From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Kirkpatrick Pleads for Humanitarian Intervention in Kosovo

Date 08 Oct 1998 23:46:42

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    Kirkpatrick Pleads for Humanitarian Intervention in Kosovo 
    by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-With the United States and NATO threatening military action 
to halt Serbian aggression against the breakaway province of Kosovo, 
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stated clerk the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick sent 
an urgent letter to President Clinton Oct. 6 asking for humanitarian 
intervention to prevent further slaughter of ethnic Albanians. 
    Kirkpatrick reminded the president that this is the second such plea on 
behalf of those persecuted in Kosovo.  The 1998 General Assembly passed a 
resolution issuing a similar plea. 
    The full text of Kirkpatrick's letter to the president: 
Dear Mr. President, 
In its June 1998 General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in an 
action on Kosovo, said: 
    "Whereas, during the decade and a half before 1989, the residents of 
Kosovo had a semi-autonomous status inside the Yugoslav Republic of Serbia, 
and that autonomy was terminated by Serbia in 1989, setting off a great 
deal of violence, most of it by Serbs against ethnic Albanians, who make up 
more than 90% of the residents of Kosovo, and, during the last few months 
this violence has been renewed and has now reached disastrous proportions 
and all signs indicate it will continue to escalate, and 
    Whereas, units of the Serbian military are bombing and shelling ethnic 
Albanian villages in Kosovo and mining the border between Kosovo and 
Albania, and Serbian soldiers and police, without cause or due process of 
law, are beating, arresting, kidnapping, killing and otherwise violating 
the image of God in the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo, and 
    Whereas, in the last decade the world has stood by without acting while 
thousands have been murdered in Bosnia and Rwanda, and it is important that 
the world not stand by again as ethnic murder is again committed on a mass 
scale, and 
    Whereas, our Reformed tradition and the actions of previous General 
Assemblies acknowledge the need, where violence is being perpetrated 
against innocent parties, for the international community to intervene to 
avert further human tragedy. ..." 
Tragically, in the absence of international intervention, violence against 
unarmed civilians, including children, has continued to escalate. It now 
seems clear that those in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who are 
nominally responsible for public order and safety, plan to continue their 
campaign of terror against the 90% of their fellow citizens in Kosovo who 
are ethnically Albanian. 
Mr. President, in light of the escalating terror against civilians in 
Kosovo, we are asking you for the second time since June to renew your 
efforts to win a clear mandate in the United Nations  Security Council for 
humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. With that mandate, we hope that  the 
slaughter in Kosovo might finally be stopped. 
Please know also that you continue to be in our prayers. 

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