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Former Rep. James Traficant

 

YOUR DESIGN ON A T-SHIRT

This website was created and maintained by Robert & Boris Korczak for Former Representative & friend Jim Traficant

The site is a labor of love from Jim's friends.

 

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Special Thanks To: Ex CIA Agent Boris Korczak for much of the archive material as well as Christopher Sciumbata. Special thanks to Former Congressional Staffer Robert Korczak for conserving the archives and maintaining the website.

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TRAFICANT, James A., Jr., 


March 5, 1998

TRAFICANT CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN KOSOVA

Washington, D.C. – U. S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) today condemned the recent violence in the Kosova region of Yugoslavia, and called on the U.S. State Department to impose sanctions on the Yugoslav government until it ends its persecution of ethnic Albanians living in Kosova.  "The United States should reimpose economic sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro that were terminated following the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995 unless the violence against Albanians in Kosova is promptly terminated and a dialogue is established," asserted Traficant in a statement released earlier today.
 
 A Serbian police force armed with assault rifles attacked ethnic Albanians earlier today in the Serbian province of Kosova.  This atrocity, in which Serbian police set fire to homes and buildings, left dozens of ethnic Albanians dead, wounded and homeless.

 According to Traficant, the massacre in Kosova today was just one incident in a long chain of police brutality against ethnic Albanians.  "The State Department's 1997 Country Report on Human Rights in Serbia demonstrates that human rights abuses and violations of civil liberties in Kosova are both shocking and pervasive," noted Traficant.  The report cited political and extra-judicial killings, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, arbitrary arrest, detention and exile, as well as denial of fair public trial, arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence.

 On February 28, 1998, over 25,000 Serbian paramilitary police descended on the Drenica region of Kosova, killing more than 20 Albanian citizens, beating many to death.  Similarly, on March 2, 1998, Serbian police brutally attacked 30,000 Albanian demonstrators peacefully marching in Pristina in protest of the February 28th massacre.

 The ethnic Albanians of Kosova comprise more than ninety percent of the total population of Kosova.  Yet, the Albanian people have no political rights such as self-determination and representation in government.  On March 23, 1989, the government of Yugoslavia illegally amended the Constitution of Yugoslavia thereby stripping the Albanian people of their political rights by revoking Kosova's autonomy.  Further unlawful amendments to the Constitution abolished the Parliament and Government of  Kosova.

 "The State Department should immediately condemn these oppressive and sadistic massacres, consistent with the warnings made by both the Bush and Clinton Administrations," said Traficant.  "The violence in Kosova has the potential to spread throughout the region, threatening to undermine the Dayton Peace Agreement and spark a Balkan-wide war.  It's time the for the U.S. to get tough on brutal dictators like Slobodan Milosevic, and demand compliance with international conventions, before more ethnic Albanians are needlessly slaughtered," added Traficant.

 Traficant is urging his House colleagues to co-sponsor a resolution introduced in the House today by U.S. Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R–NY), chairman of the House International Relations Committee.  The resolution expresses the sense of the Congress that:

  Efforts of the international Contact Group in support of a resolution of the conflict in Kosova are to be commended and intensified;

  No international or U.S. sanctions currently in force against the Government of Serbia and Montenegro should be terminated at this time, unless such termination serves to support a peaceful resolution to the repression in Kosova;

  The U.S. should consult with its allies and other members of the United Nations on reimposing those sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro that were terminated following the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995 if Serbian authorities continue to use unlawful violence against the Albanian people of Kosova;
 
  The U.S. should acknowledge recent developments in the Republic of Montenegro that indicate that the new leadership of the Republic is seeking a peaceful resolution to the repression in Kosova, particularly the statement by Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic that Kosova must receive a certain degree of autonomy, and his call for a dialog between the government of Serbia and Montenegro and ethnic Albanians in Kosova;

  The U.S. should, to the extent practicable, recognize positive actions by the Montenegrin Government with regard to repression in Kosova through exclusion from those sanctions that may be applied to the Serbian Government;

  The elections in Kosova scheduled on March 22, 1998 should be allowed to proceed unimpeded by Belgrade, as they represent the opportunity for a peaceful expression of the political will of the Albanian people of Kosova;

  All parties should refrain from acts that could lead to heightened tensions in Kosova;

  The agreement on education in Kosova should be implemented immediately, including at the university level, allowing all residents of Kosova regardless of ethnicity to receive education in their native tongue;

  The elected leaders of Kosova should begin a dialog with the authorities in Belgrade to resolve the present situation, and to provide for the exercise of the legitimate civil and political rights of the Albanian people of Kosova.

 Traficant said today that he will work to get the resolution approved by the House and Senate as soon as possible.

2009