Tanjug - May 7, 2004

Kosovska Mitrovica, 7 May: Many facts indicate that Kosovo and Metohija started becoming the biggest brothel in the world with the arrival of the international peacekeepers, Kosovska Mitrovica-based International Press Centre chief Rade Negojevic said on Friday (7 May).

With the arrival of Kfor (Kosovo Force) and UNMIK (UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo) in June 1999, the Trepca company, the thermoelectric power plant of Obilic and many other companies stopped work and tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians and hundreds of thousands of their family members were left without any income, Negojevic said in a statement for Tanjug.

This created fertile soil for the extremely alarming flourishing of prostitution, which has even started to eat away at the traditionally patriarchal structure of the Albanian family, Negojevic said.

The main "work force" of the provincial brothels are prostitutes from Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine, who earn huge sums of money for their "employers" - local ethnic Albanians, who often have partners among the Kfor or UNMIK in this organized trafficking in women, Negojevic said.

Proof of this is the fact that 10 UNMIK policemen were recalled to their countries last year because of visits to bordellos and participation in white slavery, he said, warning that the UNMIK administration is carefully "covering up the figures on the role of peacekeepers in the flourishing prostitution and trafficking in women". "According to official figures, UNMIK police last year closed 56 brothels in Kosovo and Metohija, but anyone who knows anything at all about this knows that the number of brothels is ten times that figure, and that most of them are located near Kfor army bases," Negojevic said.

Source: Tanjug news agency, Belgrade, in English 1505 gmt 7 May 04

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