20 December 1997

In the double issue of weekly magazine "Zėr Shqiptar", No. 14/15, which is published by "Emozio" Meta, Wahntalerstr. 327, 8046 Zürich, Switzerland, the coat of arms of "KLA" is printed over the whole title page.

Supplement 23

17 January 1998

"Der Bund", Bern

From the editorial "The Liberation Army: Money and Fighters from Switzerland": "During the last weeks, the federal police provided documentation showing that the Kosovo Liberation Army has its logistic support base in Europe and especially in Switzerland. According to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, support is provided, above all, by the "Kosovo National Movement" (KNM), the militant wing of the "Kosovo Democratic League" (KDL)... The KNM foreign-based centre is in Switzerland and has about 25 sections. Between the KNM and KLA there are "very close ties, to say the very least", says the competent Federal Police official... For a long time already, in its journal "Zėri i Kosovės", which is published in Switzerland, the militant National Movement has been calling to arms for the liberation of Kosovo and has been urging the volunteers to join this struggle. At the same time, the organization - through unambiguous advertisements depicting an armed freedom fighter - appeals for financial support... The KNM opened an account with the Bankverein and such bank accounts also exist in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany... The KNM representatives in Switzerland do not deny the links between their organization and the KLA. The KNM supports its struggle for liberation and holds that it is "politically correct", says its activist Bislim Elshani, who is the editor-in-chief of "Zėri i Kosovės". Does the KNM also support armed struggle? "Yes", says Elshani.

22 January 1998
"L'Hebdo" weekly Lausanne

In the article "Kosovo Guerrillas Financed in Switzerland" written by the journalist Alain Meyer, it is stated that "it is above suspicion that money for the KLA is collected in Switzerland. In November and December, dozens of meetings in its support were organized throughout the Confederation; one hundred, two hundred, three hundred Kosovo Albanians attended these meetings where they also found payment slips. To those who said that they were ready to go to the frontline, it was answered that the army would need money in particular. Naturally, these meetings were not organized by the KLA, but by the Kosovo National Movement (KNM), a political party founded in 1981 which openly supports armed struggle."

3 March 1998
"Tribune de Genéve"

In his interview to this newspaper, Xhafer Shatri, "Minister" of Information of the "Republic of Kosovo", seated in Geneva, says that they have no connection with the KLA, but that they count on it. "This organization has proved its efficiency many times in the acts of self-defence against the Serbian army and police... 180,000 Albanians living in Switzerland and some 700,000 in Western Europe will be called upon to support the KLA financially."

5 March 1998

In Switzerland, the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo distributed the leaflet by which the Albanian emigrants were called upon to return to Kosovo and Metohija. The telephone number given for contact is in Tirana.

Supplement 24

8 March 1998

In the Volkhaus White Hall in Zurich, there was the presentation of Gaffur Elshani's book "KLA - Documents and Articles", published by "Zėri i Kosovės", Aarau. It contains the KLA "statements": Nos. 18/11 February 96, 19/25.April 96, 20/18. June 96, 21/17.July 96, 22/2.August 96, 23/8.August 96, 24/30.August .96, 26/29.September 96, 27/27.October 96, 28/12.January 97, 29/19.January 97, 30/3.February 97, with the photograph of the "heroes of the KLA" Zahir Pajaziti, Edmond Hoxha and Hakif Zejnulahu, 32/27.March 97, 33/18.May 97, 35/5.August .97, 36/15.September 97, 37/19.October 97, with the photograph of Adrian Krasniqi in uniform, holding a weapon (submachine gun with grenade launcher), 38/7.November 97, 39/22.November 97. and 40/3.December 97.

Supplement 25: leaflet with an invitation to attend the presentation of the book and its cover

13 March 1998

The statement for the press by James Rubin, spokesman for the US State Department: "State Secretary Madeleine Albright has announced today the US contribution to the Tribunal for War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia amounting to 1,075 million dollars for carrying out an investigation in Kosovo... To enable the beginning of the investigation as soon as the Serbian authorities issue visas to independent forensic medicine specialists and investigators of the Tribunal, the United States will earmark:

- 400,000 dollars for an investigation in Kosovo, and

- 400,000 dollars for additional translation services.

An additional amount of 275,000 dollars is anticipated for the preparation of criminal data files and training of legal experts in the region.

8 April 1998
"Stuttgarter Zeitung"

From the article "The Tenth Delegation also Without Luck": "Thousands of Serbs are sitting on packed suitcases, ready to leave; during the last few months, 3,000 flats remained empty only in Pristina; the prices went down. Fear of violence is especially present among 20,000 Krajina Serbs. They are afraid that, two and a half years after their expulsion from the Dalmatian hinterland by the Croatian army and their settlement in Kosovo by the Belgrade regime in order to increase the percentage of the Serbian population, they will be forced to flee again".

8 April 1998
"Washington Times"
Washington, D.C.

From the article "Albanian Weapons in Kosovo" by Philip Smucker: "Here (in the town of Kruma in northern Albania) in the Albanian mountains, far from the rule of law, the leaders of the Kosovo liberation movement buy guns and rockets and make preparations for a "blood feud" against the Serbian police that killed more than 80 Kosovo inhabitants last month. Dozens of young people come here every day; they are ready to take up arms for the war of independence in the neighbouring Kosovo... One recent morning, one could watch new recruits from all parts of Europe packing hundreds of Kalashnikovs and antiaircraft weapons under the control of a senior officer of the Kosovo Liberation Army or "KLA". He said that the armaments, including sophisticated antiaircraft weapons, pilfered from the Albanian authorities during the last year' chaotic revolt of the masses, will be sent to Kosovo within the next few days, loaded on people and mules."

May 1998,
No. 23 "Balkan infos" magazine

From the article "Enough Weapons" by Kosta Christich: "The weapons to be found in the region were collected in Albania during total anarchy prevailing in that country and sent to Kosovo by various channels: one ran via Tuzi, on the Montenegrin border, and the other via Šakovica, in Metohija... The weapons of Israeli and American make were coming secretly from Turkey, via Bulgaria and Greece. The region in which the conflicts have calmed down, that is, Bosnia and Herzegovina, also supplied Albanian nationalists with their weapons and volunteers, including foreign mujahedin. As for the Western channels, the deliveries have almost always arrived in the Albanian port of Durres. The acquisition of these weapons is financed out of contributions from drug trafficking, in which the Albanian mafia enjoys privileged status. These several data are sufficient to point to the inaccuracy of a thesis that the crisis in Kosovo, with its destructive power, is threatening to spill all over the region. In fact, everything has been done to contaminate the region in order to conquer Kosovo.

May 1998
No. 23 "Balkan infos" magazine, Paris

From the letter sent by Raymond Kent, Professor of History at the University of California - Berkeley, USA, to K. Kinkel, nine US senators, members of the European Section of the Foreign Affairs Commission, some ambassadors in Washington, D.C., the French Mission to the United Nations and the press: "The Albanians, who live in Kosovo without Yugoslav citizenship, constitute the majority. Moreover, they persuade those Kosovo Albanians who have Yugoslav citizenship not to respect it. They have created a state within the state and refuse even to pay taxes to Yugoslavia. Therefore, should the Kosovo Albanians be granted "the widest measure of autonomy", nearly one million people, who never made an effort to apply for or respect Yugoslav citizenship, would be accepted as Yugoslav citizens... This would be a prelude to the creation of a Greater Albania, which should be swallowed by the same world powers which denied the Serbs in Krajina and Bosnia the right to self-determination, denouncing them that they wanted to create a Greater Serbia..."

26 May 1998
"Washington Post"

From the article "The Americans of Albanian Descent Support the Rebels": "The owner of a (construction) company, a 32-year old American of Albanian descent who emigrated to the United States in 1989, had supported rebel groups even before the world learned about them... Krasniqi said that between 3 and 4 million dollars were collected in the United States. The Albanians who support the rebel army transferred more than 500,000 dollars to banks and individuals in Albania, and a considerable number of suitcases with cash has also been sent to Albania.According to John Russell, spokesman for the US Ministry of Justice, the law does not prohibit the collection of funds for irregular armies or soldiers, unless they are registered as a terrorist group by the US State Department. The State Department official emphasized that any American caught in smuggling arms for Kosovo, would be sanctioned in accordance with the arms embargo against Yugoslavia."

6 June 1998
"New York Times"

From Chris Hedges's story from Tropoja (Albania): "... The open-air arms market in this dusty, lawless town on the border, is the last stop of numerous traders, smugglers and idealist volunteers, rushing to Kosovo to join the KLA separatists... The Albanian border zone is crowded with volunteers and arms dealers, many of whom have sold some of 650,000 pieces of weapons pilfered from the Albanian military depots in the course of last year. The convoys of mules, heavily loaded with guns and green ammunition boxes, are moving towards Kosovo; the border town is crowded with the people waiting to start out..."

6 June 1998
"Al Watan" daily, Kuwait

From the article "The Kosovo Liberation of Kosovo Is a Legitimate Organization, while Rugova Is a Politician Desirous of Power": "The leader of the Kosovo Democratic Movement, Hydajet Hyseni, who is regarded by some well-informed circles as the future true leader of the KLA, has stated that it is not difficult to acquire weapons and that the Albanians have plenty of them, including heavy ones. Asked to express his view about the KLA, he answered: "Members of this organization are part of us, of our people that is fighting for freedom and democracy and the right to self-determination. They refused to waste time on political games and manoeuvres, and chose a direct way to achieve a noble aim. What do you expect me to say about the heroes who are also fighting for my freedom." Asked about the connections of the KLA with fundamentalist Islamic organizations and volunteer training centres in Albania which are financed by them, he said: "We do not hide nor are we ashamed of the fact that we maintain relations with those Islamic organizations which have similar problems and our relations with them are of a political nature. At same time, I wish to confirm that we do not have any plan for the acquisition of weapons and military equipment through Albania but we do not hide the fact that we took advantage of the last year's demonstrations and other events in Albania, when weapons, including heavy ones, were thrown out on the streets. We also have yet another type of weapons which is kept in some other region in the Balkans, but it is still early for its use in Kosovo. This will be done only if we have to choose between life and death. And if Belgrade continues to pursue the policy of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the struggle will be intensified and carried on until a victory."

Supplement 26

10 June 1998
"New York Times"

From the story "Kosovo Rebels and Their New Friends" sent by the reporter of this newspaper, Chris Hedges, from the town of Vuēidol, in Albania: "The family estate of the former Albanian President Sali Berisha, who stepped down last year, has become the base of the Kosovo Liberation Army, an organization of ethnic Albanians which is struggling for the independence of this province from Serbia. According to foreign diplomats, the decision of Mr Berisha to give the place of his birth to the rebels is part of his effort to use the crisis for his political comeback!... Premier Nano, who had condemned this armed movement in Kosovo, has come to regard the guerrillas as an "armed resistance" movement and their attacks as "legitimate acts of self-defence". Arms trafficking, financed by the ethnic Albanians from Germany and Switzerland, has strengthened the position of S. Berisha's supporters and their base... Mr Berisha regards the fighting in Kosovo as a sacred war and calls on ethnic Albanians to "defend their homes and their country". He called Mr Nano's government "the enemy of the people" because of its avoidance to uphold the rebellion. He described the "Albanian nation" as one comprising not only Albania, but also Kosovo and western Macedonia, in which the ethnic Albanians constitute the majority... At the same time, weapons are transported in automobile trunks without hindrance. The policemen and local officials are either corrupt or helpless..."

10 June 1998
"Frankfurter Rundschau"

From the article "The Condition with the Question Mark - a Debate About Intervention in Kosovo": "A debate has begun in Bonn as to whether it is necessary to have a UN mandate for the NATO military action in Kosovo. The Federal Government has so far claimed that this condition must be fulfilled. However, the highest officials of the SPD have now accepted an idea that, after all, intervention would be possible even without the UN mandate if the request for it is rejected by the UN Security Council. On Tuesday, Defence Minister Volker Ruehe (CDU), and Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, came out against the proposal of Gerhard Schroeder, the candidate of the SPD for Chancellor, to consider "options" without the UN mandate, even if those options were not desirable. Ruehe said that the UN mandate would "certainly be necessary for a direct military intervention". In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was also heard that "there is no doubt that the UN mandate is necessary" for coercive measures in Kosovo.

11-14 June 1998

From the report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission which visited Albania this June: "...

12. The situation in Kosovo, where the ethnic Albanians are confronted with the Serbian authorities, is largely perceived as a detonator that can provoke some Albanians from Albania to deliver weapons or find a common aim with their close relatives across the border...

15. The estimate of the quantity of weapons, which disappeared during the crisis in 1997, is quite provisional, partly due to the fact that the relevant documentation and stock lists were destroyed during the pilfering of military depots. The official data show that about 650,000 pieces of weapons, 20,000 tons of explosive and 1.5 billion cartridges and grenades were pilfered (Annex V). The Government announced that since August 1997, when amnesty was declared for all those who return weapons, 10 per cent of weapons and about 3 per cent of ammunition and grenades have been returned. However, it cannot be stated with certainty that all stolen weapons are still possessed by the citizens. It is widely held that in the course of last year about 25-30 per cent of weapons, which is not in the Government's possession, was most likely taken out of the country both by individuals and smugglers. During the same period, there was no evidence or indication that the Albanian citizens possessed more weapons.

Weapons and ammunition pilfered from military depots in the period January-March 1997

No. Type Quantity
1. Pistols 38,000 pcs
2. AK-47 submachine guns 226,000
3. Rifles 351,000 ''
4. Machine guns 25,000 ''
5. Grenade launchers 2,450 ''
6. Mortars 770 ''

No. Type Quantity
1. 7.62 mm infantry
1,560,000,000 pcs
2. 12.7 mm antiaircraft
machine-gun ammunition
24,000,000 ''
3. Grenades 3,500,000 ''
4. Mortar shells 84,000 ''
5. Artillery shells 270,000 ''
6. Explosive (ammonite, etc.) 3,600 tons
7. Detonators 24,000,000 pcs
8. Antipersonnel mines 215,000 ''
9. Antitank mines 1,000,000 ''

14 June 1998
"Ve~ernji list" Zagreb

The newspaper reports that some 40 Croats are fighting on the side of the Albanian guerrillas in Kosovo. The fighters have come from Herzegovina. They are paid by the Albanian diaspora in Croatia. Their pays range from 4,800 dollars for a fighter to 9,000 dollars for an instructor.

23 June 1998
"PHOENIX" TV Cologne

From the discussion on the topic "Kosovo - a Powder Keg - the Role of Germany in the Balkan Conflict" (Participants: Prof. Karl-Heinz Hornhues, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the German Bundestag, CDU federal deputy; Günter Verheugen, SPD federal deputy; Angelika Beer, federal deputy of the Greens; Helge Hansen, retired general, former NATO commander for Central Europe):

"... Coordinator: "No one wishes the state of Kosovo. Why?

Hornhues: ... From the aspect of international law, I regard Kosovo as a constituent part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or, more specifically, the Republic of Serbia...

Beer: Germany cannot decide whether the Albanians will have an independent state in Kosovo or not. We have witnessed the spread of a civil war in Bosnia after our early recognition of some regions. We have Albanians in Macedonia; Albanians live all around this troublespot... Verheugen: The West does not want it because the independence of Kosovo would imply a war in the whole region. The problem lies in the fact that in the meantime the situation became so radicalized that we must be concerned about the possibility of finding a political solution that would be acceptable to both sides...

We do not know when the situation will be appeased. It can become like that in Northern Ireland, or in Palestine, or on on Cyprus; everyone must see this risk..."

24 June, 1998
"New York Times"

From the article "New Tactics of Kosovo Rebels: Attacks on Serbian Civilians": "

... During the last few days, the rebels changed their stregy and began with attacks and kidnappings of Serbian civilians in an evident attempt to expel them from their villages in the Albanian-dominated province of Kosovo in southern Serbia...

During the last few days, five Serbian villages and many small estates and farms in the agricultural region around Klina were captured by armed rebels after armed conflicts with the Serbian population...

These days, the armed ethnic Albanians expelled the Serbs from Jelovac and Kijevo, the places populated by both the Albanians and Serbs. Last week, 900 Serbs left their homes and fled to Klina; many of them were talking about their relatives captured by the rebels about whom nothing is known as yet..."

24 June, 1998.
"Die Welt" Hamburg

From the article "Tirana Is Preparing for War" by the journalist Boris Kalnoky: "

Albanian President Fatos Nano admitted openly for the first time that his government established contact with the Albanian rebels in Kosovo. Nano, who spoke in public in Vienna, pointed out that his country is "on the brink of war with Yugoslavia". He also pointed to a drastic increase in the country“s military expenditures in order to be ready just in case."

26 June, 1998.

From the letter of the "Freedom for Kosovo" Committee from Utrecht (Holland) sent to the Yugoslav Embassy in The Hague: "

We protest against ethnic cleansing in Kosovo... This deeply rooted nationalism can be eradicated only by the bombing of the Western powers. Let us hope that the cruise missiles will destroy Serbian positions and curb their insatiable need to oppress the Albanian majority in Kosovo, so that the people of Kosovo can be able to breathe again. We shall soon apply for a visa for Serbia so as to carry out a peace campaign. If we are denied a visa, you can expect mass demonstrations in front of your Embassy.

On behalf of the "Freedom for Kosovo"

Committee Ata van den Broek, Amesfoort/Utrecht

Peter van Leeuwen, Almere"

29 June, 1998.
"International Herald Tribune" - Paris

From an interview with Premier F. Nano: "The NATO air strikes are necessary to stop the Serbs. This must be done now. Should that not be the case, I am afraid that we shall have a new Bosnia in two weeks with all possible consequences for Europe. (Question: Will the ethnic Albanians turn into terrorists?) Kosovo is very close to Europe. It is not only near Albania, but it is also near Greece, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, where there are many Albanian refugees. Spontaneous actions can be intensified. At this moment, the most likely scenario that we can anticipate is that of Northern Ireland. However, if it spreads to southern Europe, I do not believe that it will continue to be like this.

2 July, 1998.
Bulletin of the Socialist Party of Austria Vienna

From the statement of Federal Chancellor Viktor Klima: "On Thursday, at the press conference held on the occasion of Austria“s chairmanship of the EU, Federal Chancellor Viktor Klima emphasized, as regards the conflict in Kosovo, that there would be "no problem" for Austria to take part in the possible action in Kosovo under the UN mandate. Asked whether Austria can be a partner in any talk about Kosovo, since it is not a NATO member, the Federal Chancellor answered that Ireland was "an exceptional chairman" during the Bosnian crisis although it was not a NATO member. Accordingly, the fact that Austria is not a NATO member does not pose an obstacle".

3 July, 1998.
"Die Woche" Germany

From an interview with Richard Holbrooke:

"... An increasing number of people is supporting a forceful settlement. The guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) receive money and other support. During my tour, I realized the importance of the countries, like Germany, Switzerland and Denmark, in which the KLA organizes the collection of funds and recruits people. Question: You did not answer our question: Should the (German) Federal Government stop tolerating recruitment for the KLA on its territory?

Holbrooke: I don't want to interfere in this issue - and if I should - I would give my advice personally to the relevant heads of government..."

7 July, 1998.
ARD (German TV Channel I)

From "TAGESTHEMEN" (The Topic of the Day): "Dr Klaus Kinkel, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the Kosovo crisis. Question: (Gaby Bauer) What do you and the international community intend to do these days in order to prevent a new war in the Balkans?

Answer: First, we shall try to find a regional solution for the refugees which will enable those who are now in Albania and Macedonia to remain in that region and not to come, say, to Germany. Second, we intend to speed up our consultations within the NATO. In my opinion, the NATO should send its troops preventively to Albania and Macedonia in order to be present in the region, through the "Partnership for Peace". Third, I think that the NATO should formulate practical measures that would enable its involvement in Kosovo. And fourth, I believe that we shall insist at tomorrow“s meeting of the European Foreign Ministers, as well as at other meetings to be held this week on sending the monitors whose presence must be approved by Milosevic. They should find out what is happening over there and prevent the cordon sanitaire which he evidently wishes to set up between Kosovo and Albania."

9 July 1998
"NEWS" Vienna

From the article "Visit to the KLA": "Holbrooke realized a long time ago that on the path to a peaceful settlement, he cannot bypass the KLA. The term "terrorist organization" used for the KLA by the US envoy for the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, early in this year, has become obsolete. During his last mission, Holbrooke even visited one KLA base in the Drenica region and was photographed with one soldier of the "liberation army".

What is interpreted by some of them as a "breakthrough", the others regarded only as a "symbolic gesture". Later on, no one was able to say with whom the special envoy actually talked: a general, a local commander or an ordinary soldier? Truly, after its first offensives, the KLA appointed its "spokesman", but it still keeps its command structures in secret.

With whom to talk? "I think that it would be proper to include the KLA in the talks, says Albert Rohan, "but we do not know with whom we should talk. It is probable that the Albanian political leaders also do not know much about this..." (Bernhard Odehnal).

10 July 1998

Prof. Rita Süssmuth, President of the German Bundestag, on the conflict in Kosovo":

"... A significant question was whether for a NATO intervention it would be sufficient to have the OSCE mandate and whether this should be the aim. Today, this was rejected by the majority, so that it is now important - and I have now come to your question about "terrorists" - that both sides should be called upon to refrain from any form of violence..."

10 July 1998
"Die Woche" Germany

From the article "A Desparate Search for Contact":

"... Consequently, it is not questionable whether the KLA (whose very existence was doubted by the Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova, who supports a peaceful settlement, only a few weeks ago) must be included in the efforts of the mediators. But with whom the US Ambassador should make contact? In despair, Holbrooke asked the journalists who know the region to give him the telephone numbers of the KLA - but the result was insignificant. In the end, the envoy of the superpower met with a 40-year old village commander who, truly, was glad to be photographed with his gun in the company of the reputed guest, but this rebel did not have much to say. Probably Robert Gelbard had better luck. As alleged, the US envoy for Kosovo has recently met with two commanders of the KLA "in one West European city". However, "it has still to be determined" whether it was the question of influential rebels, added one official of the State Department to the question of the "Die Woche" journalist... "How to work out a cease-fire", sighs Holbrooke, "when one does not even know whether the people you talk with are the right ones?

10 July 1998

From Balkan Report No. 36 of the International Crisis Group* "A View from Tirane - the Albanian Dimension of the Kosovo Crisis": "Despite an attempt to improve the monitoring of the Albanian state border, the border with Kosovo is poorly guarded. There are only 67 border guards who are, at the same time, village policemen. They patrol the border mostly on foot due to the shortage of motor-cars and the configuration of terrain. Even when they discover something, they have to walk for about two hours to the base because there is no communications equipment. * International Crisis Group is a private multinational organisation comprising teams of political analysts from various countries.

14 July 1998
"Zaman" daily Istanbul

From the article of Isa Zymberi, spokesman for the so-called government of the "Republic of Kosovo" in London:

"Altogether, the international community is making a big mistake by insisting that Kosovo should enjoy autonomous status. After the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Kosovo came to be regarded as a territory which did not exist before. After the country“s collapse, self-rule must be granted, above all, to the people in Kosovo which has the right to it. Theses about the observance of territorial integrity are detrimental to the Albanians, while at the same time encouraging a dictatorship. The fate of Kosovo should be decided by the Albanian people itself.

The independence of Kosovo will contribute to stability in the region. A catastrophe in this region will be prevented only by taking emergency measures."

15 July 1998

From the reply of the Belgian Foreign Minister, E. Deryjk, to the question of a member of parliament:

"The international community feels that it has no other choice but to reject independence for Kosovo... An additional problem is posed by the KLA's arbitrary call for the creation of Greater Kosovo, including parts of Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia. Should its aspiration be fulfilled, one should fear the outbreak of a real war in the Balkans... Should Kosovo achieve independence, the Dayton Peace Accords would be put in jeopardy"...

15 July 1998
"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"

From the article "The Kosovo Liberation Army Financed with Money from Germany":

"Financial support, which is sent home by the Kosovo Albanians living in Germany, is of utmost significance for the Kosovo Liberation Army. The more money is received from abroad, the stronger will be Albanian resistance to the Serbs and the stronger will be the KLA which, at the moment, exercises control over a large part of that region.

The Albanians living abroad have always sent a large part of their receipts to Kosovo. A centralized collection of funds began only in 1992, when the inhabitants of Kosovo declared themselves for an independent republic and when the parliamentary and presidential elections were held. Thus, the "Fund of the Republic of Kosovo" was established and the political leadership in Pristina recommended its compatriots to pay 3 per cent of their income into this fund each month so as to support schools, children“s nurseries and hospitals at home."

17 July 1998
NRK (Norwegian National TV)

From the NRK story:

"Last week, the customs officials from Oslo seized 11 kg of heroin, whose "street value" amounts to 30 million Kroner. The drug was hidden in the diesel tank of an automobile. The driver, a 53-year old Austrian, was arrested. This time too, the recepients of heroin were the Kosovo Albanians. After a few days, two Kosovo Albanians, suspected of being the recepients of this very large shipment of heroin, were put under arrest. That same week, the court in Stavanger sentenced four Kosovo Albanians to 13-18 years in prison for smuggling one of the largest quantity of heroin ever to be recorded on the Norwegian west coast.

The Norwegian and Swedish state security officials analyzed the seizures of heroin during the past two years. According to them, ethnic Albanians account for 80 per cent of drug smuggling. Profits from trafficking in heroin amount to hundreds of millions of Kroner. When asked what the money from drugs is used for, Walter Kege, head of the narcotics Division of the Swedish Royal Police, answered: "We know for sure that this money is used for their so-called struggle for liberation."

17 July 1998
"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"

From the article "Kosovo Albanians Still Refuse Talks":

"In the southern Serbian province of Kosovo, which is populated 90% by ethnic Albanians, there are still no signs that the situation will be eased. According to Belgrade's dailies and the Serbian Resistance Movement in Kosovo, almost all Serbian families from the region of Decani have left their villages and moved to collective accommodation facilities for security reasons. The region is located in the southwest of the troubled province, near the border with Albania. At the end of March, it was the scene of large-scale action of the Serbian police against the "Albanian terrorists". The Serbs were made to flee by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)...

...In the meantime, on Thursday, the Serbian government delegation waited in vain in Pristina for the delegation of the Kosovo Albanians to begin the talks about the future status of this, formerly autonomous, Yugoslav province. The Kosovo Albanians wish to negotiate only in the presence of foreign mediators. Belgrade opposes such mediation regarding it as interference in Serbia's internal affairs... According to the Serbian daily "Politika ekspres", the delegation from Belgrade intended to propose to the Kosovo Albanians the formation of the provincial parliament for Kosovo with 90 seats. It is also anticipated that the official languages would be Serbian, Albanian and Turkish. The language of instruction would be the language of the national minority. The Albanian leaders in Kosovo declined the offer for talks, regarding them as a political theatre unless international mediation is allowed."

17 July 1998
"Rheinischer Merkur" Koblenz, Germany

From the article "Kosovo /Underground Organizations/ - Violence Included": "Just like all foreign-based associations of the "Kosovo National Movement" (LPK), the "Democratic Alliance of the Albanians in Germany" (DVAD) also supports the struggle of the KLA. To this end, the "Homeland Calling" Fund was established a few years ago and voluntary contributions can be paid through special bank accounts. In Germany, this money, through an account with Sparkasse Bonn, flows into the fund whose Albanian name is "Vendlindja Thėrret". As for the amount of these contributions used by the KLA for humanitarian purposes, as well as for arms acquisition, the DVAD and the seat of the LPK for other countries in Switzerland do not provide any information..."

21 July, 1998.
"El Mundo" Madrid

".. The Spanish deputies Guillermo Martinez and Francisco Arnau requested yesterday that Albania should stop sending weapons to the Albanian guerrillas in Kosovo, fighting for independence. The Spanish representatives are members of the WEU delegation which travelled to Tropoja, in northern Albania, where arms smuggling for the KLA is frequent." (From the article "The KLA Acquires Weapons from Albania, According to the WEU").

21 July, 1998
ORF (Austrian TV)

From the report and interview with the Austrian journalist Paul Flieder: "

... At Bajram Curri and Tropoja there are, as alleged, 10,000 refugees but they cannot be seen anywhere. Many facts point out that the Albanians inflate the figures in order to receive larger humanitarian aid. It is even difficult to find a few refugees accommodated in private homes...

One Albanian, who provided accommodation to several refugees, tells us what is happening with humanitarian aid: "For the refugees from Kosovo massive humanitarian aid has been sent from abroad, but it went into the wrong hands. It was either stolen by storekeepers or distributed in a wrong way. This means that the Kosovo Albanians have not got anything. Instead, aid has gone to the market. This is especially bad for the children.

Everywhere in northern Albania, arms trafficking for Kosovo is flourishing... The Albanian government... is too tolerant...

For a long time already, no distinction has been made in the KLA between the war of liberation and crime... Nor is the KLA a heroic liberation army... Instead, it has an increasing number of criminals who are doing their business."

22 July 1998

From the report of the OESC Fact-Finding Mission in the FR of Yugoslavia, 14-22 July, 1998: "The representatives of the political parties and the community of the Kosovo Albanians have stressed the need for a fast settlement of the situation. They insist that the KLA is a defence group, comprising the Albanians who took up arms in order to protect themselves from the Serbian security forces. They point out that the popularity of the KLA is on the increase, while support to political parties is declining in general. Some of them admit openly that they have offered to serve as the political wing of the KLA. However, not a single political party has assumed this role up to this day. Moreover, not a single politician has so far dissociated himself from the the KLA.

The Albanians insist that the dialogue cannot begin as long as the Serbian security forces, as they claim, attack the Albanian population in Kosovo. They have emphasized the significance of international participation in the process in which, in their view, the KLA should also be included. All of them have agreed that it cannot be negotiated about the rights for Kosovo which were enjoyed under the 1974 Constitution, and that they represent the starting point for any dialogue. Some of them believe that, before the beginning of any talks on the final solution, it would be necessary to provide a stopgap solution, including confidence-building measures. In this context, some political parties have thought that the NATO intervention would guarantee security in the region. Although some of them hold that the outcome of this dialogue should not be prejudiced, it was clear that all collocutors regarded independence as their ultimate aim. No one was ready to accept any measure of autonomy as the final outcome."

22 July 1998
"Nova Makedonija" Skopje

The newspaper reminds the readers to the statement of Jakub Krasniqi, spokesman for the "illegal terrorist KLA", made to the German TV SAT 1, that the aim of his organization is "independent Kosovo, including parts of Macedonia and Montenegro which are populated by the Albanians", as well as to his statement made for "Der Spiegel" early in July that the aim of the KLA is to gather all Albanians in the Balkans. In that context, according to the newspaper, "it is becoming quite evident that the Republic of Macedonia has not been excluded from the concept of a Greater Albania. On the contrary - in the casting of the Albanian radicals, it has been assigned one of the leading roles. The newspaper cites the leader of the PDPA-NDP (the political party of the Macedonian Albanians) that they provide moral and financial support to "their brothers in Kosovo" and that they send volunteers to the KLA. From the article "Is the KLA Active in Macedonia - Volunteers and Arms Trafficking").

22 July 1998 "Salzburger Nachrichten"

The author of the article "Escalation in Kosovo Is Deepening the Gap in Albania", Stephen Izrael, writes that the opposition leader, S. Berisha, makes use of the "national question for his comeback on the political stage. For a long time already, northern Albania has been the region from which guerrillas are transferred to Kosovo. Some kind of the main centre is the town of Tropoja, 10 km far from the state border. The arms depots and training camps of the KLA are located in the vicinity of the town and along the border. The KLA has plenty of weapons. During the last year's riots in Albania at least 600,000 Kalashinikovs and guns were pilfered. Tropoja is the arms market. At the beginning, one Kalashnikov cost 200 ATS, while its current price is 1300 ATS (7 ATS = 1 DEM). There are more "soldiers" ready for combat than the KLA command can train. "The recruitment area" is rather in the Albanian diaspora in Switzerland and Germany than in Albania. The recruits travel by air from their second homeland to Tirane and then by helicopter or by car over a bumpy road directly to the state border.

The state apparatus in Albania is still very weak. Most politicians in F. Nano“s Government are from the south of the country and, with the best will in the world, have very limited powers. The words of the socialist premier are almost never listened to in northern Albania. This region is the stronghold of Berisha“s "democrats". The former president is from Tropoja. In Berisha“s family house, one of the KLA command posts is stationed.

22 July 1998
correspondent of the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS

"Like in the past, Holland supports all concerted efforts put forth by the NATO and EU to ease the situation in Kosovo, said today the spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conversation with the ITAR-TASS correspondent. In this connection, the Government proceeds from the conviction that the Kosovo problem cannot be solved in an isolated way: every solution for this province will have repercussions for the whole region, and this should be taken into account while working on the solution. Like in the past, Holland proceeds from the fact that Kosovo is an inseparable part of the FRY. However, it is necessary to maintain the traditional autonomous status of Kosovo, while at the same time respecting all rights of the population in this region. Asked to comment on the news appearing in the media that the funds for the KLA are also raised in Holland, the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Government does not support such an activity. However, Dutch legislation does not prohibit such an activity.

23 July 1998
"Die Welt" Hamburg

The German Defence Minister, Volker Ruehe, stated that a reasonable solution for Kosovo would be a wide measure of autonomy, "comparable to the status of Montenegro within Yugoslavia". The participation of the German troops can be considered "solely for securing the political solution which was agreed upon and accepted in full".

23 July 1998
"Stuttgarter Nachrichten"

From an interview with Bujar Bukoshi, Premier of the so-called "Republic of Kosovo" government:

Question: Mr. Bukoshi, according to the American intelligence sources, you support the Kosovo illegal army KLA. Is this a compliment for you or an insult?

"It is rather a compliment. For this you do not have to consult the intelligence sources; this is my legal duty: my Government recognizes the KLA as reality, as a response to the Serbian provocations, as the use of the right to offer resistance to an illegal state authority".

Q: They say that the receipts of tax which your government collects from the Kosovo Albanians in Germany amount to 10 million DEM each year.

"Contributions for our fund are absolutely voluntary and they amount to 3 % of personal receipts. The people are glad to do this, because such contributions are an expression of a strong feeling of solidarity which has always existed among the Albanians."

Q: It is evident that Bonn is not convinced of this voluntariness?

"Our campaign is absolutely public: we have been officially registered; our money goes through banks; the finance bureau controls us. There has never been any objection.

Q: The Contact Group for the Balkans views this quite differently. At its last meeting it was decided to call on all countries to prevent fund raising for an illegal struggle.

"The Contact Group is beginning to lose its sense of reality. If such a reckless recommendation is made, it also requires a justification. Our fund was not established yesterday; we have been raising funds on a voluntary basis for more than six years.

24 July 1998

"ABC" Madrid

From a interview with Gani Haxhiu, an KLA official:

GH: "The KLA is the people“s national army with a traditionl hierarchic structure. I am a member of the supreme headquarters and when I say something, you can believe me that I am doing this in the name of the KLA. To be a traitor, one must commit an act of treason and this has not been done for the time being. If Rugova, Demaqi or Qosja betray their people by accepting some solution which is not consistent with the results of the 1992 referendum, they should know that they will be sentenced to death as traitors.

ABC: What solution are you ready to accept?

GH: Any status within Serbia or Yugoslavia will be rejected. I wish to clarify that, despite of what is being said, this is not an ethnic war. This is a war against the military occupation force.

24 July, 1998
"Unita" Rome

Italian Foreign Minister Dini asked the Albanian Government to influence its "Kosovo brothers" in a positive and moderate spirit; to monitor its border with Kosovo and to make its contribution towards identifying the possible Kosovo collocutors. Italy made it plain to the Albanian Foreign Minister that it does not approve of "belligerent statements of Tirane in defence of its brothers in Kosovo". (From the article "Dini Met with Minister Milo - Italy Calls on Albania to Be Moderate")

24 July, 1998

"La Stampa" Turin

During his visit to Italy, Foreign Minister P. Milo stated that "Kosovo should remain within Yugoslavia, but with a much wider measure of autonomy than the proposed one, or more exactly, to be similar, for example, to the status of Montenegro". (From the article "Autonomy for Kosovo Is Enough").

24 July, 1998
"Corriere della sera" Milan

The commentator of the daily, F. Venturini, holds that Italy should make use of its connections with Belgrade and Tirane so as to speed up the adoption of a bolder proposal for the autonomy of Kosovo, which would be modelled after Montenegro.

25 July, 1998
"Corriere della sera"

In his open letter to the newspaper, Italian Foreign Minister Dini refers to F. Venturini's commentary and points to paramount importance of a political solution, based on "a wide measure of autonomy and the necessary guarantees", which would be elaborated by using the Italian province of Alto-Adige as the model.

27 July, 1998 "La Stampa" Turin

The newspaper gives the main points of Foreign Minister Dini's talk with the journalists in which, among other things, he presented arguments against military intervention in Kosovo and Metohija (sending of troops to a sovereign country would mean the declaration of war; what is happening in Kosovo is conflict and not genocide; objective difficulties encountered in making an on-site assessment of the situation, not to mention the unclear position of I. Rugova and divided KLA) and pleaded for the sending of troops to Albania and Macedonia in order to prevent the spread of the conflict (From the article "Dini - a Flash? Unreasonable")

27 July, 1998 "Washington Post"

From the article "Refugee Donations Finance Kosovo Rebels": "...Ibrahim Kelmendi, who manages the "Homeland Calling" Fund in which all donations made throughout the Albanian diaspora are kept, said that contributions towards armed resistance amount to nearly one million dollars each month. This amount is also accepted by the German intelligence services which keep extremists and refugee groups in Germany under surveillance...

The Swiss authorities state that the Kosovo crisis has confirmed their suspicion about the connections of the Albanian diaspora with widespread arms and drug trafficking. Ninety per cent of traffic in heroin in Switzerland - one of the main crossroads in traffic in hard drugs - is now controlled by the Albanian traffickers“ circles, says Pierre Duc, head of the Narcotics Department in Lausanne, Switzerland... "We still have no direct evidence but our experience tells us that the channels used for traffic in hard drugs are also used for arms", says Duc... "During the past few months, the amount of heroin smuggled from Turkey and Albania into Western Europe rose enormously and Duc thinks that the amount of weapons cannot be much smaller."

27 July 1998 AP

"The Swiss authorities have confirmed that they have frozen a number of bank accounts in which, in their view, money for the illegal KLA is kept. This morning, the police arrested several Albanians and confiscated the documentation found during the search of their houses in the eastern part of the country.

Mehmet Bardhyl, spokesman for the Kosovo National Movement, an Albanian émigré organization which supports the KLA, said for the AP that the authorities blocked the largest bank account of this movement. Bardhyl emphasized that humanitarian aid for the Albanian population in Kosovo was financed out of this fund, but he did not want to say how much money was kept in the account."

27 July 1998
"The Christian Science Monitor" Boston

From the article "Money for Kosovo - Among the Rebels: Financing the War" by Jonathan Landau:

"In 1982, they were arrested, beaten and imprisoned because of their belonging to the Kosovo Liberation Movement, a coalition of illegal groups campaigning for the advancement of political rights in the Serbian province of Kosovo which is dominated by ethnic Albanians.

Bardhyl Mahmuti, Jashar Shalihu and Bilall Sherifi abandoned peaceful demonstrations and shifted to armed rebellion... This trio supports the fund of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which collects funds throughout the United States, Europe, as well as in other parts of the world for the acquisition of weapons for the rebels fighting for the independence of Kosovo...

In the United States, the supporters of the KLA contribute actively to the fund and some of them carry suitcases with cash to Switzerland... The supporters of the KLA in the United States act also through the Albanian-American Civic League, their lobby in Washington, D.C. They have appeared in the National Security Council before many influential personalities, including Senator Jesse Helms, Republican from North Carolina and member of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Gilman, Republican from New York and chairman of the Congressional Foreign Relations Committee... This league advocates not only independence for Kosovo, but also the "liberation" of parts of Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece, where the Albanians have been living for centuries, which is threatening with a local cataclysm.

27 July, 1998
"Haagsche Courant"

From the article "I Am Good at Hunting the Serbs" by Harald Doornbos:

"His nickname is “Lion“, or “Luan“ in Albanian. While standing on the asphalt-paved Pristina-Prizren highway, at the level of the town of Crnovljevo, in western Kosovo, he is beaming with self-confidence. A black Mercedes, a Kalashnikov and a group of six fellow soldiers. The commander "Lion" (36) is one of the leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). "I may not look like a lion", says he in his first interview given to a foreign journalist. He thinks of his, hardly impressive, height and, by that very fact, of his muscles. "But when it comes to hunting, I am good at hunting the Serbs"...

"The KLA is doing excellent", said the commander even before the weekend. He lived in Germany for four years and returned to Kosovo this March. "Our aim is to create unified Albania. Albania is in every place where the population speaks Albanian", says the Lion who refuses to tell his real name. His Mercedes, on which he keeps leaning, has a hand-made licence plate: KLA 15. A group of his fellow fighters with automatic weapons is standing a few metres down the road. Three rebels are lying behind the shoulder of the road, watching the surrounding area. The convoys of the Red Cross or foreign journalists pass from time to time. The Lion checks the documents and lets everyone go.

"We began to prepare for armed struggle in Kosovo in 1991", says the commander about the KLA. "We organized a soccer team and after training we would go into the woods to practice. We travelled all around. Germany. Switzerland. Kosovo. Albania. Everywhere this has to be done in secret, even in Albania, because everyone regarded us as an illegal organization."

In 1991, he made regular visits to various European capitals, including Amsterdam, in order to raise funds "for struggle". "I was paying everything out of my own pocket. Life has not sense without freedom."

According to the commander, armed struggle is the only method by which unified Albania can be created. This is opposite of what is championed by the political leader of Kosovo Albanians, Ibrahim Rugova, who has been trying to attain independence for Kosovo by peaceful methods for ten years already. "As for myself, Rugova is sentenced to death", says he. "He kept telling the people: America is supporting us, just sleep peacefully. What a folly! Without Rugova“s policy the war would have been over a long time ago and we would now be living in freedom. I would rather kill Rugova than Slobodan Milosevic".

The Lion's most notable feat was the defence of "his" twenty kilometres of the road without losing any of his soldiers. Once he also captured a group of Serbs in a bus. "We are fighting against those in uniform and not against Serbian women and children", says he. "I let all women go. We are still keeping one soldier and one policeman who were in the bus. We need them in case it comes to the exchange of prisoners".

Is the Lion afraid to die in battle? "I hope that this will not happen", says he with a grin. "And if I get killed, I will not die as a terrorist but as the liberator of my people and my country. This is not so horrible".

Komandant pobunjenika 'Lav'
Caption: Rebel commander Lion does not want
to show his face but only his car.

27 July 1988
"Focus" Austria

From the article "Suspicious Agencies":

"According to the Federal Crime Control Bureau (BKA), the KLA guerrillas are also financed out of profits from criminal activities. In Germany, the state security and law-enforcement agencies have increasingly more evidence that money for the "liberation army" of the Kosovo Albanians (KLA) stems also from profits from organized crime.

During an analysis of 48 relevant preliminary investigation proceedings, "it was observed that a large number of tourist agencies engages in money transfer to Kosovo". This was stated in the "Report on Organized Crime in 1997" made by the Federal Crime Control Bureau (BKA). The Federal Bureau for the Protection of Constitutional Order (BFV) estimates that, at the moment, it is the question of some 1.5 million DEM (FOCUS 29/98). With juridical caution, the BKA reports that, "as a rule (in 1997) it was the question of legal money".

However, the mosaic of indications points to connections with crime. "Crime among ethnic Albanians is posing an increasing problem in the old provinces of the Federal Republic of Germany", reports one BKA official. As for those "tourist agencies", it can be noticed that "they often have no logistic which is typical of tourist agencies". The confiscated material arouses suspicion "that they also transfer money from criminal activities". In southern Germany, Albanian gangs are focused on drug trafficking and in the region of Hamburg on serial burglaries. Assistance to their compatriots in entering Germany illegally is listed in the report as the third important activity.

A new suspicion is arousing in neighbouring Macedonia: the Bulgarian armament industry is concluding arrangements linked to Kosovo with an ulterior motive to draw the Macedonian Albanians into a maelstrom, thus contributing to the collapse of Macedonia and having a new chance to revive old Bulgarian claims to eastern Macedonia.

28 July 1998
"Reuters" London

From the statement of James Rubin, spokesman for the State Department, made at the press conference in the State Department on 28 July:

Question: Did the United States commit any of its allies to try to check the inflow of weapons and funds for the KLA?

Rubin: We should look at the data on what, in our view, comes from different countries. I know that State Secretary Albright had talks with her partners about importance to be sure that external aid does not surpass our wish for a peaceful settlement and that we should try to discourage such external aid which will only postpone the day of a peaceful settlement and will stir up fighting...

Q: Consequently, does it mean that the United States will approve if the Swiss arrest the Kosovo Albanians and block bank accounts?

R. We certainly do not wish these funds to be used by extremist organizations which are not interested in peace. This has been our position for some time already.

30 July 1998
BETA correspondent from Bonn

At present, there are no signs that Germany will take measures to prevent an organized raising of funds for financing the KLA, said B. Boehm, spokesman for the German Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs and Federal Ministry of Justice. He stated that the implementation of such measures would fall under the competence of the federal states and not the federation. "The state prosecutor's offices can take measures only if there is a strong suspicion that there is a criminal activity behind it."

In his interview for "Süddeutsche Zeitung", Foreign Minister Kinkel said that Germany "is inquiring into the possibibility of stopping such payments". Kinkel also said that "it would be necessary to consider prohibiting the activities of the associations (of the Kosovo Albanians) which collect money, cancelling tax concessions granted to them, as well as prohibiting their political activities." In the last year's report on the protection of constitutional order in the FR of Germany, it is stated that the "Kosovo National Movement, which is active in Germany and kept under the surveillance of the State Security", announced in its journal "The Voice of Kosovo" that "it wishes to provide political, moral and financial support to the KLA".

30 July 1998
"The London Times"

From the editorial "The Kosovo Crisis - Peace in the Balkans Still on a War Footing":

The international community is adamant that independence is not a solution. Its nightmare is Greater Albania or, in other words, the union of Albania, Kosovo and western Macedonia, which is supported by many ethnic Albanians (including most of the KLA). Independent Kosovo would probably wish to join such an entity; the Albanian Macedonians would wish to follow in their footsteps. The collapse of instable Macedonia would involve Greece and Bulgaria, which do not recognize the Macedonian nation, and probably Turkey. There are vast opportunities for chaos. And the independence of Kosovo would provide them".

30 July 1998
"Die Zeit" Hamburg

From the article "Fighting During the Holidays - the Fighters for Kosovo and Refugees Gather in Northern Albania" by Philip Maushart:

"In the school yard at Tropoja one can also speak German.

"Many young people lived in Germany until recently. But here, in the KLA base at Tropoja, not only the Albanians are waiting, but also the fedayeen, Muslim fighters from Arab countries. What are they doing here? "We provide humanitarian aid", says one of them laughingly. However, they in Tirane fear that the Muslim fighters could turn an ethnic conflict into a religious war.

They have been at Tropoja for a long time already. Whereas in one field, not far from the village, the newcomers practice handling the weapons, the Muslim teachers are giving religious instruction to the children of numerous refugees in building near the sports ground. The Red Cross at Tropoja has registered exactly four thousand refugees, while a much larger number of them has gone to Tirane and port towns."

4 August 1998
"Politika" Belgrade

From the article "Terrorists Don't Observe Tradition":

"Last Thursday (30 July), the Albanian Malo Adinaj (50) from the village of Ljubovo near Istok killed his son Rifat (26) who returned home after spending two months with the Drenica Albanian terrorist units. After his terrorist group had been been broken up, Rifat returned to his village. His father, a security guard on the nearby agricultural estate, asked his son to report to the police. However, his son threatened him that he would denounce him to the terrorists "because of collaboration with the Serbian police". Rifat slapped his father who then went to another room, took his rifle and killed his son. After killing his son, he went to the police to report the murder."

* * *

On the Internet site (under the firm "Zėri i Kosovės" /The State of Kosovo/, in the file "Vendlindja therret" ("Homeland Calling"), the KLA gave the numbers of bank accounts in Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Australia, Norway, Denmark, France, Sweden, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Austria and Canada into which financial aid could be paid. (From the site: http://www. zik. com/ vendlind). Supplement 27