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World - Europe

Kosovar refugee wants to go back home

Sebajdin Durguti
Sebajdin Durguti  

April 7, 1999
Web posted at: 1:22 a.m. EST (0622 GMT)

KUKES, Albania (CNN) -- A Kosovo refugee told CNN Tuesday that Yugoslav forces, Serb police and paramilitary units forced him and his family from their home -- and at one point the troops threatened to kill him and two other men, accusing them of ties with the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Sebajdin Durguti, an ethnic Albanian who was uprooted from the town of Orahovac, has fled to neighboring Albania and says he is determined to return.

Asked if he was hoping to be part of a massive humanitarian airlift to various Western nations, Durguti said, "That's a very good offer, thank you. My wish is I'd like to go (to) Kosovo again. ... I was working for 15 years just for my house and I have everything there."

Speaking from the northeastern Albanian town of Kukes, he said troops and paramilitary showed up at his doorstep last week and said to leave within 30 minutes. His family gathered "everything we could," he said, and then joined the mass exodus of Kosovar Albanians heading out of the region.

"In the streets, they abuse us," he said. "In one place, they stopped us and we saw two dead bodies."

Durguti said he and two others were singled out.

"They said to us, 'OK, you've been in KLA. We are going to shoot you."

CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked: "They accused you of being in the KLA?"

"Yeah, of course. I'm not, you know, but they don't believe. ... Women and children are screaming, crying," Durguti said. "And they say at last, 'Give us all the money, what you have and you may go then.' So, you know, we give them everything."

Although it was impossible to verify his claims, his story was consistent with accounts given by other refugees who have crossed the border, telling of being forced from their homes and robbed of their most valuable possessions.

Others have detailed mass killings, homes torched and children held at gunpoint.

At one makeshift refugee hospital in Albania, doctors said 10-year-old Dren Caka told them Serb police shot him in the arm when they broke into his house and killed his mother and two of his sisters.

The police set the house on fire and Dren's 2-year-old sister screamed for him to help, but he couldn't because he was wounded, doctors said.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that at least 262,000 Kosovar Albanians have fled to Albania and nearly 200,000 more have gone to Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey.

Many refugees also have detailed to the UNHCR alleged atrocities, including summary executions and torture.

NATO rejects cease-fire, resumes bombing Yugoslavia
April 6, 1999
NATO rejects Yugoslav unilateral cease-fire offer
April 6, 1999
Airstrikes hit home in a small Serbian town
April 6, 1999
Support for ground troops swells in Congress
April 4, 1999
Russian anger at NATO attacks goes deeper than 'Slavic brotherhood'
April 4, 1999
U.N.: Kosovo refugee flood could reach 1 million
April 4, 1999
Kosovar says he survived burning of bodies
April 3, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

  • 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

  • Unicef USA
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • World Vision
  • CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Disaster Relief from
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page

  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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