Skip to comments.GERMAN KFOR COMMANDER REFUSES TO PROVIDE PROTECTION FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF MONASTERIES IN KOSOVO
Posted on 07/22/2002 10:19:04 PM PDT by Ichabod Walrus
SERBIAN ORTHODOX DIOCESE OF RASKA AND PRIZREN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KFOR IS NOT IN POSITION TO PROTECT THE MONASTERY OF ZOCISTE AND SECURE ITS REBUILDING
BISHOP ARTEMIJE DECIDED TO WITHDRAW THE MONKS
Gracanica, July 19 , 2002
The commander of the Multinational Brigade South Brigadier General Wolf-Dieter Skodowski and the political advisor to gen. Velentin (COMKFOR) Mr. Maartens de Sitters had a meeting today with Bishop Artemije and hieromonk Sava (Janjic) at Gracanica Monastery. The main topic of discussion were the events at Zociste monastery in the last four days. Despite his sincere willingness to assist all Kosovo communities, as he stated, gen. Skodowski informed the Bishop that he is nevertheless not in position to provide protection for the reconstruction of Zociste monastery. He stated that "it is necessary first to change the thinking of the local population".
Bishop could not accept such an explanation as valid because in that case, he said, "Serbs would have to wait another 1000 years to rebuilt their homes and churches".
Bishop Artemije expressed his deep indignation with this decision because it is absolutely impossible to understand that a KFOR brigade of 6200 soldiers in its area of responsibility is not capable of providing security for reconstruction of at least one destroyed Orthodox holy site, three years after the war. Prizren area is known as a part of Kosovo and Metohija where only a few Serbs still live and since the end of the war not a single organized return project has been carried out there. Almost 20 Orthodox churches destroyed by Albanians after the war in this part of Province still lie in ruins.
Two months ago the idea of reconstruction of Zociste monastery was supported by the US and German office, as well as Kosovo's PM Rexhepi. Regrettably, after the discussion with the German general today, Bishop Artemije was left no choice but to give up this idea and withdraw to Decani Monastery three monks which were patiently waiting in Velika Hoca to be allowed to live in Zociste. Bishop Artemije expressed serious concern that if such unconstructive KFOR policy were continued Kosovo and Metohija would become completely monoethnic society. Reconstruction of Zociste monastery had to be a first post-war reconstructed Orthodox holy site which would encourage return of Serb IDP's in the area.
Later in the afternoon an information came from Velika Hoca that Turkish soldiers which provided security in Zociste monastery in the last few days had already withdrawn and that the monastery was left without any visible guard. Local Serbs interpret this move as a consequence of pressures by Albanian extremists and a way for KFOR to avoid a conflict with them.
The discussion with two high profile KFOR officials has proved the fears of the Diocese that the general security situation in Kosovo and Metohija is so unfavorable that it stands in complete contrast with public statements in which highest KFOR and UNMIK officials so persistently claim that considerable progress has been made. Further reduction of KFOR personnel, without basic elements of security for all citizens, would be a grave mistake which would only encourage extremists and discourage non-Albanian returness.
In fact, the progress which has been achieved so far by the UNMIK/KFOR
Mission has only affected Kosovo Albanian population whereas the position of Serbs, their human and religious rights, have not been improved at all and still depend on whims of local Albanians and mercy of international authorities. After these Zociste events It is quite evident that it is not Serbs who do not want to go to their homes and holy sites, but Kosovo Albanians who prevent this process and international mission which is incapable of creating necessary security conditions envisaged by the UNSCR 1244 (#10.k)
In conclusion, Zociste events have demonstrated clearly that true winners in such a situation are only Kosovo Albanian extremists, which seriously puts KFOR and UNMIK credibility at stake.
Information Service of the Diocese of Raska-Prizeren
Kosovo and Metohija,
Contact person: Fr. Sava (Janjic)
Report from Zociste (with updates from the last few days)
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren
Press conference - MEDIA CENTER, Belgrade
Bishop Artemije and members of the POVRATAK Coalition
Events, July 17, 2002
NO CHANGES FOR THE BETTER
"After we served holy liturgy at the remains of the Monastery of Holy Anargyroi in Zociste, Albanian extremists finished what they had already begun and set what little of the monastery remained on fire," said Bishop Artemije, adding that during the liturgy itself, there was a series of provocations by the local Albanian population which had gathered. Although he personally had asked the commander of the German brigade responsible for the security of that region to secure the monastery because such incidents could be expected, this was not done.
Bishop Artemije said that KFOR also refused to guarantee personal security for three monks who were supposed to have begun to clear the site of the monastery fire on July 15 and to attempt to rebuild what could be rebuilt. This only shows that KFOR is continuing with its three year long practice of failing to respect the resolutions of the United Nations and that it is neither succeeding nor wants to succeed in providing security for the local Serb people, concluded Bishop Artemije.
Randjel Nojkic, a member of parliament from the Return Coalition, said that the situation is similar in the Kosovo parliament itself. The statements of Serb representatives are either omitted from official records altogether or they are falsified; therefore, the work of the parliament serves only as a façade for what the Albanians intend to achieve and what they probably will achieve unless the present situation changes.
Dragan Velic, the chairman of the executive board of the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija, emphasized that an accurate and complete list of refugees and displaced persons has not been completed to this day. If this is not done, it may well happen that these people will not be permitted to return to Kosovo and Metohija at all.
On the other hand, added Rada Trajkovic, Albanians are coming from every corner of the world to register to vote in the upcoming local elections. Even Albanians from Macedonia who have never lived in Kosovo and Metohija are registering, so it may happen that the Albanians will be in the majority even in those places where none of them ever lived.
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren
It is their sworn duty and professionals.
By refusing to do their duty, they are committing War Crimes. Check out USFM 27-10 Chapter 6 paragraph 366.
under the aegis of German troops in the period of 1941-43 arround 200 000 Serbs were expeled from Kosovo and Metohija and equal number of Albanians from Albania proper moved in occupied their property:
the point is that same situation was in Macedonia;
the point is that majority of the ancient Orthodox Monasteries had survived German and Albanian Fasciust terror of the WWII;the point is that majority of those Serbian monasteries were jewels of the Bisantyne art and architecture and many of them under the protection of UNESCO;the point is that almost 200 hundred of them were raised to the ground by the Albanians under the watchfull eyes of NATO;
the point is that a treasure of the EUROPEAN CHRISTIAN HISTORY IS BEING DESTROYED BY A RACIST MUSLIM THUGS,and you are asking "Whats the point"???
Guess what my friend, you just nailed it...let outfits to the likes of UNESCO,UN etc. to take care of this kind of problem. Now, I do not know whether you have a grasp on what the military's role is.Obviously, you are not a military man, otherwise you would've have known that the military's sole purpose is to destroy, kill and inflict as much damage to the enemy until they give up.Period!
The military(whether is from US,Germany,Italy,France,Great Britain) is under no obligation to serve as a nations builder, meals on wheels or to protect/oversee anyone's pet projects.
So the response of the german general was right on the mark.
The local skirmishes, and the long feud between misc local fractions, are not the military high priorities, never will. They have exact duties to observe, and everything else is just small talk.
You might want to check the History, which it will show you that the yougo's have a very rough and hard to understand history.
You might want to check that one out, before you jumping in conclusions. I am from Europe and I know a whole lot, about European History...
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