I’m sure everyone of you heard about the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo. I got online and searched for informations and pictures about Kosovo. Reading some historical references I found out about how Tito included Kosovo in Yugoslavia.
After Tito died, in 1981 Albanians started fighting Serbians for their “rightful” country. They even asked for unification with Albania. In 1992 the first president of Kosovo was elected. His name was Ibrahim Rugova and he was the one who started building the republic of Kosovo. People had access to their own churches, hospitals, schools and many more but the republic had no army until 1997 when UCK (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës), the Kosovo Liberation Army started fighting Serbians. Their main goal was to obtain independence of Kosovo no matter what, even if people were killed during the process.
In 1998 Serbian president at that time, Slobodan Milosevici, stated that UCK members were to be captured and judged for crimes against Serbian army and humanity. The result? More than 10.000 Albanians were murdered and many more were forced to move out of Kosovo, in order to survive. Later Slobodan Milosevici was accused by the International Criminal Tribunal on the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Slobodan was 64 and died of a heart attack in his cell while waiting for the verdict. Some say he was “put to sleep” but there is no evidence of such thing.
Fortunately the rest of the world didn’t just watch them kill themselves and in 1999
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) send troops in order to maintain peace in Kosovo. The province was under the protection of UN (United Nations) and out of fear of reprisals from Albanians secessionists many Serbians left their homes.
I remember the headlines in the media:”Tens of thousands of refugees fleeing Kosovo are describing horrifying stories of Serb atrocities” BBC;
“Desperate refugees flee Kosovo, accuse Serbs of atrocities” CNN
“An Uncertain Future for the Serbian Refugees of Kosovo” AntiWar
In 2004 the violences continued and 19 people died and over 900 were injured. Something had to be done. In 2005 “the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia organized a two-day conference “The Future Status of Kosovo” on June 13-14, 2005 in Prishtina. The conference not only stood for the third in the series of Serb-Albanian dialogues the Committee has staged over the past eight years, but also for the final and most important segment of the US Institute for Peace-supported project “Belgrade-Prishtina: Steps to Build Confidence and Understanding.” The idea behind the conference was to provide – on the eve of the announced startup of negotiations on Kosovo’s status – a realistic insight into the complexity of this major regional issue.” Source.
Martti Ahtisaari, a UN emissary was sent to Serbia to find the ideal solution regarding the future of Kosovo.
In 2006 the president of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova died. Fatmir Sejdiu took his place and soon after Albanians and Serbians had begun negotiations.
In 2007 emissary Martti Ahtisaari, presented the Ahtisaari Plan. Read more about this plan on Setimes.com.
Russia, having the right of veto, pleaded for Serbia and blocked the Ahtisaari Plan. United States, Russia, France, England, Germany and Italy send an American, a Russian and an European to try to get to an agreement between Albanians and Serbians but the negotiations failed.
On February 17, 2008 authorities from Kosovo announced their unilateral declaration of independence. “Russia’s parliament passed a motion Monday condemning Kosovo’s declaration of independence, which means a loss of 15 percent of Serbia’s territory. Serbia ordered home its ambassadors in the U.S., France and Turkey as rebukes for recognizing the tiny new nation of 2 million people.” Chicagotribune.com
This was the final step that lead to a complete disintegration of the former Yugoslav Union.