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World - Europe

Kosovo Liberation Army disarms to meet midnight deadline

The only place KLA soldiers can have guns is in assembly areas, agreed to by KFOR

CNN's Nic Robertson reports on what the deadline means for the KLA (July 21)
Windows Media 28K 80K
Rebuilding Kosovo

Focus on Kosovo


July 21, 1999
Web posted at: 6:43 p.m. EDT (2243 GMT)

From Correspondent Nic Robertson

PRISTINA, Kosovo (CNN) -- NATO's peacekeeping force in Kosovo said Wednesday it was satisfied that the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army would meet a midnight deadline to hand in its heavy arms.

The KLA and NATO's Kosovo implementation force, KFOR, signed an agreement June 21 stipulating that all heavy weapons must be placed in designated storage sites by July 22.

Additionally, KLA soldiers must hand over 30 percent of their small machine guns and vacate their military positions.

KLA soldiers paraded Wednesday behind the fences of a base in Komorane, one of a handful of NATO-approved "assembly areas" where KLA members can keep their smaller weapons. Anything larger than a hand-held machine gun must be stored at weapons collection sites guarded by KFOR troops.

"We will do as our headquarters instructs," one commander told CNN. "But we will never work against the interests of the Liberation Army and the Albanian people."

Although KFOR has confiscated KLA weapons on several recent occasions, KFOR commander Lt. Gen. Michael Jackson said last week that he was "broadly satisfied" with the disarmament process.

The KLA is expected to hand over its remaining weapons and be out of uniform in two months. Under the June 21 agreement, KFOR promised to give "consideration" to the idea of a Kosovo National Guard, something the KLA insists upon.

"Kosovo cannot be imagined without a defensive force," said KLA political leader Hasim Thaci.

"We believe it will not just be a national guard, but we believe it will be an army of Kosovo whose character will not be a liberating one, but a defensive one," he said.

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  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from

  • 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

Resettlement Agencies Helping Kosovars in U.S.:
  • Church World Service
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
  • Iowa Department of Human Services
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Immigration and Refugee Services of America
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • United States Catholic Conference

  • UNICEF: Kosovo
  • World Relief
  • Doctors without borders
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • 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
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

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

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