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Interviews with Nikola, a Yugoslav Prosecutor from Mitrovica and Oliver Ivanovic, leader of the resistance movement (Posted 7:40 AM Eastern US time, 8-14-00)
Interview with Nikola --- a Yugoslav prosecutor August 14th, 2000 4:33AM Washington Time, 10:33AM Yugoslav Time
Konstanin: Hi is Nikola there
Konstanin: Hi this is Konstantin from Emperor's Clothes.com
Nikola: Yes yes yes
Konstanin: Are you in Mitrovica right now?
Nikola: No I am in [name of town in inner Serbia] now, in the middle of Serbia right now, but if I can help you please ask me
Konstanin: Well I don't know if you've heard about the developments in Mitrovica, KFOR [i.e., the name for NATO in Kosovo] just moved to seize the smelter plant, the mining complex?
Nikola: Yes yes yes it was early morning about half past three o'clock KFOR started with the operation, the Second English Royal Platoon are occupied it - Desant, you know what is Desant?
Nikola: When they parachute with the helicopters, commandos
Konstanin: Okay yes yes,"descent"
Nikola: They occupied lead factory; after that they occupied the Chapter Representative offices and after that in the sixth hour and thirty minutes [6"30 Yugoslav time] they occupied Radio S in Zvecan.
Konstanin: Which radio, Radio S?
Nikola: Radio S.
Konstanin: That's the one that was recently ordered closed down by the Internationals, right?
Nikola: Ahhh they claim Yugoslav government are behind that radio. And now I know there are some conflicts in Mitrovica and Zvecan because all roads are blocked and few people are in
Konstanin: Are the local residents the ones blocking the roads?
Nikola: Yes yes lot of roads between Mitrovica and Zvecan, between Zvecan and some other Serb villages and this is conflict between village civilians and the British soldiers
Konstanin: Is the threat to all of Mitrovica or is it limited to...
Nikola: Zvecan is three kilometers to the North of Mitrovica, very close
Konstanin: Ahah. And what was the reason for shutting the radio station??
Nikola: I don't know what will be with the radio. I think that they have not any reason to close that radio station, but it is British choice
Konstanin: Here in the West the reports are that it was calling NATO an occupying army. That was the only thing that they came up with, and this isn't a crime I don't think? According to the UN resolutions as far as I know.
Nikola: Yes but that's not the only thing. This [smelter plant] was the last one factory in Serbian hands and only one sector of the Trepca [Emperor's clothes: the Trepca mining concern - extremel;y valuable] concern who still working. All other, every other factory from Trepca concern are in Albanian hands and not one working.
Konstanin: Are they also in ZInternational hands?
Nikola: No no Internationals don't work anything. Secessionists supposed [laughs] must work in that factory. But as you know maybe in the South side all mining are under the water, and ah one factory for battery are burned before two months in some unknown fire. Today there has been much conflict and a few people are injured. British use some you know rubber, rubber bullets
Konstanin: So no reports of live ammunition, are there any reports of such ammunition used by KFOR forces?
Nikola: I don't know. They use the tanks, they use the choppers, they use too many troops, and I think that ah these Frenchman wish to stay out from that; British soldiers are in the main role.
Konstanin: Okay. And the radio station that was closed, was that the last free Serbian radio station in Kosovo?
Nikola: Yes yes yes yes and now on the Kosovo we have two or three radio station all in the North but that is the some commercial, commercial radio station without any news, without any messages political or anything else.
Konstanin: So basically the KFOR forces have just shut down with one move the major economic source for Serbs as well as their major communications and news source?
Nikola: Who knows that! Look, this is for the Serbs, that pollution or economic investment are only excuse for occupation. Because we know very well that from that nothing is. Because some company, big company from Sweden, from Germany, from America are involved in that.
Konstanin: Thank You, we're going to call Oliver now, or try to get in touch with him. Thank you for your information. We will post this unaltered on the web to have it circulate around the world. Do you have anything else you want to say
Nikola: Just my best wishes for all who try to help us. Thank you. Thank you.
Interview with Oliver Ivanovic August 14th, 5:11 AM Washington time, 11:11AM Yugoslav time. EC caught Oliver in the middle of a meeting on the situation. EC will call back tomorrow to get more detailed description and more official reactions.
Oliver: Hi, who is it.
Konstanin: This is Konstantin from EC.
Oliver: Okay okay
Konstanin: Can you describe what has just occurred in Kosovska Mitrovica?
Oliver: In the morning about half past three this morning couple of hundred soldiers came in the lead plant and take over this ledd plant in the Northern part of Mitrovica. This is the last one factory, Trepca factory, which works and only one which are under Serb responsibility. Under Serb control. And of course they didn't allow the workers to come in the first shift at seven o'clock in the morning and now we have couple of hundreds in Zvecan but also some people about seven hundred people are waiting in Mitrovica.
Oliver: Workers and citizens of course.
Konstanin: Has anything else happened?
Oliver: Nothing for now we have the emergency meeting at the city and we are waiting for the next step of the management because they are not allowed to, how to say, assistant of general manager are not allowed to make any kind of decision and they waiting for the general manager but in the meantime
Konstanin: They can't make a decision without who?
Oliver: First of all the general managers are not allowed to come in Kosovo because of the special regulation of Mr. Kouchner. He expelled him from Kosovo. And his assistants are not allowed to make any kind of negotiations or decision and now we are in bad position.
Konstanin: We heard about the involvement of Swedish, German, US companies in this, with interests in Trepca?
Oliver: YES we waiting or more detail about both of these agreements but now for now I didn't see these agreements.
Konstanin: So the agreement predates the raid?
Oliver: Yeah. This agreement between consortium, US company, French company and Swedish company with the UNMIK. They made this agreement yesterday in the morning but I didn't see this until now.
Konstanin: We heard of the very heavy involvement of British troops, were there any other contingents involved?
Oliver: No just the British, French, Danish, and Pakistani's.
Konstanin: Were weapons used?
Oliver: No, just tear gas.
Konstanin: We heard of other military vehicles, commando raid.
Oliver: Yes helicopters were observing, but it isn't used for any purpose now. Now just observing
Konstanin: Okay can you tell us a bit about this radio station that was closed down.
Oliver: Yes in the 6:30 am this morning Radio plus, or, Radio S was closed, and UNMIK police confiscated all their equipment.
Konstanin: What was the official reason for that?
Oliver: They have not permission from OSCE to work. Working, working license.
Konstanin: But does it contravene any Yugoslav laws?
Oliver: I think they using some kind of regulation, OSCE regulation for media.
Konstanin: Do you have any official opinion on the actions of KFOR over the last day?
Oliver: We think it is not necessary, and we think that behind of that many talking of environment and health is exactly political decision to stop only one factory in the Serb area, under Serb control. That's the reason, because I think high-pressure from Albanian side who made the pressure to Kouchner, and Kouchner decided.
Konstanin: So you think Kouchner made the final decision for the forces to move in?
Oliver: Yes. Exactly.
Konstanin: So with the radio station shut down and the main source of employment for Serbs in the region shut down, is there any, how's the Serbian population reacting? Is there a sense of panic right now?
Oliver: Ah, no its not a panic but people are very very angry and I don't know what will happen. Perhaps we'll have the important meeting this afternoon or we are waiting, we are just in a meeting and we are finished this meeting perhaps we will decide about that.
Konstanin: Can we call you back later or tomorrow when things are more settled?
Oliver: Of course you can. Of course.
Konstanin: Okay thank you very much for the information currently
or more on Mitrovica see the following:
4) On the connection between economic and military aggression in Kosovo, see "How it is done: Taking over the Trepca mines: plans and propaganda" by Diana Johnstone at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/Johnstone/howitis.htm
and "State terror and the 'free market' Opening up Kosovo to foreign capital" by Michel Chossudovsky at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/chuss/opening.htm