U.S. Department of State
Serbia-Montenegro Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 26, 1999.
Elements of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, an armed ethnic Albanian group that seeks
independence for Kosovo) were also responsible for abuses. They committed killings, were
responsible for disappearances, abducted and detained Serbian police, as well as Serb and
Albanian civilians (those suspected of loyalty to the Serbian Government), and in a few
isolated cases "tried" suspects without due process. There are also credible reports of
instances of torture by the KLA.
Press Statement by James P. Rubin/Spokesman, March 2, 1998
We have also called on Kosovar Albanian leaders to condemn terrorist action by the so-called
Kosovo liberation army (UCK), noting that violence does not contribute to the search for a just
and durable solution to the problems of Kosovo.
Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman, July 15, 1998
We are also, however, concerned about attacks against Serbian civilians in Kosovo by Albanian
extremist groups, including the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK).
Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman, December 23, 1998
Situation in Kosovo
Although the cease-fire in Kosovo is generally holding, a number of violent incidents over
the last week have increased tensions and threaten to re-ignite hostilities. The United States
reiterates its call on the Serbian security forces in Kosovo and on the Kosovo Liberation Army
(KLA) to exercise restraint, even in the face of provocation.
We have seen indications that some of the security personnel withdrawn from Kosovo in
October have returned, and military and police units that should be in garrison are deployed in
the field. This constitutes a dangerous provocation.
While the United States has strongly condemned violent actions linked to the KLA--including
the murder of the deputy mayor of Kosovo Polje, the cafe shooting in Pec, and the killing of an
off-duty Serbian police official in Podujevo -- we are also concerned at the disproportionate
and heavy-handed response of the security services.
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