Ambassador David Johnson, U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Statement at the Extraordinary OSCE Permanent Council Meeting on Kosovo, Vienna, Austria, January 18, 1999

The United States is appalled and outraged by the massacre at Racak,
and by the F.R.Y. authorities' scandalous attempt to present the cold-
blooded slaughter and mutilation of civilians as a military operation
against terrorists.

Our sense of outrage and shock engendered by the massacre itself is
compounded by Serbian President Milosevic's January 17 statement that
the OSCE Kosovo Mission -- one which we strongly support -- impeded
investigation of this crime, falsified evidence, and displayed
partiality toward the KLA.

These groundless accusations are especially despicable coming only one
week after OSCE verifiers risked their lives to secure the liberation
of eight Serbian soldiers.  In the absolute brazenness of this
fabrication, Milosevic aspires to take his place beside this century's
chief perpetrator of the Big Lie, and Milosevic yields no ground to
Goebbels as the Big Lie's propagandist.

If Belgrade hopes to salvage even a shred of credibility with the
international community after its horrific actions of the past few
days, at a minimum it must do three things:

First, Belgrade must publicly and unequivocally accept the jurisdiction
of The Hague Tribunal for all of Kosovo. It must grant chief prosecutor
Arbour and ICTY team immediate, unrestricted access to investigate this
and other incidents, and Belgrade must cooperate fully with the ICTY

F.R.Y. authorities must help identify those responsible for the Racak
massacre and hand over any and all suspects to the ICTY for
prosecution, if the ICTY requests.

Second, Belgrade should cease immediately its dissemination of
deliberate misinformation about the OSCE Mission's activities.  This
misinformation constitutes a hostile act against the OSCE and the
international community as a whole.

Moreover, President Milosevic must retract the baseless charges he has
already made against the mission and personally against Mission
Director Walker.

Third, Belgrade must cooperate fully with the OSCE Kosovo Mission in a
whole host of areas where cooperation has been heretofore lacking.

The F.R.Y. authorities must provide accurate and complete information
with regard to the deployment of F.R.Y. and MUP units in the region as
well as prior notification of significant movements.

Belgrade must return military and police units to garrisons in
accordance with its commitments in order to stabilize the current tense
situation and ensure the safety of both the local population and
international personnel, including OSCE verifiers.

The F.R.Y. authorities must take immediate action to bring VJ and MUP
deployments and force levels into compliance with the commitment
Milosevic has already made.

Belgrade must also allow OSCE verifiers full and unimpeded access to
all areas and access to prisoners, when requested, in a timely fashion.

The United States expects Belgrade to facilitate all of the OSCE
Missions' support requests, including access for the OSCE's MEDIVAC
helicopter, and full provision of a range of key security-related
requests.  We call on President Milosevic to fulfill the commitments
made in his 11-point unilateral statement, including amnesty for
Kosovar Albanian prisoners.

Mr. Chairman, Americans today celebrate the birthday of our nation's
greatest proponent of non-violent resistance to oppression, the
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King dedicated his life to proving the truth of the proposition
that people of different races and ethnicities can live together in
harmony -- that individuals would be judged by the content of their
character and not murdered for their racial or ethnic heritage.  This
was his dream.

In Kosovo today, we are seeing not that dream, but the Big Lie.

If we here in this council leave the lie unchallenged, the dream will
never be realized.

We must join together today in exposing the lie.  Thank you.

Return to Vinnie's Home Page

Return to Kosovo Page