Kosovo 1999

Yearbook 1999

Kosovo. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Kosovo. The unrest that has characterized the province over the past ten years escalated in the spring. Yugoslav security forces launched an offensive against the Kosovo Albanian guerrilla UCK (Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosov√ęs), the Kosovo Liberation Army, which had increasingly begun to attack Yugoslav police stations and the like. The offensive hit the Albanian civilian population hard, people were murdered, women were raped, housing was shattered and people began to flee mainly to neighboring countries. Following a failed peace conference, organized by the great powers, NATO decided to bomb military targets in Yugoslavia, Kosovo included. Prior to that, observers from the European Security and Cooperation Organization, the OSCE, and international aid workers had left the area for their own safety. According to a report by the OSCE at the end of the year, it was pointed out that the violence against the civilian population in Kosovo increased dramatically after the bombings had started. Hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians fled in a powerful wave of refugees to Albania and Macedonia, where international aid organizations set up huge tent camps. Some were forced by security forces onto trains and buses that brought them to the border. By the end of the year many had returned to Kosovo, but there were still 175,000 people on the run. How many civilians were killed at the end of the year is unclear. According to the American propaganda during the war, it would have been 100,000 UN war crimes tribunals stated that it was probably 11,000 and stated that it had not been a genocide but a genocide. By the end of the year, 4,000 corpses had been excavated from mass graves. In early June, the Belgrade regime gave way to the bombings and agreed to a peace agreement that included, among other things. This meant that the Yugoslav security forces would be withdrawn and replaced by an international force, KFOR, of just over 30,000 men. Since the return of the Kosovo Albanians, a massive persecution of Serbs, comprising about 10% of the province’s population, started at around two million. Thousands of Serbs fled to Serbia or Montenegro and Serbian houses stood in flames daily. Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries were also destroyed. After the war, UCK, which was hailed as heroes, held a high profile and seemed to see itself as a defense force in an independent Kosovo. It was only long after an extended deadline expired that the guerrillas reluctantly agreed to take off their uniforms and hand in their weapons. UCK was converted according to KFOR: s plans for a fire and rescue corps. How this worked in practice was unclear at the end of the year.

Map of Kosovo Pristina in English

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