
in Bern.  I remember those days for two reasons.  Although there were
only a few participants from Serbia, he spoke Serbian in front of a huge
audience, the majority of them Albanians.  He said he was doing that
because of his Serb friends, out of respect for their work.  One day
during the Conference, he invited me to meet some of his former students
who had arrived from Germany and Switzerland to attend the part of the
Conference concerning Kosovo.  When he introduced me, I realized that he
had not told them he had invited a Serb woman.  At that time, there were
few occasions for Serb and Albanian intellectuals to sit together and
talk.  I could see that his students were stunned, but soon they
welcomed me and apologized for the fact they did not speak very good

The news about Agani's death has reached me in Montenegro.  At the hotel
reception desk, I have been told that a cousin of Agani's called from
Pristina and said he had been arrested.  The next day, the news said his
body had been found near Lipljan.

Best regards

Natasa Kandic

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Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 14:23:30 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <>


Shkup/ Tetova/ Gostivar, May 14, 1999

A  propaganda war is going in the international media  about the
reasonability of the NATO bombing against Serbia's military machine. The
Serbian propaganda and a part of the western media are trying to present
Serbia as the victim of aggression and NATO as   the aggressor. They put
forth the idea that the bombing has nothing to do with the protection of
the expelled Albanians from Kosova, but is part of the geostrategic aims of
the imperialist western Alliance.

In an even more cynical way, the humiliations against the Kosovar Albanians
are attributed  the NATO aggression, and not to the genocidal bellifercious
aims of the Serbian State. This flagrant change of the subject is tied to
the demand that the  bombing stop  and political negotiations leads to a
dangerous situation.

It is forgotten that the bombing begun because the Serbian State was not in
favor of serious negotiations and a political solution, but was planning
a war  of annihilation of every single   Albanian in Kosova. It is
forgotten that the Albanian delegation to the peace conference in France
signed an accord for a political compromise solution and the Serbian side
used to make obstructions without offering any serious alternative for
solution. It is also forgotten that before the start of  NATO bombardments
the Serbian military forces have realized a 'scorched earth' policy
including the  systematic destruction of towns,plundering, expulsion of
hundred thousands of Albanians. Also forgotten are the killings, pogroms,
massacres, wrappings, masse deportations, destruction of documents and all
signs of cultural and religious identity of Albanians.

We, the deported Albanian intellectuals would , once again, want to
protest against these propagandistic manipulations, which in essence
provide an alibi to Serbia's genocidal policies. We want to tell world
democratic opinion that we are without any doubt in favor of punishing
Serbia. The Serbian military machine, which has caused all the wars in
former Yugoslavia, should be broken and annihilated by all means . We hope
that the imminent defeat of the Serbian military forces will make possible
the return of the deported people to Kosova, the normalization of the
life, and the creation of a milieu for development of a democratic system.

Rexhep Ismajli, linguist
Ali Podrimja, writer
Ali Aliu, writer
Hivzi Islami, demographer
Ramiz Kelmendi, writer
Shk=EBlzen Maliqi, publicist
Astrit Salihu, philosopher
Kim Mehmeti, writer
Mufail Limani, publicist

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