Memorandum submitted by Serbian Unity
STATEMENT ON THE CURRENT SITUATION IN THE
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA AS AT 15 JANUARY 2001.
1. Since issuing our last statement on 24
March 2000 our experience in working with a great number of decision
makers in this country and abroad, including the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office and Members of Parliament is that some of these people
are still not adequately acquainted with the problems in the Balkans.
There are too many who are ill-informed and without knowledge
of the basic facts. These people would not know if the information
they are being given by Ministers is correct or not.
2. Before the civil war in the former Yugoslavia
started in 1991, Yugoslavia was an under-developed country. It
was, however, more economically advanced and had a higher standard
of living than other countries in Eastern Europe. In 1991 industry
and the economy had to re-adjust, then it slowed down. Raw materials
could not be imported, basic commodities and spare parts were
in short supply so the manufacturing industry was being crippled.
Exports were only 16-18 per cent of what they were before the
break-up of Yugoslavia. The income of the people and their purchasing
power fell dramatically. Inflation in 1993-4-5 reached staggering
proportions. Bread bought in the morning would be a higher price
in the afternoon! Political isolation, economic embargoes and
sanctions, coupled with NATO bombing devastated the country. Sanctions
were not lifted after the bombing of Yugoslavia ceased, but were
tightened instead. The Yugoslav authorities could not buy the
necessary equipment and parts from the EU countries with their
own money for re-construction of the war damage. The damage caused
by NATO bombing alone is estimated at $30 billion. This figure
was provided to us by the independent body G17. The overall losses
are, however, estimated at $97 billion.
3. Sanctions and destruction of the country
by NATO bombing had devastating consequences on the people of
Yugoslavia. People in urban areas were hard hit, particually the
elderly, the sick and children. Routine medical examinations,
laboratory analyses and operations could not be performed due
to the shortages of electricity and run-down equipment. The birth
rate of the Serbs over the last eight years has fallen to an alarmingly
low level. Things are not better now even though some humanitarian
aid is arriving. In some hospitals the doctors do not have disinfectants
or even soap with which to wash their hands. The death rate of
the elderly has increased dramatically due to the lack of money
to purchase food and medication. During the winter 1999-2000 the
death rate of the people in a radius of 60 miles to Belgrade in
the age bracket 55 years plus rose by 67 per cent. (This information
was provided by the Institute of Gerontology, Belgrade.) It is
hoped that the new, democratically elected government in Yugoslavia
will do much to alleviate the suffering of impoverished people.
This, However, will not occur until sanctions have been completely
lifted. The United States, whilst they have lifted some sanctions,
have not lifted all. Outer embargoes are still in place. For example,
JAT, Yugoslav National Airlines, has not been granted a licence
to fly to the United States. Our opinion is that Yugoslavia could
emerge from the present difficulties within five to eight years,
if left to her own devices, not subjected to further political
pressures from outside, interference and threats.
4. The Yugoslav government and Serbian people
must not be held responsible for the break up of Yugoslavia and
for the civil war. Serbian people have been denied their aspiration
to live in one country which they rightly could have expected
being the founders of Yugoslavia after the First World War. The
international community, however, encouraged and supported others
to break away and have a separate state. A political solution
should have been sought before recognition of the break-away states.
Germany played a pivotal role in the break-up of Yugoslavia. She
supported Croatia from the outset, was the first to recognise
her and instigated other countries to do the same. The lack of
willingness to find a political solution for the former Yugoslavia
has been re-inacted again in the civil war in Kosovo. There was
no possibility for the parties involved in the inter-ethnic conflict
to negotiate the proposals in Rambouillet, France. The Rambouillet
Agreement, was a package to the Yugoslavian Government "take
it or leave it", an ultimatum. The international community
at large failed to detect the ethnic nationalism and aims of Kosovo
separatists. Their strategy was, and still is, to provoke the
Serbian security forces to such an extent that they will retaliate.
This could cause a humanitarian crisis and NATO intervention would
become a necessity. If such a strategy were to be accepted by
the international community for solving other inter-ethnic conflicts
in the future, it may well be taken as a prescription by others
for their separatist aims and to achieve statehood. (Basque in
Spain, Corsica in France.)
5. NATO's air-strikes hit not only military,
but targets of no military significance whatsoever. It bombed
roads, bridges, hospitals, power stations, university compounds,
radio and television stations, car manufacturers, commuter trains
and even a tobacco factory. The destruction of five bridges over
the river Danube left 600,000 citizens of Novi Sad without water
as the city water supply systems were built into bridges. In Belgrade
supplying water was difficult after the electricity plants were
bombed. The bombing of oil refineries, chemical plants, ammonia
storages etc, caused a huge ecological disaster, particularly
in Novi Sad and Pancevo. The Pancevo Chemical Plant alone released
1,600 tonnes of vinyl chloride, 15,000 tonnes of ammonia, 800
tonnes of hydrochloric acid, 250 tonnes of liquid chloride, large
quantities of dioxin and 100 tonnes of mercury. For days after
the bombing the whole area was covered in a thick black acrid
smoke. The uncontrolled release of toxic gases, radioactive and
other dangerous substances into the atmosphere and soil, will
stay in the ground and water table for many years to come. This
has caused a vast ecological catastrophe with long lasting consequences.
The people of Serbia suffered great psychological damage and are
still greatly traumatised by the bombing after one and a half
6. In the war in Bosnia in 1994 and 1995
NATO dropped 10,800 depleted uranium missiles which is about 3
tonnes of nuclear explosives. As a result of this bombing areas
in Bosnia such as Hadzici, Bratunac, Milici, Vlasenica, Han Pijesak,
Sokolac, Pale, Vogosca, Rogatica are contaminated with uranium.
Up to now between 300-400 people in these regions have died from
leukaemia and radiation related illnesses. Animals are also affected.
We raised this matter in the past but had no response. In the
78 days of war against Yugoslavia NATO dropped 29,581 DU missiles
in Kosovo and south Serbia. This represents about 10 tonnes of
nuclear explosives. In the Serbian Province of Kosovo, 112 sites
are now contaminated, most of them close to the border with Macedonia
and Albania, in a linePrizren, Djakovica and Pec. In Serbia
the contaminated places are at Bujanovac, and several others six
kilometres south of Vranje. Also contaminated is a place in Montenegro,
Azra in the Pennisular of Boka Kotorska. The reason that the first
cases of leukaemia are now detected in NATO troops who served
in Bosnia is that depleted uranium has a prolonged action, takes
time to manifest itself, 2-5 years. Depleted uranium ammunition
leave behind shrapnel, small particles and fine dust known as
uranium oxide. Those particles get into the air, over a wide distance,
stay in the soil, and seep into the water, then by different means,
mainly by inhalation, and food and water, get into the body where
it affects vital organs. The first deaths of soldiers in Italy,
Portugal, Spain, the Czech Republic, and cases of leukaemia in
France, the Netherlands and Germany are only the beginning of
the consequences of the irresponsible and reckless action of NATO
in Yugoslavia. I am of the opinion that this is only the beginning
of a major humanitarian disaster which will sprout death for decades
7. It is a commonly held belief by Serbs
in the homeland and diaspora that the Hague Tribunal is one-sided,
biased and politically motivated in its alleged pursuit of justice.
The countries who were involved in breaking-up the former Yugoslavia,
now use the Hague Tribunal to wash their hands of the wrong-doings
they themselves committed. Most Serbs are of the opinion that
the Hague Tribunal has no right to try Mr Slobodan Milosevic.
It would be impossible for him to have a fair and just trial after
extensive lobbying by the various sides involved in the civil
war in the former Yugoslavia, after much mis-information and the
demonisation of the Serbs by the media in general in recent years.
Mr Milosevic should answer to the Serbian people and be tried
in a Yugoslav court only. If politicians and decision makers in
the west responsible for killing more than 2,000 innocent people,
many of whom were children, for using illegal cluster bombs and
for the destruction and contamination of the country would be
subjected to a trial themselves, then Serbs would likely agree
to the Serbian decision makers being sent for trial to the Hague.
All the main officers and judges at the Hague are from the West
or have been appointed by countries who intervened in Yugoslavia
and did damage to the country.
8. The United States and Germany are not
only encouraging, but aiding the separagraphgraphtist aims of
Montenegro from Yugoslavia. Croatia is particularly interested
in having a weaker Yugoslavia as a neighbour. In 1999 Montenegro
received funds of $54 million from the United States. In the same
year started to use the German mark as a parallel currency to
the Yugoslav dinar, and then dropped the dinar in favour of the
DM. The Deutsche Bank sent thirty four a half tonnes of coins
to aid the circulation of the German Marks in Montenegro. The
consignment arrived by a Dutch carrier at Cilipe Airport, Dubrovnik,
on the 5 November 1999, and was then transported immediately from
Croatia to Montenegro. This operation could only have been done
with the full knowledge and approval of the German Government.
During the sanctions on Yugoslavia, Milo Djukanovic, the President
of Montenegro, a staunch advocate of separagraphgraphtism, was
deeply involved with others in sanctions busting, smuggling petrol,
cigarettes, alcohol, etc. The West used him to help oust Milosevic,
and to break-up Yugoslavia further. If Montenegro leaves the Yugoslav
Federation that will make way for Kosovo to break away from Serbia
and Yugoslavia, which is the aim of some powers in the West.
9. The Governments of NATO who instigated
intervention into Yugoslavia, are not fulfilling the main terms
of UN Resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo Military-Technical Agreement.
They are acting in Kosovo as an occupying force and do in the
Provinces what they wish. They are in breach of UN Resolution
1244 as follows:
The sovereignty and integrity of
the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
has been systematically undermined and broken (Resolution 1244,
There is total disregard for human
rights of Serbs, Slavic Albanians, Romas, Turks, Gorans and other
Albanian extremists have not been
disarmed and demilitarised (paragraph 9b).
Properties and personal possessions
of citizens in Kosovo have not been safeguarded and guaranteed.
Conditions for the safe return of refugees and flow of humanitarian
aid has not been met (paragraph 9c).
There is no freedom of movement,
and no public order (paragraph 9d).
The borders between FRJ with Albania
and Macedonia are not secure and properly guarded (UN Resolution
1244, paragraph 9g).
The Resolution states that after
one year 1,500 Yugoslav army and Police should return to Kosovo.
Without any explanation this has not been allowed. (UN Resolution
1244, paragraph 4.6.10, and Military Technical Agreement, paragraph
10. Since NATO entered Kosovo on the 12
June 1999, as at today there have been 5,681 violent incidents
and abuses of human rights against the ethnic minorities. Every
day Serbs and non-Albanians are being murdered, kidnapped and
intimidated by Albanian extremists. Bombing of properties, stoning
and robberies take place as we write this statement. By January
2001, 1,197 Serbs, Romas, Slavic Albanians, Turks and Gorans have
been killed, recent victims were an elderly Serb couple who had
their throats slashed in their home in Obilic on the 29 December
2000. 1,314 kidnapped, some of whom are now presumed dead. One
of the last kidnapped was a Serb Zoran Stankovic in the village
of Rakovac. We have drawn attention of the plight of the kidnapped
citizens to the Foreign Office and other bodies, but to no avail.
Even moderate Albanians who do not co-operate with these extremists,
suffer at their hands. KFOR and UNMIK deal only partially with
the perpetrators of these crimes, almost all cases remain unsolved.
M Bernard Kouchner, the out-going head of the United Nations Civilian
Mission in Kosovo, admitted on the 13 January 2001, in his farewell
speech in Pristina that "UNMIK had failed to protect the
non-Albanian population in Kosovo". He further admitted that
more than 100,000 Serbs had left the Province since the arrival
of NATO troops.
11. The border between Albania and Macedonia
and Kosovo is not properly guarded. Since June 1999 to mid-January
2001, an estimated 450,000 Albanians from Albania proper and Macedonia
have got into Kosovo, and now live there illegally. This will
upset further the demographical balance, and certainly make a
multi ethnic and peaceful Province even more difficult to achieve.
Some of these Albanians are responsible for the present crime
rate in Kosovo. They are involved in smuggling arms, drug trafficking
and prostitution. It is a fact that one of the main routes for
the drugs trafficking from the middle east to the west is via
Albania and Kosovo. Illegal immigrants are also being smuggled
via Kosovo and Bosnia to the Western Europe.
12. To date 112 Churches and cultural monuments
have been completely or partially destroyed. They are of immense
historical and spiritual importance for the Serbian nation, and
the continued destruction of these sacred monuments is looked
upon by Serbian people with anger and bitterness. We are dismayed
to learn that recently the Italian General, Carlo Cabiogioso,
military commander in Kosovo, has given the task of protecting
these Serbian Churches to the Kosovo Protection Corps. This is
in contravention of UN Resolution 1244, whose terms were that
the Serb Police should come and guard these religious monuments
after one year. Some of the Albanian members of this Kosovo Protection
Corps are the same people in the KLA who destroyed these Serbian
Orthodox Churches in the first place. Only ten days ago another
Church in Kosovo, the Church of Saint Nikolaj in the village of
Opterusa was destroyed. The churchyard has been turned into a
parking lot. The aim of the Albanian extremists is to destroy
everything that is proof of Serbian Orthodox Christianity, history
and culture. Urgent action needs to be taken to safeguard the
remaining Churches in Kosovo. They are not only important for
Serbian culture but for our common European heritage.
13. The International Community has failed
to contain the nationalism and separagraphtism of the Albanians
in the Serbian Province of Kosovo. It has been lenient to the
Albanian extremists, even encouraged them. The KLA was only ever
partially disarmed. The military structure of the KLA was not
dismantled but incorporated into a new organisation now named
the "Kosovo Protection Corps". Proof of this can be
seen in recent incidents in southern Serbia, where several Serbian
policemen have been killed. The same military tactics, formation,
insignia, and even the same people who previously belonged to
the KLA, now attack again the Serbian security forces on the other
side of the border from Kosovo. "Presevo Valley" is
referred to by the Government and in debates in Parliament as
the only part of south Serbia under attack by Albanian terrorists.
This is not correct. Albanian extremists are attacking Serbian
Security Forces throughout the length of the border area, which
is 220 kilometres long, in a linePresevo, Bujanovac, Medvedja.
The situation in southern Serbia is much more grave than is presented
to the House.
14. The Government and Foreign Office are
grossly exaggerating the numbers of civilians killed prior to
NATO entering Kosovo. The Minister for Europe, in correspondence
with this organisation states that 10,000 civilians were killed
by Serbian security forces. Several teams of international forensic
scientists, have examined 156 sites in Kosovo and found 2,788
bodies. We deeply regret the loss of any life but so far claims
of mass graves have proved unfounded and wildly exaggerated. We
have asked the said Minister for Europe on two occasions how many
of those 2,788 bodies found in Kosovo, were: (a) Albanians killed
in combat battle with Serbian security forces; (b) Albanians and
Serbs killed by NATO bombs; (c) Serbs killed by Albanian terrorists.
We have not received any reply to this question, either from the
Minister, or from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. These results
are logged and the Foreign Office must know about them. The Government
is manipulating the number of civilian casualties in order to
justify the bombing of Yugoslavia and to cover up it's own misdeeds.
Mr William Cohen, the US Defence Secretary, claimed on the 16
May 1999 that 100,000 civilians had been killed in Kosovo by Serb
security forces. The Prime Minister has been heard to quote this
15. The international community is doing
nothing to provide safe and secure conditions for the return to
Kosovo of the 280,000 Serbs, Slavic Albanians, Romas, Gorans and
Turks who have been driven out of their homes. I was in Kosovo
in May 2000 and my impression is that UNMIK and KFOR, whose mandate
is to guarantee the safety of persons and their property are more
often ready to help non-Albanians move out of Kosovo than help
the refugees get back. As KFOR and UNMIK are not able to protect
the existing minorities in Kosovo, as just stated by M Kouchner
on 13 January 2001 (paragraph 10), it follows that they are not
able to make conditions right for the non-Albanians to return
to their homes. The United Nations bodies and KFOR are not dealing
firmly enough with extremism and terrorism in the Province. To
do so would be to have the Albanians against them, and consequently
that would cause casualties. The success of the British troops
in Kosovo can be judged by the fact that before they arrived in
the Province 46,000 Serbs lived in Pristina alone, now after one
and a half years, just a few hundred remain.
16. The Serbs did not take part in the elections
in Kosovo on the 28 October 2000. This was because they had not
been able to express their own free will, choose their candidate
and canvas for them. Non-Albanians were denied their basic human
rights. Serbs cannot even go to Church on Sundays nor go to the
graves of their loved ones without the protection of KFOR. The
election was unfair and undemocratical, and in contravention of
UN Resolution 1244. It was carried out in an atmosphere of murder,
brutality and intimidation by Albanian extremists on minorities.
280,000 refugees "ethnically cleansed", were not able
to vote in these elections. However, several of the 450,000 Albanians
who have got into Kosovo illegally, did vote. The election was
forced unfairly on the non-Albanian population by M Bernard Kouchner,
the administrator of Kosovo, whose ambition was to have the first
elections in Kosovo before being relieved from his duties.
17. The Press and the media in general are
lacking in reporting events in Kosovo. Many events about the recent
elections in Serbia, some even trivial, had publicity, whilst
murders, kidnapping and the general plight of the non-Albanian
people in Kosovo had hardly any news coverage. There is a huge
difference in the quantity and quality of news broadcast prior
to and during the intervention of NATO in Yugoslavia, and now.
News on Kosovo is sporadic, without follow ups and in-depth reporting.
The BBC and other media give the impression to the public that
they are present in Kosovo, and what isn't reported upon does
not happen. The BBC did not report on "ethnic cleansing"
of the non-Albanian population, after NATO entered Kosovo and
now. There is no news of how the refugees and their children are
surviving in the numerous refugee camps in Yugoslavia. We did,
however, see much concern when the Albanians and their children
were affected. We believe that the spin doctors of the Government
are marginalising the problems in Kosovo in order to present to
the public that intervention into Yugoslavia was a "success
story". Also one part of the "patriotic press"
does not want to write about the inability of KFOR and the British
troops to control the situation in the Province as they don't
want to undermine the British Army.