Department Seal

Erasing History: Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo
Part II

Report released by the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC,
May 1999

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DOCUMENTING THE ABUSES

Since the withdrawal of the KVM on March 19, 1999, Serbian military, paramilitary, and police forces in Kosovo have committed a wide range of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. This report briefly reviews seven categories of such crimes: forced expulsion of Kosovars from their homes; burning and looting of homes, schools, religious sites and healthcare facilities; detention, particularly of military-age men; summary execution; rape; violations of medical neutrality; and identity cleansing.

1) Forced Expulsions

The regime of President Slobodan Milosevic is conducting a campaign of forced migration on a scale not seen in Europe since the Second World War. Serbian forces appear to have driven the vast majority of Kosovars from their homes, trapping many within Kosovo, while pushing even larger numbers over Kosovo's borders. The Serbian authorities' claim that the refugee crisis is the result of popular fear of NATO airstrikes is belied by the regime's redeployment of its military forces in the weeks prior to its rejection of the Rambouillet settlement. Refugees consistently report that they fled their homes not because of any concern about NATO airstrikes, but because Serbian forces threatened them at gunpoint.

In contrast to last fall, when attacks on civilians by Serbian security forces generally occurred in small villages, this spring VJ and MUP units have apparently joined with recently armed Serb civilians to expel their neighbors from both villages and the larger towns of Kosovo. Serbian forces reportedly have been going house-to-house to rob Kosovars before looting and burning their homes. Before allowing ethnic Albanians to flee Kosovo, some Serbian officials have forced them to sign disclaimers saying that they left voluntarily. The fact that many of the places targeted reportedly had not been the scene of any previous fighting or KLA activity, indicates that these expulsions were part of a systematic effort to depopulate the region of Kosovar Albanians.

Current status of IDPs. About 600,000 internally displaced persons are now struggling to survive in Kosovo. They are scattered throughout the province, often seeking shelter in isolated forests and mountain valleys. Many have not been able to move very far from their home villages. Typically, they are found in encampments with a combination of tents, crude shelters, tractors, flat-bed trailers, farm tractors, and automobiles. In some areas, there are reports of severe shortages and hunger, particularly in the mountain encampments.

Major clusters of IDPs can be found at the following sites (see figure 4):

  • Tusilje-Tica camp
  • Obrinje camp
  • Novo Selo-Crnoljevo camp
  • Kijevo camp
  • Studenica camp
  • Bradas camp
  • Duz-Kolic camp

Current status of refugees. Almost 700,000 Kosovars have fled to Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (see figure 5) since hostilities commenced in March 1998. The number of displaced outside of Kosovo but in Serbia proper is unknown. Over three-fourths of the 700,000 refugees have arrived since late March. At the peak of the exodus, refugees attempting to enter Albania and Macedonia formed lines many miles in length from the border. While Serbian authorities have caused this mass exodus to take place, they have alternately allowed refugees to cross the border, and then prevented them from doing so. This has made the efforts by refugee and relief agencies to accommodate refugees even more difficult by creating confusion and uncertainty. Serbian authorities overseeing the expulsion seem to systematically expel Kosovar Albanians, distributing the movements among crossing points so as to manage the expulsions to achieve a political result.

According to the UNHCR, some 65,000 refugees left Kosovo during a one week period in mid-April and various sources indicate that tens of thousands more are moving toward the Albanian and Macedonian borders. The UN has more recently reported that thousands of additional refugees have arrived in Macedonia, and that the situation in the refugee camps there has reached a critical point. Macedonian camps are overcrowded and tensions are rising. The health and sanitation situation is quickly deteriorating, leading relief workers to fear the outbreak of epidemics in the camps with the onset of warmer weather.

As of May 5, an estimated 1.5 million Kosovar Albanians have been displaced from their homes:

Kosovo (IDPs): 600,000
Albania: 404,000
Montenegro: 62,000
Macedonia: 211,000
Bosnia: 38,000 (includes 20,000 Sandzak Muslims)
Other countries: 160,000 (includes 30,000 ethnic Serbs)

2) Looting and Burning

More than 600 settlements have been at least partially damaged since October, 1998 (see figure 6), including over 300 villages burned since April 4, according to overhead imagery. Most Serb homes and stores reportedly have remained intact, and according to refugee reports, Serb civilians in the town of Vucitrn painted a Cyrillic "S" on their doors so that Serbian forces would not attack their homes by mistake. The destruction appears to be much more extensive and thorough than occurred last summer. Many settlements were totally destroyed in an apparent attempt to ensure that the ethnic Albanian population could not return. Serbian forces have reportedly burned all houses previously rented to OSCE observers in Vucitrn, Stimlje, and Mitrovica.

Refugees report that mosques and religious sites have been attacked or destroyed in at least 21 villages and towns. Refugees also report that schools have been attacked or destroyed in at least 14 villages and towns.

Imagery confirms that the following villages have been burned or largely destroyed:

Bajcina Bajgora Banja Batlava
Bela Crkva Bradas Celine Crebnik
Crni Lug Dobri Do Donja Penduha Donja Lapistica
Donji Retimlje Donji Streoci Dumos Gajrak
Gedje Godisnjak Gornja Zakut Gornje Pakastica
Gornji Crnobreg Gornji Streoci Jablanica Jovic
Kacandol Klincina Letance Lipovac
Luzane Mamusa Madare Mala Hoca
Malisevo Mirusa Neprebiste Novo Selo Begova
Pantina Pasoma Radoste Randubrava Retimlje
Rogovo Skorosnik Slatina Smac
Sopnic Stanica Donje Ljupce Suvi Do Vlaski Drenovac
Vucitrn Vujitun Zrze

3) Detention

There are consistent refugee reports that Serbian forces are separating military-aged men from their families, in what appears to be a systematic pattern. A disproportionate percentage of refugees allowed to flee Kosovo, especially into Albania, are women, the elderly, and children. At this writing, the number of missing men and their fate are unknown. Mass detention sites include:

  • Djeneral Jankovic: A cement factory in this town is reportedly being used as a detention center for 5,000 ethnic Albanians.
     
  • Glogovac: The Ferro-Nickel factory in this town was reportedly being used as a detention center for a large number of Kosovars; it was allegedly used as a detention and execution site during last year's security operation.
     
  • Srbica: Press sources report that as many as 20,000 ethnic Albanians-including women and children -- were taken by forced march from the town of Cirez to Srbica as human shields for Serbian tanks before being detained in a munitions factory.
     
  • Vucitrn: An unknown number of ethnic Albanians were reportedly herded into a school in this town.

4) Summary Execution

Refugees have provided accounts of summary executions in at least 70 towns and villages throughout Kosovo. Kosovar Albanian refugees from throughout the province continue to report mass executions. In addition, there are reports of mass graves in Drenica, Kaaniku, Rezalla, Malisevo, Pusto Selo, Izbica, and the Pagarusa valley. Serbian security forces reportedly locked an entire family into a house in a village in Drenica and burned them alive. Overhead imagery has provided evidence that corroborates at least two reports-the summary executions at Izbica and Pusto Selo (see figure 2 and figure 3). In addition to random executions, the Serbian authorities appear to be targeting Kosovar intellectuals, professionals, and leaders.

5) Rape

Ethnic Albanian women are reportedly being raped in increasing numbers; according to refugees, Serbian forces have raped women in an organized and systematic fashion in Djakovica and Pec. Rape victims were reportedly separated from their families and sent to an army camp near Djakovica where Serbian soldiers repeatedly raped them. In Pec, refugees alleged that Serbian forces rounded up young Albanian women and took them to the Hotel Karagac, where they were raped repeatedly. The commander of the local base reportedly uses a roster of soldiers' names to allow all of his troops an evening in the hotel. In addition to these specific accounts, refugees claim that during Serbian forces' raids on their villages, young women have been gang raped in homes and on the sides of roads. We believe that there may be many more incidents that have not been reported because of the cultural stigma attached to this offense in traditional Kosovar society.

6) Violations of Medical Neutrality

Refugees have reported that Serbian forces systematically attacked ethnic Albanian physicians, patients, and Kosovar medical facilities. Reports indicate that violations of medical neutrality by Serbian forces include killings, torture, detention, imprisonment, and forced disappearances of Kosovar physicians -- one NGO has documented the killings of seven ethnic Albanian doctors within the past year. In addition to targeting individuals, Serbian forces reportedly have looted and destroyed numerous clinics, private health centers, pharmacies, and other medical facilities run by ethnic Albanian medical personnel. According to reports, since late March, violations of medical neutrality have accelerated dramatically, and have been directed against the entire ethnic Albanian population throughout Kosovo, effectively depriving them of medical and health care altogether. In the past month, Serbian healthcare providers, police and military reportedly have expelled ethnic Albanian patients and healthcare providers from health facilities, and then used a number of these health facilities as protective cover for military activities. In late March the Serbian medical directors of the state hospitals of Pristina and Pec allegedly dismissed all ethnic Albanian physicians from their staffs and expelled all ethnic Albanian patients, including those critically ill.

Refugees have reported that government and private clinics, pharmacies, and other healthcare structures in the following cities and villages are among those that have been damaged or destroyed:

Cirez Decani Glogovac
Gnjilane Gornja Klina Grebno
Kacanik Kamena Glava Klina
Kosovska Mitrovica Lipljan Magura
Malisevo Nevoljane Orahovac
Obilic Pristina Shtimlje
Srbica Urosevac Vucitrn

7) Identity Cleansing

In addition to reports of Serbian VJ, MUP, and paramilitary forces looting Kosovar homes and businesses, refugees report that Serbian forces robbed them of their remaining personal belongings before they allowed them to leave Kosovo. Reports of Serbian forces confiscating documentation, including national identity papers, and told them that they would never be allowed to return to their villages. The destruction of voter registers and other aspects of Kosovo's civil registry along with the removal of license plates from departing vehicles have also been reported. The United States and others are in the process of fully documenting the scope of Belgrade's identity cleansing.

ATROCITIES AND WAR CRIMES BY LOCATION

The following is a partial list of alleged war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law committed in Kosovo since late March 1999. These are fragmentary accounts that are being investigated and documented:

Bela Crkva

Serbian forces reportedly killed 35 people, then dumped their bodies near the Bellaja River (between the Rogova and Bela Crvka railroad). By March 28, Serbian forces reportedly had killed as many as 500 civilians in this town.

Belenica

Serbian forces reportedly executed 60 young male Kosovar Albanians on April 1.

Brusnik

Serbian forces reportedly burned down this village near Vucitrn in early April. A Kosovar refugee claimed that Serbian forces killed 100 ethnic Albanians there following the Rambouillet conference.

Cecelija

On May 4, refugees arriving in Albania from the Kosovo village of Shale reported that they were stopped in the village of Cecelija, where Serbian forces removed all the men from a tractor convoy and killed them. Also on May 4, Albanian TV in Tirana reported by telephone from Shale on the burial of 63 bodies of individuals killed by Serbian forces on May 2. These may be the bodies of those killed in Cecelija.

Cirez

20,000 Albanian Kosovars were reportedly used as human shields against NATO bombings.

Djakovica

Armed Serb civilians have been active in the town and reportedly burned a building while a group of ethnic Albanians were taking cover in it during a NATO airstrike. Kosovars in the town were warned to leave by March 29. Serbian forces began burning their homes and businesses. Men reportedly were separated from women and children. In addition, MUP and paramilitary units in this city reportedly executed over 100 ethnic Albanians. Seventy bodies reportedly were found in two houses and 33 were found in a nearby river. Nearly 14,000 refugees from Djakovica fled to the Albanian border crossing point at Prushit on April 5. According to refugee reports, on April 27, Serbian forces executed 200 military aged ethnic Albanian men.

Djeneral Jankovic

Several refugees claim that Serbian security forces have detained as many as 5,000 ethnic Albanians in a cement factory in this border town.

Glodane

In early April a large concentration of displaced Kosovars was observed in this town under guard by Serbian forces. Eight hours later they were no longer there and the village was ablaze.

Glogovac

The Albanian residential area has been burned, sending IDPs into the Cicavica Mountains. On April 12, Serbian forces reportedly executed 50 ethnic Albanian refugees as they were leaving town. Glogovac also reportedly houses a mass detention center for Kosovar men.

Gnjilane

Between April 7 and 15, Serbian VJ and paramilitary forces reportedly physically abused and extorted money from ethnic Albanians in this town. On April 16, the paramilitary units allegedly ordered that all ethnic Albanians leave the town, or be killed. At least 1,000 IDPs departed and were reportedly harassed by Serbian forces along the way. Men were reportedly separated from the convoy of refugees and killed; Serbian forces reportedly ordered other refugees to bury the bodies of at least six ethnic Albanians. Two of the bodies allegedly had been burned, while the other four had bullet wounds to the back of the head.

Goden

On March 25, Serbian forces allegedly executed 20 men, including schoolteachers, before burning the village.

Gornje Obrinje

A refugee claimed that Serbian forces executed 12 ethnic Albanians on April 5.

Hade

Serbian forces reportedly expelled all 1400 villagers and five men were reportedly executed.

Istok

One thousand refugees from this town arrived at the border with Macedonia on April 8. Some refugees reported that an unknown number of people had died en route and that others were turned back by Serbian police near Raska and Novi Pazar.

Izbica

Serbian forces reportedly killed approximately 150 ethnic Albanians since mid-March. Refugees reportedly saw bodies that appeared to have been tortured and burned.

Jovic

Serbian forces reportedly separated men from the columns of ethnic Albanian civilians, and a refugee claimed that he saw 34 corpses in the town.

Kaaniku

Refugees claim that Serbian forces killed 45 ethnic Albanians on April 9 and buried their bodies in a mass grave.

Kacanik

A refugee claimed that as many as 300 masked VJ and MUP soldiers forcibly expelled ethnic Albanian villagers towards Prizren. On April 14, Serbian paramilitaries reportedly separated men from women and children, drove them into a pasture, and forced them to kneel and pledge allegiance to Serbia. The paramilitaries then fired at them, killing at least twelve, according to refugee reports.

Kamena Glava

On April 6, Serbian paramilitary units reportedly looted homes and burned the village. After driving the villagers into the woods for 10 days, VJ forces reportedly ordered all of them to leave the area on April 17.

Klina

The expulsion of the town's ethnic Albanian population began on March 28, with Serbian forces removing residents from their homes and ordering them out of the country. Serbian forces reportedly used 500 Kosovar men as human shields during fighting with KLA forces. A refugee who survived the fighting claimed that the men were robbed of their possessions and forced to strip naked and lie in a field for two hours while Serbian artillery fired on nearby KLA positions.

Kosovska Mitrovica

Serbian forces have reportedly expelled all Kosovar Albanians from this city since March 23. In addition, over 200 Albanian homes and shops reportedly have been torched, and Serbian forces reportedly have killed prominent Kosovars. Latif Berisha, a poet and president of the Democratic Alliance of the Mitrovica municipality, allegedly was executed in his home, and Agim Hajrizi, chairman of the assembly of the Independent Workers' Union, reportedly was murdered along with his mother and 12-year-old son. Serbian forces reportedly looted Kosovar Albanian shops and burned Albanian homes near a barracks that was targeted by NATO air strikes in an apparent attempt to blame NATO for the damage. Serb forces reportedly were continuing to burn villages around this town as of April 2.

A refugee claimed that Serbian forces separated out young ethnic Albanian men, tied their hands together, and led them into the street. Although the refugee did not witness any mass executions, she claimed to have witnessed one VJ soldier shooting an ethnic Albanian while he sat in a car. A refugee from a nearby village claims to have witnessed Serb civilians executing a young ethnic Albanian boy. The ethnic Albanians who were expelled from nearby villages remain in the Cicavica Mountains, east of the town.

Kosovo Polje

Serbian forces reportedly forced ethnic Albanians into their homes and then threw hand grenades inside. According to other refugee reports, ethnic Albanians were burned alive in their homes, and on March 28, Serbian paramilitary forces killed at least 70 Kosovar civilians. Refugees traveling from Pristina by train reported that Serbian paramilitary units boarded the cars and stole all of their valuables. Serbian forces reportedly entered the village on April 4, collected all the villagers, confiscated their personal documents and car keys, and then transported them to the border by train.

Kotlina

According to refugees from this town near Kacanik, between 50 and 60 ethnic Albanian men remain missing. The rest of the Kosovar inhabitants were reportedly loaded onto trains and sent to Macedonia. On April 8, ethnic Albanians discovered a mass grave, which it is suspected contains the bodies of some 26 persons, according to refugee reports. The victims allegedly were murdered in mid-March by a Serbian paramilitary group, which had reportedly entered the town and separated the ethnic Albanian men from their families.

Kraljane

Kosovar Albanian refugees claim that Serbian forces executed 100 ethnic Albanian civilians on April 4.

Kuraz

Serbian forces reportedly killed 21 schoolteachers in this village near Srbica. Refugees also claim that as many as 200 ethnic Albanians were detained there by Serbian security forces as of April 5.

Likovac

Serbian forces reportedly burned this village south of Srbica on March 30.

Lipjan

Serbian forces reportedly forced ethnic Albanian villagers out of the area on April 20. In addition, they looted and burned Albanian residences. Serbian paramilitary forces allegedly shot more than 50 civilians in three surrounding villages.

Ljubenic

Refugees reported that on April 8 Serbian forces murdered at least 100 ethnic Albanians from this village in western Kosovo.

Mala Krusa

One hundred and twelve men were shot and their bodies burned in an apparent attempt to conceal the evidence, according to a wounded and burned survivor of the executions.

Malisevo

Serbian forces reportedly destroyed most of the town and its surrounding villages. Refugees from the town claim to have witnessed Serbian forces burning ethnic Albanians alive. Female refugees claim that Serbian forces were separating men from the groups of refugees. Serbian forces reportedly executed approximately 50 men in this town on March 27. Part of the town was set on fire on March 30. By April 1 the Serbian forces appeared to have emptied the town. Refugees reported that the 50,000 to 140,000 IDPs in the Malisevo-Dulje area had been bombed and strafed by Serbian aircraft and helicopters.

Morina

Refugees claim that on April 7 Serbian security forces laid mines at this main border post between Kosovo and Albania to prevent refugees from crossing.

Negrovce

According to refugee reports, Serbian forces executed five ethnic Albanians on April 5.

Orahovac

Refugees reported that an unknown number of ethnic Albanian civilians were killed during the ethnic cleansing of the city. Members of a group of Roma who arrived at the Albanian border on April 8 claimed that they were expelled because Serbian authorities said that they were originally from Albania and were not "true" Kosovars. The group also reported that Serbian forces killed some 50 ethnic Albanians, including women, children, and the elderly.

According to refugees, as many as 700 men were used as human shields in early April. The ethnic Albanian men reportedly were forced to stand in front of tanks in the rain for two days with their hands tied behind their backs. A few of them reported that they eventually escaped by paying the soldiers 10,000 German marks.

Orlate

According to refugees, buildings in this small village located on the crossroads between Pristina, Pec, and Malisevo were set on fire by Serbian forces on March 30 after some 200 ethnic Albanian men had been executed.

Ovcareva

Serbian forces reportedly burned this village in the Drenica region on March 30.

Pec

It was reported that at least 50 ethnic Albanians were killed and then buried in the yards of their homes on the evening of March 27. On the same day, many ethnic Albanians were reportedly herded into a five-story building in the center of town. MUP forces then loaded them on buses and transported them out of the city. On March 28, 200 ethnic Albanians who sought sanctuary in a Catholic church in Pec were removed and forced out of town. Serbian forces reportedly looted and burned homes and shops throughout the town. Refugees claim that the indicted war criminal Zeljko Raznjatovic (aka "Arkan") was responsible for these abuses. Serbian forces may have expelled 50,000 Kosovars from Pec, and reportedly attacked a column of refugees leaving Pec on April 6.

Podujevo

Serbian forces reportedly were continuing to burn villages east and southeast of this town as of April 5. Serbian forces allegedly executed 200 Kosovar Albanian men of military age. In addition, Serbian forces reportedly removed ethnic Albanians from their cars and shot them on the spot. Ninety percent of the buildings in the town reportedly have been burned. On April 19, Serbian forces allegedly used ethnic Albanians as human shields along the road between Podujevo and Pristina.

Pristina

Serbian forces appear to have completed military operations in the city and began expelling residents and internally displaced persons (IDPs) as of April 4. According to refugee reports, ethnic Albanians were forcibly expelled first from their homes and then from Pristina via train. Approximately 25,000 ethnic Albanians were sent by rail from Pristina to Macedonia on April 1, and over 200,000 reportedly were detained pending transport. According to refugee reports, most of these IDPs were without food, water, medicine, or shelter. Several refugees claim that Serbian forces used loudspeakers and distributed pamphlets to warn ethnic Albanians to leave town or be killed. A Kosovar claimed to have seen three truckloads of dead bodies accompanied by three or four armored vehicles in a graveyard in Pristina on April 2.

Pristina police reportedly arrested as many as 20 former OSCE/KVM local employees, and authorities were said to have searched for ethnic Albanians who held official government positions, worked for international organizations, or worked with foreign journalists. Male ethnic Albanians, including prominent human rights lawyer Bajram Kelmendi and his two sons, reportedly were executed. Serbian paramilitary units reportedly burned and looted Albanian homes and stores throughout the city. Mixed Serbian police and paramilitary units allegedly separated men from women and children.

Kosovar civilians reportedly were processed at the Pristina Sports Complex and then marched to the train station. However, we have received conflicting reports on processing at the Pristina Sports Complex. Buses and large cargo trucks also reportedly were used to transport IDPs to within three to six miles of the border, where they were left to make their way on foot. Refugees reported that the ethnic Albanian neighborhoods of Pristina had been emptied.

Prizren

Serbian forces reportedly executed between 20 and 30 civilians and transported ethnic Albanians to the border. Serbian paramilitary units operated freely throughout the town, according to refugee accounts. At the border, Serbian forces reportedly confiscated all personal documentation, removed license plates from vehicles, and warned the refugees never to return to Kosovo.

A Kosovar Albanian who traveled to Prizren for a funeral on April 2 claimed to have witnessed ethnic Albanian civilians being forcibly evicted from their homes. He alleged that the families were given two hours to vacate their property and that the houses were then either burned or used to shelter Serbian forces. Another refugee from Prizren reportedly witnessed Serbian forces burying numerous ethnic Albanian bodies and burning homes throughout the town. According to refugee reports, many ethnic Albanians remain in hiding because they fear Serb reprisals.

Popovo

Serbian aircraft reportedly bombed this village southwest of Podujevo, killing 10 ethnic Albanians.

Pusto Selo

The bodies of some 70 ethnic Albanians ranging in age from 14 to 50 were reportedly discovered by IDPs on April 1. Serbian authorities reportedly executed a survivor who sought medical treatment nearby.Overhead imagery confirms the presence of a mass burial site.

Rezala

Serbian forces reportedly burned this village south of Srbica on March 30. According to refugees, a mass grave containing approximately 70 bodies was discovered on April 14.

Rugovo

Serbian forces reportedly executed at least 50 ethnic Albanians.

Sojevo

Serbian snipers reportedly killed eight ethnic Albanians, and security forces allegedly expelled the remaining villagers into a nearby field in early April.

Srbica

Serbian forces reportedly emptied the town of its Kosovar inhabitants and executed approximately 115 ethnic Albanian males over the age of 18. Serbian authorities reportedly are holding detainees in an ammunition factory in the town.

Stari Trg

On April 23, Albanian press reported that Serbian forces dumped the bodies of numerous ethnic Albanians from trucks into crematorium furnaces, apparently to eliminate evidence of these deaths.

Stimlje

Serbian forces reportedly burned the headquarters of a human rights committee and the Democratic League of Kosovo. Serbian forces also reportedly burned Kosovar homes, stores, and vehicles, and drove some 25,000 civilians out of the city to villages to the south. In addition, the building housing the former OSCE mission reportedly was burned.

Suva Reka

On March 25, Serbian forces reportedly killed at least 30 Kosovar Albanians, most allegedly by burning them alive in their homes. By March 28, Serbian forces reportedly had burned 60 percent of the buildings in the town. A refugee from the town claimed that Serbian forces killed 40 men on April 4 and dumped their bodies into two mass graves. Serbian military and police forces reportedly killed as many as 350 ethnic Albanians in this town. According to refugee reports, a group of Serbian police officers and civilians robbed and killed an ethnic Albanian family living in a former OSCE office. The Serbian forces then reportedly burned the bodies of their victims. The entire ethnic Albanian population has reportedly been forced from the town.

Urosevac

Serbian forces reportedly forcibly expelled Kosovar civilians from their homes on April 10, and are now using some of the homes as barracks. Former Kosovar shops and homes were reportedly given to Serb villagers. Serbian police officers allegedly transported the civilians to Blace by train. Serbian forces reportedly are targeting the homes of prominent politicians and intellectuals. As many as 40 ethnic Albanians allegedly have been killed. Refugees report the raping of young Albanian girls. According to a refugee, Serbian paramilitary units are forcing Albanian males to dig defensive positions on the southeast side of the city. Nearly 50 paramilitary members reportedly forced 25 civilians from the nearby town of Starosello to dig trenches for three days from April 10 to 12.

Varos Selo

According to refugee reports, Serbian paramilitary forces reportedly entered ethnic Albanian homes, forcibly expelled the residents at knife-point, and stole their belongings. They reportedly killed an unknown number of Kosovars and carried their bodies away.

Vataj

According to refugee reports, Serbian forces killed 14 ethnic Albanians on April 13. One refugee claimed that he was forced to bury the bodies, and that the corpses had gunshot wounds to the back of the head.

Velika Hoca

Two paramilitary units, Arkan's "Tigers" and the "White Eagles," are reportedly based in a housing complex in the town and control the area between Orahovac and Suva Reka.

Velika Krusa

There were reports from refugees in late March that Serbian forces killed between 150 and 160 ethnic Albanian men, after separating them from women and children, and dumped 50 bodies in a mass grave. These reports appear to be corroborated by a videotape shot by a survivor, who stated that about 100 Kosovars had been shot; he gave the names of two dozen of the victims. The BBC aired the refugee's video showing several dead bodies lying in ditches and in the streets. According to the refugee, all of the victims had single bullet wounds in the back of the head or neck. A female refugee from the same village claimed that approximately 40 men were executed by Serbian forces, while other refugees claim that homes were burned, resulting in the deaths of over 60 Kosovars -- including women and children, who were in them at the time. Police reportedly told residents of the nearby villages of Lashec, Kobanje, and Atmadja that "as a gift, we will only kill ten of you," and then told the survivors to "go to NATO."

Vrsevac

Serbian police reportedly used ethnic Albanians as human shields on April 7.

Vucitrn

Serbian forces reportedly burned all houses previously rented by the OSCE and looted Kosovar homes. Refugees from the town also claim that men were separated from their families. On March 27, Serbian forces reportedly killed four young ethnic Albanians, including a 14-year-old girl. By March 29, Serbian forces reportedly had herded Kosovars into a school in the city, and refugees from the town claim that the men were being separated from their families. On May 4, a newly arrived refugee in Albania reported that he had seen at least 50 dead bodies.

Zegra

Serbian forces reportedly expelled all ethnic Albanians from this village, then burned all the buildings on April 13.

Zur

On March 28, local police reportedly ordered all ethnic Albanians to leave town. As many as 7,000 Albanian Kosovars may have been displaced as a result.

Zulfaj

Serbian forces reportedly expelled all ethnic Albanians from this village, then burned all the buildings.

Zjum

Serbian forces reportedly burned this southern Kosovo town.

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Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 13/05/99
Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
ęS D Stein
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