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Monday, January 4, 1999 Published at 20:50 GMT

World: Europe

Kosovo rebels go on air

The radio will voice KLA view of Kosovo conflict

By Jackie Rowland in Belgrade

The Kosovo Liberation Army has announced the establishment of its own radio station and news agency, saying they would be the authentic voice of ethnic Albanians.

Kosovo Section
The two media will enter a crowded scene in Kosovo. There is already one ethnic Albanian news agency run by the Kosovo Information Centre, which is close to the largest political party, the LDK.

Then there are several newspapers in the Albanian language which carry statements from ethnic Albanian politicians and from the KLA.

On the Serbian side there is the Pristina media centre, which publishes information from the police and other official sources.

The KLA said the radio and the agency would aim to provide accurate, objective and timely information about the situation in the territory.

Independent ethnic Albanian journalists in Kosovo say the new radio station and news agency will be propaganda tools.

Media offensive

The KLA announcement comes at a time when both sides in the Kosovo conflict are stepping up their media offensive.

The rebels wish to counter a campaign by the Yugoslav authorities to have the KLA placed on an international list of terrorist organisations.

At the same time, the Yugoslav Information Ministry says it is preparing a media campaign for the New Year and has called on Yusoslav news organisations to show national responsibility.

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