- Title: YUGOSLAVIA/MACEDONIA: YUGOSLAVA FORCES TAKE CONTROL OF ORAOVICA.
- Date: 17th May 2001
- Summary: ORAOVICA, YUGOSLAVIA (MAY 16, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV: POLICE ARMOURED PERSONNEL CARRIER IN DESERTED VILLAGE STREET 0.05 2. LV: ROAD SIGN READING 'ORAOVICA' 0.11 3. GV: SPECIAL POLICEMEN MANNING A CHECKPOINT 0.16 4. GV: POLICEMAN WITH A GUN SITTING ON THE GROUND, CIVILIAN PASSING BY ON A BICYCLE 0.20 5. GV/TRACK: COUPLE ON TRACTOR RETURNING TO VILLAGE (2 SHOTS) 0.37 6. GV: VARIOUS OF MAN HOSING STREET WITH WATER 0.49 7. GV/MV/PAN: GROUP OF PEOPLE WALKING IN THE STREET, RETURNING TO THE VILLAGE AFTER FIGHTING STOPPED/ MAN CARRYING BAG OF BREAD PAST VILLAGE SIGN (2 SHOTS) 1.09 8. SV: TRENCH DUG BY WALL WITH SANDBAGS 1.15 9. CU: SOUNDBITE (Serbian) ETHNIC ALBANIAN VILLAGER ON WHOSE LAND THE ARMY DUG TRENCHES: "The soldiers said what is yours is also ours and they were quite rude. And then they kept on digging." 1.53 10. GV: MAN LOOKING AT EMPTY, DESERTED TRENCH 2.01 11. GV/LV: PEOPLE IN VILLAGE STREET/ SECURITY FORCES/ VILLAGE ROOFTOPS (3 SHOTS) 2.20 SKOPJE, MACEDONIA (MAY 16, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 12. LV: HIGH VIEWS OF SKOPJE CITY CENTRE (2 SHOTS) 2.32 13. GV: EXTERIOR PARLIAMENT BUILDING 2.38 14. GV/MV: INTERIOR, VARIOUS OF MEETING BETWEEN EUROPEAN UNION TROIKA - CHRIS PATTEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS; SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER ANNA LINDH; SECRETARY IN BELGIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS OFFICE, ANNEMUE NEYTS UYTTEBROECK - AND MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT BORIS TRAJKOVSKI AND THE MACEDONIAN PRIME MINISTER LJUPCO GEORGIEVSKI ROUND TABLE (6 SHOTS) 3.08 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 1st June 2001 13:00
- Location: ORAOVICA, YUGOSLAVIA/ SKOPJE, MACEDONIA
- Country: Yugoslavia
- Reuters ID: LVA722LDJL7YYWKZO5HFHH5QZ8Q6
- Story Text: Yugoslav forces have taken control of the village of
Oraovica after fighting earlier in the week. Some villagers
have complained that Serb forces caused damage to their homes
whilst they were evacuated.
Some ethnic Albanian villagers started to return to
their homes in Yugoslavia on Wednesday (May 16), after
fighting between rebels and Yugoslav military drove them out
in the past few days.
But they are finding Serb authorities have taken what they
call 'liberties' with their property and there has been
One elderly ethnic Albanian man said the Serb authorities
had been "quite rude" and had told him: "What is yours is
ours" when he complained about them digging trenches across
The Yugoslav Army said 14 guerrillas of the UCPMB were
killed before Serb forces on Tuesday recaptured the village of
Oraovica, roughly 15 km (10 miles) north of the Macedonian
battlefield. The rebels said they lost five men.
Serbian officials said 80 people detained by security
forces when they retook Oraovica had been released due to lack
of evidence against them.
Yugoslav troops will refrain from "excessive violence" when
they take control of a buffer area in Serbia's volatile
Presevo Valley on the border with Kosovo next week, Defence
Minister Slobodan Krapovic said on Wednesday.
The Yugoslav forces are due to enter the last sector of
the zone, a stronghold of ethnic Albanian separatist
guerrillas, on May 24. The NATO alliance had insisted on the
establishment of the zone after it drove Yugoslav forces out
of the ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo province in 1999.
The guerrillas have vowed to prevent Serbs regaining
control of the Kosovo buffer zone, which they have been using
as a base for attacks. They want to see the Presevo Valley
joined to neighbouring Kosovo, now under international
They are also believed to have links with a similar group
waging an armed struggle for greater ethnic Albanian rights
across the border in Macedonia.
Yugoslavia is now eager to shed a reputation for brutality
acquired in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo under the autocratic
leader Slobodan Milosevic.
NATO peacekeepers on Wednesday offered an amnesty to
ethnic Albanian guerrillas in southern Serbia if they crossed
into Kosovo and surrendered within eight days.
In neighbouring Macedonia, diehard Albanian rebels defied
a government ultimatum to withdraw by Thursday, firing at army
positions and drawing artillery fire.
The prospect of continued clashes in both southern Serbia
and in Macedonia looms large. Serious casualties appear likely
if Macedonia orders an army assault on guerrilla-held
villages, where many ethnic Albanian civilians are still in
In Skopje, a European Union (EU) troika consisting of
Chris Patten, European Commissioner for external affairs;
Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh; and Belgian Foreign
Affairs officer, Annemue Neyts Uyttebroeck, met President
Boris Trajkovski and Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski for
talks on the fragile situation.
The governments of Macedonia and Serbia, with strong
Western backing, have insisted they will address ethnic
Albanian grievances but only through dialogue with law-abiding
Any new fighting is also likely to cause more refugee
About 1,000 ethnic Albanians from the Oraovica area
crossed to Albanian-dominated Kosovo on Tuesday. Some 9,000
have fled Macedonia for Kosovo in the past two weeks, raising
the total since March to 20,000.
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