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Kosovo is a region in the Balkan Peninsula in Europe. It is a landlocked country bordered on all sides by Serbia, Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro. It is however, considered to be part of Serbia. In my essay, I will talk of the war that occurred between 1995 and 1999, the origins of conflict between the two fighting nations, that is, Serbia and Albania both of whom who claim Kosovo as part of their nation drawing competition on their historical backgrounds.
The situation was very complex, and there were legal, moral and practical difficulties which prevented external powers from adjusting the situation. According to Serbians they occupied Kosovo before Albanians and this was one of the major factors for their conflict. During the communist rule, Kosovo benefited from the Yugoslav federal funds while Albanians rioted, raped Serbian women and terrorized Serbian men. However the conflict is not driven by tribalism and ancient history, which indeed offers many examples of Serb-Albanian cooperation. The roots of the conflict lie in the modern development of nationalist self-definition, imported in the region from Western Europe in the nineteenth century (Reuters, 1986).
Between the year 1996 and 1997 the Yugoslav province was inhabited by Albanians and became one of the most violent-prone crisis zones in the entire Europe. In September 1997albanian students gained momentum and held a massive protest movement and from November the same year, an underground army, liberation Army of Kosovo with an estimated strength of fighters increased the number of attacks on the Serbian officials and police officers. The regime retaliated by police violence, show trials, long-term sentences, and nationalist tirades then bringing more and more security forces into the central part of Kosovo. (Times, 1987-06-27)
KLA held attacks in mid August which triggered Yugoslavian operations in south central Kosovo of the Pristina road. With the capture of Klecka on August 23 1997 and the discovery of a KLA-run crematorium in which some of their victims were found this wound them. The KLA began an unpleasant on September 1 in the region of Prizren, causing Yugoslavian armed forces activity there. In Metohija, around Pe%u0107, another offensive caused censure as international officials articulated fear that a large column of displaced people would be attacked.
For the first time, in early mid-September some KLA actions were reported in northern Kosovo in the region of Podujevo. Finally, in late September, a firm effort was made to clear the KLA out of the northern and central parts of Kosovo and out of the Drenica valley itself. At this time threats were made t from Western capitals but these were tempered rather by the elections in Bosnia, as they did not want Serbian Democrats and Radicals to be the victor. Subsequent the elections, however, the intimidation intensified once again but a galvanizing event was needed which they got on September 28, when the mutilated corpse of a family were revealed by KDOM outside the village of Gornje Obrinje; the bloody doll from there became the rallying image for the ensuing war
In 1995 the Dayton Agreement ended the Bosnian War, and drew a significant international interest. on the other hand, despite the hopes of Kosovo Albanians, the situation in Kosovo remained largely unaddressed by the international community, and by 1996 the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an ethnic Albanian guerilla group, had prevailed over the non-violent resistance movement and had started offering armed resistance to Serbian and Yugoslav security forces, resulting in early stages of the Kosovo War. (Banac, 2oo6)
It is widely believed that KLA received financial support from the Kosovo Albanian diaspora. Following the fall of President Sali Berisha in early 1997 the Albania went into chaos. Bujar Bukoshi then a shadow minister in exile formed a group which was called FARK (Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo) which was disbanded and absorbed by the KLA in 1998.
At this time US held sanctions on Yugoslavia which had been tied to a series of issues. Despite the Dayton talks to end the sanctions they were still maintained. Us president Clinton said that Dayton should hold talks with Rugoa over Kosovo. After the Peace Implementation talk, the contact group returned which oversaw the last phases of the Bosnian conflict and declarations from European powers demanding that Serbia should solve the problem in Kosovo. By then the KLA attacks had intensified, centered on the Drenica valley area with Adem Jasheri being a particular focal point. Serbian police hit back to the KLA attacks but this could only lead to death of 30 Alabian civilians and four policemen.
On March 24 same year Serbian forces attacked a rebel group but despite their superior fire power the Serbian forces were unable to destroy the KLA unit which was their objective. Although there were many deaths and injuries on the Albanian side in this town, Glodjane, didn't collapse but went on to become one of the strongest centers of resistance in the upcoming war. Another center of the KLA activity was topoje a town in northern Albania. After the 1997 Albanian civil conflict some parts of Albania could not be reached by national authorities. In addition, the Albanian army's weapons were looted. However, many of these looted ended up in the hands of the KLA whilst the KLA took over the border area. This was a staging ground for attacks and for shipping weapons to the Drenica stronghold. The path between these areas crossed %u0110akovica, the plains of Metohija, and to the Klina opstinathese were the areas mostly affected by the KLA previous KLA activities.
At this time the KLA first goal was thus to merge its Drenica stronghold with their iron grip in Albania proper, and this would shape the first few months of the warfare. The Serbs now were trying their efforts diplomatically, attempting to arrange discussion with Ibrahim Rugova's staff but Rugova and his staff refused to attend. After several failed meetings, Ratko Markovi%u0107, chairman of the Serbian delegation to the meetings, invited legislative body of Kosovo minority groups to be present while maintaining his invite to the Albanians. Serbian President Milan Milutinovi%u0107 attended one of the meetings, though Rugova did not. Rugova and his staff insisted on talking to Yugoslav officials, not Serbian ones, and only to discuss the modalities of Kosovo independence.
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By 1998, as the violence had worsened and displaced scores of Albanians, Western interest had increased. The Serbian authorities were compelled to sign a ceasefire and partial retreat, monitored by OSCE observers according to an agreement negotiated .However, the ceasefire did not hold and fighting resumed in December 1998. The Ra%u010Dak massacre in January 1999 in particular brought new international attention to the conflict. Within weeks, a multilateral international conference was convened and by March had prepared a draft agreement known as the Rambouillet Accords, calling for restoration of Kosovo's autonomy and deployment of NATO peacekeeping forces. The Serbian party found the terms unacceptable and refused to sign the draft.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) started offensive military operations against Yugoslavia. It took more than a year for the operations allied force including more than six nations to find a negotiated solution to stop Serbian human rights violation in Kosovo. After a short period when conditions in Kosovo stabilized, attacks against the Albanians resumed. On January 15 1999, a mass killing of more than 45 civilians happened in the village of Racak. Direct discussions were held on hoe to end violence in Kosovo where the NATO secretary general was authorized to strike against Yugoslavia if an agreement was not reached. The France talk did not bear any fruit and NATO started preparation to initiate bomb attacks.
Between March 24 and June 10, 1999, NATO intervened by bombing Yugoslavia [ aimed to force Miloševi%u0107 to withdraw his forces from Kosovo. This military action was not authorized by the Security Council of the United Nations and was therefore contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Charter. Combined with continued skirmishes between Albanian guerrillas and Yugoslav forces the conflict resulted in a further massive displacement of population in Kosovo
During the conflict, more than a million ethnic Albanians fled or were vigorously driven from Kosovo. In total, more than 11,000 deaths were reported to Carla Del Ponte by her prosecutors and 3,000 were still missing, of which 2,500 were Albanian, 400 Serbs and 100 Roma.
Since May 1999, the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia has prosecuted crimes committed during the Kosovo War. Nine Serbian and Yugoslavian commanders who are believed to have had a hand in the war, that is, crimes against human dignity and violations of the laws or traditions of war in Kosovo in 1999.
As NATO forces entered Kosovo, remarkable efforts were undertaken to discover evidence of war crimes, to ensure that no proof would be lost or ignored. The sense, widely acknowledged, is fascinating. Uncontroversial, the vast crimes took place after the bombing began: they were not a cause but a consequence. It requires considerable audacity, therefore, to take the crimes to provide retrospective justification for the actions that contributed to inciting them.
Few forensic experts were sent despite the pleas of the UN peacekeeping mission, and those were delayed for four months, well after the rainy season would remove essential evidence. The mission itself was delayed even after the country had been virtually destroyed and most of its population expelled. The distinction is not hard to comprehend. In East Timor, the crimes were attributable directly to state terrorists who were supported by the West right through the final days of their atrocities. Accordingly, issues of deterrence and accountability can hardly be on the agenda. In Kosovo, in contrast, evidence of terrible crimes can be adduced to provide retrospective justification for the NATO war, on the interesting principle that has been established by the doctrinal system.
On 10 June 1999, the UN Security Council passed resolution that provided a legal frame work that would establish the UN administration and Kosovo force. While under the resolution Kosovo entered a period of international administration, called Nations Interim Administration mission in Kosovo( UNMIK) composed of comprehensive conglomerate of international institutions and organizations aimed at providing efforts in post war reconstruction and building of institutions. After the war many of the KLA returned to civilian life though some of them were recruited in the newly formed civilian emergency agency and in the police force. Still a good number of them were employed locally and international security companies. (Group, march 2000)
As a result of the Kosovo War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization created medals: a second one for NATO, one for Kosovo Service, an international military decoration. Shortly thereafter, NATO created the Non-Article 5 Medal for Balkans service to unite both Yugoslavian and Kosovo operations into one service medal. owing the participation of the United States armed forces, a separate U.S. military decoration, which was named the Kosovo Campaign Medal, was also created by President Bill Clinton in 2000
After the Kosovo War and the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, the territory came under the interim administration of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), most of whose roles were assumed by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) in December 2008. In February 2008, the Assembly of Kosovo declared Kosovo's independence as the Republic of Kosovo. (Julie, 1999)
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