KOSOVSKA MITROVICA/PODUJEVO - First units of the Yugoslav Army (VJ) and police withdrew on Thursday afternoon
from Kosovo, leaving behind mostly confused inhabitants of all nationalities.
It seems that most of the Serbs are in big dilemma: should they wait arrival of international forces or not.
People say that they will make final decision just when they see what will be further status of the Kosovo Liberation
Army. If the members of that organization come on Kosovo armed, there is no dilemma for the Serbs.
The first units of the VJ left Kosovo`s territory around 1.00 p.m. near the place of Merdare, on the administrative
border between Kosovo province and Serbia. At least two hundreds military vehicles, anti aircraft batteries, field hospitals
and launchers for anti aircraft missiles were in the convoy.
In Podujevo, near the place where military convoy was passing, the streets were empty. On market, which is usually
full of people, there was none of them today.
On the side road that leads to the suburbs of Podujevo, we met 60 years old Djura, who lives in one of only three Serb's
houses in that region.
"I have nowhere to go. I have always had good relations with everybody, but if they force me, I would have to
leave", he said. Only few minutes after our conversation, around 30 neighbors, mostly ethnic - Albanians came to
"The most important thing is that the war is finished. In peace, we would, probably, make better life here. However,
if violence continues, there will be no life neither for the Serbs, nor for the Albanians in Kosovo", Bekim said.
Like many ethnics Albanians, Bekim also fled Kosovo, fearing of possible conflict between police and KLA and NATO bombing.
After six weeks of wandering throughout Kosovo`s woods, he came back.
We heard similar story on the other side of Kosovo, near Kosovska Mitrovica, where the first police convoy of around
20 jeeps, vans and buses with several hundreds policemen left the province.
Retired worker of Accumulator Factory from Kosovska Mitrovica, Moma, watched that scene from the hill above the road.
"When army and police were here, I was safe... Now, I do not know anything", he said and added that he has
nowhere to go.
"I was working for 30 years to earn enough money to buy my flat. If I live my home, who will give me another place
to live? I hope that those troops will be impartial. Otherwise, I am afraid that I would have to go", Moma said.
According to his words, there were no ethnic problems in the part of Mitrovica where he lives for 30 years.
Some of the ethnic Albanian said that, they would, like the Serbs, leave Kosovo if members of KLA returned armed.
Just after police vehicles passed, four orange vans, full of stuffs, appeared on the road.
"Even Gypsies left"; Moma said and silently went back to his house.