World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


End deliberate attacks on Serb civilians

End deliberate attacks on Serb civilians

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

Email address: Website:

16 February 2001 EUR 70/003/2001 29/01

Amnesty International today condemned this morning's unprovoked attack on a convoy of buses travelling north of Podujevo in northern Kosovo near the border with Serbia proper, thought to have been carried out by armed ethnic Albanians. The buses - under a heavy escort of Swedish Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops - were carrying Serb civilians from the town of Strpce in southern Kosovo to Serbia.

Latest reports suggest that seven people have been killed and at least 35 have been injured, at least ten of them seriously, when the lead bus was attacked. A spokesperson for KFOR reported that the explosion - probably a mine - was automatically triggered, and completely destroyed the first bus in the convoy.

"From the reports we have received, it appears that this attack on unarmed Serb civilians was clearly well planned and was deliberately aimed to cause injury and death," a spokesperson for Amnesty International said today. "AI condemns such deliberate, arbitrary and unlawful killings."

The human rights organization calls on the United Nations interim Mission In Kosovo (UNMIK) to ensure that those responsible are apprehended and brought to justice.

The convoy of seven buses - known as the Ni? express - was carrying an estimated 200 Serb passengers. Buses carrying Serb civilians are regularly escorted through Kosovo by KFOR to enable the Serb minority to go shopping and to visit relatives in Serbia.

Though no group has claimed responsibility for this morning's attack, a machine-gun attack on Tuesday on another bus carrying Serb civilians on the Urosevac-Strpce road which resulted in the death of one man and the injury of three people earlier this week has been attributed by UNMIK to armed ethnic Albanians. Five suspects have been arrested in connection with that incident. Tensions have been high in Strpce since Tuesday. Additional KFOR troops were brought in on Wednesday to calm the situation after a group of around 1000 local Serb residents attacked the UNMIK building and UN vehicles on Tuesday evening.


Members of the Serb community have increasingly come under attack both in Kosovo and in southern Serbia since the escalation of tension in the region last November. This followed the seizure of the five kilometre-wide Ground Safety zone (established under the Kumanovo Military-Technical Agreement of June 1999) between Kosovo and Serbia proper by the armed ethnic-Albanian opposition group, the Liberation Army of Pre?evo, Medvedje and Bujanovac (UÇPMB). The area has since been intensively policed by KFOR troops. A peace plan proposed by the governments of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has recently been rejected by civilian representatives of the ethnic Albanian community in the region, and by the UÇPMB, who want the three municipalities to be part of Kosovo, rather than Serbia.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news