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Tuesday, April 6, 1999 Published at 06:39 GMT 07:39 UK


Serb media says Nato 'greatly divided'

Serb media says Nato operation has divided the alliance

As tens of thousands of Kosovo refugees wait without food and shelter to cross the border into Macedonia, and many more struggle to stay alive in refugee camps, Serbian TV and radio made no mention of the plight of the ethnic Albanians.

Kosovo: Special Report
The pattern continued on Sunday, with television clips of an open-air pop music concert in central Belgrade.

Once again, the media did not deviate from the pattern of previous days, broadcasting extensive coverage of the damage and casualties following the 12th night of Nato air strikes.

While the international relief operation does not feature, parts of the media revel in what they describe as a division within Nato.

The Yugoslav army's weekly newspaper, the Belgrade `Vojska', said "Nato's aggression against Yugoslavia has greatly divided the alliance" and the atmosphere at Nato HQ was "highly strained" with the situation "not going to plan".

Highlighting divisions

Under the headline "The Balkan Quagmire", the paper said "a large number of rifts and disagreements had surfaced after 50 years of Nato's history".

"In all Nato military establishments except for the United States, the position prevails that the aggression on Yugoslavia has only caused great problems failing to bring about the desired effects," it said.

The paper said that Nato forces have faced "a highly-organised defence by the Yugoslav Army Air Force and Air Defence" and now planners have "given up the previous concept of bombing in stages their targets throughout Yugoslavia".

It also claimed that Nato forces had turned against their countries.

"Quite a number of pilots of the aggressors' armies have opposed the aggression on Yugoslavia, accusing their countries' leaderships and Nato of having involved them in a highly risky adventure," the paper said.

Nato 'causing ecological problems'

As planes carrying aid from all corners of the globe arrive in the region to help the refugees and the humanitarian disaster which could face them, Serbian radio switched its concern to ecological problems following the bombing of a chemical plant in the central Serbian town of Lucane.

It expressed its concern that the "fascist aggressor Nato" would provoke an ecological disaster.

The TV and radio broadcast interviews with furious Yugoslav citizens expressing their determination to fight Nato and their support for the government, and newscasts ended with a scrolling invitation for people to attend a protest rally in Belgrade.

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.



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