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The BBC's Jon Leyne
"The war and the suffering are still not over"
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Miodrag Popovic
"Report is an alibi for what Nato was doing"
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BBC News' Jon Leyne
"Murders of Serbs are almost an everyday occurrence in Kosovo"
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Monday, 6 December, 1999, 11:19 GMT
Horrors of Kosovo revealed
A Nato soldier stands next to a mass grave in the village of Kacanik Mass graves containing the bodies of Kosovo Albanians have been discovered

A grim catalogue of mutilation, murder and rape in Kosovo is unveiled in a major human rights report published by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

The war in Kosovo
Testimony gathered by OSCE monitors from more than 3,000 witnesses and refugees builds a detailed picture of recent events in Kosovo.

It says massive human rights abuses were carried out by Serbian forces on Kosovo Albanians.

This was followed by revenge attacks against remaining Serbs after Belgrade withdrew its troops from the province.

A Serb property on fire in Pec Revenge attacks have been carried out against Serbs
"The evidence of recent violations ... indicates that the cycle of violence has not yet been broken," the head of the OSCE mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Daan Everts, wrote in the introduction.

The report outlines a series of human rights abuses committed between 1998 and June this year when the territory was still under Serbian control.

This, the report says, was the result of a deliberate planned strategy by the government of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

The OSCE says Serb attacks increased after Nato began its bombing campaign, and summary and arbitrary killing spread throughout Kosovo.

There was a systematic policy of apartheid, a sub-human status or at least a sub-community status
Bernard Kouchner, UN special envoy to Kosovo
Among the worst incidents, it says, were reports of the deliberate killing of children, and of elderly and disabled people being shot or burned alive.

There are accounts of children decapitated in front of their parents and refugees suffocating to death in crowded trains.

Revenge attacks

Human rights monitors have also been watching the climate of intolerance and revenge that has been sweeping the province since the arrival of Nato peacekeepers in June.

They detail human rights violations such as executions, abductions and intimidation, directed mainly against Serbs and other minorities.

Roma women stand outside their home Gypsies have left en masse after killings, house burnings and intimidation
One of the worst examples occurred in the US-controlled sector of Gnjilane, which had been largely untouched by the war, the report says.

But between June and October, almost 280 properties owned by Serbs and other minorities were either burned or destroyed.

Furthermore, the Roma, or Gypsy, population has left en masse, monitors say, and daily human rights reports in June, July and August were dominated by accounts of killings, house burnings, missing persons and abductions.

But the report draws a distinction between the abuses in the past and the violations that are continuing.

'Policy of apartheid'

Bernard Kouchner, the UN's special envoy to Kosovo, says in the report's introduction that there had been a systematic policy of apartheid against Kosovo Albanians for at least a decade, but this was no longer the case.

The monitors say that many of those involved in attacks on Serbs appear to have been members of the Kosovo Liberation Army or its successor organisation, the Kosovo Protection Corps.

The KLA waged a 15-month guerrilla campaign against Serb rule.

"It is clear that the (KLA) stepped in to fill a law and order void, but this 'policing' role is unrestrained by law and without legitimacy," the report said.

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See also:
06 Dec 99 |  Europe
Analysis: Kosovo's elusive peace
06 Dec 99 |  Europe
Kosovo catalogue of horrors
12 Nov 99 |  Europe
Q & A: Counting Kosovo's dead
06 Dec 99 |  Europe
Living in fear in Kosovo
15 Jun 99 |  Europe
A land of desecration and death
21 May 99 |  Europe
Children's tales of horror
15 Jun 99 |  Europe
Recrimination in Prizren
15 Jun 99 |  Europe
Evidence of mass murder in Koliq

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