Page 454 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Bishop atanasije (jevtić)
On December 10 an attempt to return to Klina by 26 Serbs ended in an incident and the Serb returnees were evacuated with the assistance of KFOR and returned to the nearby Serbian village of Biča, where they have been wait- ing for permission to return to their homes for more than three weeks. The night of December 13 a Serb woman, Zlata Djurović (age 52), was attacked in the ethnically mixed Microsettlement settlement in North Mitrovica and sub- sequently hospitalized with serious head injuries. On De- cember 23 the Holy assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church concluded that the state of security, hu- man rights and freedom of movement is cause for concern despite the presence of the international community, as well as that Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are expecting not only declarative “standards” but their actual imple- mentation. On December 28 the Bishop of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija addressed an open letter to the Ser- bian and global communities regarding a recent attempt by the albanians to usurp church property and the Church of Christ the Savior in Priština.
On january 8, 2004 the Diocese of Raška and Prizren demanded a public apology from UNMiK police commis- sioner Stefan Feller for blatantly falsifying and concealing the truth about the attack on Russian humanitarians fol- lowing their visit to Visoki Dečani Monastery on Ortho- dox Christmas Day. Local albanians in Kosovo stoned a bus transporting a delegation from the Russian Founda- tion of St. andrew the First-Called, which was visiting the Province on a humanitarian mission. On january 22 a group of about 30 young albanians in Djakovica attacked two KFOR minibuses and a German transporter carrying monks of the Serbian Orthodox monastery of Holy archangels and a crew of German state television aRD, targeting them foul language and curses, snow balls and chunks of ice. The aRD TV crew was filming the ruins of the Serbian Ortho- dox Church of the Holy Trinity in the center of Djakovica when they were confronted by the group of enraged young ethnic albanians. On january 27 a bus transporting Serbi- an pupils from Kosovska Mitrovica to Gojbulja was stoned by a group of about 30 albanians in Novo Selo in northern Kosovo. On january 28 UNMiK police freed Marko Božo- vić, an 18 year-old Serbian man arrested two days before on suspicion of involvement in the murder of UN police- man Satish Menon.
On February 3 German KFOR discontinued armed es- corts for the monks of Holy archangels Monastery near Prizren, refused to allow monks to share their electrical generator and denied food to the Orthodox priest on duty in the Bishop’s residence in Prizren. Štrpce mayor Sladjan ilić said that German KFOR new stance is further proof that the international community lacks courage to face the reality in Kosovo and Metohija, the reality that the alba- nian majority population “does not want Serbs next to it,” said ilić. On February 11 joseph Grieboski, the president of the institute for Religion and Public Policy, testified before
the U.S. Congress that since the end of the war “thousands of Serbs have been murdered, and those Orthodox who remain live in ghettos segregated from the mainstream of society.” Five years after the NaTO intervention against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Orthodox Serbs in Ko- sovo and Metohija “have become second-citizens in their own country, deprived of their basic human rights,” Griebos- ki said. On February 15 Serbs from the village of Miroč near Vučitrn left their homes after the removal of a KFOR secu- rity checkpoint in the village.
On February 19 UNMiK police found the bodies of two dead Serbs, Zlatomir Kostić (age 36) of Kosovo Polje and Milijana Marković (24) of Staro Gracko, near the fire sta- tion in Lipljan after multiple bursts of machine gun fire were heard. On February 20 some 500 Serbs protested in the courtyard of the church of the entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple in Lipljan, following the double murder the previous day. a letter on behalf of the residents of Staro Gracko and Lipljan was sent to UN- MiK chief Harri Holkeri where the Serbs wrote that since the arrival of the UN mission in june 1999, 22 Serbs from the village of Staro Gracko have been killed.On February 21 representatives of the village of Gojbulja, a Serbian en- clave near Vučitrn, advised that unless Serbs are able to return to the neighboring village of Miroc and KFOR re- turns its security checkpoints, more than 270 Serbs, in- cluding 69 children, would be forced to collectively leave. On February 22 Serbs from Lipljan requested that UNMiK police provide them with an update on the investigation of the murder of 14 Serb harvesters in july 1999 in the village of Staro Gracko. Serbian protests continued and spread throughout Kosovo and Metohija.
On March 8 the house of Serb Moša Bojković in the center of Obilić was set on fire and burned to the ground. The house had been vacated on the same day by an alba- nian family on the basis of an eviction order. On March 13 residents of North Mitrovica held peaceful demonstrations urging UNMiK police to undertake necessary measures to protect Serbs and their property in this part of the city from frequent albanian provocations. The protest was organized after an incident the previous night where a group of alba- nians used rocks to smash the windows on a vehicle owned by Serb Nebojša Milić and then fled to South Mitrovica. On March 15 the Serbian ministry of internal affairs issued a report stating that during 2003, albanian terrorists car- ried out a total of 199 attacks, infiltrations and provoca- tions on the territory of south central Serbia and in the Ground Safety Zone toward Kosovo and Metohija. On March 16 UNMiK police sealed off a part of North Mitro- vica after an explosive device was found in a residential area. On the same day, the coordinator for returns in the Kosovo provisional government, Milorad Todorović, testi- fied regarding the human rights situation in Kosovo before the Committee for Legal issues and Human Rights of the Parliamentary assembly of the Council of europe. Todo-

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