Page 441 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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propaganda that Serbs should leave Kosovo and Metohija, while in the state media one could hardly hear news about the increasingly greater waves of refugees from our south- ern Province above the fanfare over “victory” (!?) For the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija it became increasingly clear that this was a capitulation and a terrible defeat, for which those who decided to stay in their homes and in their home- land would pay a bloody price in the coming months.
KFOR troops began to enter the territory of the Prov- ince on june 10 from the direction of Skoplje and the alba- nian city of Kukeš, not far from Prizren. KFOR officially entered Priština on june 12 amid the thunderous welcome of thousands of albanians. at the same time, with the en- try of international forces, the KLa intensified its activi- ties, both by groups remaining in the Province, which im- mediately assumed power in the cities, as well as by units entering unhindered and with weapons from albania re- gardless of the presence of KFOR. While KFOR units were choosing suitable locations for the construction of their military bases, a wave of unprecedented violence, looting, murders and abductions spread throughout the Province, especially in the cities, the victims of which were the re- maining Serbs, Roma, Goranci and Muslim Bosniacs. On june 12 five Serbs had already been kidnapped on the streets of Priština while news arrived of a campaign of terror against the Roma. The Serbian population of the village of Zočište near Orahovac fled from the village on june 14 while their homes, together with the monastery of the Holy Unmerce- nary Healers Sts. Cosmas and Damian (14th century) were torched by albanian extremists. The monastery church would also be blown up completely a short time later. On june 12 the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Mušutište (14th century) was looted, set on fire and then blown up. The sisterhood of the monastery barely managed to get out alive.
On the same day German KFOR troops entered Priz- ren. On the streets of Prizren on june 16, 1999 armed mem- bers of the so-called KLa military police ambushed Monk Hariton Lukić of the monastery of Holy archangels near Prizren, kidnapped him and took him in an unknown di- rection. after more than a year his body was found near Prizren, mutilated and headless, showing signs of bestial torture. Father Hariton, with the blessing of Bishop ar- temije, had just evacuated the sisterhood of the monastery of Mušutište. The monks of Holy archangels were also evac- uated and, together with the brotherhood from Zočište, found temporary refuge in the monastery of Gračanica.
Within days Bishop of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Me- tohija had established contact with the German military authorities, appealing to them to protect the remaining Serbs; however, they failed to do this. On june 15 at 11:00 p.m. they protected the besieged Cathedral and Bishop’s residence after the albanian mob had already destroyed all Serbian monuments around them. it was already com- pletely obvious that time that KFOR could not, and appar- ently did not want, to stop the wave of systematic reprisals
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and terror by the albanians. The only option remaining was the evacuation of the remaining Serbian population of Prizren, which was done with the help of Bishop atanasije jevtić of Zahumlje and Herzegovina, who brought five buses from Vranje to Prizren to help, and together with Bishop artemije evacuated several hundred Serbs from Prizren in the direction of Gračanica (in five buses, which were joined by about 40 families in passenger vehicles). al- most 200 Serbs, Roma and Muslims stayed on in the Sem- inary in Prizren under German guard, together with sev- eral albanians whose lives was threatened by their compa- triots for associating with Serbs. They were taken care of by one Serbian Orthodox priest. another priest stayed in Prizren in the Bishop’s residence under the guard of Na- TO troops. To this day the Bishop’s residence and Cathe- dral in Prizren remain under the strong armored guard of German KFOR.
every day news arrived of abductions and individual murders of Serbs from every region of the Province. One need only look at the weekly and monthly reports of priests and church-people’s councils, such as the reports from Gnjilane, Vitina, Lipljan, Uroševac, Prizren, Orahovac and Peć48 to see the kinds of every day crimes the albanians were committing against Serbs, their homes, property, churches and against everything else that was Serb. even Serbian centuries-old Serbian oaks and pine trees next to churches and monasteries were cut down or torched, as was the case in Petrič near Peć, Nerodimlje near Uroševac and the monastery of Binča near Vitina. Within a short time 50 churches and monasteries were destroyed and even more cemeteries, while the number of looted, torched and blown up Serbian homes and buildings is still not known to this day. Simply said, the albanians set out to systemati- cally destroy everything Serbian, every vestige of Serbian being and presence in Kosovo and Metohija. The frequent verbal and written appeals, protests, reports, pleas and en- treaties addressed to the NaTO command and the inter- national community by the Bishop of Raška and Prizren, as well as by the Serbian Patriarch, the Metropolitan of Mon- tenegro and the Littoral and the Bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina, who frequently visited Kosovo and Metohi- ja, were to no avail. all pleas and appeals yielded no results for the crimes continued and multiplied: murders, kidnap- pings, lootings, torchings, expulsions of Serbs from all pub- lic institutions: hospitals, primary health centers, schools, post offices, municipal administrations, factories, jobs. None of the kidnapped Serbs has been found to this day, none of the expelled has been returned to his home or job, none of the criminals have been captured and when, later on, an occasional albanian terrorist was caught, he was
48 These Reports, especially during the horrible first months— from july to October 1999—from Gnjilane, Vitina, Lipljan, Prizren, Orahovac and Peć have been partially included in the anthology of documents Nova Srpska Golgota (The New Serbian Golgotha), vol. 1–3, Cetinje, 2000.

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