emg home
First phase of hearing on Macedonia's suit against Greece ends in Hague European Socialist Group meeting opens in Athens on Monday Krsko plant can't be condition for Croatia's EU m'ship Lukoil Bulgaria hikes wholesale fuel prices The European Union's response to the earthquake and nuclear plant situation in Japan Russian intelligence Ground operation in Libya could start in April 5,000 public sector workers protest in Serbia Turkish parliament supports joining embargo enforcement efforts in Libya Commissioner Štefan Fϋle welcomes Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski NATO and Libya

Serbia marks twelve years as of NATO bombing

24. March 2011. | 10:08 22:40

Source: Tanjug

The campaign, code-named Operation Allied Force, involved 19 NATO countries and began March 24, 1999.It lasted 78 days, resulting in 2,500 civilian deaths, 89 of whom were children, and 1,031 dead soldiers and police officers.

Serbia marks on Thursday the 12th anniversary of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, which left 3,500 dead and over 12,500 injured.

The campaign, code-named Operation Allied Force, involved 19 NATO countries and began March 24, 1999.It lasted 78 days, resulting in 2,500 civilian deaths, 89 of whom were children, and 1,031 dead soldiers and police officers.

Around 6,000 civilians were injured, of whom 2,700 were children. The military and police had 5,173 injured. NATO's losses have never been made public.

More than half of the casualties from NATO attacks were among the Kosovo Albanians, although the western officials had claimed the intervention was necessary to protect the them.

The decision to go forward with the campaign was made without the consent of the UN Security Council, which was something that had never happened before. The NATO forces were commanded by now retired U.S. general Wesley Clark, who received the order to begin the campaign from Javier Solana, NATO's secretary general at the time.

Yugoslavia was attacked after being blamed for the failure of the negotiations on Kosovo's status, held in Rambouillet and Paris. The Serbian authorities, headed by Slobodan Milosevic, refused to accept the military annex to the proposed agreement, which was interpreted as a permission to occupy the country.

The bombing destroyed whole residential blocks in a number of towns and cities, like Aleksinac, Kursumlija, Cuprija, Nis, Novi Sad, Murin, Valjevo and Surdulica, which resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties.

The campaign ended when the Yugoslav authorities signed the Military Technical Agreement in Kumanovo, Macedonia, June 9, 1999. Three days later, the Yugoslav forces began withdrawing from Kosovo.

Solana gave the official order to stop the bombing on June 10.

The same day, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1244, which confirmed Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo, while NATO established the Kosovo Force, or KFOR, and sent 37,200 troops from 36 countries to the territory.

Twelfth anniversary of NATO bombing to be marked in Kosovo

The twelfth anniversary of the NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will be marked in Kosovo by a rally in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica Thursday and a mass will be served in Gracanica for the victims of the aggression.

The memorial service near the memorial cross in the courtyard of the Cultural Centre in Gracanica will be served by Bishop of Raska and Prizren Teodosije with the priests and monks.

As announced, a message will be sent from the rally in northern Kosovska Mitrovica to the international community and the authorities in Pristina and Belgrade that the Serbs in northern Kosovo do not want to be integrated into Kosovo institutions.

Throughout Serbia respects paid to victims of NATO bombing

Throughout Serbia, respects have been paid and wreaths and flowers laid at monuments to victims of NATO bombing in 1999. On Strazevica hill near Belgrade, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic and President of the Belgrade Assembly Aleksandar Antic laid wreaths at the monument to Yugoslav soldiers killed in the NATO bombing.

Dacic pointed out that it is everyone’s obligation to preserve the memory of the victims of the bombing and of all those who gave their lives for the freedom of Serbia.

All of the victims in the bombing were the innocent victims of war, regardless of whether they were civilians, soldiers or police officers, said Dacic.

Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac laid a wreath at the monument to the victims in Vranje, and Belgrade Mayor Dragan Djilas laid flowers at the monument plaque "Why" in Belgrade’s Tasmajdan park, thus paying homage to 16 RTS employees killed in NATO bombing in the night between 22 and 23 April 1999.

Wreaths were also laid at the tomb of a three-year old girl, Milica Rakic, killed by a NATO bomb in her own home near Belgrade, as well as at many other monuments.

Djilas pays respects to RTS workers killed in 1999 bombing

Belgrade Mayor Dragan Djilas laid flowers Thursday at the monument "Why" in Tasmajdan Park and paid his respects to the employees of Radio and Television of Serbia who were killed in the NATO bombing 12 years ago.

On the night between April 22 and 23, 1999, sixteen RTS workers were killed in a NATO air strike.

RTS Director Aleksandar Tijanic, and family and friends of the victims also laid flowers at the monument.

Dusko Korac, an RTS employee who was in the bombed building in Aberadareva Street that night, said that the young journalists and editors were attacked as military, and not civilian targets.

"The journalists in Serbia are a legitimate target. The attack has been forgotten and has become a state secret," Korac told reporters.

City of Nis pays respect to victims of 1999 NATO bombing

A commemoration and wreath laying ceremony were held in the southern Serbian city of Nis on Thursday to mark the 12th anniversary of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

The wreaths were laid by the city delegations, the Serbian Army, the police, the delegations of organizations and associations for cherishing of tradition of liberation wars, as well as victims' relatives and friends.

The commemoration service was served by priests of the Diocese of Nis.

The Association of 1999 Fighters laid wreaths as part of the official ceremony, while the Veterans Association paid tribute to the victims independently from the official protocol, thereby expressing protest over their unresolved status.

A commemoration was also held in Mija Stanimirovic barracks in Nis at the monument to fallen soldiers.

During 78-day air raids, Nis was attacked over 40 times.

The bombing campaign clamed 56 lives in Nis alone, while over 200 people were left injured.

About 120 buildings were razed to the grounds, while 3,400 housing, business and military facilities were damaged.

Serbs do not want Kosovo institutions in northern province

Serbs in the northern Kosovo sent a message from the rally in northern Kosovska Mitrovica that they do not want to integrate into Kosovo institutions.

We cannot be forced to live in an independent Kosovo and accept independence paid in human organs and drugs trafficking, President of the Municipality Krstimir Pantic said at the rally.

Rector of the Pristina University Zdravko Vitosevic stated that the Serbs are victims of ethnic violence in Kosovo following the arrival of NATO in the province and he called upon preservation of the Serb institutions in Kosovo since they are, as he said, a guarantor of the preservation of the Serb identity.

Earlier, representatives of the local self-government, association of veterans and the Kosovska Mitrovica District marked the 12th anniversary of NATO bombing by laying wreaths at the monument Truth in Kosovska Mitrovica.

Head of the Kosovska Mitrovica District Radenko Nedeljkovic pointed that victims of the bombing must not be forgotten and that the Serbs have a duty towards all those who gave their lives in Kosovo to survive in this region.


My Web

Enter text:


21. March - 27. March 2011.