NOT exactly OT, 40,000 or 60,000 just GONE : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Over night, depending on who you hear, either 40,000 or 60,000 residents of one of the largest and not best refugee camps was emptied. NO ON KNOWS WHERE THEY WENT!!! The UN High Commissioner for refugees has no idea, the Macedonians are apparently not talking. The general logistics require enough busses that loading happens effectively without the busses stopping. Do the math. You cram 100 people on a bus. To get 60,000 done in even 12 hours, it takes 50 busses an HOUR and where do they UNLOAD??? Onto a train??? Again, this has to effectively load without stopping!! And UNLOAD WHERE??? Maybe 3 or 4 tankers to be shipped to, oh, Crete maybe?? The most EERIE feeling is the view of the camp, this morning, contrasted with the views from last night by the TODAY crew who snuck in.

Those of you who have followed my posts know that I am NOT a FAN of the NATO activities in-theatre. It's too little, not effective, can only be a prelude to ground pounders, etc. I am beginning to think that ground pounding might need to be done. I might even be buying the spin, but I don't think so.

Now, why is this NOT off topic??? If the Macedonians can engineer this sort of vanishing act, consider the other possibilities, where the technology is a lot better, and the transportation system can be made to work at LEAST as efficiently.

Me, paranoid?? Not exactly. Just considering tactical options and solutions and NOT LIKING the landscape. Chuck, a night driver, with a serious case of the nauseous, precognitive shivers (guess they call it fey ).

-- Chuck, a night driver (, April 07, 1999


From the BBC:

The UN refugee agency has expressed concern for the safety of 30,000 refugees moved from a makeshift camp on the Macedonia-Kosovo border.

Meanwhile, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has reportedly offered to hand back three American soldiers through Cyprus as a gesture of goodwill.

The speaker of the Cypriot parliament, Spyros Kyprianou, said he was is travelling to Belgrade on Wednesday where he was hoping to secure the release of soldiers captured by Yugoslav forces last week.

The overnight operation to remove the Kosovo refugees - believed to be by Macedonian authorities - came after Yugoslavia suffered its heaviest 24 hours of Nato bombing raids so far and the allies firmly rejected a ceasefire offer by Slobodan Milosevic.

It is believed that Macedonian authorities moved into the encampment, at Blace, before dawn and cleared the area by taking all the 40,000 refugees away in a convoy of buses.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said about 10,000 refugees from Blace were taken to a transit camp at Brazde near the Macedonian capital of Skopje.

But they are concerned about the safety of 30,000 of the refugees. They feared that some may have been taken to Albania, while others may have been taken to Greece and Turkey, in line with Macedonian government policy.

However, aid worker Sheri Fink of the International Medical Corps said it was believed that most of the refugees were taken to a Nato-erected tent camp at Stankovac, a suburb of Skopje.

Border crossing closed

Eyewitnesses said the refugees were bundled on to the buses without being allowed to take any of their belongings.

BBC Radio 5 Live reporter Feargal Parkinson arrived at Blace on Wednesday morning to find the area, which was previously packed with people fleeing the Serb terror in Kosovo, completely empty.

Meanwhile, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), says Yugoslavia has closed the main border crossing from Kosovo into Albania at Morina.

Yugoslavia, which has declared a ceasefire in Kosovo, has reportedly told refugees it is safe for them to return home - something which Nato remains unconvinced about.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan accused the Yugoslav government of committing "genocide" against the ethnic Albanian Kosovars.

The Human Rights Commission was meeting under the "dark cloud of the crime of genocide," Mr Annan told the Geneva-based body.

The closure came as European Union government ministers gathered in Luxembourg to discuss how to deal with the flood of refugees being driven from Kosovo by Serb forces.

The US has led the move to airlift refugees away from the conflict, saying it will temporarily house 20,000 Kosovo refugees behind the barbed-wire fences of its naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, is to travel to the region to try to improve the international relief effort.

UN officials said they were investigating reports that many refugees, who have already been flown to Turkey, did not want to go, and some were forced to board the planes.

A BBC correspondent in Macedonia, Paul Wood, says many had not been told where they were going.

Nato carried out its most intense air strike so far against Yugoslavia on Tuesday night, attacking military and economic targets in Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro.

There were loud explosions around Belgrade and in the Kosovo capital, Pristina.

Serbian television later reported that a residential area in Pristina had been bombed and said a number of people were killed or wounded.

The northern town of Novi Sad was also hit and a chemical factory at Lucani was set ablaze.

UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook denounced the Yugoslav ceasefire in Kosovo as a "sham" because there was no commitment to end ethnic cleansing.

He said: "It is the first sign that Milosevic is faltering. He knows that he cannot win by military conflict."

Later on Wednesday, American Defence Secretary William Cohen is due to meet Nato commander General Wesley Clark, in Brussels, to review the military situation.

Meanwhile Russian President Boris Yeltsin was said by foreign minister Igor Ivanov to have sent messages to Western leaders to halt air strikes and resume talks on ending the Kosovo crisis

The UNHCR says the number of people who had fled Kosovo since 24 March, when Nato began bombing Yugoslavia, is now more than 600,000.

-- Old Git (, April 07, 1999.

Maybe its the Rapture?????

-- stunned (I@dont.believeit), April 07, 1999.

Just shades of futures past.


From the FAS Federation of American Scientists web-site ...



Interesting links ... Kosovo In Crisis Links


USIA United States Information Agency -- Kosovo News homepage.htm

USIA Kosovo Links

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


BBC Kosovo News (Bit slow)

-- Diane J. Squire (, April 07, 1999.

We're with you, Chuck, in your fey foreboding. Have always thought Y2K could lead to refugee forced marches, city-large swarms of weeples fleeing South, herd round-ups and containment, displaced masses, etc -- and posted this several times before Kosovo blasted into exit stampede crisis.

History has shown this mass displacement to be a common side effect of war and civil disruption. Every day we pray more intensely that Y2K does not cause a devolution to this extent. How long can America escape what so many other countries have gone through? Integrity, honesty, skill, courtesy, manners, sharing, friendliness, and compassion in action have been eroding in American life, and we fear the inevitable consequences.

[ Necessary Disclaimer: This does not mean we are nervous worryworts, or that we lack faith, or that we need 'religious' preaching. It simply means that we have studied enough history to see a pattern of repetition developing that in the past has not lead to good things for the country taking the downhill course. ]

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, April 07, 1999.

Given the distortions and outright lies of almost all "official" media, has it occurred to anyone that maybe the 40,000 or so refugees never existed in the first place???

-- sparks (, April 08, 1999.

"maybe the 40,000 or so refugees never existed in the first place???"

Right. I wonder how much all those extras over there are getting paid to stand in the rain.

Posts like that persuade me that the public school system in this country really has to try harder.

-- Tom Carey (, April 08, 1999.

Italics off. Sorry about that.

-- Tom Carey (, April 08, 1999.


I saw film footage of this, it WAS really creepy. The only thing I can say about camps here, is we will be on our own, if/when the day comes we need help from the world, I don't think it will come. JMO

Has anyone seen this from Drudge? It is off topic, I didn't want to start a thread just for this, but I find the idea of this beyond sick. Really think about this:

(for educational purposes only)

The DRUDGE REPORT has learned that descriptions of rape in Yugoslavia have been handed off to other administration officials in order to deflect any lingering questions on the Juanita Broaddrick controversy surrounding Bill Clinton.

"The president has been very careful not to use the term rape," says one insider. "But his surrogates have taken up the slack."

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright last week on CBS' FACE THE NATION talked up "various rapes". Her spokesman, Rubinamanpour, at a recent press conference described how "women were being raped." Today, the White House's Joe Lockhart got specific and used the word "rape" during his daily briefing.

But the president himself continues to carefully avoid publicly charging Serbian forces with rape -- a charge he has used to sway public sentiment in previous military conflicts.

"With Broaddrick's charges yesterday's news, there's really no need for him to raise the specter of rape at this point," notes one strategist. "It would be foolish."

The First Lady has also tiptoed around the word rape when describing Serbian atrocities.

(END) *rant mode on* What is there left to say? What a sad day in our country. Don't mention the 'r' word, people might associate You Mr. President with the war criminals. AAAARRRGGGHH. *rant mode off*

-- Deborah (, April 08, 1999.

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