Sunday, July 09, 2006

Kosovo victims mourn in anger as new war crimes trials set to begin

MALA KRUSA, Serbia (AP) - The women here have no husbands or sons to work the land. Many don't even have graves to cry over.

These are the women of Mala Krusa, a close-knit village of 1,000 ethnic Albanians tucked behind a railway track in Kosovo's south that was the scene of mass killings on a night in 1999 when Serb forces seized the town's men and boys.

On Monday, six former high-level political and military leaders of Serbia and Yugoslavia are to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands, for alleged war crimes in Kosovo during the 1998-99 crackdown on ethnic Albanians, and the names of some of the 116 men and boys who disappeared from Mala Krusa that night are on the long list of victims in their indictment.

Hyreshahe Shehu recalls holding her 13-year-old son Xhelal's trembling hand tight as they watched Serb forces take her elder son and her husband away. Minutes later, they took Xhelal. He never came back.

"My soul hurts day and night," she said, beating her chest with a fist. "They killed my husband and my two only sons. They have exterminated my family."

U.N. prosecutors will seek to prove that the Serb leaders directed a campaign of terror and violence against Kosovo Albanians by participating in a joint criminal enterprise with the purpose of modifying the ethnic balance in Kosovo to ensure Serb control over the province.

Milan Milutinovic, Nikola Sainovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic, Nebojsa Pavkovic, Vladimir Lazarevic and Sreten Lukic are being tried four months after former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic died while standing trial in The Hague for war crimes.

The six are charged with crimes including the deportation of 800,000 ethnic Albanians, and the forcible transfer, murder and persecutions of thousands of ethnic Albanians.

Mala Krusa is one of the examples. Once a lively community, much of the village is now a ghost town haunted by that one day when the men were separated from their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.

Some of the men come back -- in white body bags. Some were never found.

Prosecutors allege that a day after NATO began bombing Serb forces to bring a halt to the Serb crackdown, Mala Krusa and a village nearby were attacked by Serb forces.

Residents took refuge in a forested area, where they saw police looting and then burning their homes.

The next day, Serb police found the villagers in the forest, ordered the women and children to go to neighboring Albania and made men and boys walk to an empty house.

There, they opened fire, prosecutors say. The police then piled hay on the men and boys and set fire to it in order to burn the bodies, killing 105 of them, they said.

Left to live in a village that still bears the marks of the destruction that took place here -- a constant reminder of those dark days that swept their families -- the women of Mala Krusa say they want to see local Serbs and those who issued the orders that day in Mala Krusa also brought to justice.

"I wouldn't want them killed," Hyreshahe said, wiping tears with her hands. "I wish what they did to us they see it in their kids so that their mothers are left suffering, just like we are for as long as we live."

5 comments:

betabe said...

"There, they opened fire, prosecutors say. The police then piled hay on the men and boys and set fire to it in order to burn the bodies, killing 105 of them, they said.

Left to live in a village that still bears the marks of the destruction that took place here -- a constant reminder of those dark days that swept their families -- the women of Mala Krusa say they want to see local Serbs and those who issued the orders that day in Mala Krusa also brought to justice"

This is the reality in Krusha e Vogel. Imagine being under their skin, how would you act. We are too peacefull as we were before.

It's not enough, they should be sentenced for giving incentives to local serbs, however some of local serbs should be sentenced that they did such attrocities.

Family of my ex-serbian neighbor, almost killed my father. Their son 14 years old shot on him with his AK 47. Imagine even a 14 years old person was fed with hate. And this family is counted as IDP, he's counted as a victim of ethnic cleansing. Well nobody forced them to leave, but they were afraid, and they still are because of what they did. However I don't blame them, because my father filed a charge against them and with at the moment when they step in Kosova ground they will find them arrested. Moreover, they can't even transfer their property without appearing to the court.

Let the rule of law prevail and let people complain against that.

Wake up

Serbs In Kosovo are in Danger said...

I can not believe the KLA is not mentioned once in that article. Not even once! That is such bad and wreckless journalism. So the Serbs woke up one day and decided to kill Albanians. Horrible article. One of the worst ever on Kosovo.

Kosova1234 said...

Serbs in Kosova are in danger? If they were in danger as much as Albanians were in 1998 they would leave Kosova in a heartbeat.
The only reason they did not mention KLA is because this topic is based on THE INNOCENT CIVILIAN VICTIMS THAT WERE KILLED BY BARBARIANS SERBS, whereas KLA has never killed a civilian. THATS WHY THEY DID NOT MENTION KLA.

NYoutlawyer said...

The terrorist kla surel did kill civilians, Serbians and their own. Read some oppossing findings by writers and media that is not blind and totally pro-albanian.

Interesting how bodies were found after NATO bombing campaign started. Any correlation?

http://www.dafka.org/NewsGen.asp?S=4&PageID=1178

NYoutlawyer said...

NATO and the greedy Western powers fomented this hatred throughout the Balkans for their own benefit. People, you have ALL been exploited.