ONE SERB DIED AND FOUR WOUNDED IN LATEST KOSOVO ATTACK
Gracanica, September 01, 2003
Last night, the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren received urgent news of a new attack on Serbs in ethnically mixed village of Cernica (pr. Tsernitsa) near Gnjilane (pr. Gneelaneh), 40 km southeast from the Provincial capital Pristina.
First explosion occurred around 19.50, Sunday evening. Local sources claim that unknown person hurled an explosive device from a deserted house on a group of Serbs who were standing in front of the local village store, in the centre of the village. Five Serb males sustained wounds in this explosion.
One of the injured, Miomir Savic (born 1968) was transported by KFOR helicopter with very serious injuries to the U.S. Camp Bondsteel, three males were transported with unknown injuries to Vranje hospital (South Serbia) and another male was hospitalized in Gnjilane regional hospital.
Five minutes after the first explosion, around 19.55, another explosion was heard in the lower (Serbian) part of the village. In this attack no one was injured.
Members of U.S. KFOR, in which area of responsibility the attack occurred, have been searching the village. According to the local sources they have found a larger quantity of explosives in the deserted house which was ready to be exploded. If the explosives had been detonated number of victims could have been much higher, local sources say.
Yesterday's attack is not the only attack on members of Serb community in Cernica village. Kosovo Albanian extremists have made several attacks in the last four years on their Serb neighbors. On May 28, 2000 Albanian extremists killed three Serbs (among them one child) and wounded five more in Cernica. This was the hardest blow this little Serb community suffered after the deployment of the peacekeeping forces in June 1999.
Serbian population in Kosovsko Pomoravlje (Eastern part of the UN administered Province) and the rest of Kosovo and Metohija are in shock and alarm after the yesterday's attack in Cernica.
Presently, in Cernica village there are 450 Serbs and 3000 Kosovo Albanians who live in separate parts of the village.
SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH MOST STRONGLY CONDEMNS ATTACK IN CERNICA
It is absolutely incomprehensible that after a series of terrorist attacks and crimes against Serbian population in Kosovo and Metohija UNMIK and KFOR have not taken more decisive measures to stop Albanian ethnic terror. We continually listen to the fables that the attacks from the previous weeks and months were nothing but isolated "incidents" although it is more than evident that Albanian terrorists have launched a systematic campaign of terror. It is carried out not only in Kosovo and Metohija but also on the territory of South-east Serbia and Macedonia, with the goal of creating ethnically clean Albanian territory.
Gracanica, September 1, 2003
For immediate release
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren most strongly condemns the latest terrorist attack in Cernica as one more in line of crimes directed against members of the Serbian community in Kosovo and Metohija.
After Kosovo Albanian terrorists killed three Serbs in this village and wounded five more in a massacre on May 28, 2000, this is a new attempt to expel from Cernica the remaining Serbs and make this multiethnic village an ethnically clean Albanian settlement.
It is absolutely incomprehensible that after a series of terrorist attacks and crimes directed against the Serbian population in Kosovo and Metohija UNMIK and KFOR have not taken more decisive and efficient measures to stop Albanian ethnic terror. We continually listen to the fables that the attacks from the previous weeks and months were nothing but isolated "incidents", in the generally "improving security situation". However it is more than evident that Kosovo Albanian terrorists have launched a systematic campaign of terror which is carried out not only in Kosovo Province, but also on the territory of South-east Serbia and Macedonia, with the goal of creating ethnically clean Albanian territory.
If such irresponsible behavior of the international representatives continues it will be very hard for the Serbian people to believe that the internationals in Kosovo are not open accomplices in crimes. Therefore, the Serbian Orthodox Church publicly appeals on the new UNMIK's chief Mr. Harri Holkeri and the KFOR Commander Lt. Gen. Fabio Mini to intensify investigations of the committed ethnic crimes, bring perpetrators to justice and publicly reveal the truth on the security situation in which members of the Serb community in Kosovo live today.
The Diocese of Raska and Prizren is also calling KFOR and UNMIK highest authorities to make influence on the representatives of the transitional Kosovo Government, KFOR and UNMIK who could contribute to avoid these tragedies and call them to demonstrate their moral responsibility and resign their posts.
After a series of ethnic crimes against Kosovo Serbs in the last weeks and months not a single person has taken at least moral responsibility for this catastrophic situation in the Province, as if this campaign of terror happens on some other continent and not in front of their eyes, and as if they are not so well paid to establish rule of law and order instead of tolerating laws of jungle. Avoiding any kind of responsibility by the leading figures of Kosovo institutions, UNMIK and KFOR is a serious indicator of utmost unprofessional and irresponsible behavior which is not tolerated in any democratic society and which openly encourages continuation of ethnic violence.
Lukewarm statements and "serious concerns" cannot bring back to life victims of terrorism nor can improve the security situation. It is the high time to open eyes and stop deluding oneself and the world about alleged success of the "peace" Mission in Kosovo.
The Diocese expresses sincere condolences to the family of Milomir Savic who died in this attack and appeals on Serbs in Cernica and entire Kosovo Pomoravlje (Eastern part of the UN administered Province) to be courageous and strongly believe that God's justice will eventually triumph over violence and hypocrisy.