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US

Evidence of possible war crimes en route to international tribunal

April 8, 1999
Web posted at: 10:24 p.m. EDT (2224 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The State Department said Thursday that evidence of possible war crimes conducted by Yugoslav forces against the Kosovo Albanians is en route to the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague.

"There are many reports to verify. That is what our war crimes office and, obviously, the tribunal in The Hague is trying to do," State Department spokesman James Rubin told reporters.

A State Department report, based on interviews with Kosovo Albanian refugees, concludes "ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity" are taking place in Kosovo -- including routine killings and beatings of refugees by Yugoslav forces.

A summary of the report, assembled following a diplomatic mission to Blace, Macedonia, by David Scheffer, ambassador-at-large for war crimes, was released Wednesday by the State Department.

Rubin on Wednesday branded nine of Yugoslavia's military commanders as possible war criminals "not only for crimes they themselves commit, but also for failing to prevent crimes occurring or for failure to prosecute those who commit crimes."

Rubin told reporters that while the United States was gathering evidence, it would be up to the international tribunal at to decide if indictments are warranted.

Reconnaissance and eye-witness evidence

Rubin presented evidence Thursday in the form of both aerial and visual imagery and "remarkably consistent" interviews with refugees who fled Kosovo.

Those interviews present a picture of mass killings and towns set ablaze by Yugoslav forces, a picture of "ethnic cleansing" in Kosovo, he said.

The aerial imagery shows that areas populated mostly by Kosovo Albanians were heavily damaged while areas populated mostly by Serbs suffered lighter damage.

The visual imagery of before-and-after pictures, used to track damage in eight towns, showed entire villages burnt, roofs blown off homes -- and where refugees had previously been crowded into one area, that area was now empty.


RELATED STORIES:
U.S. names suspected Serb war criminals
April 7, 1999
Serb 'Tiger' condemns war crimes charges
March 31, 1999


RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites

  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis


Relief:
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page


Media:
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

Other:
  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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