Page 445 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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the very beginning to maintain lists of the missing, which were forwarded to representatives of UNMiK and KFOR in a timely manner along with constant appeals to do some- thing to find and free them. News came from various sourc- es that the kidnapped that were not immediately murdered were taken to prison camps maintained by representatives of the officially disbanded but never adjourned KLa. These claims have never been publicly confirmed but neither were they convincingly denied. When specific locations where prison camps existed were pointed out, KFOR would reply in advance only with denials
as in other parts of the Province, the chief organizers of abductions and torture chambers for Serbs were the local leaders of the KLa, although the leaders of this terrorist organization publicly denied connection with crimes. it is true that there were also some cases in which some people were released after arrest by the KLa, especially if some eminent albanian interceded on their behalf. Despite the general persecution of the Serbs there were some very no- ble examples of individual albanian neighbors helping Serbs, if in no other way than by assisting them to flee from Kosovo. However, viewed as a whole, the majority of alba- nians, if not directly then tacitly, condoned the repression. it became increasingly clear that what was occurring was collective blood revenge according to which the Serbs, re- gardless of sex and age, must pay for committed crimes which were grossly exaggerated in the media despite the fact that objective forensic investigations and exhumations have not positively confirmed even half of the officially pub- lished number of 10,000 albanian victims. (So far [year of 2001] a total of 4,500 bodies have been found in Kosovo and Metohija, including both albanians and Serbs). Taking into account that the number of killed albanians in some West- ern media during the course of the war was inflated to close to 100,000, we can see the extent of the general manipula- tion which opened the door to the post-war liquidation of hundreds of Serbs, Roma, Muslims and other non-alba- nian residents who did not meet with the approval of the new rulers from the KLa.
Despite all the efforts allegedly exerted by KFOR, none of the kidnapped Serbs was found nor could anybody prove with certainly what had happened to the missing persons. The number of kidnapped Serbs quickly reached the num- ber of 1,200 by the end of 1999, including several hundred missing since the time of the war. at the same time, the number of Serbs who were found murdered exceeded 1,000 during the year 2000.52 at the end of the same year
52 it should be mentioned that the statistics of UNMiK and KFOR operate with significantly lower numbers, the reason being that they recorded only those cases that were properly reported and where they could establish identity with certainty. On the other hand, the Diocese and the Kosovo and Metohija association of Missing and Kidnapped Persons from Belgrade collected numerous reports and testimony by family members, many of whom did not report cases of murder or kidnapping to international organs because they quickly left
MeMORaNDUM onKosovoandMetohija
it would become known that during the course of all these post-war months, KFOR and the UN police have been com- ing across unidentified bodies which the albanians did not consider their own and which were obviously the bodies of missing Serbs, Roma and Muslims. Some of those bodies were buried in a tract in Dragodan (a suburb of Priština) while others were collected in the mortuary in Orahovac. Only in autumn of 2000 would UNMiK organize several presentations of discovered clothing (in the village of Mer- dare on the northeastern line of Kosovo) on the basis of which the bodies of dozens of missing Serbs were identified. Rep- resentatives of UNMiK buried the remaining unidentified bodies in a cemetery plot near Suva Reka. During 2001 and 2002 a large number of exhumations were carried out in various locations throughout the Province where uniden- tified bodies found were buried. among these exhuma- tions over 100 Serbs who were listed as missing were soon found. This process continues but gradually because UN- MiK appears to be hiding Serbian victims.
in the western part of the province, in Metohija, where almost all the Serbs have departed, especially from the Peć, Djakovica and Prizren areas, only three enclaves remain: the already mentioned quarter of Orahovac and Velika Hoča near Prizren, the village of Goraždevac near Peć and the villages of Suvo Grlo, Banja and Crkolez east of istok. it should be said that individual Serbs from these enclaves have also been murdered or disappeared. The monasteries of Dečani, the Peć Patriarchate, Gorioč and Budisavci have been under the constant protection of KFOR forces, and one could only leave them or visit them with a KFOR es- cort. in other areas of this part of Metohija the almost sys- tematic destruction of all Serbian property began even though at first albanians settled some of the Serbian hous- es. in this period almost all Serbian Orthodox Churches and cemetery chapels in this region were desecrated or completely destroyed. an especially concerning practice was the eradication of Orthodox cemeteries and their use as dumping sites for garbage and debris from the cities, as was the case in Belo Polje near Peć, Seča, Brestovik, Šako- vica and elsewhere. This barbaric conduct continues to the present day and consequently many Serbian cemeteries in Metohija have become public repositories for garbage. The situation in the cemeteries is especially alarming in the ar- eas of the Peć region, where during 2002 numerous open graves and tombs were found from which human remains were removed and in some cases the bodies of the deceased disappeared completely (as in the case of the murdered sol- dier Velimir Šćepanović). among the Serbian people as well as among some international circles in Kosovo and Meto- hija, the conviction is spreading that the bodies of dead
the Province in the first days and weeks following the official end of the war. as well, to this day it remains a secret how many soldiers of the Yugoslav army disappeared or were killed in clashes on the border with albania.

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