THE UNITED STATES AND NATO:
COMMITTED TO PEACE IN KOSOVO
March 31, 1999
Providing Crucial Humanitarian Assistance To Albania And Macedonia. Today, President Clinton announced the authorization of an additional $50 million to address the urgent humanitarian needs of refugees fleeing Kosovo:
- $25 million from the Emergency Refugee and Migration Account (ERMA) to be dispersed to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and other international entities involved in the relief effort;
- $25 million from the Department of Defense, including, needed relief material, shelter, and food, as well as the transport of those materials and personnel into the region.
In addition, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is today sending a second disaster assistance relief team to Albania to assess, on an urgent basis, the growing refugee needs there. The team is expected to arrive in Albania tomorrow. There is already a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) team in Macedonia carrying out a needs assessment.
NATO Is Unified And Will Continue The Campaign To End This Crisis. NATO is resolved to stay the course until our objectives are met:
- Our Goals are Clear. Force Milosevic to make peace that will give Kosovo the self government and security they deserve or we will severally damage his capacity to conduct these actions now and in the future;
- Our Message to Milosevic is Clear: We will not stand by and let you take these actions without exacting a heavy price. This message is unambiguous to Milosevic and others in the future who would challenge the authority of the international community and create such ethnic cleansing;
- The Endgame. The conflict in Kosovo can end in one of two ways. It could end tomorrow, if Milosevic agrees to the settlement and embraces peace. Specifically it means Milosevic must agree to framework of the Ramboulliet accords, which provides for Kosovar self-government and a NATO implementation force. If Milosevic doesn't choose this course, we will continue the NATO operation until his capacity to conduct operations against the Kosovars are seriously damaged.
Milosevic's Pattern of Violence. Milosevic's latest atrocities are a culmination of more than a decade of using ethnic and religious hatred as a justification for uprooting and murdering completely innocent, peaceful civilians. NATO and the international community are facing a brutal, authoritarian dictator who for the fourth time this decade is waging a war of aggression and is engaged in massive ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Through most of 1998 Milosevic waged aggressive war against Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, killing more than 2,000 and displacing more than 250,000 ethnic Albanians.