about 1,65 million inhabetants Language: Albanain, Serbian-Croatic
Telephone entry code 00381
Currency:Euro VAT non refundeble
Alcohol percentage 0,5% while driving a vehicle
Kosova history by Missions Organization: Global
The Mobilization Office of Global Partners
6060 Castleway W. Drive Indianapolis, IN 46250
Kosova (Koh-SOH-vah), also known as Kosovo, is the disputed region between Kosova's Albanian majority and Serbia. Once an autonomous federal unit of Yugoslavia, in 1989 it was stripped away of its autonomy by the government of Slobodan Milosevic, whose later actions would result in the break-up of Yugoslavia, which Serbia is a part of, and the ensuing wars in Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Kosova.
After the revocation of Kosova's autonomy, the Serbian authorities closed
schools in the Albanian language, massively dismissed Albanians from state-owned
enterprises, and suspended Kosova's legal parliament and government. Serbia
instituted a regime of systematic oppression of the Albanian population in
Kosova, and flagrant violations of basic rights of Albanians occured frequently.
Kosovarian with tipical headgear
enourmes defistations in Pristina and Djakova
Initially the Albanians responded to the repression with peaceful and
passive resistance. In 1992 the people of Kosova held free elections in which
they chose their leadership, expressed their determination for the independence
of Kosova in the 1991 referendum, and in the same year the Kosovar parliament
declared the independence of Kosova. They formed a parallel government, found
means of continuing Albanian-language education outside of occupied premises and
providing health care (most Albanian doctors were dismissed from state-owned
hospitals by Serb installed authorities).
In early 1998 the Serbian government began a crackdown against the Kosova
Liberation Army (UÇK), a guerilla movement which emerged after it became
apparent that the peaceful approach was ineffective in face of the brutal regime
of Milosevic. After 1998 Serbian security forces conducted a scorched earth
policy in Kosova, raising villages to the ground, creating an exodus of over one
million refugees and internally displaced persons, and committed horrific
atrocities against unarmed civilians, including women and children.
burning houses Pristina a bombarded bridge oeps
NATO bombing campaign, which began in March 1999 after Serbia's refusal to sign
a peace accord for the settlement of the conflict in Kosova, lasted until June
1999 when the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic capitulated and agreed to
withdraw all Serbian security forces from Kosova. United Nations Security
Council resolution 1244 established a United Nations civilian administration in
Kosova (known as the United Nations Mission in Kosova; UNMIK) and allowed a
NATO-led peacekeeping force to enter Kosova to ensure security.
total destroyd centre of Djakova temporarely living in a UNHCR tent
The war in Kosova had created over one million refugees and internally displaced persons, left over 300,000 people without shelter, an estimated 10,000 dead, and mass graves containing bodies of up to one hundred civilians, including women and children, who have been summarily executed.
The Kosovars, UNMIK, NATO and the international community are now making efforts to rebuild Kosova, revitalize its economy, establish democratic institutions of self-government, and heal the scars of war.
Almost immedeatly after the end of the Kosova war VIDOTRANS-HTG started to transport
for the Dutch foundation Hope for Albania to Kosova, the first transports
contained clothing, bedding, food and other primary goods, after the first
transports a shelterhome project was started in Peja / Pec.
In total some 500 shelterhomes were brought to Kosova and with help of the Schottisch referent and builder Allister Bar were build up to simple houses.
For the American organization World
Vision and Samaritans Purse we
brought after the war some 20 former army vehicles to
Kosova. They were used to transport building material to reppair destroyd
On this moment only a few small NGO´s are still active in Kosova, a
large part of the aid programs are worked out by a few very big NGO´s and the
If you want to import relief goods into Kosova you will need an import license of the UNHCR-Kosova headquorers in Pristina, also the recipient must be a registered humanitarian organization, one can register at the UNHCR in Pristina.
Import and custom
regulations for reliefgoods
What is absolutely impossible:
No meat or products containing meat
2. No milk/diary or products containing milk
3. No vis or products containing vis
4. No food whit a short expire date or an oudated expiredate, e.g. 03-08 can not be transported in august 2003, in general food should have an expire date of at least 6 months after import in the country.
5. No 2de hand refrigerators because of the very strict export rules in the EU about equipment containing CFK.
What is possible but only with an importlicense of the ministery of agriculture:
Patatoes (consumption and seed), Rice, Seeds and milkpowder with all the phyto sanitary certificates
Besides the above mentioned products almost anything
can be imported if it´s according to the following regulation:
The goods can anly be used for reliefprojects and may never be used for trading, commercial purposes or for gain.
Your receiver must custom
clear the loads by itself:
A service like Fundatia Martha in Roemenia is not possible in Kosova but your receiver must custom clear the goods by itself, please bare in mind that your receiver must provide the following documents and import licenses and arrange all this at UNHCR in Pristina:
1. Acceptation letter from UNHCR
2. Registration in the local custom computer
3. Make the custom decleration at a local expeditor
4. custom clear the goods at the customs
5. pay for all the declaration and custom fees
If you are interrested in transportation or if you want a quotation than please fill in the Information form
An Abbreviated History Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo by
G. Richard Jansen, Colorado State University
Fort Collins CO 80523, April 25, 1999, Updated June 5, 1999 and November12, 2002
This brief history, based on authoritative published sources, is intended to provide readers with an objective and reasonably concise history of the hundreds of years of struggle between Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo. Interested readers are strongly encouraged to consult the sources cited for a much fuller treatment of the subject. At the end of the historical summary an analysis of the NATO military intervention of 1999 is provided. This represents the author's opinion of the intervention only,and is not intended to be part of the short history of Kosovo that is provided in this document. The postscript brings us up-to-date on the essentials of the continuing controversies as of November15, 2002.
History Prior to 19th Century
The earliest known inhabitants of Kosovo were called Illyrians by both
Greeks and Romans. Albanians today claim to be direct descendants of the
Illyrians. Serbian scholars claim that Albanians appeared on the scene in
the early Middle Ages as a result of intermarriage between nomadic shepherds and
unromanized remnants of Illyrians and Dardanians from Thrace. Tracing such
descents is difficult but the people living in the region before the arrival of
the Serbs from the North are likely to have some genetic relationships to
Albanians, but DNA data would be needed to definitively settle the claim,
which in any case is hardly germane to the current conflict. The region was
conquered by Alexander the Great 300 years before Christ and became part of the
Roman province of Dardania in the 4th century A. D.
Slavs crossed the Danube and moved into the Balkans by the 6th century.
These migrations weakened the Byzantium Empire sufficiently that Illyrian
speaking people, known to their neighbors as Albanians moved eastward from the
Adriatic into the Kosovo region of the Balkans. Their language became
known as Albanian and their culture became allied with Byzantium after the
breakup of the Catholic Church into Eastern and western branches in 1054.
Slavs migrating into the Balkans divided into three groups; Slovenes, Croats and
Serbs, as is still true today. By the 12th century almost all arable land
in the region now known as Northern Albania and Kosovo was in Slavic hands.
By 1190 Kosovo had become the administrative and cultural center of the
medieval Serbian state ruled by the powerful Nemanjic dynasty. This
dynasty lasted 200 years and still today Kosovo is known by Serbians as
"Old Serbia". However in 1389, in the famous Battle of Kosovo
Polje, the Serbs and their allies were defeated by the Ottoman Turks and shortly
Kosovo became part of the Ottoman Empire. Albanians started to move back
into Kosovo in considerable numbers in the 15th century and the Ottomans took
sovereignty over the region in 1489. During this time the great majority
of Albanians were still Christians, and Serbs and Albanians lived together in
reasonable harmony. Gradually Albanians and to a lesser extent Serbs
became converted to Islam. Serb resistance to conversion was strengthened
by activities of the Orthodox Church since Kosovo contained many seminaries and
was the home of the Serbian Orthodox Church. In the late 17th century
Serbs left Kosovo in large numbers as a result of military victories of the
Ottoman Turks. This caused the Serbian "center of gravity" to
move northward to the region of Belgrade where it has remained ever since.
This displacement of the Serb population is known in history as "the great
migration". As a result, the region of Kosovo became underpopulated
and, attracted by available fertile land, was resettled by Albanians moving
eastward from the hills of Albania. At this time these Albanians were both
Christian and Muslim.
Late 19th and Early 20th Century
The opening of a Serbian seminary in Prizren in 1871 started a pronounced
strengthening of the Serb presence in Kosovo culminating in Serbian reoccupation
and control of Kosovo by 1912. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Turks
in the Russo-Ottoman War in 1878 the terms of the "Peace Accord"
extended Bulgaria westward and gave the Serbs control of Mitrovica and Pristina
in Kosovo, while the remainder remained in Ottoman hands. In response to
this peace settlement Albanian nationalists called a meeting in Prizren which
was attended by over 300 delegates from Kosovo and western Macedonia. This
meeting founded what became known as "The Prizren League". The
delegates were primarily conservative Muslim landowners whose main interest was
to maintain strong Ottoman control of Kosovo to protect them from marauding
Balkan neighbors. The League also included Albanian intellectuals
inspired by ideas of the European Renaissance who were interested in unification
of Albanian people under the umbrella of Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Sultan
supported the League because he wanted to instill pan-Islamic ideology as a
counterbalance to Christian and Slavic influences. However, as the Ottoman
Empire weakened the League moved toward autonomy within the Empire. In
this movement the League increasingly became anti-Christian as well, causing
considerable anxiety among Christian Albanians and especially among the Serbs.
At this time the Muslim leadership encouraged what today would be termed
"ethnic cleansing" and as a result more and more Serbs left Kosovo and
moved north in Serbia. Also in June 1898 Western powers, reacting to what
the perceived as undue Russian interests in the Balkans, compelled Russia to
submit to a new peace settlement, this time at the Congress of Berlin presided
over by the "Iron Chancellor" Bismarck. This settlement greatly
reduced the size of Bulgaria and returned all Albanian inhabited land to the
Ottomans. Serbian troops were forced to withdraw from Kosovo.
In the early 20th century the "Young Turk Movement", as a
liberal movement in opposition to the Sultan, became an important factor within
the Ottoman Empire. A constitution was established and electoral laws
promulgated. Unfortunately for the hopeful Albanians in Kosovo the
electoral law of 1908 stipulated that voters must have a knowledge of the
Turkish language in order to vote leaving the great majority of Kosovars,
whether Albanian or Serbian, disenfranchised. The Young Turks were
strongly opposed to nationalist tendencies within the Empire and worked toward
centralization of power and authority and Turkification of all subjects in the
Ottoman domain. As is the case in present day Serbia, the Ottomans
strongly opposed the autonomy desired by Kosovars in general and Albanians in
particular. This was one of many Albanian Kosovar disappointments
though the years.
In the first Balkan War of 1912 Albania was attacked by Montenegro,
Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. The Albanians were allied with the Ottomans.
Serbs joined the army in large numbers to avenge the Serbian defeat by the Turks
at the Battle of Kosovo Polje. At this time Kosovo was mostly
Albanian. Serbs entered Pristina as Albanians retreated to the mountains.
The Serbian army destroyed Turkish and Albanian houses and there was much
plundering and killing. Serb peasants followed the army into Kosovo
re-occupying the land. The Albanians fought fiercely but lost the war and
Kosovo came under Serbian authority. At the Conference of Ambassadors in
London in 1912 presided over by Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary,
Serbia was given sovereignty over Kosovo which it has retained to the present
day. Albania, for the first time was internationally recognized and by the
Treaty of London in1913 became a fully independent and sovereign state. Within
Kosovo not surprisingly there was much anti-Serbian sentiment since the
population was still mostly Albanian. In 1913, in the second Balkan War,
Bulgaria attacked the Serbian and Greek armies in Macedonia. They
miscalculated and were quickly and decisively defeated. Among the outcomes
Serbia nearly doubled in size obtaining most of Slavic Macedonia.
World War I
At the beginning of the war Bosnia-Herzegovina had been annexed by and
was under the rule of Austria-Hungary. In June 1914 Gavrilo Princip, a
Serbian nationalist, assassinated the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in
Sarejevo and the world, especially Europe, was never and will never be the same
again. Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia that Serbia felt it
could not accept without loss of its honor and sovereignty.
Austria-Hungary, with the support of Germany, declared war on Serbia.
Russia came into the war in support of its Slavic brothers in Serbia.
France and Britain entered the war with Russia because of their alliances. The
"Guns of August" were not silenced until November 11, 1918. It
is not our role to discuss the many adverse effects of the war, three of which
were the rise of Bolshevism in Russia, rise of Fascism in Italy and the rise of
Naziism in Germany. We will discuss only the effects
the war on Yugoslavia in general and Kosovo in particular.
The declaration of war by Austria-Hungary was greeted with considerable
satisfaction in Albania for understandable reasons. Also for
understandable reasons Serbia saw Albania and Albanians as its enemy. As a
result vicious guerrilla fighting took place between Serbs and Albanians in
Kosovo with atrocities on both sides and a flow of refugees of Albanians into
Albania. In 1915, the Western allies, in the secret Pact of London, agreed
to divide Albania between Greece and Italy leaving only a small autonomous state
in the central region. Austria-Hungarian and Bulgarian troops moved into
Kosovo. The Serb armies were beaten decisively and in what is known as
" The Great Serbian Retreat" made a disastrous trek across Kosovo and
the snow- covered mountains of Albania. The army was accompanied by
thousands of Serb civilians who were terrified by what they had heard about the
fate of Belgium at the hands of the Axis powers. The best estimate is that
100,000 Serbs lost their lives during this grueling retreat. Kosovo was
occupied by Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. Many Kosovar Albanians joined the
Austria- Hungarian army. Albanian language schools were opened to
undermine the Serbian presence. After the tide of battle turned against
Austria-Hungary in 1918 the Serb army took revenge massacring women
and children and destroying homes. In retaliation guerilla warfare against
the Serbs was relentless.
The peace treaties of 1919-1920 established a Yugoslav state with the
name "The Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs". The name was
shortly changed to Yugoslavia. Included in the Kingdom, which was a
constitutional monarchy, beside those mentioned above were Bosnia- Herzegovina,
Montenegro and Macedonia. Kosovo was again an integral part of Serbia. The
Kingdom was comprised of 12 million people, of whom 400,000 were Albanian.
It was overwhelmingly a Slavic state. In contrast 64% of the population of
Kosovo was Albanian, and of these three-quarters were Muslim. The Kingdom
was governed from Belgrade.
It is clear that seeds for ethnic conflict had been re-sown and it
didn't take long for them to germinate. Hostilities between Serbs and
Albanians in Kosovo heated up immediately and by 1921 Albanian Kosovars
requested the League of Nations to take steps to unite Kosovo with Albania.
They alleged that 12,000 Albanians had been killed and 22,000 imprisoned in
Kosovo since 1918. The League was relatively unsympathetic and did not
take action. A Kachak movement of armed Albanians seeking annexation by
Albania developed. As a result Albanians in Kosovo were increasingly seen
by Serbs as comprising an outlaw national liberation movement, subversive to the
Yugoslav constitution. In the period 1918-1941, between the two world
wars, colonization of Kosovo by Serbian settlers was attempted. Land was
appropriated from Albanians illegally and Albanians were encouraged to leave.
Some Albanians resisted. In 1931 the population of Kosovo remained 63% Albanian,
so it is clear that, for a variety of reasons, the colonization movement had
failed except for a few isolated Albanian towns that became more Serbian.
World War II
Albania was occupied by Italian forces in April 1939. Greece was
attacked by Italy in November 1940, but a bloody stalemate resulted that
ultimately required German assistance. Rumania joined the Axis in November
1940, and Bulgaria in March 1941. The Yugoslav government was coerced into
also joining the Tripartite Pact (Germany, Italy and Japan) on March 25, 1941
followed two days later by an anti-axis coup which Hitler did not later forget.
Germany invaded Yugoslavia April 6, and by April 17 formal resistance by the
Yugoslav army had collapsed. Croatia, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, became
a Fascist state allied with Germany and which killed and persecuted thousands of
Serbs. Slovenia was annexed to Italy and Montenegro was occupied by Italian
forces. Serbia, Macedonia and Greece were occupied by Germany. The
Yugoslav and Greek campaigns required 27 German divisions. Most of Kosovo
was occupied by Albania except for the important mining region which remained
under German control.
Resistance to German occupation was fierce and took place primarily under
the Loyalist Chetnicks under the command of General Mihailovic and the Partisans
under the command of the head of the Communist Party Josip Broz, a Croat, later
known as Marshall Tito. In 1943 the British Government withdrew support
from Mihailovic and threw all it's support in increasing amounts to Tito and the
communists. This enabled Tito to fight both the Germans and Mihailovic and
the Loyalists thus consolidating post-war communist rule over Yugoslavia.
The Serbian guerilla resistance required, at it's peak, 700,000 German soldiers
for it to be controlled by Germany.. In Kosovo, under Albanian and German
rule nearly 100,000 Albanians moved into Kosovo. Serbs were harassed and
attacked by the occupying force of Albanians.
After the war Yugoslavia consisted of republics of Slovenia, Croatia,
Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia. In 1940 the
Communist Party of Yugoslavia had committed in writing to an autonomous
"Peasant Republic of Kosovo", but as with so many communist promises
it wasn't kept. In 1943, at Mulje in central Albania, a committee was
established for the "Salvation of Albania". The agreement at the
conclusion of this meeting sanctioned the creation of a unified Albanian state
including Kosovo. Needless to say, Yugoslavs strenuously objected.
Also in 1943 the 2nd Prizren League was established, with delegates from all
Albanian territories including Kosovo, and with similar objectives. During
the war years Serbs and Montenegrins in Albanian occupied territory were
brutalized by the SS "Skanderbeg" division which was comprised of
Albanian soldiers under German officers. Albanian village police units also were
involved in these activities directed against Serbs. After the war,
thousands of Serbs and Montenegrins were prohibited from returning to Kosovo,
and thousands of Albanians immigrated into Kosovo.
After Tito had consolidated his power and the rule of the communist party
over all of Yugoslavia, he favored a Kosovo within Serbia for political reasons
since he needed support from the Serbs and to win them over to communism.
Albanian Kosovars were perceived to be politically unreliable because of their
wartime cooperation with the Axis powers. Just prior to the end of the war
Tito launched a major offensive against the Germans using impressed Albanian
troops as well as Serbs. The Yugoslav army also arrested prominent
Albanians and collected weapons house to house in Kosovo. The Kosovars
responded with a general rebellion against the Partisans which was brutally put
down by Tito and his forces with massacres and many atrocities. The
National Democratic Committee of Albanians estimated that 48,000 Albanians lost
their lives in the six months of fighting that ensued.
The 1946 Yugoslav constitution did not grant territorial autonomy to
Kosovo, nor did it grant Albanian status as a recognized nationality. Five
nationalities were recognized within the Yugoslav Federation; Serb, Croat,
Slovene, Montenegrin and Macedonian. Albanian was not one of them.
Kosovo was not recognized as a republic or an autonomous territory within
Serbia. Rather it was defined as an autonomous region under Federal not
After Tito broke with Stalin in 1948 Yugoslavia ended diplomatic
relations with Albania which remained loyal to Moscow. Thousands of
Albanians were arrested, now as "Stalinists' rather than as fascists as was
the case previously. The 1953 constitution reduced autonomy for Kosovo
even more with much repression of Albanians taking place. Not
surprisingly, by 1956 there was a resurgence of Albanian nationalism. The
Yugoslav government again took steps to disarm Albanians house to house.
In the 1963 constitution what little was left of autonomy in Kosovo was reduced
even further by placing it under Serbian rather than Federal authority.
In 1967 Tito made his first visit to Kosovo. He purged Alexander
Rankovic, who was a strong Serbian "centralist" and much hated in
Kosovo, from power in Kosovo. This created euphoria among the Albanian
population. More concessions were made to Albanian nationalism dealing
with languages, education and other cultural issues. A veritable flood of
Albanian nationalism was the predictable result. Because of immigration of
Albanians, emigration of Serbs and a very high Albanian birthrate from 1961 to
1971 Albanians increased from 67% to 74% of the population .
These developments continued and intensified. The 1974 constitution
made Kosovo an Autonomous province but more importantly made it an equal
constitutional element of the Federation as one of eight federal units.
Although not yet a republic its authority within the Federation was now equal to
that of Serbia. In 1978 a centennial celebration of the first League of
Prizren was held which caused an even stronger resurgence of Albanian
nationalism and a corresponding reduction of loyalty to the unified Yugoslav
state. Money going into capital development in Kosovo became a resented
financial drain from other regions of Yugoslavia, especially Slovenia and
Croatia. A continues demographic explosion of births among low- income,
poorly educated Albanians who became dependents of the government increased the
financial drain and increased the resentment. In addition, income
inequalities became worse in the move toward "market socialism" and
the move away from central planning. By 1981 100,000 Serbs left Kosovo and as
Albanians continued to move in they now constituted 77% of the population in
Kosovo. Making economic development worse, the Serbs who left were better
educated and technically trained than the Albanians who moved in.
Tito died May 4, 1980. Among other de-stabilizing effects,
Albanians felt that they had lost their new guardian. Less than a year
later and not necessarily related to Tito's death, Albanian riots shook Kosovo.
The riots were ignited by student grievance at a grossly overcrowded Pristina
University, and rapidly spread throughout Kosovo. At this time
approximately 28% of the people in Kosovo were students and the education they
were getting was inferior because of the overcrowding and because of
under-qualified and unqualified faculty. This was a matchbox that it took
only a spark to ignite. Serbian and Montenegrin citizens were beaten,
their homes burned and their shops looted. Public opinion throughout
Serbia turned sharply against the educational system in Kosovo In
particular Pristina University became widely believed to be a hotbed of Albanian
nationalism. In response, Serbian, Montenegrin and Macedonian nationalisms
were all given great impetus.
By the middle 1980's there was an increasing amount of Serb migration out
of Kosovo, in respose to widespread intimidation, pressure and some violence on
the part of extremist Albanians who made no bones about desiring an
"ethnically clean" Kosovo. The first organized protest on the
part of Serbian Kosovars took place in 1986. Interestingly, also about
this time the strongest statement on behalf of the Serbs in Kosovo was made by a
group of Serbian intellectuals under the auspices of the Serbian Academy of Arts
and Sciences. Long before Milosevic came to power, this memorandum from
this prestigious body called for a revocation of Kosovo autonomy and for a de-Albanianization
of Kosovo. However, by this time a strong underground movement for the
"National Liberation of Kosovo" had developed along with other
underground Albanian groups. Serbs in Kosovo felt, and indeed were
threatened. In February 1987 the Serbian government proposed to take away
Kosovo's autonomy, even though they did not have the authority to do so since it
was under Federal not Serbian authority. From 1974 until the late 1980's
Albanians in Kosovo undoubtably had enjoyed the most administrative and cultural
autonomy in their history whether under Serbian, Albanian or indeed Ottoman
rule, but for the Kosovars that favored independence, it wasn't enough.
Some wanted status as a republic within Yugoslavia, while others favored
unification with Albania along with Albanians from Macedonia and Montenegro in a
Milosevic's political career as a communist party apparachik had barely
begun when Tito died in 1980. He rose rapidly and by 1987 he headed a more
orthodox wing of the party with Ivan Stambolic heading a more reformist wing.
Stambolic became Prime Minister of Serbia when Tito died, and Milosevic was
widely seen as Stambolic's protégé. Both men were strongly nationalistic but
initially Stambolic was more feared by non-Serbs because of his power and more
importantly because he had signaled his intention to centralize authority within
all of Serbia including Kosovo. This later changed as Milosevic championed
serbs in Kosovo, and Stambolic backed off from his earlier views in response to
Albanian riots in Kosovo.
Milosevic first visited Kosovo in April 1987. Until this time he
had said little about Kosovo. At a political rally of Serbs, he was
emotionally greeted and literally mobbed by crowds of Serbs demanding action
against the Albanians for condoning attacks on Serbs and Montenegrins. As
mentioned earlier, the Serbian Presidium for Constitutional Change had already
proposed to take away Kosovo's autonomy. This strong expression of anger,
frustration and political support for Milisovic caused the Communist Party of
Yugoslavia to debate the issue of Kosovo as an ethnic and nationality issue and
therefore having implications for all the republics. The Serbian
leadership mobilized public opinion under the slogan "No Force can now Stop
Serbia's Unification". Street demonstrations were held all over
Serbia for the return to Serbian authority of the two autonomous provinces
Vojvodina and Kosovo, and an end to "Albanian Genocide" in Kosovo.
Milosevic came to power as president of Serbia replacing Stambolic in late 1987.
These and other events had repercussions in Kosovo. In November
1988 a five day demonstration for national liberation and autonomy involving
100,000 people was ignited by a miners strike. In February 1989 another
miners strike brought life in Kosovo to a standstill with Albanians abandoning
work and school to attend protest meetings. Serbs in Kosovo were
terrorized and thousands of Serbs in Belgrade demanded that order be restored in
Kosovo. A curfew was imposed and the entire province placed under a state
of emergency decree.
The process to abolish Kosovo autonomy began in March 1989 via amendments
to the Serbian constitution that gave Serbia direct control over Kosovo.
These changes also were approved by the Kosovo Parliament after it had been
purged of opponents to centralization. Sometimes anniversaries can come at
inopportune times. On June 28, 1989 a huge political rally was held at Kosovo
Polje to commemorate the Serbian defeat at the hands of the hated Turks in 1389.
Thosands of photos and posters of Milosevic were displayed. Milosevic was
generally considered not only in Kosovo, but in all of Serbia as well, as the
first Serbian leader since the second world war to hve defended Serbia's
interests. Serbia and Serbs have a deep-seated persecution complex that
cannot be ignored when dealing with the conflict in Kosovo.
The year 1990 began with civil disturbances by tens of thousands of
Albanian protesters swelled by workers emptying out of the factories.
Violence resulted which was countered with equal or greater violence by security
forces. The not surprising result was even more violence, with thirty- one
deaths and hundreds injured before the disturbances were quelled and the streets
cleared. In March 1990 the Serbian Parliament adopted the "Program
for Achieving Peace, Freedom and Equality in Kosovo". It's goal was
the peaceful co-existence of all ethnic groups in Kosovo, but it also identified
Albanian separatists as the main threat to this goal. Because of all the
many past events combined with Albanian desires for independence Albanians could
not and did not accept the authority and legitimacy of this program.
In July 1990 the Serbian government deprived the illegal Kosovo
Parliament from meeting. In response Albanian parliamentarians assembled
on the steps of the Parliament building and proclaimed the Sovereign Republic of
Kosova. Within the Yugoslav Federation. Serbia then officially dissolved
Kosovo's government and took executive control. The complete removal of
Kosovo's autonomy was completed in September when a change in the Serbian
constitution redefined Kosovo as a region in Serbia, with administrative and
executive control now in the hands of the Serbian National Assembly. The
emergency measures imposed by Serbia resulted in a de-Albanianization of
cultural and educational institutions in kosovo with a consequent re-
Serbianization occurring. In response Albanian Kosovars adopted a
constitution for their Republic of Kosova.
Breakup of Yugoslavia
By the 1980's the economy in Yugoslavia, besides being dependent on
Western aid with a very large debt, was in a shambles. Debt increased from
$6 billion in 1975 to $19 billion in the early 1980's. Interest on the
debt combined with mismanagement and a centrally-planned stagnant economy
resulted in triple-digit inflation. Conditions were bad throughout
Yugoslavia, worse in Kosovo and desperate among Kosovar Albanians.
Along with the collapse of the communist world in the Soviet Union and
Eastern Europe, the idea of declaring independence by one of the Yugoslav
republics was conceived first in Slovenia in the fall of 1990. Among other
reasons, Slovenia, as the most economically advanced of the Yugoslav republics
was increasingly distressed about having to subsidize other less well off
republics. After a plebiscite that demonstrated overwhelming public
support for independence, the Slovenian Parliament declared independence on
December 26, 1990 to become effective in six months time if grievances weren't
resolved. They weren't and, Slovenia became the first of the Yugoslav
republics to achieve independence, and for reasons not gone into here this was
accomplished with virtually no military action.
Croatia and Bosnia were different matters and in both cases war resulted
after independence was declared. Croatia had been a Fascist state allied
to Germany during World War II. Many Serbs had been killed by
Croatians at that time and these matters had by no means been forgotten.
Franjo Tudjman had become President on a tide of Croatian nationalism as,
correspondingly, Milosevic had been elected on a tide of Serbian nationalism.
The two dictators wanted, respectively, a greater Croatia or a greater Serbia.
Milosevic and Tudjman met in March 1991 and Tudjman proposed a division of
Bosnia between them to avoid conflict. This and other negotiations failed
and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia as it was currently
constituted. A brutal war resulted with much killing and burning of houses
on both sides with ethnic cleansing part of the war from the beginning. A UN
brokered cease-fire occurred January 2, 1992 with United States recognition
coming in April of that year. However low-level warfare continued between
Croatia and Serbia into 1994 as Croatia fought to place the Krajina region,
which had been populated largely by Serbs for 400 years, firmly under Croatian
control. Croatia got its way and the Krajina Serbs were in essence
abandoned by Milisovic. In 1995, the Croatian army, which had been clandestinely
armed with the assistance of the United States, took control of Krajina.
With the tacit approval of the United States estimates are that anywhere from
200,000 to 400,000 Serbs were forced to leave Krajina and without adequate food
and water crowded the road to Banja Luka and Serbia. Their reception in
Serbia was not warm. Many of the Serbs that remained behind were tortured
The independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognized by the European
community on April 6, 1992, in spite of the fact that the referendum in Bosnia
on independence had been opposed and boycotted by the Bosnian Serbs who
comprised one-third of the population. In addition the arbitration (Badinter)
commission authorized by the European community had recommended against
independence since its requirement that all ethnic groups support independence
had not been met.
The Bosnian government, led by Alije Izebegovic, was essentially
Muslim in nature. For the next three years it fought wars with both
Croatia and Serbia. A variety of peace plans were developed, the most
prominent of which was the Vance-Owen proposal. This plan essentially
provided for a three-way division of Bosnia reflected the warring ethnic groups;
Croatian, Serbian and Muslim. The plan was not acceptable to the warring sides
and was rejected.
Hostilities ended between Croatia and the Bosnian government in March
1994 with the establishment of a loose Bosnian-Croatian Federation which has not
yet to this day coalesced into a workable Federation. One outcome of the
peace agreement was the influx of arms into Bosnia though Croatia for the use of
the Bosnian government in fighting the Serbs. This was done with the tacit
approval of the United States. The war with Serbia continued until United
States intervention with air power brought Milosevic, Tudjman and Izebegovic to
the negotiating table in Dayton Ohio. Here, under prodding from the United
States the Dayton Peace Accord was signed which divided Bosnia in two halves,
not completely severed, but not a unified government with real authority either.
The two halves are the Bosnian-Croatian Federation with 51% of the territory and
Republika Srpska with 49%. Since that time little if any progress has been made
to unify Bosnia under one government and it is generally believed that if the UN
peacekeepers were to leave war would break out again.
Events in Kosovo in the 1990's
By the spring of 1991 the League for a Democratic Kosovo (LDK) had
700,000 menbers with offices in Zurich, Stuttgart and Brussels among other
cities. In September of that year the Parliament of the un-recognized
Republic of Kosovo approved a resolution supporting the "Independence and
Sovereignty of Kosovo". Put to a clandestinely organized and held
referendum in Bosnia the resolution was approved overwhelmingly. Following
this vote, the "Coordinating Committee of Albanian Political Parties in
Yugoslavia" called for either 1) an Albanian republic within Yugoslavia
which would include other ethnic Albanians within Serbia, Macedonia and
Montenegro or 2) an undivided Albanian state of all Albanians in the Balkans,
i.e. a "Greater Albania".
In the summer of 1992 Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo were living in a
virtual state of apartheid, essentially completely separated from each other.
In the Yugoslav elections of December 1992 Albanian leadership in Kosovo advised
Albanians not to vote and in large numbers they did not. Milosevic's
Socialist Party won the election with 47 seats but the strongly nationalist
Radical party won 33 seats putting additional pressure on Milosevic to
defend Serbian interests in Kosovo and Serbian nationalism in general. It is
likely that Milosevic could have been defeated if the Albanians in Kosovo had in
fact voted. With the collapse of communism in Albania, important voices in
that country started to talk more about the union of Kosovo with Albania.
In the meantime, Albanian Kosovars emphasized what they believed was their
ancestral rights to Kosovo by broadcasting and using Illyrian names. On
their part, Serbs changed street signs to recognize the importance of Serbian
history and culture in Kosovo
.By 1993, 400,000 Albanians had left Kosovo in response to
deteriorating socio-economic conditions. The Albanian Kosovars were
bitterly disappointed by the Dayton agreement which, in their view, failed to
recognize their long-standing and justified demand for independence. The
Dayton Accord had not only recognized Republika Srpska, but more importantly had
shut the door to the Albanian Kosovar case by decreeing that no additional
changes in borders within Yugoslavia would be sanctioned. Meanwhile Serbs
in Kosovo became increasingly worried as they saw how poorly the refugees from
Krajina had been received and treated in Serbia. They felt isolated,
abandoned by Belgrade and increasingly felt they were being sold out to the
Albanians. Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo both were mobilizing themselves
with arms. Passive Albanian resistance was being replaced by violence,
first by the underground "National Movement for the Liberation of
Kosovo" and then by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The KLA entered
into a campaign of terrorism by killing Serbs in the refugee camps and Serbian
policemen and border guards in order to radicalize the situation. They
succeeded and Serb police and military counter- measures ensued.
In March 1997 civil government in Albania totally collapsed and anarchy
resulted. This caused some Albanians to realize that a "Greater
Albania" may not be such a great idea after all as they saw Albanians being
killed by other Albanians. More importantly, as conditions worsened Albania
became wide-open for the removal of military assets by the KLA. This in
fact did occur and along with money, some of which has been alleged to come from
drugs, and arms coming from other sources, the KLA engaged the Serbian
authorities in a full-fledged civil war for independence. The United
States advised the League for a Democratic Kosovo, under the leadership of
Ibrahim Rugova, who sought a non-violent solution to the crisis, that parallel
parliamentary elections should not be held and also that Kosovo should remain
part of Serbia. However public opinion among Albanian Kosovars swung
strongly against Rugova and his non-violent approach and toward the radical KLA.
In her book Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide
published in 2002, Bat Ye'or made the following comments about the
historical antecedents to the dispute between Muslims and Christians in
“To anyone with some knowledge of the centuries-old history of Serbian
resistance to Ottoman domination, it was obvious that the return of a form of
Islamic power in Bosnia- Herzegovina would be rejected by Orthodox Serbs. The
five centuries of "harmonious and peaceful coexistence” under Islamic
rule, cited by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic belong to the theological
dogma of the perfection of the shari'a and the dhimmi For the Orthodox
Serbs, however, this same period is considered one of massacre, pillage,
slavery, deportation, and the exile of Christian populations. In their eyes it
was a regime which found its justification in the usurpation of their land and
denial of their rights; hence it represented the exact opposite of a peaceful,
multicultural coexistence based on a system of social and political justice.
Thus, two conceptions of history clashed, having never before been confronted.
On the one hand, there is the version the dhimmi victims; on the other, that of
the conquerors, through jihad.
In their wars of emancipation-and, later, of liberation-the Orthodox Serbs found that their bitterest adversaries were their Muslim compatriots attached to their religious privileges and their domination over the humiliated Christians. During World War II Axis forces invaded Yugoslavia and sponsored the creation of a Nazi Croat state (Ustashi) with which many Bosnian Muslims cooperated. At the prompting of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husayni, they formed military corps, including the 13th (Hanjar) Waffen SS Division, some of which were trained in France. Early in the war, these Muslim Slavs actively participated in the policies of the Ustashi Croats and Nazis in the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Serbs, Jews, and gypsies. Even their German allies were shocked by the bestial atrocities committed then in Yugoslavia.
The Nazis encouraged secessionist claims by Muslims, some of whose leaders cited the traditional peaceful coexistence under Islam to denounce later these atrocities which they imputed to the Croats-although Muslim participation in the massacres was notorious. In fact, these allegations aimed at exploiting the inter-Christian conflicts between Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs which had facilitated Islam's expansion for a millennium.
Under the authoritarian Communist rule of Tito-a Croat-the Muslim religion benefited from being recognized as Muslim nationality. It was the only group defined by religious criteria, whereas others were characterized by their ethnic differences. The deliberate policy of allowing the Islamization of the Orthodox Serbian homeland (Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina) to continue also earned Tito the economic and political support of the Islamic world and perpetuated inter-Christian schisms. The communist dogma of human brotherhood once again froze the conflicts without resolving them. In 1991, before the conflict erupted, the English edition of Alija Izetbegovic's Islamic Declaration (1970) was published in Sarajevo. It specifically stated: "There can be neither peace nor coexistence between Arabia, the cradle of Islam and non-Islamic social and political institutions." And his conclusion affirmed:
'The Islamic movement must, and can, take over power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only destroy the existing non- Islamic power, but also build up a new Islamic one’.
Underneath the camouflage of "the multicultural Islamic state" and the "five hundred years of peaceful coexistence," Bosnian Serbs recognized the shari'a system which had decimated them. Hence, the cruelty of the fighting in Bosnia reflected the historical confrontation which, instead of being settled by dialogue, erupted in hatred. Its barbarity expresses the revenge of repressed history, a parody of the distorted myth of idyllic coexistence. Izetbegovic described the Canadian UN commander, Major-General Lewis W. MacKenzie, as "an ignorant man" for his statement in New York that:
‘both sides’ in the war were filled with hatred. According to Izetbegovic, this could only have been said by someone who knew nothing of Sarajevo's Muslims and their ‘500-year tradition of tolerance’.
Izetbegovic's reference to an "Ottoman paradise" scandalized Serbs, Greeks, and Armenians. Innocent individuals regardless of religion have become victims of a past which, because it was buried in silence, vengefully returns, accompanied by appalling acts of violence. Those responsible are the politicians who, to safeguard their own interests, tried to impose the myth of tolerance on their victims”.
territorial feelings of the Serbs toward Kosovo as the homeland of "Old
Serbia" with its many Orthodox Christian monasteries are considerably
greater than any such feelings toward Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Movement Toward Direct United State Involvement
As the civil war heated up in Kosovo, Western Europe and the United State
in early 1998 increasingly became concerned and involved.. A "Contact
Group on Kosovo" was established consisting of representative from Germany,
France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Speaking before the
group in March 1998 Secretary of State Madeline Albright put the blame for
violence in Kosovo squarely on Milosevic. She outlined terms which he and
his government must accept including the presence of international observers in
Kosovo, "enhanced" status for Kosovo within Serbia and stopping of the
killing. These terms and others were not met and the war intensified.
In October, NATO authorized the NATO Commander to launch air strikes if
Milosevic continued to fail to comply with "the repeated political and
humanitarian demands of the UN Security Council in regards to Kosovo".
On October 27, Albright announced at a news conference in Washington that
Milosevic had complied sufficiently with NATO demands that air strikes were not
warranted "at this time". Milosevic agreed to withdraw the bulk
of his military forces fron Kosovo, to allow 1800 UN observers into Kosovo, and
to allow over-flights by NATA planes. In return, he wanted NATO to lift
the order authorizing air strikes. NATO refused to do this and instead
suspended the order. The KLA, sensing that NATO was on it's side
intensified its military efforts and the Serbs intensified their military
campaign to defeat the KLA on the field. Hence the October agreement fell
On January 28, 1999 NATO warned that it was ready to use military force
immediately, and Britain and France went further to indicate that they were
ready to send in ground forces to enforce a peace settlement. A conference
was held at Rambouillet in France in mid-February to negotiate an end to the
war. Present were the Western allies, Yugoslavia and representatives of
the major Albanian Kosovar groups demanding independence. The Western
Allies led by the United States issued a two-week deadline, backed by threatened
air strikes, during which time both parties must agree to the proposed
settlement. This settlement, dictated by the West required Yugoslavia to
withdraw its forces from Kosovo, the KLA to lay down their arms, NATO
peace-keeping troops on the ground to enforce the agreement and a three year
period to settle the political future of Kosovo. Yugoslavia believed that in
three years following the required referendum it would be forced to grant Kosovo
complete independence which was and is the stated goal of the KLA. Appendix B to
the Peace Accord proposed at Rambouillet included provisions more appropriate
for an occupying force after an armistice than a peace accord. It required
Yugoslavia to surrender to NATO many aspects of its national sovereignty.
It is not surprising that Yugoslavia was unwilling to sign the Rambouillet
document. Neither side would agree and the bombing deadline was extended two
weeks. The conference re-convened in Paris two weeks later and enough
pressure was put on the Albanians that they finally agreed to sign the
Rambouillet agreement. Milosevic would not sign and President Clinton
dispatched Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke to Belgrade for one last meeting with
Milosevic on March 22. Milosevic accused the United States of sitting on
the Albanian side of the table. His view was that the inevitable outcome
of the three year period to determine the fate of Kosovo would be the severing
of Kosovo from Serbia, an outcome he could not accept. Holbrooke asked him
if he knew what his refusal to agree to the "Rambouillet Accord"
meant. Milosevic replied "you are going to bomb us".
Holbrooke said "that's right". There was no
misunderstanding. The bombing started March 24.
The bombing was initiated by NATO to stop ethnic cleansing and the
killing of Albanian Kosovars. The expectation on the part of NATO was that
Yugoslavia would capitulate to the West and sign the Rambouillet agreement.
This did not happen. Instead Yugoslavia stepped up its war with the KLA
and close to a million Kosovars were driven out of Kosovo mostly by the Serbs
but to some extent by the bombing itself. Most of the vacated homes in
Kosovo were burned by Serbs. After 73 days of bombing the infrastructure
of Serbia has been seriously damaged and it's economy set back probably
decades. A political resolution to the conflict was sought by the G-8
group of industrialized countries with Russia playing the role of mediator.
As of this date (June 5 1999) Yugoslavia and NATO have signed an agreement.
Both sides had to compromise and they did. For NATO Yugoslavia has agreed
to "substantial" autonomy for Kosovo, withdrawal of all Serb military,
police and paramilitary forces, return of all the refugees, and an international
armed security presence in Kosovo with "substantial" NATO
participation. On the other hand for Yugoslavia the agreement calls for respect
of the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, Kosovo remains in Yugoslavia, the
agreement is under the authority of the Security Council of the United Nations
not NATO, and calls for involvement of Russian troops in the peacekeeping
The news media in the United States are claiming that Milosevic caved in
to NATO because of the bombing, the indictment of Milosevic as a war criminal by
the International War Crimes Tribunal and a last minute opaque threat by
President Clinton that perhaps he might agree to a ground invasion of Kosovo
after all. More objectively however, Yugoslavia got what it went to war
over, namely the retention of Kosovo within Yugoslavia, respect for the
territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, Security Council involvement where both
Russia and China have veto power and the presence of Russian (read Slavic)
troops in the security presence. Reference to a referendum on Kosovo
independence in three years as proposed at Rambouillet was not in the
Miltary-Technical agreement ending the bombing. In short the very items
that Serbia objected to at Rambouillet were not in the agreement Serbia signed
to end hostilities. It seems clear to this observer that the agreement
signed in June would have been agreed to by Serbia, if not the KLA,.at
Rambouillet thus saving the Serbian infrastructure and economy, not to
mention human lives. The KLA cannot be altogether pleased with the
agreement and it is likely that it will become a major problem for the UN and
NATO rather than the asset it was felt by NATO to be during the bombing..
The war was a gigantic miscalculation by the West. It did not
expect the expulsion of a million Kosovars from Kosovo. Instead it
expected a quick capitulation by Yugoslavia. It was tragically wrong on
both counts and a humanitarian disaster of monumental proportions has occurred.
The agreement to end the conflict was the best that either side could expect to
get. However, the future in Kosovo will be rocky and will require a
peacekeeping force including substantial numbers of U. S. troops for many years.
No one was a winner in this war, not Yugoslavia, not the people of Serbia, not
the KLA, not Albanian Kosovars, not Serb Kosovars, not the region where
political instability has increased, not NATO, and certainly not the United
States which by virtue of the bombing had worsened not only relationships with
the governments of Russia and China but with the Russian and Chinese people as
Postscript, November 12, 2002
The understandings of the United States and its NATO allies about the
history of the Balkans unfortunately does not appear to include events prior to
Tito's death in 1980, and Milosevec's ascendancy to the Presidency of Serbia in
1987. These events have been described above. However, as Bat Ye'or
wrote, also described above, to the Serbs, the five preceeding centuries
consisted of massacres, pillage, slavery and exile of Christians on the part of
Muslims during the Islamic assault into Europe. When Aliya Izetbegovic,
the leader of the Muslim faction in Bosnia stated in 1970:
There can be neither peace nor coexistence between Arabia, the cradle of Islam and non-Islamic social and political institutions." and "The Islamic movement must, and can, take over power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only destroy the existing non- Islamic power, but also build up a new Islamic one", it should have set off alarm bells in the Capitals of Europe.
But it didn't. In the Bosnian wars of 1992-5 Muslim, Croat
(Catholic) and Serb (Orthodox) factions fought for control of Bosnia. The
United States intervened in the conflict decisively with air power on the side
of the Muslims. The result was the Dayton Peace Accords, negotiated in Dayton,
Ohio ansd signed in Paris September 14, 1995. These accords were signed by
the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia. The accords set up a Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
consisting of two entities: a Croation-Muslim Federation and a Republica Srpska.
This arrangement has failed the test of time. In October 2002 an
article in the International Herald Tribune realistically suggested that it is
time to admit defeat. There is no Nation-State of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
instead there are, in fact, three separate entities, since a Croat-Muslim
Federation is as much a delusion as a country of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This
in spite of billions of dollars of international aid, Western involvement in
governance and Western troops. More than half the pre-war population was
displaced during the 1992-1995 war and as of 1998 fewer than 15% had returned,
in spite of the fact that return of refugees was a priority of the Dayton
As noted above, Yugoslavia and NATO had signed an agreement to end the
NATO bombing campaign against the infrastructure of Serbia. This agreement
was formalized by UN Security Council Resolution 1244 adopted June 10, 1999.
Key elements of this resolution were the right of all refugees to return home,
committment of all member states to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
Yugoslavia and, most importantly, a framework for a political solution to the
Kosovo crisis based on the following general principles:
- Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo;
- Withdrawal from Kosovo of
military, police and paramilitary forces;
- Deployment in kosovo
of effective international civil and security presences, endorsed and adopted by
the United Nations capable of guaranteeing the achievment of common objectives;
-Establishment of an
interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the Security Council of
the United Nations to insure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all
inhabitants of Kosovo.
-The safe and free return of
all refugees and displaced persons and unimpeded access to Kosovo by
humanitarian aid organizations;
-A political process towards
the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for
substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet
accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the
Federal Republic of yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the
demiltarization of the KLA;
- Comprehensive approach to
the economic development and stabilization of the crisis region.
It is clear that a political process providing for
"substantial" self-government for Kosovo while "recognizing the
territorial integrity of Yugoslavia was a band-aid but not a solution to
the Kosovo crisis. Kosovo was at the time, and indeed still is an integral
part of the territory of Serbia within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Bat Ye'or pointed out, more fully cited above: “To anyone with some
knowledge of the centuries-old history of Serbian resistance to Ottoman
domination, it was obvious that the return of a form of Islamic power in Bosnia-
Herzegovina would be rejected by Orthodox Serbs". Even more so
would be the loss of Kosovo, considered to be "Old Serbia" and the
heart of Serbian culture. It is likewise clear that the Albanian Kosovars
want total separation from Serbia, either as an independent Kosova or as part of
a "Greater Albania" that would also include parts of Macedonia, Serbia
In the year following the ending of the war in Kosovo, ethnic Albanian
terrorists started destabilizing the Presovo Valley in Serbia on the Kosovo
border by carrying out terrorist attacks. These incursions were condemned
by the UN Security Council but continued. By May 2001 the situation had worsened
to the point that NATO was forced to make common cause with its old adversary
Serbia to disarm the rebels. The Albanian terrorists signed a
demilitarization agreement with NATO but it is doubtful that they have given up
their irredentist ambitions. Many apparently have moved to Macedonia to continue
In addition to the Presovo Valley in Serbia, armed Albanians from Kosovo
and Albania pressed hard to destabilize and indeed dis-member Macedonia where at
least a quarter of the populaton is ethnic Albanian. It might be
recalled that one of the stated aimes of NATO's campaign against Serbia was to
stabilize the region. This has not occurred. The real concern in Macedonia is
that the part of the country inhabited primarily by ethnic Albanians will
become, along with Kosovo, a part of "Greater Albania." The
ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army continues to battle the Macedonian
Army. Peace plans have been signed and shattered. At this time the
outcome is in doubt.
In October 2001, the governments of Yugoslavia and Serbia jointly issued
a declaration that NATO had failed to enforce the terms of Security Council
Resolution 1244. Subsequently the parliaments of Serbia and Montenegro
have been working on a Constitutional Carter for a new National State of Serbia
and Montenegro. This to replace Yugoslavia which was nearly completely
dismembered. A draft of the Charter states that Kosovo is and will remain part
of Serbia. This should come as no surprise to anybody. Also no
surprise the parliament of Kosova on Novemer 8, 2002 adopted a resolution
rejecting proposals that Kosova will remain part of Serbia.
At this time the situation in the Balkans remains unsettled and
dangerous. It is clear that the the Dayton dream of a unified Bosnia has
not happened and does not seem likely to. Nor has it come to pass that
Kosova has achieved its long sought goal of independence from Serbia. The
ambiguity of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 remains, leaving the fate
of Kosovo unresolved. Macedonia is increasingly destabilized by the ethnic
Albanian insurgency and the goal of a greater Albania under Muslim control is a
possibility, but not likely. NATO's bombing campaigns in Bosnia and Serbia
stopped the fighting, but settled nothing. We must await the judgment of
the "Cunning of History"
Miranda Vickers. Between Serb and Albanian: A History of Kosovo.
Columbia University Press, New York, 1998
Jasminla Udovicki and James Ridgeway (Eds). Burn this House: The
Unmaking of Yugoslavia. Duke University Press, Durham, 1997
Christopher Bennett. Yugoslavia's Bloody Collapse. Causes,
Course and Consequences.
New York University Press, New York, 1995
New York Times. The Road to War: A Special Report. April 18,
Bat Ye'or. Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide.
Fairleigh Dickenson University Press. Madison NJ, 2002
Bat Ye'or. The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam:
From Jihad to Dhimmitude.
Farleigh Dickenson University Press, Madison NJ 1996
General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Initialed in Dayton Ohio
November 25, 1995, signed in Paris December 14, 1995.
Peace Resource Center, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Minnesota
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, adopted by the Security
Council on 10 June 1999..