Captured Pseudo-State Kosovo

January 12, 2011

We Bombed The Wrong Side” (General Lewis Mackenzie)


In my previous articles I have portrayed Kosovo with quite dark colours. I have summarized Kosovo

as Serbian province, occupied and now international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission; as quasi-independent pseudo-state has good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state; today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers”.

This description can naturally be seen as individual biased view without any connection to reality. However the process which began before Xmas may lead similar outcome in western mainstream media too. Investigations conducted by the Swiss diplomat, Dick Marty on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have revealed the true picture of Kosovo’s prime minister Hashim Thaci. In his report to the PACE’s Commission, Thaci is presented as the leader of a criminal gang engaged in the smuggling of weapons, the distribution of illegal drugs throughout Europe and the selling of human organs for unlawful transplantation. The Swiss senator conducted a two-year inquiry into organised crime in Kosovo after the Council of Europe mandated him to investigate claims of organ harvesting by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) after the war with Serbia ended in 1999.

Western intelligence agencies warned that Hashim Thaci ran an organised crime network in the late 1990s, they knew the KLA were criminals running the drug, slave, and weapons rackets throughout Europe, they knew the KLA was supported by Osama bin Laden (with whom Thaci met personally in Tirana in 1998 to plan the jihad in Kosovo. Despite this Western political leaders backed his Kosovo Liberation Army and its members were transformed as “freedom fighters”.

The case related to organ trafficking is now in Pristina court, according Swiss sources PM Thaçi has been prohibited from entering Switzerland “for a certain period of time”, investigations are called for allegations that sums originating from organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania had been deposited in Swiss bank accounts. Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has reportedly decided not to receive an award given by the Kosovo Embassy and members of the Kosovo diaspora, for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The award ceremony was planned to be held on 21. December, 2010 for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. (Source: Euractiv )

Organ trafficking case

In April 2008 Madam Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), published a book La caccia – Io e i criminali di guerra. In the book, almost ten years after the end of the war in Kosovo, there appeared revelations of trafficking in human organs taken from Serb prisoners, reportedly carried out by leading commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Now the report, Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo” , for Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), prepared by Swiss prosecutor-turned-politician Dick Marty, expands on allegations made by Mrs. Del Ponte.

The PACE report claims that civilians – Serbian and non-KLA-supporting Kosovan Albanians detained by the KLA in the 1999 hostilities – were shot in northern Albania and their kidneys extracted and sold on the black market. It names Hashim Thaçi, the former leader of the KLA and Kosovo’s prime minister, as the boss of a “mafia-like” group engaged in criminal activity – including heroin trading – since before the 1999 war.

A Council of Europe report into organ trafficking in Kosovo linked the Medicus case to a wider criminal network in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which began trading in organs in 1999. A faction within the rebel guerilla army loyal to Thaci has been accused of overseeing a racket involving Serb captives. A “handful” were said, in the report, to have been shot in the head, then had their kidneys extracted. It is believed the kidneys were flown to Istanbul in ischemia bags. Thaci has strongly denied the claims. I also touched on a matter in my article New Cannibalism in Europe too? a couple of years ago.

In November 2008 police raided the property of Medicus clinic in a deprived suburb near the Kosovan capital Pristina. Patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel had received organ transplants at the clinic. Victims were promised up to $20,000, while recipients were required to pay between €80,000 and €100,000 euros. But despite promises of payment the donors had left empty-handed; up to 30 victims lost their kidneys in the clinic in just eight months in 2008. The key player of is Dr. Yusuf Ercin Sonmez from Medicus clinic has been a key player in the unscrupulous organ market for more than 10 years.

A Washington-based intelligence source said the kidneys were sold to Dr. Sonmez, a 53-year-old medic. It was then that the Turkish doctor was said to have struck up a relationship with Kosovan Albanians, who, investigators believe, are implicated in the Medicus clinic case which unfolded in the confirmation hearing case on December in Pristina district court. (Source: The Guardian:The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )

However the present case is limited to Medicus clinic and its links to a wider network of Albanian organised criminals and events a decade ago will hopefully take place in wider trial. EU’s EULEX-operation in Kosovo will from its side examine allegations that the country’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” criminal network linked to organ trafficking. if there is sufficient evidence against Thaçi or the other senior government figures implicated in the report, they could face prosecution even though most crimes are alleged to have taken place in Albanian territory. (Source e.g: The Guardian: The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )

Whitewashing Organized Crime

War crimes related to organ scandal are only minor by-plot in context of organized crime in Kosovo during last decade. KLA’s transformation from OC-/terrorist group to freedom fighters was an amazing media victory which guaranteed the occupation and later capturing of Kosovo.

Neil Clark in his column Kosovo and the myth of liberal intervention – in the Guardian describes very well this hoax:

It was the KLA’s campaign of violence against Yugoslav state officials, Serbian and Kosovan civilians in 1998, which led to an escalation of the conflict with the government in Belgrade, with atrocities committed on both sides. The report is a damning indictment not only of the KLA but also of western policy. And it also gives lie to the fiction that Nato’s war with Yugoslavia was, in Tony Blair’s words, “a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship”.

On 1999 the Western media was full of stories of mass graves and brutal rapes. U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred. In 78 days the Pentagon dropped 35,000 cluster bombs, used thousands of rounds of radioactive depleted-uranium rounds, along with bunker busters and cruise missiles. Expecting to find bodies everywhere, forensic teams from 17 NATO countries organized by the Hague Tribunal on War Crimes searched occupied Kosovo all summer of 1999 but found a total of only 2,108 bodies, of all nationalities. Some had been killed by NATO bombing and some in the war between the UCK and the Serbian police and military.

Number game as cause of Nato’s attack on SerbiaAccording the Kosovo “Book of the Dead”, the equivalent of the Bosnia “Book of the Dead” by London based Bosnian Institute which finally counted the slain, has since the Kosovo war been able to establish a total about 10,000 dead or “permanently missing” (i.e. dead), of which just under 5000 are Albanians, and the rest Serbian, other minorities, or ethnicity not known. So as Albanians made up around 50% off the dead despite making up 85% of the population, they suffered proportionately much less in terms of deaths than any other group. (Bosnian Institute: Establishing the number of victims in the Yugoslav wars of succession)

I would draw following time axis about some core events with this campaign:

  • As side result U.S. created Bondsteel, one of the biggest U.S. military base in center of Europe – completely outside European/international jurisdiction – to serve also as secret torture/detention/investigation center of CIA.

In the bottom line – so far at least temporary – U.S. State Department and their British lapdogs were responsible for orchestrating or facilitating events mentioned above. For background information I recommend a video “General Lewis Mackenzie: We Bombed The Wrong Side”, anyway the headline of video is not so far from my point of view.

OC-connection well known

Thaçi and other members of his inner circle, Marty avers, were “commonly identified, and cited in secret intelligence reports,” published by the German secret state agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND “as the most dangerous of the KLA’s ‘criminal bosses’.” Trading on American protection to consolidate political power, thus maintaining control over key narcotics smuggling corridors, the special rapporteur writes that “having succeeded in eliminating, or intimidating into silence, the majority of the potential and actual witnesses against them (both enemies and erstwhile allies), using violence, threats, blackmail, and protection rackets,” Thaçi’s Drenica Group have “exploit[ed] their position in order to accrue personal wealth totally out of proportion with their declared activities.” Indeed, multiple reports prepared by the U.S. DEA, FBI, the BND, Italy’s SISMI, Britain’s MI6 and the Greek EYP intelligence service have stated that Drenica Group members “are consistently named as ‘key players’ in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime.”

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

Reliable and highly informed sources at the Institute for European Policy based in Germany, in a 2007 report commissioned for the German Armed Forces, indicated that the three leading Kosovo politicians, Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci and Xhavit Haliti, are “persons protected by the international community although they are deeply involved in all of these affairs.”Already in 2000, according to Interpol Kosovo criminals, illicit profits of 2 billion euros were laundered through more than 200 banks. The current data show much higher earnings, and this without considering the investments in the building sector, the purchase of shares and other activities. In relation to the drugs issue, according to the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, in an interview in 2009, the Albanian mafia in Kosovo chiefs “dream” about turning the province into “a European Colombia.”

In order to achieve this, they wish to genetically engineer a type of coca plant that would grow in Kosovo’s climate. In this way, the Albanian mafia would have a monopoly over the cocaine trade. They need 20 years to achieve this,” he said, and added that “then, Kosovo will without a doubt become the new Colombia.”

More about link between organized crime and Kosovo political leaders one can find e.g. from Albanian Terrorism and Oraganized Crime in Kosovo and Metohija (K&M) , which also can be found from my document library. Related background information can be found also from “leaked” German Intelligence reports BND report 2005 and BND-IEP report Kosovo 2007 which can be found from my document library under Kosovo headline.

Note: An extract from Correspondence between BND and WikileaksAs of up today you still provide the option of downloading a classified report of the BND under the following address:http://www.wikileaks.com/wiki/BND_Kosovo_intelligence-report,_22_Feb_2005.

We kindly ask you again to remove the file immediately and all other files or reports related to the BND as well. Otherwise we will press for immediate criminal prosecution.

AR: As links are whole time cracked I have saved reportto my computer and downloaded it to document library of my blog for public use.

International community unwilling to rock of the boat

“Two years ago a joke was being circulated on the Runet that a heroin producer has recognized its distributor’s independence. It was about Afghanistan, which was to the first to recognize the independence of the Serbian province of Kosovo which had illegally separated from Yugoslavia.” (GRTV)

International community has worked over ten years with capacity building of Kosovo administration; EU launched few years ago its huge EULEX operation for rule and law in protectorate. Still it was needed outside institutions to bring both individual case – organ trafficking/war crime – and a system error – OC/political link – to public knowledge. Why so?

An other report gives one answer. Extract from recent the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Rapporteur Jean-Charles Gardetto’s report entitled The protection of witnesses as a cornerstone for justice and reconciliation in the Balkans (The document should be adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on coming January 26.)

Moreover, when a witness does come forward, there is a real threat of retaliation. This may not necessarily put them in direct danger, losing their job for example, but there are also examples of key witnesses being murdered. The trial of Ramush Haradinaj, the former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, well illustrates this. Mr. Haradinaj was indicted by the ICTY for crimes committed during the war in Kosovo but was subsequently acquitted. In its judgment, the Tribunal highlighted the difficulties that it had had in obtaining evidence from the 100 prosecution witnesses. Thirty-four of them were granted protection measures and 18 had to be issued with summonses. A number of witnesses who were going to give evidence at the trial were murdered. These included Sadik and Vesel Muriqi, both of whom had been placed under a protection program by the ICTY.

The five countries – U.S., Britain, Germany, France and Italy – had access to information, resources and a long history of work with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), former U.S. diplomat and UN Regional Representative in northern Kosovo Gerard Gallucci told Belgrade’s Politika newspaper in an interview. “Regardless of the claims about organ trafficking, everyone knows about the involvement of some of the top Kosovo leaders in transnational crime and corruption. International officials ignored these problems so as not to provoke the ethnic Albanians and prevent them from creating even bigger problems,” Gallucci stated, according to the newspaper.

Conclusion/Possible reflections?

“I am very proud of my past and the past of my people who, along with NATO, arrived at the goal” (Hashim Thaci, Crime Minister of Kosovo)

New talks between Belgrade and Pristina are planned to start soon for resolving frozen Kosovo conflict. Serbs and Albanians have been in negotiations and talks half a dozen times over the past two decades – from the tentative efforts of the 1990s to the doomed talks in Rambouillet, France, in 1999 and the later “status” talks between 2005 (Ahtisaari’s pseudo-talks) and 2007 (“Troika” led talks). None of these has led to tangible results and left outsiders imposing an outcome, be it NATO intervention or proposing the Ahtisaari plan.

Few month ago it looked like now it would be possible to have real talks first time between local relevant authorities; the events on December have put this optimism in question. The PACE report gives new (for western powers, mainstream media and public) view to justification of the Nato’s attack on Serbia, it products evidence and argumentation for suspected joint venture of organized crime and political elite in Kosovo before “humanitarian intervention, after that and now: the report casts a shadow to western political leadership as their own intelligence services had all relevant information at their disposal.

In my earlier article Will Negotiation Slot for Kosovo be used? I remarked, that

EU in my opinion should start to distance itself from U.S. cowboy policy. Now many Europeans realize they were hoodwinked into recognizing Kosovo’s independence on the pretence it would resolve problems and bring peace – it didn’t happen; a new approach is needed.”

I would like to point out that now after PACE report the West can not any more escape reality, facts can not be ignored any longer. The report could be start for reassessment of Kosovo status and operations/presence of international community there.

quadruple helix model


Captured Pseudo-State Kosovo

January 12, 2011

We Bombed The Wrong Side” (General Lewis Mackenzie)


In my previous articles I have portrayed Kosovo with quite dark colours. I have summarized Kosovo

as Serbian province, occupied and now international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission; as quasi-independent pseudo-state has good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state; today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers”.

This description can naturally be seen as individual biased view without any connection to reality. However the process which began before Xmas may lead similar outcome in western mainstream media too. Investigations conducted by the Swiss diplomat, Dick Marty on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have revealed the true picture of Kosovo’s prime minister Hashim Thaci. In his report to the PACE’s Commission, Thaci is presented as the leader of a criminal gang engaged in the smuggling of weapons, the distribution of illegal drugs throughout Europe and the selling of human organs for unlawful transplantation. The Swiss senator conducted a two-year inquiry into organised crime in Kosovo after the Council of Europe mandated him to investigate claims of organ harvesting by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) after the war with Serbia ended in 1999.

Western intelligence agencies warned that Hashim Thaci ran an organised crime network in the late 1990s, they knew the KLA were criminals running the drug, slave, and weapons rackets throughout Europe, they knew the KLA was supported by Osama bin Laden (with whom Thaci met personally in Tirana in 1998 to plan the jihad in Kosovo. Despite this Western political leaders backed his Kosovo Liberation Army and its members were transformed as “freedom fighters”.

The case related to organ trafficking is now in Pristina court, according Swiss sources PM Thaçi has been prohibited from entering Switzerland “for a certain period of time”, investigations are called for allegations that sums originating from organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania had been deposited in Swiss bank accounts. Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has reportedly decided not to receive an award given by the Kosovo Embassy and members of the Kosovo diaspora, for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The award ceremony was planned to be held on 21. December, 2010 for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. (Source: Euractiv )

Organ trafficking case

In April 2008 Madam Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), published a book La caccia – Io e i criminali di guerra. In the book, almost ten years after the end of the war in Kosovo, there appeared revelations of trafficking in human organs taken from Serb prisoners, reportedly carried out by leading commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Now the report, Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo” , for Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), prepared by Swiss prosecutor-turned-politician Dick Marty, expands on allegations made by Mrs. Del Ponte.

The PACE report claims that civilians – Serbian and non-KLA-supporting Kosovan Albanians detained by the KLA in the 1999 hostilities – were shot in northern Albania and their kidneys extracted and sold on the black market. It names Hashim Thaçi, the former leader of the KLA and Kosovo’s prime minister, as the boss of a “mafia-like” group engaged in criminal activity – including heroin trading – since before the 1999 war.

A Council of Europe report into organ trafficking in Kosovo linked the Medicus case to a wider criminal network in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which began trading in organs in 1999. A faction within the rebel guerilla army loyal to Thaci has been accused of overseeing a racket involving Serb captives. A “handful” were said, in the report, to have been shot in the head, then had their kidneys extracted. It is believed the kidneys were flown to Istanbul in ischemia bags. Thaci has strongly denied the claims. I also touched on a matter in my article New Cannibalism in Europe too? a couple of years ago.

In November 2008 police raided the property of Medicus clinic in a deprived suburb near the Kosovan capital Pristina. Patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel had received organ transplants at the clinic. Victims were promised up to $20,000, while recipients were required to pay between €80,000 and €100,000 euros. But despite promises of payment the donors had left empty-handed; up to 30 victims lost their kidneys in the clinic in just eight months in 2008. The key player of is Dr. Yusuf Ercin Sonmez from Medicus clinic has been a key player in the unscrupulous organ market for more than 10 years.

A Washington-based intelligence source said the kidneys were sold to Dr. Sonmez, a 53-year-old medic. It was then that the Turkish doctor was said to have struck up a relationship with Kosovan Albanians, who, investigators believe, are implicated in the Medicus clinic case which unfolded in the confirmation hearing case on December in Pristina district court. (Source: The Guardian: The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )

However the present case is limited to Medicus clinic and its links to a wider network of Albanian organised criminals and events a decade ago will hopefully take place in wider trial. EU’s EULEX-operation in Kosovo will from its side examine allegations that the country’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” criminal network linked to organ trafficking. if there is sufficient evidence against Thaçi or the other senior government figures implicated in the report, they could face prosecution even though most crimes are alleged to have taken place in Albanian territory. (Source e.g: The Guardian: The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )

Whitewashing Organized Crime

War crimes related to organ scandal are only minor by-plot in context of organized crime in Kosovo during last decade. KLA’s transformation from OC-/terrorist group to freedom fighters was an amazing media victory which guaranteed the occupation and later capturing of Kosovo.

Neil Clark in his column Kosovo and the myth of liberal intervention – in the Guardian describes very well this hoax:

It was the KLA’s campaign of violence against Yugoslav state officials, Serbian and Kosovan civilians in 1998, which led to an escalation of the conflict with the government in Belgrade, with atrocities committed on both sides. The report is a damning indictment not only of the KLA but also of western policy. And it also gives lie to the fiction that Nato’s war with Yugoslavia was, in Tony Blair’s words, “a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship”.

On 1999 the Western media was full of stories of mass graves and brutal rapes. U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred. In 78 days the Pentagon dropped 35,000 cluster bombs, used thousands of rounds of radioactive depleted-uranium rounds, along with bunker busters and cruise missiles. Expecting to find bodies everywhere, forensic teams from 17 NATO countries organized by the Hague Tribunal on War Crimes searched occupied Kosovo all summer of 1999 but found a total of only 2,108 bodies, of all nationalities. Some had been killed by NATO bombing and some in the war between the UCK and the Serbian police and military.

Number game as cause of Nato’s attack on Serbia 

According the Kosovo “Book of the Dead”, the equivalent of the Bosnia “Book of the Dead” by London based Bosnian Institute which finally counted the slain, has since the Kosovo war been able to establish a total about 10,000 dead or “permanently missing” (i.e. dead), of which just under 5000 are Albanians, and the rest Serbian, other minorities, or ethnicity not known. So as Albanians made up around 50% off the dead despite making up 85% of the population, they suffered proportionately much less in terms of deaths than any other group.

(Bosnian Institute: Establishing the number of victims in the Yugoslav wars of succession)

I would draw following time axis about some core events with this campaign:

  • As side result U.S. created Bondsteel, one of the biggest U.S. military base in center of Europe – completely outside European/international jurisdiction – to serve also as secret torture/detention/investigation center of CIA.

In the bottom line – so far at least temporary – U.S. State Department and their British lapdogs were responsible for orchestrating or facilitating events mentioned above. For background information I recommend a video “General Lewis Mackenzie: We Bombed The Wrong Side”, anyway the headline of video is not so far from my point of view.

OC-connection well known

Thaçi and other members of his inner circle, Marty avers, were “commonly identified, and cited in secret intelligence reports,” published by the German secret state agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND “as the most dangerous of the KLA’s ‘criminal bosses’.” Trading on American protection to consolidate political power, thus maintaining control over key narcotics smuggling corridors, the special rapporteur writes that “having succeeded in eliminating, or intimidating into silence, the majority of the potential and actual witnesses against them (both enemies and erstwhile allies), using violence, threats, blackmail, and protection rackets,” Thaçi’s Drenica Group have “exploit[ed] their position in order to accrue personal wealth totally out of proportion with their declared activities.” Indeed, multiple reports prepared by the U.S. DEA, FBI, the BND, Italy’s SISMI, Britain’s MI6 and the Greek EYP intelligence service have stated that Drenica Group members “are consistently named as ‘key players’ in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime.”

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

Reliable and highly informed sources at the Institute for European Policy based in Germany, in a 2007 report commissioned for the German Armed Forces, indicated that the three leading Kosovo politicians, Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci and Xhavit Haliti, are “persons protected by the international community although they are deeply involved in all of these affairs.”Already in 2000, according to Interpol Kosovo criminals, illicit profits of 2 billion euros were laundered through more than 200 banks. The current data show much higher earnings, and this without considering the investments in the building sector, the purchase of shares and other activities. In relation to the drugs issue, according to the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, in an interview in 2009, the Albanian mafia in Kosovo chiefs “dream” about turning the province into “a European Colombia.”

In order to achieve this, they wish to genetically engineer a type of coca plant that would grow in Kosovo’s climate. In this way, the Albanian mafia would have a monopoly over the cocaine trade. They need 20 years to achieve this,” he said, and added that “then, Kosovo will without a doubt become the new Colombia.”

More about link between organized crime and Kosovo political leaders one can find e.g. from Albanian Terrorism and Oraganized Crime in Kosovo and Metohija (K&M) , which also can be found from my document library. Related background information can be found also from “leaked” German Intelligence reports BND report 2005 and BND-IEP report Kosovo 2007 which can be found from my document library under Kosovo headline.

Note: An extract from Correspondence between BND and Wikileaks 

As of up today you still provide the option of downloading a classified report of the BND under the following address:

http://www.wikileaks.com/wiki/BND_Kosovo_intelligence-report,_22_Feb_2005.

We kindly ask you again to remove the file immediately and all other files or reports related to the BND as well. Otherwise we will press for immediate criminal prosecution.

AR: As links are whole time cracked I have saved report to my computer and downloaded it to document library of my blog for public use.

International community unwilling to rock of the boat

“Two years ago a joke was being circulated on the Runet that a heroin producer has recognized its distributor’s independence. It was about Afghanistan, which was to the first to recognize the independence of the Serbian province of Kosovo which had illegally separated from Yugoslavia.” (GRTV)

International community has worked over ten years with capacity building of Kosovo administration; EU launched few years ago its huge EULEX operation for rule and law in protectorate. Still it was needed outside institutions to bring both individual case – organ trafficking/war crime – and a system error – OC/political link – to public knowledge. Why so?

An other report gives one answer. Extract from recent the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Rapporteur Jean-Charles Gardetto’s report entitled The protection of witnesses as a cornerstone for justice and reconciliation in the Balkans (The document should be adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on coming January 26.)

Moreover, when a witness does come forward, there is a real threat of retaliation. This may not necessarily put them in direct danger, losing their job for example, but there are also examples of key witnesses being murdered. The trial of Ramush Haradinaj, the former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, well illustrates this. Mr. Haradinaj was indicted by the ICTY for crimes committed during the war in Kosovo but was subsequently acquitted. In its judgment, the Tribunal highlighted the difficulties that it had had in obtaining evidence from the 100 prosecution witnesses. Thirty-four of them were granted protection measures and 18 had to be issued with summonses. A number of witnesses who were going to give evidence at the trial were murdered. These included Sadik and Vesel Muriqi, both of whom had been placed under a protection program by the ICTY.

The five countries – U.S., Britain, Germany, France and Italy – had access to information, resources and a long history of work with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), former U.S. diplomat and UN Regional Representative in northern Kosovo Gerard Gallucci told Belgrade’s Politika newspaper in an interview. “Regardless of the claims about organ trafficking, everyone knows about the involvement of some of the top Kosovo leaders in transnational crime and corruption. International officials ignored these problems so as not to provoke the ethnic Albanians and prevent them from creating even bigger problems,” Gallucci stated, according to the newspaper.

Conclusion/Possible reflections?

“I am very proud of my past and the past of my people who, along with NATO, arrived at the goal” (Hashim Thaci, Crime Minister of Kosovo)

New talks between Belgrade and Pristina are planned to start soon for resolving frozen Kosovo conflict. Serbs and Albanians have been in negotiations and talks half a dozen times over the past two decades – from the tentative efforts of the 1990s to the doomed talks in Rambouillet, France, in 1999 and the later “status” talks between 2005 (Ahtisaari’s pseudo-talks) and 2007 (“Troika” led talks). None of these has led to tangible results and left outsiders imposing an outcome, be it NATO intervention or proposing the Ahtisaari plan.

Few month ago it looked like now it would be possible to have real talks first time between local relevant authorities; the events on December have put this optimism in question. The PACE report gives new (for western powers, mainstream media and public) view to justification of the Nato’s attack on Serbia, it products evidence and argumentation for suspected joint venture of organized crime and political elite in Kosovo before “humanitarian intervention, after that and now: the report casts a shadow to western political leadership as their own intelligence services had all relevant information at their disposal.

In my earlier article Will Negotiation Slot for Kosovo be used? I remarked, that

EU in my opinion should start to distance itself from U.S. cowboy policy. Now many Europeans realize they were hoodwinked into recognizing Kosovo’s independence on the pretence it would resolve problems and bring peace – it didn’t happen; a new approach is needed.”

I would like to point out that now after PACE report the West can not any more escape reality, facts can not be ignored any longer. The report could be start for reassessment of Kosovo status and operations/presence of international community there.


Captured Pseudo-State Kosovo

January 12, 2011

We Bombed The Wrong Side” (General Lewis Mackenzie)


In my previous articles I have portrayed Kosovo with quite dark colours. I have summarized Kosovo

as Serbian province, occupied and now international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission; as quasi-independent pseudo-state has good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state; today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers”.

This description can naturally be seen as individual biased view without any connection to reality. However the process which began before Xmas may lead similar outcome in western mainstream media too. Investigations conducted by the Swiss diplomat, Dick Marty on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have revealed the true picture of Kosovo’s prime minister Hashim Thaci. In his report to the PACE’s Commission, Thaci is presented as the leader of a criminal gang engaged in the smuggling of weapons, the distribution of illegal drugs throughout Europe and the selling of human organs for unlawful transplantation. The Swiss senator conducted a two-year inquiry into organised crime in Kosovo after the Council of Europe mandated him to investigate claims of organ harvesting by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) after the war with Serbia ended in 1999.

Western intelligence agencies warned that Hashim Thaci ran an organised crime network in the late 1990s, they knew the KLA were criminals running the drug, slave, and weapons rackets throughout Europe, they knew the KLA was supported by Osama bin Laden (with whom Thaci met personally in Tirana in 1998 to plan the jihad in Kosovo. Despite this Western political leaders backed his Kosovo Liberation Army and its members were transformed as “freedom fighters”.

The case related to organ trafficking is now in Pristina court, according Swiss sources PM Thaçi has been prohibited from entering Switzerland “for a certain period of time”, investigations are called for allegations that sums originating from organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania had been deposited in Swiss bank accounts. Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has reportedly decided not to receive an award given by the Kosovo Embassy and members of the Kosovo diaspora, for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The award ceremony was planned to be held on 21. December, 2010 for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. (Source: Euractiv )

Organ trafficking case

In April 2008 Madam Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), published a book La caccia – Io e i criminali di guerra. In the book, almost ten years after the end of the war in Kosovo, there appeared revelations of trafficking in human organs taken from Serb prisoners, reportedly carried out by leading commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Now the report, Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo” , for Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), prepared by Swiss prosecutor-turned-politician Dick Marty, expands on allegations made by Mrs. Del Ponte.

The PACE report claims that civilians – Serbian and non-KLA-supporting Kosovan Albanians detained by the KLA in the 1999 hostilities – were shot in northern Albania and their kidneys extracted and sold on the black market. It names Hashim Thaçi, the former leader of the KLA and Kosovo’s prime minister, as the boss of a “mafia-like” group engaged in criminal activity – including heroin trading – since before the 1999 war.

A Council of Europe report into organ trafficking in Kosovo linked the Medicus case to a wider criminal network in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which began trading in organs in 1999. A faction within the rebel guerilla army loyal to Thaci has been accused of overseeing a racket involving Serb captives. A “handful” were said, in the report, to have been shot in the head, then had their kidneys extracted. It is believed the kidneys were flown to Istanbul in ischemia bags. Thaci has strongly denied the claims. I also touched on a matter in my article New Cannibalism in Europe too? a couple of years ago.

In November 2008 police raided the property of Medicus clinic in a deprived suburb near the Kosovan capital Pristina. Patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel had received organ transplants at the clinic. Victims were promised up to $20,000, while recipients were required to pay between €80,000 and €100,000 euros. But despite promises of payment the donors had left empty-handed; up to 30 victims lost their kidneys in the clinic in just eight months in 2008. The key player of is Dr. Yusuf Ercin Sonmez from Medicus clinic has been a key player in the unscrupulous organ market for more than 10 years.

A Washington-based intelligence source said the kidneys were sold to Dr. Sonmez, a 53-year-old medic. It was then that the Turkish doctor was said to have struck up a relationship with Kosovan Albanians, who, investigators believe, are implicated in the Medicus clinic case which unfolded in the confirmation hearing case on December in Pristina district court. (Source: The Guardian:The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )

However the present case is limited to Medicus clinic and its links to a wider network of Albanian organised criminals and events a decade ago will hopefully take place in wider trial. EU’s EULEX-operation in Kosovo will from its side examine allegations that the country’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” criminal network linked to organ trafficking. if there is sufficient evidence against Thaçi or the other senior government figures implicated in the report, they could face prosecution even though most crimes are alleged to have taken place in Albanian territory. (Source e.g: The Guardian: The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )

Whitewashing Organized Crime

War crimes related to organ scandal are only minor by-plot in context of organized crime in Kosovo during last decade. KLA’s transformation from OC-/terrorist group to freedom fighters was an amazing media victory which guaranteed the occupation and later capturing of Kosovo.

Neil Clark in his column Kosovo and the myth of liberal intervention – in the Guardian describes very well this hoax:

It was the KLA’s campaign of violence against Yugoslav state officials, Serbian and Kosovan civilians in 1998, which led to an escalation of the conflict with the government in Belgrade, with atrocities committed on both sides. The report is a damning indictment not only of the KLA but also of western policy. And it also gives lie to the fiction that Nato’s war with Yugoslavia was, in Tony Blair’s words, “a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship”.

On 1999 the Western media was full of stories of mass graves and brutal rapes. U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred. In 78 days the Pentagon dropped 35,000 cluster bombs, used thousands of rounds of radioactive depleted-uranium rounds, along with bunker busters and cruise missiles. Expecting to find bodies everywhere, forensic teams from 17 NATO countries organized by the Hague Tribunal on War Crimes searched occupied Kosovo all summer of 1999 but found a total of only 2,108 bodies, of all nationalities. Some had been killed by NATO bombing and some in the war between the UCK and the Serbian police and military.

Number game as cause of Nato’s attack on SerbiaAccording the Kosovo “Book of the Dead”, the equivalent of the Bosnia “Book of the Dead” by London based Bosnian Institute which finally counted the slain, has since the Kosovo war been able to establish a total about 10,000 dead or “permanently missing” (i.e. dead), of which just under 5000 are Albanians, and the rest Serbian, other minorities, or ethnicity not known. So as Albanians made up around 50% off the dead despite making up 85% of the population, they suffered proportionately much less in terms of deaths than any other group.

(Bosnian Institute: Establishing the number of victims in the Yugoslav wars of succession)

I would draw following time axis about some core events with this campaign:

  • As side result U.S. created Bondsteel, one of the biggest U.S. military base in center of Europe – completely outside European/international jurisdiction – to serve also as secret torture/detention/investigation center of CIA.

In the bottom line – so far at least temporary – U.S. State Department and their British lapdogs were responsible for orchestrating or facilitating events mentioned above. For background information I recommend a video “General Lewis Mackenzie: We Bombed The Wrong Side”, anyway the headline of video is not so far from my point of view.

OC-connection well known

Thaçi and other members of his inner circle, Marty avers, were “commonly identified, and cited in secret intelligence reports,” published by the German secret state agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND “as the most dangerous of the KLA’s ‘criminal bosses’.” Trading on American protection to consolidate political power, thus maintaining control over key narcotics smuggling corridors, the special rapporteur writes that “having succeeded in eliminating, or intimidating into silence, the majority of the potential and actual witnesses against them (both enemies and erstwhile allies), using violence, threats, blackmail, and protection rackets,” Thaçi’s Drenica Group have “exploit[ed] their position in order to accrue personal wealth totally out of proportion with their declared activities.” Indeed, multiple reports prepared by the U.S. DEA, FBI, the BND, Italy’s SISMI, Britain’s MI6 and the Greek EYP intelligence service have stated that Drenica Group members “are consistently named as ‘key players’ in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime.”

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

Reliable and highly informed sources at the Institute for European Policy based in Germany, in a 2007 report commissioned for the German Armed Forces, indicated that the three leading Kosovo politicians, Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci and Xhavit Haliti, are “persons protected by the international community although they are deeply involved in all of these affairs.”Already in 2000, according to Interpol Kosovo criminals, illicit profits of 2 billion euros were laundered through more than 200 banks. The current data show much higher earnings, and this without considering the investments in the building sector, the purchase of shares and other activities. In relation to the drugs issue, according to the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, in an interview in 2009, the Albanian mafia in Kosovo chiefs “dream” about turning the province into “a European Colombia.”

In order to achieve this, they wish to genetically engineer a type of coca plant that would grow in Kosovo’s climate. In this way, the Albanian mafia would have a monopoly over the cocaine trade. They need 20 years to achieve this,” he said, and added that “then, Kosovo will without a doubt become the new Colombia.”

More about link between organized crime and Kosovo political leaders one can find e.g. from Albanian Terrorism and Oraganized Crime in Kosovo and Metohija (K&M) , which also can be found from my document library. Related background information can be found also from “leaked” German Intelligence reports BND report 2005 and BND-IEP report Kosovo 2007 which can be found from my document library under Kosovo headline.

Note: An extract from Correspondence between BND and WikileaksAs of up today you still provide the option of downloading a classified report of the BND under the following address:

http://www.wikileaks.com/wiki/BND_Kosovo_intelligence-report,_22_Feb_2005.

We kindly ask you again to remove the file immediately and all other files or reports related to the BND as well. Otherwise we will press for immediate criminal prosecution.

AR: As links are whole time cracked I have saved reportto my computer and downloaded it to document library of my blog for public use.

International community unwilling to rock of the boat

“Two years ago a joke was being circulated on the Runet that a heroin producer has recognized its distributor’s independence. It was about Afghanistan, which was to the first to recognize the independence of the Serbian province of Kosovo which had illegally separated from Yugoslavia.” (GRTV)

International community has worked over ten years with capacity building of Kosovo administration; EU launched few years ago its huge EULEX operation for rule and law in protectorate. Still it was needed outside institutions to bring both individual case – organ trafficking/war crime – and a system error – OC/political link – to public knowledge. Why so?

An other report gives one answer. Extract from recent the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Rapporteur Jean-Charles Gardetto’s report entitled The protection of witnesses as a cornerstone for justice and reconciliation in the Balkans (The document should be adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on coming January 26.)

Moreover, when a witness does come forward, there is a real threat of retaliation. This may not necessarily put them in direct danger, losing their job for example, but there are also examples of key witnesses being murdered. The trial of Ramush Haradinaj, the former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, well illustrates this. Mr. Haradinaj was indicted by the ICTY for crimes committed during the war in Kosovo but was subsequently acquitted. In its judgment, the Tribunal highlighted the difficulties that it had had in obtaining evidence from the 100 prosecution witnesses. Thirty-four of them were granted protection measures and 18 had to be issued with summonses. A number of witnesses who were going to give evidence at the trial were murdered. These included Sadik and Vesel Muriqi, both of whom had been placed under a protection program by the ICTY.

The five countries – U.S., Britain, Germany, France and Italy – had access to information, resources and a long history of work with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), former U.S. diplomat and UN Regional Representative in northern Kosovo Gerard Gallucci told Belgrade’s Politika newspaper in an interview. “Regardless of the claims about organ trafficking, everyone knows about the involvement of some of the top Kosovo leaders in transnational crime and corruption. International officials ignored these problems so as not to provoke the ethnic Albanians and prevent them from creating even bigger problems,” Gallucci stated, according to the newspaper.

Conclusion/Possible reflections?

“I am very proud of my past and the past of my people who, along with NATO, arrived at the goal” (Hashim Thaci, Crime Minister of Kosovo)

New talks between Belgrade and Pristina are planned to start soon for resolving frozen Kosovo conflict. Serbs and Albanians have been in negotiations and talks half a dozen times over the past two decades – from the tentative efforts of the 1990s to the doomed talks in Rambouillet, France, in 1999 and the later “status” talks between 2005 (Ahtisaari’s pseudo-talks) and 2007 (“Troika” led talks). None of these has led to tangible results and left outsiders imposing an outcome, be it NATO intervention or proposing the Ahtisaari plan.

Few month ago it looked like now it would be possible to have real talks first time between local relevant authorities; the events on December have put this optimism in question. The PACE report gives new (for western powers, mainstream media and public) view to justification of the Nato’s attack on Serbia, it products evidence and argumentation for suspected joint venture of organized crime and political elite in Kosovo before “humanitarian intervention, after that and now: the report casts a shadow to western political leadership as their own intelligence services had all relevant information at their disposal.

In my earlier article Will Negotiation Slot for Kosovo be used? I remarked, that

EU in my opinion should start to distance itself from U.S. cowboy policy. Now many Europeans realize they were hoodwinked into recognizing Kosovo’s independence on the pretence it would resolve problems and bring peace – it didn’t happen; a new approach is needed.”

I would like to point out that now after PACE report the West can not any more escape reality, facts can not be ignored any longer. The report could be start for reassessment of Kosovo status and operations/presence of international community there.


Captured Pseudo-State Kosovo

January 12, 2011

We Bombed The Wrong Side” (General Lewis Mackenzie)


In my previous articles I have portrayed Kosovo with quite dark colours. I have summarized Kosovo

as Serbian province, occupied and now international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission; as quasi-independent pseudo-state has good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state; today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers”.

This description can naturally be seen as individual biased view without any connection to reality. However the process which began before Xmas may lead similar outcome in western mainstream media too. Investigations conducted by the Swiss diplomat, Dick Marty on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have revealed the true picture of Kosovo’s prime minister Hashim Thaci. In his report to the PACE’s Commission, Thaci is presented as the leader of a criminal gang engaged in the smuggling of weapons, the distribution of illegal drugs throughout Europe and the selling of human organs for unlawful transplantation. The Swiss senator conducted a two-year inquiry into organised crime in Kosovo after the Council of Europe mandated him to investigate claims of organ harvesting by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) after the war with Serbia ended in 1999.

Western intelligence agencies warned that Hashim Thaci ran an organised crime network in the late 1990s, they knew the KLA were criminals running the drug, slave, and weapons rackets throughout Europe, they knew the KLA was supported by Osama bin Laden (with whom Thaci met personally in Tirana in 1998 to plan the jihad in Kosovo. Despite this Western political leaders backed his Kosovo Liberation Army and its members were transformed as “freedom fighters”.

The case related to organ trafficking is now in Pristina court, according Swiss sources PM Thaçi has been prohibited from entering Switzerland “for a certain period of time”, investigations are called for allegations that sums originating from organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania had been deposited in Swiss bank accounts. Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has reportedly decided not to receive an award given by the Kosovo Embassy and members of the Kosovo diaspora, for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The award ceremony was planned to be held on 21. December, 2010 for her contribution to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. (Source: Euractiv )

Organ trafficking case

In April 2008 Madam Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), published a book La caccia – Io e i criminali di guerra. In the book, almost ten years after the end of the war in Kosovo, there appeared revelations of trafficking in human organs taken from Serb prisoners, reportedly carried out by leading commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Now the report, Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo” , for Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), prepared by Swiss prosecutor-turned-politician Dick Marty, expands on allegations made by Mrs. Del Ponte.

The PACE report claims that civilians – Serbian and non-KLA-supporting Kosovan Albanians detained by the KLA in the 1999 hostilities – were shot in northern Albania and their kidneys extracted and sold on the black market. It names Hashim Thaçi, the former leader of the KLA and Kosovo’s prime minister, as the boss of a “mafia-like” group engaged in criminal activity – including heroin trading – since before the 1999 war.

A Council of Europe report into organ trafficking in Kosovo linked the Medicus case to a wider criminal network in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which began trading in organs in 1999. A faction within the rebel guerilla army loyal to Thaci has been accused of overseeing a racket involving Serb captives. A “handful” were said, in the report, to have been shot in the head, then had their kidneys extracted. It is believed the kidneys were flown to Istanbul in ischemia bags. Thaci has strongly denied the claims. I also touched on a matter in my article New Cannibalism in Europe too? a couple of years ago.

In November 2008 police raided the property of Medicus clinic in a deprived suburb near the Kosovan capital Pristina. Patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel had received organ transplants at the clinic. Victims were promised up to $20,000, while recipients were required to pay between €80,000 and €100,000 euros. But despite promises of payment the donors had left empty-handed; up to 30 victims lost their kidneys in the clinic in just eight months in 2008. The key player of is Dr. Yusuf Ercin Sonmez from Medicus clinic has been a key player in the unscrupulous organ market for more than 10 years.

A Washington-based intelligence source said the kidneys were sold to Dr. Sonmez, a 53-year-old medic. It was then that the Turkish doctor was said to have struck up a relationship with Kosovan Albanians, who, investigators believe, are implicated in the Medicus clinic case which unfolded in the confirmation hearing case on December in Pristina district court. (Source: The Guardian: The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )

However the present case is limited to Medicus clinic and its links to a wider network of Albanian organised criminals and events a decade ago will hopefully take place in wider trial. EU’s EULEX-operation in Kosovo will from its side examine allegations that the country’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” criminal network linked to organ trafficking. if there is sufficient evidence against Thaçi or the other senior government figures implicated in the report, they could face prosecution even though most crimes are alleged to have taken place in Albanian territory. (Source e.g: The Guardian: The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal )

Whitewashing Organized Crime

War crimes related to organ scandal are only minor by-plot in context of organized crime in Kosovo during last decade. KLA’s transformation from OC-/terrorist group to freedom fighters was an amazing media victory which guaranteed the occupation and later capturing of Kosovo.

Neil Clark in his column Kosovo and the myth of liberal intervention – in the Guardian describes very well this hoax:

It was the KLA’s campaign of violence against Yugoslav state officials, Serbian and Kosovan civilians in 1998, which led to an escalation of the conflict with the government in Belgrade, with atrocities committed on both sides. The report is a damning indictment not only of the KLA but also of western policy. And it also gives lie to the fiction that Nato’s war with Yugoslavia was, in Tony Blair’s words, “a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship”.

On 1999 the Western media was full of stories of mass graves and brutal rapes. U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred. In 78 days the Pentagon dropped 35,000 cluster bombs, used thousands of rounds of radioactive depleted-uranium rounds, along with bunker busters and cruise missiles. Expecting to find bodies everywhere, forensic teams from 17 NATO countries organized by the Hague Tribunal on War Crimes searched occupied Kosovo all summer of 1999 but found a total of only 2,108 bodies, of all nationalities. Some had been killed by NATO bombing and some in the war between the UCK and the Serbian police and military.

Number game as cause of Nato’s attack on Serbia 

According the Kosovo “Book of the Dead”, the equivalent of the Bosnia “Book of the Dead” by London based Bosnian Institute which finally counted the slain, has since the Kosovo war been able to establish a total about 10,000 dead or “permanently missing” (i.e. dead), of which just under 5000 are Albanians, and the rest Serbian, other minorities, or ethnicity not known. So as Albanians made up around 50% off the dead despite making up 85% of the population, they suffered proportionately much less in terms of deaths than any other group.

(Bosnian Institute: Establishing the number of victims in the Yugoslav wars of succession)

I would draw following time axis about some core events with this campaign:

  • As side result U.S. created Bondsteel, one of the biggest U.S. military base in center of Europe – completely outside European/international jurisdiction – to serve also as secret torture/detention/investigation center of CIA.

In the bottom line – so far at least temporary – U.S. State Department and their British lapdogs were responsible for orchestrating or facilitating events mentioned above. For background information I recommend a video “General Lewis Mackenzie: We Bombed The Wrong Side”, anyway the headline of video is not so far from my point of view.

OC-connection well known

Thaçi and other members of his inner circle, Marty avers, were “commonly identified, and cited in secret intelligence reports,” published by the German secret state agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND “as the most dangerous of the KLA’s ‘criminal bosses’.” Trading on American protection to consolidate political power, thus maintaining control over key narcotics smuggling corridors, the special rapporteur writes that “having succeeded in eliminating, or intimidating into silence, the majority of the potential and actual witnesses against them (both enemies and erstwhile allies), using violence, threats, blackmail, and protection rackets,” Thaçi’s Drenica Group have “exploit[ed] their position in order to accrue personal wealth totally out of proportion with their declared activities.” Indeed, multiple reports prepared by the U.S. DEA, FBI, the BND, Italy’s SISMI, Britain’s MI6 and the Greek EYP intelligence service have stated that Drenica Group members “are consistently named as ‘key players’ in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime.”

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

Reliable and highly informed sources at the Institute for European Policy based in Germany, in a 2007 report commissioned for the German Armed Forces, indicated that the three leading Kosovo politicians, Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci and Xhavit Haliti, are “persons protected by the international community although they are deeply involved in all of these affairs.”Already in 2000, according to Interpol Kosovo criminals, illicit profits of 2 billion euros were laundered through more than 200 banks. The current data show much higher earnings, and this without considering the investments in the building sector, the purchase of shares and other activities. In relation to the drugs issue, according to the Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, in an interview in 2009, the Albanian mafia in Kosovo chiefs “dream” about turning the province into “a European Colombia.”

In order to achieve this, they wish to genetically engineer a type of coca plant that would grow in Kosovo’s climate. In this way, the Albanian mafia would have a monopoly over the cocaine trade. They need 20 years to achieve this,” he said, and added that “then, Kosovo will without a doubt become the new Colombia.”

More about link between organized crime and Kosovo political leaders one can find e.g. from Albanian Terrorism and Oraganized Crime in Kosovo and Metohija (K&M) , which also can be found from my document library. Related background information can be found also from “leaked” German Intelligence reports BND report 2005 and BND-IEP report Kosovo 2007 which can be found from my document library under Kosovo headline.

Note: An extract from Correspondence between BND and Wikileaks 

As of up today you still provide the option of downloading a classified report of the BND under the following address:

http://www.wikileaks.com/wiki/BND_Kosovo_intelligence-report,_22_Feb_2005.

We kindly ask you again to remove the file immediately and all other files or reports related to the BND as well. Otherwise we will press for immediate criminal prosecution.

AR: As links are whole time cracked I have saved report to my computer and downloaded it to document library of my blog for public use.

International community unwilling to rock of the boat

“Two years ago a joke was being circulated on the Runet that a heroin producer has recognized its distributor’s independence. It was about Afghanistan, which was to the first to recognize the independence of the Serbian province of Kosovo which had illegally separated from Yugoslavia.” (GRTV)

International community has worked over ten years with capacity building of Kosovo administration; EU launched few years ago its huge EULEX operation for rule and law in protectorate. Still it was needed outside institutions to bring both individual case – organ trafficking/war crime – and a system error – OC/political link – to public knowledge. Why so?

An other report gives one answer. Extract from recent the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Rapporteur Jean-Charles Gardetto’s report entitled The protection of witnesses as a cornerstone for justice and reconciliation in the Balkans (The document should be adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on coming January 26.)

Moreover, when a witness does come forward, there is a real threat of retaliation. This may not necessarily put them in direct danger, losing their job for example, but there are also examples of key witnesses being murdered. The trial of Ramush Haradinaj, the former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, well illustrates this. Mr. Haradinaj was indicted by the ICTY for crimes committed during the war in Kosovo but was subsequently acquitted. In its judgment, the Tribunal highlighted the difficulties that it had had in obtaining evidence from the 100 prosecution witnesses. Thirty-four of them were granted protection measures and 18 had to be issued with summonses. A number of witnesses who were going to give evidence at the trial were murdered. These included Sadik and Vesel Muriqi, both of whom had been placed under a protection program by the ICTY.

The five countries – U.S., Britain, Germany, France and Italy – had access to information, resources and a long history of work with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), former U.S. diplomat and UN Regional Representative in northern Kosovo Gerard Gallucci told Belgrade’s Politika newspaper in an interview. “Regardless of the claims about organ trafficking, everyone knows about the involvement of some of the top Kosovo leaders in transnational crime and corruption. International officials ignored these problems so as not to provoke the ethnic Albanians and prevent them from creating even bigger problems,” Gallucci stated, according to the newspaper.

Conclusion/Possible reflections?

“I am very proud of my past and the past of my people who, along with NATO, arrived at the goal” (Hashim Thaci, Crime Minister of Kosovo)

New talks between Belgrade and Pristina are planned to start soon for resolving frozen Kosovo conflict. Serbs and Albanians have been in negotiations and talks half a dozen times over the past two decades – from the tentative efforts of the 1990s to the doomed talks in Rambouillet, France, in 1999 and the later “status” talks between 2005 (Ahtisaari’s pseudo-talks) and 2007 (“Troika” led talks). None of these has led to tangible results and left outsiders imposing an outcome, be it NATO intervention or proposing the Ahtisaari plan.

Few month ago it looked like now it would be possible to have real talks first time between local relevant authorities; the events on December have put this optimism in question. The PACE report gives new (for western powers, mainstream media and public) view to justification of the Nato’s attack on Serbia, it products evidence and argumentation for suspected joint venture of organized crime and political elite in Kosovo before “humanitarian intervention, after that and now: the report casts a shadow to western political leadership as their own intelligence services had all relevant information at their disposal.

In my earlier article Will Negotiation Slot for Kosovo be used? I remarked, that

EU in my opinion should start to distance itself from U.S. cowboy policy. Now many Europeans realize they were hoodwinked into recognizing Kosovo’s independence on the pretence it would resolve problems and bring peace – it didn’t happen; a new approach is needed.”

I would like to point out that now after PACE report the West can not any more escape reality, facts can not be ignored any longer. The report could be start for reassessment of Kosovo status and operations/presence of international community there.


Kosovo: Two years of Pseudo-state

February 20, 2010

US recognition of severed Kosovo province was a serious mistake, leading to an escalation of tensions, instead of calming down the situation in the Balkans … consensus boils down to the fact that nobody knows where Kosovo is” (John Bolton)

The recognition of Kosovo was premature and conditioned by great pressure from the former American administration”… “Today, we can see that two-thirds of the international community does not recognize Kosovo … this shows that we are talking about a grave mistake” (Gerhard Schröder)


Two years has gone since Kosovo Albanians declared their independence from Serbia. However calling to Kosovo needs country code 381 – which is Serbia – or by GSM 377 44 (via Monaco Telecom) or others via Serbian operators. This because as at this time, Abkhazia, Kosovo, Transnistria, Somaliland, South Ossetia and others are not in the ISO 3166-1 standard due the absence of recognition by the United Nations. Situation is one minor example about Kosovo “statehood”. Besides formalities – like that the province is administrated as international protectorate by foreign powers – the on the ground status is more complicated and even going more far away from drawing board ideals of Washington and Brussels.

Those who supported Kosovo independence said that Kosovo was unique case and not precedent thousands of ethnic or separatist movements around the world made other conclusion – Abkhasia and South Ossetia came first from the “Pandora box” which Kosovo opened. To limit the degree of damage it is time to restore international forums and law.


Legal aspect

From legal aspect the Nato bombings and later orchestrated unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of Kosovo Albanians were against international law and violation of the UN Charter, Helsinki Accords and a series of UN resolutions including the governing UNSC resolution #1244. Officially Kosovo is international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission. Now the case (UDI) is in International Court of Justice and its statement is expected Mid 2010. (More “UN is sending Kosovo case to ICJ”).

Whatever – depending point of view – status Kosovo has, the province is de facto administrated by international community. However the administration is still in full chaos because there is administrators more than enough. 1st (not order of authority) we have European Union Special representative (EUSR) who is double hatted as chef of International Community Office; 2nd we have Head of EU Commission liaison office; 3rd we have EULEX mission; 4th there is KFOR troops including Europe’s second largest Nato base, 5th international administrator is from UN side – SRSG as Head of UNMIK mission. All these administrators and other supervisors like OSCE, Quint etc – are playing in the same sandbox wondering who is doing what and where. In addition in Kosovo is also local stakeholders like separatist governments institutions in areas habitat by Albanians and parallel Serb institutions in areas habitat by Serbs. (More e.g. in (“EULEX, UN and mess-up in Kosovo” )

The fact on the ground is that northern part of Kosovo is integrated to Serbia like it always has been, as well those pats south of Ibar river, which are not ethnically cleansed by Kosovo Albanians. Between ethnic groups a huge operation of international community is going on with its foggy ideas.


Refugees and unrealized returns

The refugee and IDP (“internally displaced persons”) question is of paramount importance in Balkans. In Serbia the refugee problem came when Serbs were expelled from East Croatia and Croatian Krajina. The IDP problem is a follow-up of Kosovo conflict when some 200.000 Serbs and some thousands of Roma were expelled from there to northern Serb-dominated part of province or to Serbia. During Nato bombings also Kosovo Albanians – about 700.000 – escaped from the province but most of them have returned back. Most of Montenegro refugees – 16259 – fled from Kosovo. Nearly all of Serbia’s IDPs fled also from Albanian majority parts of Kosovo province. Despite EU’s nice ideas about multi-ethnic Kosovo and implementation of housing and other return programs only a fraction (few per cent) of Serb IDPs have returned to Kosovo after ten years of international administration while majority of Kosovo Albanian refugees returned during last half of year 1999.

To table below I have collected the numbers of refugees and IDPs in western Balkans; the sum total includes also asylum-seekers, stateless etc. persons. As source I have used UNHCR report 16thJune 2009 and “Internal Displacement in Europe and Central Asia” report made by UNCHR and The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), established in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council.


Country Refugees IDPs Total
Albania 65 0 87
Bosnia-Herzegovina 7257 124529 194448
Croatia 1597 2497 33943
(FRY) Macedonia 1672 0 2823
Montenegro 24741 0 26242
Serbia 96739 225879 341083

The table above is maybe surprising to those who have the picture – made by western mainstream media – in their minds, that (only) Serbs were making ethnic cleansing. In reality today the Serbs are the biggest victims of Balkan wars. (More in my article Forgotten Refugees – West Balkans”).

Failed post-conflict reconstruction

The new report made by Minority Rights Group International (MRG) gives a bare picture about worsening situation of minority rights in today’s Kosovo. Instead to return to their homes after ethnic cleansing implemented by Kosovo Albanians after Nato intervention 1999 minorities are beginning to leave Kosovo, because they face exclusion and discrimination.

One of the cruellest example of failed post-conflict reconstruction is the case of Roma children living in UN camps in North Mitrovica, Kosovo. So far 81 has already dead after ten years suffering in United Nations Camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), living in place which is described the most toxic site in Eastern Europe. Their case gives another perspective related to “humanitarian intervention” implemented by Nato and to international administration implemented afterwards and backed with billions of Euros EU financing. (More in my article “UN death camps, EU money, local negligence”)

Despite huge EU programmes and reports singing their praises the progress in Kosovo has been modest if not non-existing. Kosovo faces major challenges, including ensuring the rule of law, the fight against corruption and organised crime, the strengthening of administrative capacity, and the protection of the Serb and other minorities. EU Commision’s 2009 progress reports of Kosovo province and its neighbours can be found as pdf from my Document library.

The focus of international state-building efforts in Kosovo has been predominantly on political and security issues, and since 2008 in particular the rule of law. The long-term challenges are however related in general first to conflict between international law and present status and second to poor state of Kosovo’s economy. Today’s EU rule & law mission – Eulex – does not address either of these challenges.

Kosovo highlights the fact that states and international organisations intervening in post-conflict situations should be realistic about what socio-political change they can actually achieve. Despite huge resources and strong mandate international administration can fail if the situation analysis is combination of false supposition and actions based to high flown drawer desk plans. The state-building process can also cease due pressure. This was evident in Kosovo when the eruption of violence in March 2004 pushed the international community towards addressing the status question and throw earlier “standards before status” principle to litter box. (More e.g. in “Pogrom with Prize”)

Insignificant economic base and remarkable social challenge

Official statistics from year 2008 shows that export from Kosovo amounted about 200 millon Euro while import increased to 2 billion Euro, which makes trade balance almost 1,800 million Euro minus. If export is covering some 10 percent of import so from where is money coming to this consumption. The estimate is that when export brings mentioned 71 million Euro the organised crime (mainly drug trafficing) brings 1 billion Euro, diaspora gives 500 million Euro and international community 200 million Euro.

In 2007, more than 40 percent of contributes to direct tax revenues and sustains the delivery of public services Kosovo’s GDP was made up of foreign assistance, remittances and foreign direct investment – mostly privatisation proceeds and the issuing of a second mobile phone licence. All of these outside contributions are likely to decline substantially as a consequence of the global financial crisis, with dire consequences for Kosovo’s budget.

Kosovo has Europe’s youngest and fastest – growing population. Yearly 30,000 more young people enters working age than the number that leave labour markets which due Kosovo’s poor economy can not absorb them. Same time the education system is poorly governed, poorly resourced, and prone to corruption. Hardly any of the 30 private universities in Kosovo, for example, have met accreditation criteria (BritishAccreditationCouncil2008), and with few exceptions they provide sub-standard education. This leaves a whole generation of Kosovars without marketable skills and with very limited economic perspectives – at least legal ones.

The poor state of Kosovo’s economy combined to demographic challenge is likely to fuel a range of security threats, such as illegal trafficking, migration, and organised crime.

Organised crime

Links between drug trafficking and the supply of arms to the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) were established mid-90s. In West KLA was described as terrorist organization but when US selected them as their ally it transformed organization officially to “freedom” fighters. After bombing Serbia 1999 KLA leaders again changed their crime clans officially to political parties. This public image however can not hide the origins of money and power, old channels and connections are still in place in conservative tribe society.

In some other important drug transit zones trafficking is reflected in high levels of violence but not in Balkans. UN report explains this that good links between crime organizations and commercial/political elites have ensured that Balkan organized crime groups have traditionally encountered little resistance from the state or rival groups. To keep fragile situation calm (western) international community don’t interfere criminal activities leaded its former allies.

The real power in Kosovo lays with 15 to 20 family clans who control “almost all substantial key social positions” and are closely linked to prominent political decision makers. German intelligence services (BND) have concluded that Prime Minister Thaçi is a key figure in a Kosovar-Albanian mafia network. Two German intelligence reports – BND report 2005 and BND-IEP report Kosovo 2007 – are giving clear picture about connection between politics and organized crime; both reports can be found from my document library under headline Kosovo.

I have earlier described circumstances in Kosovo with “Quadruple Helix Model” where government, underworld, Wahhabbi schools and international terrorism have win-win symbiosis. (More in “Quadruple Helix – Capturing Kosovo”) In general there is expectations that Kosovo is sliding to be a “failed state” I am however tending to the opinion that a “captured state” is better definition.

quadruple helix model

War crimes

The present day circumstances are shadowed also by the fact that most of the war crimes committed 1999 are still unsolved. On the other hand the situation declares null and void the efforts for multi-ethnic society, on the other hand it prevents transformation of Kosovo-Albanian political field from tribe level more democratic practice. For today’s politicians war crimes are important to keep non-existing due the imago reasons or because they now are part of regular (illegal) business. Occasionally some details pop up like it was case with organ trafficking (More in “New Cannibalism in Europe too?”)

The actions of the Nato campaign 1999 are quite well documented but despite bombings were against international and war crimes committed no trials has been made. Nato planes destroyed 4 % of its military targets during bombing – partly because for avoiding own casualties they launched missiles so high that could not make difference between wooden decoys and real weapons. Instead of military targets the main damage was made against civilian targets such as destroying an embassy (China), a prison (Istok), three column of Albanian refugees (81 dead March 13th and 75 April 14th), radio-tv station (Belgrade, 16 civilians dead), a passenger train (Grdelica bridge, 14 dead), also a number of infrastructure, commercial buildings, schools, health institutions, cultural monuments were damaged or destroyed. Some 2.500 people (mostly civilians) were dead, material civil infrastructure damage is estimated to be some 30 billion dollars. (More e.g. in “10th anniversary of Nato’s attack on Serbia”)

Kosovo is still suffering of some consequences of Nato’s 1999 bombings such as the effects of the use of depleted uranium (DU) on the civilian population. The Nato allegedly used shells with depleted uranium which are still today causing an increase in the number of cancer patients. (More from article Use of Depleted Uranium proved in Nato bombings”)

Epilogue

The outcome today in Kosovo is a quasi-independent pseudo-state with good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state if international community does not firm its grip in province. Today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers.

From my viewpoint the only way to get sustainable solution to Kosovo is through real negotiations between local stakeholders. To get start of real talks US should freeze or withdraw its recognition of Kosovo UDI; otherwise it takes too long time for Kosovo Albanians to find out that some negotiated outcome ? be it cantonization, partition or whatever agreed – could be better than status quo. (About possible solutions “Dividing Kosovo – a pragmatic solution to frozen conflict” and Cantonisation – a middle course for separatist movements)

The readiness to open new talks over status question may be increasing. I quote Gallup

The latest Gallup Balkan Monitor survey conducted in September 2009 showed Kosovo Albanians are less positive toward independence. Seventy-five percent of Kosovo Albanians said independence was a good thing, down from 93% who said so in 2008. One in five Kosovo Albanians said they did not have an opinion. Furthermore, in 2009, 80% of Kosovo Serbs believed that independence was a bad thing, statistically unchanged since 2008.

When time runs so I think that more and more local population would like to un-freeze conflict and concentrate to issues that matters.

Of course if US wants keep one frozen conflict more in world and if EU is ready to squander more billions of euros for its capacity building efforts nothing needs to be done. (More e.g. in “Kosovo-update”)



Kosovo update

August 6, 2009

This summer came 10 years since Nato stopped bombing Serbia. Agreement was made that Serb forces leave Kosovo and the province will be administrated de facto international protectorate by UN being however under sovereignty of Serbia (UNSC resolution 1244). So ten years has gone, the province declared independence and EU is now implementing its agenda after UN’s modest try – or better say failure. As my picture about Kosovo is much more negative than high flown UN/EU reports a small update about Kosovo case is justified.


From administrative point of view Kosovo is total mess-up. EU started its huge rule & law mission late 2008 under UN umbrella. Besides UN/UNMIK and EU/EULEX there is also other players twisting arms who is leading the international protectorate. There is European Union High Representative who simultaneously leads International Community Office wondering his role, same time Nato-troops (KFOR) tries to keep ethnic tensions moderate, OSCE do not know its role nor length of its mission’s mandate in Kosovo, EU delegation office, few influential foreign liaison representatives and of course sc. Kosovo government based to local tribes. It shows amazing creativity to establish this kind organizational nightmare in one tiny province and more amazing is that after nearly nine years of international administration and capacity building and squandered billions of Euros both the administration and the situation on the ground are beneath all criticism.

Multi-ethnic idea is far away despite EU’s billions. After bombing almost all Albanian refugees have returned while only tiny fraction of Serb refugees – or officially internally displaced persons – have returned to Kosovo. The remaining Serbs in Kosovo are barricaded into enclaves keeping their lives mainly with help of international KFOR troops or in de facto separated Serb majority region in North Kosovo. This has changed former multi-ethnic province more mono-ethnic one.

According the new report – -made by Minority Rights Group International (MRG) gives a bare picture about worsening situation of minority rights in today’s Kosovo. Instead to return to their homes after ethnic cleansing implemented by Kosovo Albanians after Nato intervention 1999 and again 2004 minorities are beginning to leave Kosovo, because they face exclusion and discrimination. More about this in my article “...Pogrom with Prize” –

The core problem in Kosovo from my point of view is organized crime. This keeps Kosovo still as tribe society where political parties are only one side of clan activities. As hub of famous Balkan route Kosovo Albanian mafia is distributing majority of heroin sold in western and centre Europe and is now also testing cooperation with Columbian cartels to start distribution more cocaine as well. Earlier (Kosovo) Albanian mafia based its logistics to help of al-Qaida because the heroin is coming from Afghanistan. It is estimated that the value of organized crime for Kosovo is some US 2 bn which btw is up to nearly 40 times bigger than the value of official export from province.

The aim of international community was to build “standards before status”, on 2005 the task was seen impossible so the slogan changed to “standards and status”. Even this was unrealistic so Feb. 2008 “European”standards were thrown away to garbage and “status without standards” precipitately accepted by western powers. For international community I don’t see any success story with this backward progress.

The outcome today is a quasi-state with good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state if international community does not firm its grip in province. Today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers.

Now Europeans realize they were hoodwinked into recognizing Kosovo’s independence on the pretence it would resolve problems and bring peace. Kosovo case was not unique, like it was introduced into playgrounds of international politics, it was a precedent to numerous separatist movement on globe that violence is the right mean to achieve political aims instead of international law.


It’s said that The Balkans are a graveyard for foreign ambitions. This could be the “lessons learned” to both USA and EU. Some more sustainable solutions could also be implemented in Western Balkans. Withdrawal of Kosovo recognition can open real negotiations between local stakeholders with unpredicted but possible compromise can end one frozen conflict.


UN death camps, EU money, local negligence

May 1, 2009

I was just watching a film“UN death camps in Kosovo April 2009” about protest which was hold by Roma children living in UN camps in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.  The protesters however were still living, so far 81 has already dead after ten years suffering in United Nations Camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), living in place which is described the most toxic site in Eastern Europe.  Their story gives another perspective related to “humanitarian intervention” implemented by Nato and to international administration implemented afterwards and backed with billions of Euros EU financing.  And this is happening in Europe and in this millennium.

The children hold a protest vigil on International Roma Day.  In the protest, their banners proclaimed “God Save Us from UNHCR” and”Welcome to Kouchner’s Hell”, reminding Bernard Kouchner – then Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG), now FM of France – about his promise autumn 1999 to move families immediately from toxic camp.

In brief

“The place where the camps are, the UN had a plan to build a fence around it and say, ‘danger.’ But they didn’t do that. Instead they put the Roma there.” (U.N. toxic Shame)

While Nato troops arrived to Kosovo – for “humanitarian intervention” – on June 1999 their Kosovo Albanian allies started their revenge not only against Serbs but also against the Roma which the Albanians accused of collaborating with Serbs.  The largest Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (RAE) community was in south Mitrovica.  They were forced to move over Ibar river to Serb dominated north Mitrovica.

Under international administration those displaced families were placed in camps located heavily polluted mining and smelter complex.  The international administration know that camps were in dangerously toxic environment, the experts and non-governmental organizations demanded immediate evacuation for Roma families, however after nearly ten years – in post-war Kosovo, 200 km from the European Union’s borders – these families still are trapped in camps slowly dying from lead poisoning.

To get live picture about case I can recommend an excellent documentary film “Trapped – The forgotten story of Mitrovica Roma” by Katalin Barsony/Duna Television/Hungary which can be watched from here!

The Saga

A summary of main events related to Mitrovica Roma case is in insert below.  As source I have used a Chronology prepared by KMEG (The Kosovo Medical Emergency Group) –group of advocates with goal to achieve immediate evacuation and medical treatment for families abandoned in toxic camps in north Kosovo.  (The Chronology and other KMEG material can be found from here)

1999: June 16 After NATO troops arrived in Kosovo, black uniformed KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) soldiers begin visiting homes in the Romani (Gypsy) settlement (mahalla) of Fabrička in south Mitrovicë/Mitrovica, largest Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian (RAE) community in Kosovo, with about 1,000 families comprising about 8,000 people. The RAE families are told that Kosovo is only for Albanians and the RAE must leave if they want to save their families. Over the next three months, many RAE families lock up their homes and move across the Ibar River into north Mitrovicë/Mitrovica. But accommodation is unavailable as thousands of Serbs also flee from Albanian nationalists.

1999: August Paul Polansky, an adviser to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR) on Romani issues, visits the Fabrička neighbourhood to assess the situation. He finds Albanians looting many of the abandoned homes. He asks French NATO troops in the area to intervene. Their Commanding Officer (CO) replies that they are not a police force, and that their mandate is only to protect Albanians from the local Serbs.

1999: September Baroness Nicholson meets Bernard Kouchner, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) at camps when he stated the families would be moved immediately.

1999: End of September UNHCR is renting a plot of land from abandoned lead mining site where the IDPs can be housed in tents until UNHCR can find a permanent solution for these 800 vulnerable inhabitants. According UNHCR this is a temporary solution for only 45 days. Also head of UNMIK (SRSG) Dr. Bernard Kouchner (founder of Medecins San Frontieres, and currently the Foreign Minister of France) personally assures that the camp will be closed within 45 days and the inhabitantsresettled elsewhere.

1999: December UNHCR contracts with ACT (Action by Churches Working Together) to build a camp in north Mitrovicë/Mitrovica called Česmin Lug/Çesmin Llug. These barracks are built next to the railroad tracks that border the tailing stands of the Trepča lead mines. These barracks are built with old lead-painted boards.

2000: Summer/Fall SRSG Dr. Bernard Kouchner orders his UN medical team to make an investigation of the lead pollution in the entire Mitrovicë/Mitrovica area. French army doctors have reported several cases of lead poisoning in their soldiers who are quartered in an old Serbian army base 100 meters from the IDP camp at Česmin Lug/Çesmin Llug.

2000: November Dr. Andreyew submits his written report to Dr. Kouchner, head of UNMIK and a report to the World Health Organization (WHO), recommending evacuation of the RAE camps and fencing off the land so that the public cannot accidentally enter. His investigation shows that the entire population of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica is suffering from unhealthy levels of lead poisoning. However, the highest levels (three to four times higher than the average in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica) were found in the children in the IDP camps of Çesmin Llug/Česmin Lug and Zhitkovc/Žitkovac. Dr. Andreyew’s report, which UNMIK refused to release to the public, was never acted upon, with one exception: several international UNMIK police officers were tested, since they jogged daily on a path by the slag heaps near the Česmin Lug/Çesmin Llug camp. Their lead levels were so high that UNMIK immediately repatriated them since lead poisoning cannot be treated at the source of poisoning without causing dangerous complications.

2002 UNHCR shelves all of its plans to resettle the camp Roma abroad. UNHCR contracts ACT (Action by Churches Working Together) office in Prishtinë/Priština to build barracks on the same toxic land in Zhitkovc/Žitkovac, replacing the tents.

2004: March/April After the investigation prompted by the death of Djenita Mehmeti, and the compiling of the information from the blood lead level (BLL) results, WHO Pristinë/Priština sends a letter to UNMIK calling for an immediate evacuation of the UN camps. UNMIK refuses, claiming that they have no place to take 500 Gypsies. UNMIK pleads lack of resources to tackle the problem. 

2004: November pregnancies and more than 50 have miscarriages. ICRC sends a letter to UNMIK demanding immediate evacuation of the camps. UNMIK refuses.

2005 A staff member of WHO, upset by UNMIK’s and WHO’s apparent cover-up of the tragedy, asks Paul Polansky to let the world know what is happening. Polansky publishes an opinion piece in the International Herald Tribune about the plight in these UN camps. Though several other journalists pick up the story, UNMIK authorities still refuse to evacuate the camps.  He also asks European Roma Rights Center   (ERRC) to file a lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), Strasbourg against UNMIK. The Human Rights Court in Strasbourg rejects the lawsuit saying that only a country, not an organization, can be sued.

2006 Finally admitting that the camps are located on highly toxic waste, UNMIK decides to bow to international pressure and take some steps to try to convince the public they are dealing with the lead pollution.

2008 An international advocacy group, known as the Kosovo Medical Emergency Group(KMEG), is formed to publicize the plight of the IDPs in the UN camps. The group– whose purpose is to push for an immediate medical evacuation – begins a press campaign and makes public the report from 2000, as well as all blood tests from 2004 to 2008 which WHO and UNMIK have refused to share with even the families in the camps. treat the more than 500 IDPs.

On 12 May, 2008, UNMIK officially turns over the three camps (Osterode camp, Česmin Lug/Çesmin Llug and Leposaviq/Leposavić) to the Kosovo government. As the year ends, it is noted that 78 RAE had died in the camps since Nov 1999, their lives foreshortened by the severe damage caused to their health by toxic conditions in the camps.

On January 22nd 2009 European Parliament highlights Roma camp case in its “EU resolution Kosovo” as follows: (EP) Is gravely concerned at the acute ill health of Roma families in the Osterode and Cesmin Lug refugee camps; believes that these are directly linked to the improper siting of those camps which find themselves on the highly toxic tailing stands of the Trepça lead mines; welcomes the Commission’s initial engagement with the Kosovo government and urges the Commission to continue to work with a view to relocating urgently the families concerned;

2009 April 81 deaths so far, the Kosovo government who took over responsibility on 2008, have not yet even visited the camps.

My view   

When I visited in those northern Mitrovica camps during 2000-2002 the risks about lead poisoning was well known.  Also we who lived in normal conditions in region were got some instructions to exercise some caution.  Already then there were plans to cure circumstances but nothing happened.  I hardly have imagination how it is possible to still have same problems.

This should not had been happen – not during and after “humanitarian intervention”, not during post-conflict capacity building and after billions of EU taxpayers money put to development projects, not in Europe 200 km from EU border, not in international protectorate with “European perspective”.

EU’s most ambitious rule of law mission – Eulex – has been operating in Kosovo already nearly one year.  I must ask if human rights have any priority in mission or is the aim only to train local police to write traffic tickets correctly.  EU Commissioner Rehn said in his letter 17.02.2009 to MEP Gay Mitchell, that funding is not primary problem but complicated political side.  When EU has funds and other resources ready to implement actions plus huge rule of law mission on the ground I really wonder why actions are not taken immediatelly.

The Way ahead

From my point of view at least following steps should be taken to correct situation and to prevent it happen again:

1)     According international law (UN Security Council resolution 1244) Kosovo still is international protectorate.  As officially highest authority is UNMIK so it could make immediate decision t evacuate camps and transfer Roma families from them to get medical treatment elsewhere.  The other international actors – Eulex, Kfor, ICO (International Community Office)/EU Special representative and EU delegation could help to implement this immediate action.

2)     For long term solution international – and donor – community should plan together with local representatives resettlement/housing program for Roma families.

4)     To increase responsibility in future missions the persons/organisations who have enabled situation described earlier should be put in international court charged about human rights violations, crimes against humanity, involuntary manslaughter and covering up the case (stupidity, laziness and incapability are probably not crimes but could be non-qualifying skills in future recruitments).

Roma families in Kosovo are people left in deathly camps years after a conflict. These are not only displaced, but their displacement happened while western nations, whose duty it was to protect them, stood by. Inactive at the scene, international administration subsequently placed them in a dangerously toxic environment, and for years thereafter effectively ignored their plight covering same time own mistakes.  EU’s speciality has been “soft power”, taking responsibility, initiative and leadership now could at least limit the damages in Roma camps in Kosovo and hopefully elsewhere afterwards.

More about UN Camps e.g.

  • Two-part film “UN Camps in Kosovo” from 2005 gives more perspective to case: Part I and Part II
  • KMEG portal with links to more films and articles


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