FWD: Message from Mike Yarrow re Yugoslavia

Michael Shell brightcrow at InfoAve.Net
Fri Jun 11 19:19:48 JEST 1999

>Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 16:04:11 -0400
>From: Mike Yarrow <MnYarrow at afsc.org>
>X-Sender: MnYarrow at mail.afsc.org
>To: dwyse at afsc.org
>X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Light Version 3.0.6 (32)
>Sisters and Brothers,
>	This is the message we are sending out to all members of NATO and the
>Security Council.
>	Peace,
>	Mike Yarrow
>		American Friends Service Committee
>		1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA. 19102
>		(215) 241-7000
>						June 11, 1999
>Ambassador Celso Amorim
>	of the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations
>Dear Ambassador Amorim:
>As an NGO working on war relief, peace and justice issues, the American
>Friends Service Committee wants to express its gratitude to NATO members
>and the UN Security Council for reaching an accord with Yugoslavia that
>will finally bring an end to the killing and destruction.  
>We hope that the bombing campaign will not be resumed under any
>circumstances, especially under the pretext of forcing negotiations.  We
>are disheartened that this NATO bombing campaign has killed thousands
>throughout Yugoslavia. While clear responsibility for the inhumane pattern
>of violence against  ethnic Albanians in Kosovo rests with the Yugoslavian
>government,  the bombing also may have contributed to more ethnic
>victimization, including the murder and rape of Albanian Kosovars. The
>campaign has destroyed great portions of Yugoslavia’s infrastructure, and
>polluted the environment of Yugoslavia and surrounding countries. Moreover,
>we fear that the bombing has accelerated the trend to diminish the number
>and scope of genuinely multilateral UN peacekeeping operations in favor of
>unilateral military actions,  or in the current case, the assertion by
>NATO that it has a regional authority to act beyond the borders of its
>We are concerned that the terms of the Cologne Accords as reported in the
>US press provide for a peacekeeping force under UN command in name only.
>The vague language and the interpretation of American officials, as
>reported in the press, indicate that what is planned is actually a NATO
>occupying force with marginal involvement by Russia under nominal UN
>command. We see the NATO bombing, without the explicit authorization of the
>Security Council, as a dangerous undermining of the UN Charter.
>	The American Friends Service Committee urges the United Nations Security
>Council to adopt a resolution establishing an authentic United Nations
>peacekeeping force to take on the difficult job of safely resettling the
>refugees in Kosovo.  We also call on the NATO nations to help rebuild all
>of Yugoslavia so the most vulnerable people in that country will not suffer
>a public health and economic crisis similar to that which has befallen
>Iraqis in the years since the Gulf War.  We view this as a moral obligation
>of those who have wrought so much destruction.
>The Agreement reached between NATO and Serbian military officials that
>allows NATO to occupy Kosovo and provide both the core of peacekeeping
>forces and  command,  violates the important principle of truly
>multilateral peacekeeping.  We fear it sets a precedent for future US
>and/or NATO "police actions" around the world.  In the past eight months
>the US has bombed five nations.  Is the international community not
>creative enough to develop more constructive ways to intercede in cases of
>wide-spread violence?  The AFSC believes that the UN capacities for genuine
>multilateral peacekeeping should be strengthened, not weakened; utilized,
>not sidestepped.  To do this, UN peacekeeping will need to develop its own
>capacities to respond to regional crises without always having to depend on
>the cooperation of NATO, or any other regional military grouping, to
>provide the resources increasingly denied the UN. 
>The American Friends Service Committee has provided relief to victims of
>war in many countries of Europe and elsewhere since our founding in 1917,
>and knows the tragic human consequences of war first hand.  Since 1993 we
>have supported nongovernmental organizations striving for peace in
>Yugoslavia.  We have provided relief to victims of the Balkan wars
>regardless of ethnicity or religion, and we currently have staff working in
>Kosovar refugee camps in Macedonia.  We are also assisting refugees from
>Serbia and Vojvodina who have fled the bombing and found safe haven in
>Budapest, Hungary.  
>						Sincerely,
>						Kara Newell
>						Executive Director
>The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization which
>includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice,
>peace and humanitarian service.  Its work is based on the belief in the
>worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence
>and injustice.  
>Mike Yarrow
>Kosovo Peace Education Coordinator
>American Friends Service Committee
>1501 Cherry Street 
>Philadelphia, PA 19102
>Tel:215 523-5693
>Fax:215 241-7177
>E-mail: mnyarrow at afsc.org

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