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Tuesday, May 25, 1999 Published at 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK


World: Europe

Serbs flee Yugoslavia

Nato says infrastructure attacks are taking their toll on Serb morale

The United Nations refugee agency says about 30,000 Serbs have left Yugoslavia for the Bosnian Serb republic since Nato air strikes began two months ago.

Kosovo: Special Report
A spokeswoman for the UNHCR, Wendy Rappeport, said some had fled the bombing, while others were trying to avoid being called up to serve in the Yugoslav army.

She said the numbers had been provided by the Bosnian Serb authorities, and included Yugoslav Serbs, Serbs from Croatia who fled to Yugoslavia in 1995, and Bosnian Serbs who left during the Bosnian war.

Milosevic is 'cracking'

Nato Secretary-General Javier Solana has said increasing internal dissent in Yugoslavia and the country's international isolation proved that Nato should stick with its air campaign.

"We want to maintain the strategy at this very moment which is producing results rapidly," Mr Solana told the Associated Press.


John Simpson in Belgrade: People here are frightened and angry
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic "is cracking. No question about it," he said, in an apparent reference to the anti-government demonstrations taking place in the towns of Krusevac, Alexandrovac and Raska.

However, the Yugoslav Army seems to have toughened its stance on deserting reservists with reports they will face courts martial unless they return to their units.

Nato 'kill'

General Michael Short - the American airforce general in charge of the air war against Yugoslavia - predicted that Yugoslav forces in Kosovo would be broken in two months.

General Short, in an interview with the Washington Post, predicted that in two more months, a combination of high and low altitude attacks from B-52 and B-1 bombers and the A-10 attack aircraft would "kill this army in Kosovo or send it on the run"

President Clinton is also reported to have approved action by the CIA to train the Kosovo Liberation Army and even to hack into Mr Milosevic's bank accounts.

And in a sign of how far off a peace deal still appears to be, Yugoslavia's UN envoy declared that Nato has no moral right to enter the country after its bombing campaign and insisted that Belgrade must be a full partner in negotiations.

"It would be really unthinkable for one sovereign country to allow its own destroyers to play the role of peacemakers or peacekeepers," Vladislav Jovanovic said.



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Internet Links


Nato

Serbian Ministry of Information

Kosovo Crisis Centre

UNHCR Kosovo news

Oxfam in Kosovo

Eyewitness accounts of the bombing


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