CIS MPs CALL FOR PUNISHMENT OF THOSE GUILTY OF CLASHES IN KOSOVO

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MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) - For the settlement of the Kosovo situation a thorough investigation should be conducted into the circumstances of the events that took place on March-17-19 of this year in Kosovo and those guilty punished, representatives of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the CIS member-states opine.

On Wednesday at a plenary meeting of the Federation Council's session one of the Assembly's observers, chairman of the defense committee of the upper chamber Viktor Ozerov read out the conclusions of the group of observers of the Inter-parliamentary Asssembly who visited Kosovo in April of this year to study the situation.

"We believe that it is necessary to reveal and disband paramilitary structures of the Albanian and the Serb population in Kosovo, as well as the remaining structures of the former "Kosovo Liberation Army", the senator said.

In his words, the observers from the Inter-parliamentary Assembly spoke for the removing from the Kosovo Liberation corps of persons who have links with extremists and organized crime.

The question of the local Albanian leaders' responsibility for the situation in Kosovo, who hold key posts in the province's provisional bodies of self-government, demands special attention, Ozerov added. According to him, their activity should be under rigid international control.

"As for the current Kosovo-Albanian provisional administration, the restoration of the houses and the cultural monuments which were destroyed and suffered during the March events as soon as possible should become their first goodwill steps," the senator said.

He recalled that in clashes in Kosovo on March 17-19 nineteen people were killed, and 954 local residents and 126 international organizations officers were wounded. About 800 houses, mostly belonging to Serbs, were burnt or severely damaged, 36 Orthodox churches were defiled or destroyed, Ozerov recalled. Over 4,000 Serbs were forced to leave the areas of their permanent residence.

These events can be described as nothing but ethnic cleansings in relation to non-Albanian population of Kosovo, first and foremost the Kosovo Serbs," the senator stressed.

He noted that the alarming trends that had been ripening in the Province in recent years did not get the adequate response on the part of the international organizations. From the point of view of the observers of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly the international community has failed so far to find a solution for the complicated knot of the region's problems, Ozerov said.

"The policy of pacifying extremists from among the Kosovo Albanians who took the course at forming the mono-ethnic society has failed and created a serious destabilization in the Balkans," he added.

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