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First Consultations with Women, Victims of War Rahovec/Orahovac, Kosovo, 4th December 2010 The Initiative for REKOM

Announcement of organizer

The Initiative for REKOM (for establishing a Regional Commission for finding the facts of war crimes and other major violations of human rights committed in the wars of 1991-2001 in the territory of former Yugoslavia) launched the first local consultations with women, victims of war on 4th December 2010, in Rahovec/Orahovac, Kosovo.
The Centre for Research, Documentation and Publication (CRDP) from Kosovo, has organized and implemented such consultations, where a total of 32 women participated. They are of Albanian, Serbian and Roma ethnicity, coming from Rahovec/Orahovac, Hocha e Madhe/Velika Hoca and Krusha e Madhe/Velika Krusha.
Fahrije Hoti from Velika Krusha/Krusha e Madhe expressed skepticism as regards the commitment of the municipal authorities in Orahovac to register the missing and other victims since 1999. According to her ‘the total number of victims from this municipality amounted to aroung 900 dead and missing, while only in Krusha e Madhe/Velika Krusha there are 226 dead and 68 still missing. While Meradije Ramadani from Velika Krusha/Krusha e Madhe insisted that only ‘by mutual cooperation and communication of all communities in the municipality and beyond it, and with an exchange of information on the missing, which would help identifying the perpetrators of such crimes, the families of victims would be relieved from anxiety. She hopes that only ‘formation of an independent commission would bring justice to all’.
According to Todic Stanka from Hocha e Madhe/Velika Hoca; ‘formation of a regional commission would shed light and expose the truth related to her husband missing since 1999. She still hopes for justice and for the locating of his body. She also wants to learn who had committed that crime and why?
In the course of discussions women displayed the need for sharing their experiences of the events of 1998 and 1999. They adamantly demanded the detection of war criminals. When the panelists brought up the question how would they react should such criminals become known and available, the reactions were diversified. Svetlana Velikic demanded that criminals who had kidnapped her brother in 1999 be handcuffed and properly punished. Mandush Bugari brought up some positive evidence of Yugoslav police and soldiers who had rescued some Albanian individuals during the war in Rahovec/Orahovac.
At the end of the meeting, 27 women victims present at these consultations signed up for the Coalition for RECOM and expressed their willingness to participate in other similar meetings, whether national or regional, while always in search for truth on war crimes victims.