NATO Peace Force Holds Yugoslav Soldiers

Article excerpt

Nato peacekeepers said yesterday they had arrested five Yugoslav soldiers and six suspected members of the Serbian Interior Ministry police inside Kosovo in violation of a troop pull-out agreement.

The soldiers, all in uniform and carrying Kalashnikov rifles, were detained by US troops in the sector assigned to Americans in south-eastern Kosovo, said Maj Jan Joosten, a spokesman for the Nato mission in Kosovo.

He said the soldiers, who were detained near Kosovo's provincial boundary with the rest of Serbia, claimed to be part of a border security force.

Under the agreement between the Yugoslav government and Nato, all Yugoslav soldiers and police should be outside a three-mile buffer zone along Kosovo's border.

Maj Joosten said Nato commanders in Kosovo had requested an explanation from the Yugoslav federal government.

In a separate incident, Maj Joosten said Dutch soldiers detained six suspected Serbian special police found with weapons, computers and radio equipment in a building in Urosevac, 18 miles south of Pristina, the provincial capital.

He said peacekeepers went to the building after receiving information that radio signals were being sent from there.

Meanwhile, Croatia yesterday filed charges against Yugoslavia before the World Court, accusing its neighbour of genocide during the 1991 Serbo- Croat war and during the 1995 exodus of ethnic Serbs.

Croatia expects the World Court, the highest UN judicial body, based in The Hague, to rule that Yugoslavia's involvement in the Croatian war was a breach of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Croatia also seeks pounds 18 billion in damages in the lawsuit. …