[Marxism] Albanian Mobs Attacking Serb Areas in New Wave of Violence
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Mon Mar 22 02:19:23 MST 2004
UK soldiers ready for Mitrovica
British troops are preparing to head for the divided town of Mitrovica
The bulk of 750 extra UK troops being sent to Kosovo are preparing to head
to the troubled town of Mitrovica. Most of the group landed in the Kosovan
capital of Pristina on Friday and are set to join Nato-led K-For
peacekeepers in Mitrovica in the next three days.
The Nato request for more troops came amid continuing ethnic violence in the
former Yugoslav province, which has left at least 28 people dead. A further
600 people have been wounded in the worst unrest for five years.
A score of military transports landed in Kosovo overnight on Friday with
troops and equipment to boost the 17,000-strong KFOR force. NATO is putting
on a show of force in a bid to stop a slide into anarchy
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and
Wiltshire regiment were the first of Britain's reinforcements to touch down
France, Germany and other NATO countries are also sending troops with orders
to use deadly force if fired on. BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond, speaking
from Kosovo, said NATO is putting on a show of force in a bid to stop a
slide into anarchy.
UN staff were pulled out of the flashpoint town of Mitrovica on Thursday
after clashes between Serbs and Albanians began and mobs set light to
Serbian Orthodox churches and homes.
The violence was sparked by the deaths of two Albanian children, blamed on
members of the province's small ethnic Serbian community.
The commander of NATO forces in southern Europe, Gregory Johnson, has said
the violence "essentially amounts to ethnic cleansing".
Brigadier Martin Vine said the British troops' role would be "to suppress
continued violence and reassure the population".
BRITISH TROOP DEPLOYMENT
Germany - 22,500
Northern Ireland - 13,500
Iraq - 8,800
Cyprus - 3,200
Kuwait & Gulf countries - 1,385
Falkland Islands - 1,240
Bosnia and Croatia - 1,130
Kosovo - 750
Gibraltar - 420
Afghanistan - 350
Other UN missions - 450
Sierra Leone - 100
Source: Ministry of Defence
Troops head to fragile Kosovo
UN pulls out of Kosovo flashpoint
The decision to send extra troops was made by the MoD's Chief of the Defence
Staff General Sir Michael Walker who received the request from Nato's
Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
The province is under UN administration and although it is still officially
part of Serbia and Montenegro, in reality Belgrade has no power there.
The upsurge in violence is the worst since the Nato-led bombing campaign
against the former republic of Yugoslavia in 1999.
Serbs flee as UN protection fails
By Nicholas Wood
March 22, 2004
As her daughter, 6, clung to her legs, Bogdanka Miric recounted how she, her
family and about 20 neighbours, all ethnic Serbs, escaped as an ethnic
Albanian mob rampaged through the town of Lipjan.
They escaped, they said, by jumping from a second-floor balcony on to a
waiting military truck. On the other side of the concrete building, gunmen
fired into the apartments from nearby buildings.
The family's narrow escape on Wednesday mirrored that of hundreds of other
Serbs across this province, illustrating the apparent inability and failure
of the UN mission that governs the region to provide protection to the
It was unclear whether those behind the marauding mobs had succeeded in
altering the ethnic balance of the province. In the short-term, the burning
of Serb homes and churches forced many to leave areas that were once
At least one town, Kosovo Polje, outside Pristina, had no Serbs left. But in
other areas, Serbian men were returning to their homes to inspect the
damage, and possibly to stay.
"No one had any idea it would be so violent," said police sergeant Angel
Feliciano, who was working with the UN police in Lipjan.
He and about 14 other officers tried to prevent a crowd of several hundred
people from reaching a group of houses owned by Serbs but the police were
outnumbered. Three armoured personnel carriers stood by, but the Finnish
troops received no orders to back up the police.
- New York Times
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