Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. In antiquity, the Dardanian kingdom, and later Roman province of Dardania was located in the region. It was part of Serbia in the Middle Ages, during which time many important Christian monasteries, some of which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites, were builtSony PCG-71313M battery.
The Battle of Kosovo in 1389 is regarded by Serbs as a defining moment in their history and identity. In the 15th century, the region was conquered by the Muslim Ottoman Empire and remained under Ottoman rule for the next five centuries.
After the First Balkan War (1912-1913), Kosovo was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbia. The constitution of Yugoslavia, created after World War II, recognised the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Serbian: Аутономна Покрајина Косово и Метохија, Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo i Metohija) within the Yugoslav republic of Serbia. Sony PCG-71212M battery
Since the late twentieth century, long-term severe ethnic tensions between Kosovo's Albanian and Serb populations have left Kosovo ethnically divided, resulting in inter-ethnic violence, including the Kosovo War of 1999. The Kosovo War ended with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia accepting that it would give up the exercise of its sovereignty pending a final status settlement. Under UNSCR 1244, governance passed to the United Nations in 1999Sony PCG-71311M battery.
In 2008 the Republic of Kosovo (Albanian: Republika e Kosovës; Serbian: Република Косово, Republika Kosovo) declared itself an independent state. It has control over most of the territory and has partial international recognition. North Kosovo, the largest Serb enclave, is largely under the control of institutions of the Republic of Serbia or parallel structures subsidised by Serbia. Serbia and a number of other countries do not recognise the secession of Kosovo and consider it a UN-governed entity within its sovereign territorySony PCG-71213M battery.
Kosovo is landlocked and is bordered by the Republic of Macedonia to the south, Albania to the west and Montenegro to the northwest. The remaining line of demarcation is the subject of controversy — seen by proponents of Kosovan independence as the Kosovo-Serbia border and seen by opponents of the independence as the boundary between Central Serbia and an autonomous Kosovo, both within SerbiaSony PCG-61211M battery. The largest city and the capital of Kosovo is Pristina (alternatively spelled Prishtina or Priština), while other cities include Peć (Albanian: Peja), Prizren, Đakovica (Gjakova), and Kosovska Mitrovica (Mitrovica). Nominally, the name of Kosovo has come to represent a number of different entities over the centuries and its borders have subsequently altered. There have also been periods when no political entity has existed with the name of Kosovo. Today's outline dates back to 1946, with minor changes in 1953 (Lešak, Belo Brdo, Vračevo, Berberište) Sony VAIO VPCF24Q1E battery.
During classical antiquity, the territory roughly corresponding to present-day Kosovo was part of several tribal alliances, including that formed by the Dardani. Upon conquest, the Romans dissolved existing tribal alliances and re-integrated communities centred on Roman civitates as part of the Roman province of Moesia Superior. Subdivisions in Late Roman times created the region of "Dardania". After the collapse of Roman control, the region was contested among the Avars, Sklavenes and Byzantines, and later among the Byzantines, Bulgarians and SerbsSony VAIO VPCF13M1E/H battery.
The name and the region Kosovo first appears as part of a newly created region within an expanded Serbian medieval state, and soon became its ecclesiastical and secular centre; the region was subsequently enshrined by the Serbs as the cradle of their national identity. During the Ottoman period, the region came into close contact with the Ottoman cultureSony VAIO VPCF12Z1E/BI battery. Islam was introduced to the population. During the late 19th century, Kosovo was the centre of the Albanian national awakening and the battlefield of the Albanian revolts of 1843–44, 1910 and 1912. In 1912, the Ottoman province was divided between Montenegro and Serbia, both of which became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, subsequently the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1918. During World War II, the majority of Kosovo was part of Italian-occupied AlbaniaSony VAIO VPCF12S1E/B battery, followed by a Nazi German occupation before becoming an autonomous province of SR Serbia under the 1946 Yugoslav Constitution.
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 individual members of the Assembly of Kosovo (acting in a personal capacity and not binding the Assembly itself) Sony VAIO VPCF13Z8E/BI battery declared Kosovo's independence as the Republic of Kosovo. Its independence is recognised by 97 out of 193 UN member states and the Republic of China (Taiwan). On 8 October 2008, upon the request of Serbia, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution asking the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the issue of Kosovo's declaration of independence. Sony VAIO VPCF13Z8E batteryOn 22 July 2010, the ICJ ruled that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate general international law because international law contains no 'prohibition on declarations of independence': nor did the declaration of independence violate UN Security Council Resolution 1244, since this did not describe Kosovo's final status, nor had the Security Council reserved for itself the decision on final statusSony VAIO VPCF13M1E/B battery.
Kosovo (Serbian Cyrillic: Косово, [kôsoʋo]) is the Serbian neuter possessive adjective of kos (кос) "blackbird", an ellipsis for Kosovo Polje, 'blackbird field', the site of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo Field. The name of the field was applied to an Ottoman province created in 1864.
The region currently known as "Kosovo" became an administrative region in 1946, as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and MetohijaSony VAIO VPCF1318E/H battery. In 1974, the compositional "Kosovo and Metohija" was reduced to a simple "Kosovo" in the name of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo, but in 1990 the region was renamed the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.
The entire region is commonly referred to in English simply as Kosovo and in Albanian as Kosova (definite form, [kɔˈsɔːva]) or Kosovë ("indefinite" form, [kɔˈsɔːv]). In Serbia, a distinction is made between the eastern and western areas; the term Kosovo (Косово) is used for the eastern part, while the western part is called Metohija (Метохија)Sony VAIO VPCF13J0E/H battery.
Further information: Dardani, Illyrians, Battle of Kosovo, and History of Medieval Serbia
The Battle of Kosovo Field in 1389 determined the future of Kosovo, and the remainder of medieval Serbia, for several centuries.
During antiquity, the area which now makes up Kosovo was inhabited by various tribal ethnic groups, who were liable to move, enlarge, fuse and fissure with neighbouring groups. As such, it is difficult to locate any such group with precision. The Dardani, whose exact ethno-linguistic affiliation is difficult to determine, were a prominent group in the region during the late Hellenistic and early Roman erasSony VAIO VPCF13E8E battery.
The area was then conquered by Rome in the 160s BC, and incorporated into the Roman province of Illyricum in 59 BC. Subsequently, it became part of Moesia Superior in AD 87. The region was exposed to an increasing number of 'barbarian' raids from the fourth century AD onwards, culminating with the so-called Slavic migrations of the 6th to 7th centuries. Archaeologically, the early Middle Ages represent a hiatus in the material record, and whatever was left of the native provincial population fused with the Sklavene colonistsSony VAIO VPCF13E4E battery.
The subsequent political and demographic history of Kosovo is not known with absolute certainty until c. 13th century AD. Archaeological findings suggest that there was steady population recovery and progression of the Slavic culture seen elsewhere throughout the Balkans. The region was absorbed into the Bulgarian Empire in the 850s, where Christianity and a Byzantine-Slavic culture was cemented in the region. It was re-taken by the Byzantines after 1018Sony VAIO VPCF12M1E/H battery, and became part of the newly established Theme of Bulgaria. As the centre of Slavic resistance to Constantinople in the region, the region often switched between Serbian and Bulgarian rule on one hand and Byzantine on the other until the Serb principality of Rascia conquered it definitively by the end of the 12th century. An insight into the region is provided by the Byzantine historian-princess, Anna Comnena, who wrote of "Serbs" being the main inhabitants of the region Sony VAIO VPCF12F4E/H battery (referring to it as "eastern Dalmatia" and the "former Moesia Superior"). The earliest references to an Albanian population is derived from late eleventh century Byzantine chroniclers, who consistently located the Arber around the hinterland districts of Dyrrachium, modern Durrës.
The zenith of Serbian power was reached in 1346, with the formation of the Serbian Empire. During the 13th and 14th centuries, Kosovo became a political and spiritual centre of the Serbian Kingdom. In the late 13th century, the seat of the Serbian Archbishopric was moved to PecSony VAIO VPCF12E1E/H battery, and rulers centred themselves between Prizren and Skopje, during which time thousands of Christian monasteries and feudal-style forts and castles were erected. When the Serbian Empire fragmented into a conglomeration of principalities in 1371, Kosovo became the hereditary land of the House of Branković. In the late 14th and the 15th century parts of Kosovo, the easternmost area of which was located near Pristina, were part of the Principality of DukagjiniSony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI battery, which was later incorporated an anti-Ottoman federation of all Albanian principalities, the League of Lezhë.
In the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, Ottoman forces defeated a coalition of Serbs, Albanians, and Bosnians led by Lazar Hrebeljanović. Soon after, Lazar's son accepted Turkish vassalage (as other Serbian principalities had already done) and Lazar's daughter was married to the Sultan to seal the peace. By 1455, it was finally and fully conquered by the Ottoman Empire.
Ottoman Kosovo (1455–1912) Sony VAIO VPCF24M1E battery
Main article: History of Ottoman Kosovo
See also: Vilayet of Kosovo and History of Ottoman Serbia
Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1455 to 1912, at first as part of the eyalet of Rumelia, and from 1864 as a separate province (vilayet). During this time, Islam was introduced to the population. The Vilayet of Kosovo was an area much larger than today's Kosovo; it included all today's Kosovo territory, sections of the Sandžak region cutting into present-day Šumadija and Western Serbia and Montenegro along with the Kukës municipalitySony VAIO VPCF23S1E battery, the surrounding region in present-day northern Albania and also parts of north-western Macedonia with the city of Skopje (then Üsküp), as its capital. Between 1881 and 1912 (its final phase), it was internally expanded to include other regions of present-day Republic of Macedonia, including larger urban settlements such as Štip (İştip), Kumanovo (Kumanova) and Kratovo (Kratova) Sony VAIO VPCF231S1E battery.
The Serbian position is that archives reveal an overwhelming Serbian demographic majority in Kosovo, which was reversed by the end of Ottoman rule, as Banac summarised: "Ottoman raids, plunder, slaving forays, as well as the general devastation caused by constant wars uprooted large numbers of Serbs even before the Great Serb Migration".Sony VAIO VPCF23Q1E battery This was followed by the transplantation of Albanian pastoralists from the highlands of Albania to the fertile valleys of Kosovo. However, Anscombe highlights that the most common archives – those derived from the Ottomans – do not clarify unequivocally the 'ethnic' character of the region's inhabitants, because the Ottomans classified their subjects along religious lines (millets). Sony VAIO VPCF23M1E battery Anscombe suggests that records show that the demography of Kosovo was very much mixed, and that both Serbian and Albanian ethnic groups dominated at different times. Moreover, they seem to indicate more cases of Albanians rebelling than any other ethnicity in the region. Mainstream historiography clarifies that "there is no conclusive evidence that a people unambiguously identifiable as "Albanian" constituted the majority of the population in Kosovo prior to the Ottoman occupation"Sony VAIO VPCF22S8E battery. Even the relatively "pro-Albanian" history written by Noel Malcolm concedes that "the region probably had a predominantly Orthodox Christian and Slavic population from the eight to the mid-nineteenth centuries". Allowing for the possibility of some connection between the region's inhabitants prior to successive Slavic/ Serbian inflows, the Albanians who 'returned' to Kosovo in modern times were certainly not the same peopleSony VAIO VPCF22S1E battery, having intermarried extensively with Vlachs, Slavs, Greeks and Turks. Whilst there is little evidence of ethnic Albanian institutional presence in medieval Kosovo, they were often baptised into Orthodox Christianity and subjected to a process of "Serbianisation". Prior to Islamification, the Albanians might have existed as pastoralists inhabiting Balkan highland areas, like the Vlachs, engaging in a symbiotic existence with the predominantly agricultural Slavs who inhabited the valleys and plains. Sony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery
Kosovo, like Serbia, was occupied by Austrian forces during the Great War of 1683–1699, but the Ottomans re-established their rule of the region. Such acts of assistance by the Austrian Empire (then arch-rivals of the Ottoman Empire), or Russia, were always abortive or temporary at best. In 1690, the Serbian Patriarch of Peć Arsenije III apparently led a group of 30 or 40 thousand people from Kosovo to the Christian northSony VAIO VPCF22L1E battery. In 1766, the Ottomans abolished the Patriarchate of Peć and the position of Christians in Kosovo further deteriorated, including full imposition of jizya (taxation of non-Muslims).
Although initially stout opponents of the advancing Turks, Albanian chiefs ultimately came to accept the Ottomans as sovereigns. The resulting alliance facilitated the mass conversion of Albanians to Islam. Given that the Ottoman Empire's subjects were divided along religious (rather than ethnic) lines, Islamicisation greatly elevated the status of Albanian chiefsSony VAIO VPCF22J1E battery. Prior to this, they were organised along simple tribal lines, living in the mountainous areas of modern Albania (from Kruje to the Sar range). Soon, they expanded into a depopulated Kosovo, as well as northwestern Macedonia, although some might have been autochthonous to the region. However, Banac favours the idea that the main settlers of the time were Vlachs.
Many Albanians gained prominent positions in the Ottoman government; 42 Grand Viziers of the Empire were Albanian in origin, including Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873–1936), an Albanian from Peć who in 1921 composed "İstiklâl Marşı" (The Independence March) Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery, the Turkish National Anthem. As Hupchik states, "Albanians had little cause of unrest" and "if anything, grew important in Ottoman internal affairs", and sometimes persecuted Christians harshly on behalf of their Turkish masters.
In the 19th century, there was an awakening of ethnic nationalism throughout the Balkans. The underlying ethnic tensions became part of a broader struggle of Christian Serbs against Muslim Albanians. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery The ethnic Albanian nationalism movement was centred in Kosovo. In 1878 the League of Prizren (Albanian: Lidhja e Prizrenit) was formed. This was a political organisation that sought to unify all the Albanians of the Ottoman Empire in a common struggle for autonomy and greater cultural rights, although they generally desired the continuation of the Ottoman Empire. The Balkan League was dis-established in 1881 but enabled the awakening of a national identity amongst Albanians. Sony VAIO VPCF11D4E battery Albanian ambitions competed with those of the Serbs. The Kingdom of Serbia wished to incorporate this land that had formerly been within its empire.
Main article: 20th century history of Kosovo
Kosovo during the 20th century history has largely been characterised by wars and major population exchanges. The region formed a part of numerous entities, some internationally recognised, others notSony VAIO VPCF11C5E battery.
The Young Turk movement took control of the Ottoman Empire after a coup in 1912 which disposed of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The movement supported a centralised form of government and opposed any sort of autonomy desired by the various nationalities of the Ottoman Empire. An allegiance to Ottomanism was promoted instead. An Albanian uprising in 1912 exposed the empire's northern territories in Kosovo and Novi PazarSony VAIO VPCF11C4E/B battery, which led to an invasion by the Kingdom of Montenegro. The Ottomans suffered a serious defeat at the hands of Albanians in 1912, culminating in the Ottoman loss of most of its Albanian-inhabited lands. The Albanians threatened to march all the way to Salonika and reimpose Abdul HamidSony VAIO PCG-31114M battery.
A wave of Albanians in the Ottoman army ranks also deserted during this period, refusing to fight their own kin. Two months later in September of the same year, a joint Balkan force made up of Serbian, Montenegrin, Bulgarian and Greek forces drove the Ottomans out of most of their European possessionsSony VAIO PCG-31113M battery.
The rise of nationalism unfortunately hampered relations between Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo, due to influence from Russians, Austrians and Ottomans. Kosovo's status within Serbia was finalised the following year at the Treaty of London. Soon, there were concerted Serbian colonisation efforts in Kosovo during various periods between Serbia's 1912 takeover of the province and World War II. So the population of Serbs in Kosovo fell after World War II, but it had increased considerably before then. Sony VAIO PCG-31112M battery
An exodus of the local Albanian population occurred. Serbian authorities promoted creating new Serb settlements in Kosovo as well as the assimilation of Albanians into Serbian society. Numerous colonist Serb families moved into Kosovo, equalising the demographic balance between Albanians and SerbsSony VAIO PCG-31111M battery.
First World War and birth of Kingdom of Yugoslavia
See also: Colonisation of Kosovo
In the winter of 1915–16, during World War I, Kosovo saw the retreat of the Serbian army as Kosovo was occupied by Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary. In 1918, the Allied Powers pushed the Central Powers out of Kosovo. After the end of World War I, the Kingdom of Serbia was transformed into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians on 1 December 1918Sony VAIO PCG-41112M battery.
Kosovo was split into four counties, three being a part of Serbia (Zvečan, Kosovo and southern Metohija) and one of Montenegro (northern Metohija). However, the new administration system since 26 April 1922 split Kosovo among three Areas of the Kingdom: Kosovo, Raška and Zeta. In 1929, the Kingdom was transformed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the territories of Kosovo were reorganised among the Banate of Zeta, the Banate of Morava and the Banate of VardarSony VAIO PCG-41111M battery.
In order to change the ethnic composition of Kosovo, between 1912 and 1941 a large-scale Serbian re-colonisation of Kosovo was undertaken by the Belgrade government. Meanwhile, Kosovar Albanians' right to receive education in their own language was denied alongside other non-Slavic or unrecognised Slavic nations of Yugoslavia, as the kingdom only recognised the Slavic Croat, Serb, and Slovene nations as constituent nations of YugoslaviaSONY VAIO PCG-21212M battery, while other Slavs had to identify as one of the three official Slavic nations while non-Slav nations were only deemed as minorities.
Albanians and other Muslims were forced to emigrate, mainly with the land reform which struck Albanian landowners in 1919, but also with direct violent measures. In 1935 and 1938 two agreements between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Turkey were signed on the expatriation of 240,000 Albanians to Turkey, which was not completed because of the outbreak of World War IISONY VAIO PCG-21211M battery.
After the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, most of Kosovo was assigned to Italian-controlled Albania, with the rest being controlled by Germany and Bulgaria. A three-dimensional conflict ensued, involving inter-ethnic, ideological, and international affiliations, with the first being most important. Nonetheless, these conflicts were relatively low-level compared with other areas of Yugoslavia during the war yearsSONY VAIO PCG-51212M battery, with one Serb historian estimating that 3,000 Albanians and 4,000 Serbs and Montenegrins were killed, and two others estimating war dead at 12,000 Albanians and 10,000 Serbs and Montenegrins. It is not disputed that 1941-1945 tens of thousands of Serbs, mostly recent colonists, fled from Kosovo: estimates range form 30,000 to 100,000. Post-war Serbian claims that there had been large-scale Albanian immigration range from 72,000 to 260,000 peopleSONY VAIO PCG-51211M battery (with a tendency to escalate, the last figure being in a petition of 1985) but these claims are disputed by other historians (some of them Serbian) and contemporary references to large-scale migration in Axis documents do not exist.
Kosovo in Communist Yugoslavia
Main articles: Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (1946-1974) and Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo
National Public Library in PristinaSONY VAIO PCG-51112M battery.
The province as in its outline today first took shape in 1945 as the Autonomous Kosovo-Metohian Area. Until World War II, the only entity bearing the name of Kosovo had been a political unit carved from the former vilayet which bore no special significance to its internal population. In the Ottoman Empire (which previously controlled the territory), it had been a vilayet with its borders having been revised on several occasionsSONY VAIO PCG-51111M battery. When the Ottoman province had last existed, it included areas which were by now either ceded to Albania, or found themselves within the newly created Yugoslav republics of Montenegro, or Macedonia (including its previous capital, Skopje) with another part in the Sandžak region of Šumadija and Western SerbiaSONY VAIO PCG-81212M battery.
Tensions between ethnic Albanians and the Yugoslav government were significant, not only due to national tensions but also due to political ideological concerns, especially regarding relations with neighbouring Albania. Harsh repressive measures were imposed on Kosovo Albanians due to suspicions that there were Kosovo Albanian sympathisers of the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha of Albania. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M battery In 1956, a show trial in Pristina was held in which multiple Albanian Communists of Kosovo were convicted of being infiltrators from Albania and were given long prison sentences. High-ranking Serbian communist official Aleksandar Ranković sought to secure the position of the Serbs in Kosovo and gave them dominance in Kosovo's nomenklatura.
Islam in Kosovo at this time was repressed and both Albanians and Muslim Slavs were encouraged to declare themselves to be Turkish and emigrate to Turkey. SONY VAIO PCG-71111M batteryAt the same time Serbs and Montenegrins dominated the government, security forces, and industrial employment in Kosovo. Albanians resented these conditions and protested against them in the late 1960s, accusing the actions taken by authorities in Kosovo as being colonialist, as well as demanding that Kosovo be made a republic, or declaring support for Albania.SONY VAIO PCG-7196M battery
After the ouster of Ranković in 1966, the agenda of pro-decentralisation reformers in Yugoslavia, especially from Slovenia and Croatia succeeded in the late 1960s in attaining substantial decentralisation of powers, creating substantial autonomy in Kosovo and Vojvodina, and recognising a Muslim Yugoslav nationality. As a result of these reforms, there was a massive overhaul of Kosovo's nomenklatura and policeSONY VAIO PCG-7195M battery, that shifted from being Serb-dominated to ethnic Albanian-dominated through firing Serbs in large scale. Further concessions were made to the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo in response to unrest, including the creation of the University of Pristina as an Albanian language institution. These changes created widespread fear amongst Serbs that they were being made second-class citizens in Yugoslavia by these changes. SONY VAIO PCG-7194M battery In the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia, Kosovo was granted major autonomy, allowing it to have its own administration, assembly, and judiciary; as well as having a membership in the collective presidency and the Yugoslav parliament, in which it held veto power.
In the aftermath of the 1974 constitution, concerns over the rise of Albanian nationalism in Kosovo rose with the widespread celebrations in 1978 of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the League of Prizren. SONY VAIO PCG-7192M battery Albanians felt that their status as a "minority" in Yugoslavia had made them second-class citizens in comparison with the "nations" of Yugoslavia and demanded that Kosovo be a constituent republic, alongside the other republics of Yugoslavia. Protests by Albanians in 1981 over the status of Kosovo resulted in Yugoslav territorial defence units being brought into Kosovo and a state of emergency being declared resulting in violence and the protests being crushed. In the aftermath of the 1981 protests, purges took place in the Communist PartySONY PCG-8113M battery, and rights that had been recently granted to Albanians were rescinded – including ending the provision of Albanian professors and Albanian language textbooks in the education system.
Due to very high birth rates, the number of Albanians increased from 75% to over 90%. In contrast, the number of Serbs barely increased, and in fact dropped from 15% to 8% of the total population, since many Serbs departed from Kosovo as a response to the tight economic climate and increased incidents of alleged harassment from their Albanian neighboursSONY PCG-8112M battery . While there was tension, charges of "genocide" and planned harassments have been debunked as an excuse to revoke Kosovo's autonomy. For example in 1986 the Serbian Orthodox Church published an official claim that Kosovo Serbs were being subjected to an Albanian program of 'Genocide'.
Even though they were disproved by police statistics, they received wide play in the Serbian press and that led to further ethnic problems and eventual removal of Kosovo's statusSONY PCG-7134M battery. Beginning in March 1981, Kosovar Albanian students of the University of Pristina organised protests seeking that Kosovo become a republic within Yugoslavia along with human rights. The protests were brutally suppressed by the police and army, with many protesters arrested. During the 1980s, ethnic tensions continued with frequent violent outbreaks against Yugoslav state authorities resulting in a further increase in emigration of Kosovo Serbs and other ethnic groupsSONY PCG-7131M battery . The Yugoslav leadership tried to suppress protests of Kosovo Serbs seeking protection from ethnic discrimination and violence.
Disintegration of Yugoslavia
Main article: Disintegration of Yugoslavia
See also: Kosovo War, Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, and Republic of Kosova (1990–2000)
Bridge over the Ibar, connecting and separating the Serbian north and Albanian south of the city of Kosovska MitrovicaSONY PCG-7122M battery .
Inter-ethnic tensions continued to worsen in Kosovo throughout the 1980s.
The 1986 Memorandum of the Serbian Academy warned that Yugoslavia was suffering from ethnic strife and the disintegration of the economy into separate economic sectors and territories, which was transforming the federal state into a loose confederation. In February 1989 in protest, the Trepca miners began a hunger strike before the official abolition of the autonomy of KosovoSONY PCG-7121M battery .
On 28 June 1989, Slobodan Milošević delivered the Gazimestan speech in front of a large number of Serb citizens at the main celebration marking the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo. Many think that this speech helped Milošević consolidate his authority in Serbia. In 1989, Milošević, employing a mix of intimidation and political manoeuvring, drastically reduced Kosovo's special autonomous status within Serbia and started cultural oppression of the ethnic Albanian population. SONY PCG-7113M battery Kosovo Albanians responded with a non-violent separatist movement, employing widespread civil disobedience and creation of parallel structures in education, medical care, and taxation, with the ultimate goal of achieving the independence of Kosovo.
On 2 July 1990, the self-declared Kosovo parliament declared Kosovo a republic in Yugoslavia and on 22 September 1991 declared Kosovo an independent country, the Republic of Kosova. In May 1992, r. Ibrahim Rugova was elected president. SONY PCG-7112M battery During its run, the Republic of Kosova was recognised only by Albania; it was formally disbanded in 2000, after the Kosovo War, when its institutions were replaced by the Joint Interim Administrative Structure established by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
See also: War crimes in the Kosovo War and Organ theft in Kosovo
Satellite photograph of a mass grave at Izbica, where 146 ethnic Albanians were executed by Serb forces in the Izbica massacreSONY PCG-8Z3M battery .
Sites in Kosovo and southern Central Serbia where NATO aviation used munitions with depleted uranium during the 1999 bombing.
The conflict had been going on since the early 1990s, when Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav President, reduced Kosovo's autonomy, which the province has had since 1969. Kosovo Albanians protested and proclaimed the independent Republic of KosovoSONY PCG-8Z2M battery, which, however, was only recognized by neighboring Albania, and refused to cooperate with authorities. Milosevic responded with the dismissal of all Kosovo Albanians in the local area and other harassment, which led to violence between Serbian military and Albanian inhabitants of Kosovo in the mid-1990sSONY PCG-8Z1M battery.
In 1995 the Dayton Agreement ended the Bosnian War, drawing considerable international attention. However, despite the hopes of Kosovar 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 WarSONY PCG-8Y3M battery.
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 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observers according to an agreement negotiated by Richard Holbrooke. However, the ceasefire did not hold and fighting resumed in December 1998SONY PCG-8Y2M battery. The Račak 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 draftSONY PCG-7Z1M battery .
NATO intervened by bombing Yugoslavia between 24 March and 10 June 1999, aiming to force Milošević to withdraw his forces from Kosovo. This military action was not authorised by the Security Council of the United Nations and was therefore contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Charter. However, other law experts disagree, stating "if NATO action is designed to ensure humanitarian relief for the people of Kosovo or merely to help them to repel armed aggressionSONY PCG-6W2M battery, one could argue that Security Council authorization may not be necessary." 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, roughly a million ethnic Albanians fled or were forcefully driven from Kosovo. Altogether, more than 11,000 deaths have been reported to Carla Del Ponte by her prosecutors. Some 3,000 people are still missing, of which 2,500 are Albanian, 400 Serbs and 100 Roma. SONY PCG-5J5M battery Ultimately by June, Milošević had agreed to a foreign military presence within Kosovo and withdrawal of his troops.
Since May 1999, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has prosecuted crimes committed during the Kosovo War. Nine Serbian and Yugoslavian commanders have been indicted so far for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war in Kosovo in 1999: Yugoslavian President Slobodan MiloševićSONY PCG-5K2M battery, Serbian President Milan Milutinović, Yugoslavian Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Šainović, Yugoslavian Chief of the General Staff Gen. Dragoljub Ojdanić, Serbian Interior Minister Vlajko Stojiljković, Gen. Nebojša Pavković, Gen. Vladimir Lazarević, Deputy Interior Minister of Serbia Vlastimir Đorđević and Chief of the Interior for Kosovo Sreten Lukić. Stojiljković killed himself while at large in 2002 and Milošević died in custody during the trial in 2006SONY PCG-5K1M battery. In 2009 Milutinovic was acquitted by the Trial Chamber; five defendants were found guilty (three sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, and two to 22 years); and in 2011 the remaining defendant, who had been in hiding when the main trial started, was found guilty and sentenced to 27 years. The verdicts are under appeal. The indictment against the nine alleged that they directed, encouraged or supported a campaign of terror and violence directed at Kosovo Albanian civilians and aimed at the expulsion of a substantial portion of them from KosovoSONY PCG-5J4M battery . It has been alleged that about 800,000 Albanians were expelled as a result. In particular, in the indictment of June 2006, the accused were charged with murder of 919 identified Kosovo Albanian civilians aged from one to 93, both male and female.
In addition, the Office of the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor has secured final judgements involving the conviction of 7 persons, sentenced to a total of 136 years imprisonment for war crimes in Kosovo involving 89 Albanian victimsSONY PCG-5J1M battery . As of June 2012, a trial of 12 defendants for an alleged massacre of 44 Albanian victims in Čuška (Alb: Qyshk) is ongoing.
Six KLA commanders were indicted in two cases: Fatmir Limaj, Isak Musliu and Haradin Bala, as well as Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj. They were charged with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war in Kosovo in 1998, consisting in persecutions, cruel treatment, torture, murders and rape of several dozens of the local SerbsSONY PCG-5G2M battery , Albanians and other civilians perceived unloyal to the KLA. In particular, Limaj, Musliu and Bala were accused of murder of 22 identified detainees at or near the Lapušnik Prison Camp. In 2005 Limaj and Musliu were found not guilty on all charges, Bala was found guilty of persecutions, cruel treatment, murders and rape and sentenced to 13 years. The appeal chamber affirmed the judgements in 2007Sony VAIO PCG-8131M battery. In 2008 Ramush Haradinaj and Idriz Balaj were acquitted, whereas Lahi Brahimaj was found guilty of cruel treatment and torture and sentenced to six years. Notices of appeal are currently being considered.
On 10 June 1999, the UN Security Council passed UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which placed Kosovo under transitional UN administration (UNMIK) and authorised KFOR, a NATO-led peacekeeping force. Resolution 1244 provided that Kosovo would have autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and affirmed the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, which has been legally succeeded by the Republic of SerbiaSony VAIO PCG-8152M battery.
Many Serbs (and Roma) left with the Serb forces, or as a result of revenge attacks and occupation of Serb properties in the aftermath of the conflict. Estimates of the number of Serbs thus displaced range from 65,000 to 250,000 Given that the 1991 census recorded only 194,000 Serbs living in Kosovo, the higher estimates, if based on fact, must include Roma, Serbs displaced within Kosovo, and perhaps other elementsSony VAIO PCG-31311M battery. It is generally agreed by both Serbs and Albanians that the number of Serbs remaining in Kosovo is in the range of 100,000-120,000, although in most urban centres other than North Mitrovica and Kamenica the Serb population is now negligible. Although, since 2004, the Kosovo Government has been the largest funder of returns projects for displaced persons, the number of such returns remains relatively low, partly due to continued fears of possible violence or harassmentSony VAIO PCG-31111M battery.
International negotiations began in 2006 to determine the final status of Kosovo, as envisaged under UN Security Council Resolution 1244. The UN-backed talks, led by UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari, began in February 2006. Whilst progress was made on technical matters, both parties remained diametrically opposed on the question of status itself. Sony VAIO PCG-8112M battery
In February 2007, Ahtisaari delivered a draft status settlement proposal to leaders in Belgrade and Pristina, the basis for a draft UN Security Council Resolution which proposes 'supervised independence' for the province. A draft resolution, backed by the United States, the United Kingdom and other European members of the Security Council, was presented and rewritten four times to try to accommodate Russian concerns that such a resolution would undermine the principle of state sovereigntySony VAIO PCG-7186M battery.
Russia, which holds a veto in the Security Council as one of five permanent members, had stated that it would not support any resolution which was not acceptable to both Belgrade and Kosovo Albanians. Whilst most observers had, at the beginning of the talks, anticipated independence as the most likely outcome, others have suggested that a rapid resolution might not be preferableSony VAIO PCG-7171M battery.
After many weeks of discussions at the UN, the United States, United Kingdom and other European members of the Security Council formally 'discarded' a draft resolution backing Ahtisaari's proposal on 20 July 2007, having failed to secure Russian backing. Beginning in August, a "Troika" consisting of negotiators from the European Union (Wolfgang Ischinger), the United States (Frank G. Wisner) and Russia (Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko) Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M battery launched a new effort to reach a status outcome acceptable to both Belgrade and Pristina. Despite Russian disapproval, the US, the United Kingdom, and France appeared likely to recognise Kosovar independence.
Under the Constitutional Framework, Kosovo had a 120-member Kosovo Assembly. The Assembly includes twenty reserved seats: ten for Kosovo Serbs and ten for non-Serb and non-Albanian nations (e.g. Bosniaks, Roma, etc.). The Kosovo Assembly was responsible for electing the President, Prime Minister, and Government of Kosovo, and for passing legislation which was vetted and promulgated by UNMIKSony VAIO PCG-5S1M battery.
Provisional Institutions of Self-Government
In November 2001, the OSCE supervised the first elections for the Kosovo Assembly. After that election, Kosovo's political parties formed an all-party unity coalition and elected Ibrahim Rugova as President and Bajram Rexhepi (PDK) as Prime Minister. After Kosovo-wide elections in October 2004, the LDK and AAK formed a new governing coalition that did not include PDK and OraSony VAIO PCG-5P1M battery. This coalition agreement resulted in Ramush Haradinaj (AAK) becoming Prime Minister, while Ibrahim Rugova retained the position of President. PDK and Ora were critical of the coalition agreement and have since frequently accused the current government of corruption.
Parliamentary elections were held on 17 November 2007. After early results, Hashim Thaçi who was on course to gain 35 per cent of the vote, claimed victory for PDK, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, and stated his intention to declare independenceSony VAIO PCG-5N2M battery. Thaçi formed a coalition with current President Fatmir Sejdiu's Democratic League which was in second place with 22 percent of the vote. The turnout at the election was particularly low. Most members of the Serb minority refused to vote.
The Serbian Liberal Party (SLS), led by Slobodan Petrovič, is the dominant force in all Serb-majority municipalities south of the River Ibar, and is a coalition partner in the Kosovo Government. Turn-out in local elections in these municipalities approaches turn-out in most Albanian-majority municipalities. North of the River Ibar the picture is differentSony VAIO PCG-3C2M battery. Turn-out in local elections organised under Kosovo applicable law is almost zero and the de facto authorities in these municipalities continue to reject Kosovo's Government.
Declaration of independence
Main article: 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence
See also: International recognition of Kosovo, 2008 unrest in Kosovo, and Kosovo independence The "NEWBORN" monument unveiled at the celebration of the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence proclaimed earlier that day, 17 February 2008, PristinaSony VAIO PCG-8161M battery.
States (green) that recognise Kosovo as an independent country
The Republic of Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008 and over the following days, a number of states (the United States, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Australia, Poland and others) announced their recognition, despite protests by Russia and others in the UN. As of 11 December 2012, 97 UN states recognise the independence of Kosovo and it has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank as the Republic of KosovoSony VAIO PCG-8141M battery.
The UN Security Council remains divided on the question (as of 4 July 2008). Of the five members with veto power, US, UK, and France recognised the declaration of independence, and the People's Republic of China has expressed concern, while Russia considers it illegal. As of May 2010, no member-country of CIS, CSTO or SCO has recognised Kosovo as independent. Kosovo has not made a formal application for UN membership yetSony VAIO PCG-3J1M battery.
The European Union has no official position towards Kosovo's status, but has decided to deploy the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo to ensure a continuation of international civil presence in Kosovo. As of April 2008, most of the member-countries of NATO, EU, WEU and OECD have recognised Kosovo as independent. Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M battery
As of 9 October 2008, all of Kosovo's immediate neighbours except Serbia have recognised the declaration of independence. Montenegro and Macedonia announced their recognition of Kosovo on 9 October 2008. Albania, Croatia, Bulgaria and Hungary have also recognised the independence of KosovoSony VAIO PCG-3F1M battery.
The Serb minority of Kosovo, which largely opposes the declaration of independence, has formed the Community Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija in response. The creation of the assembly was condemned by Kosovo's president Fatmir Sejdiu, while UNMIK has said the assembly is not a serious issue because it will not have an operative role. On 8 October 2008, the UN General Assembly resolved to request the International Court of Justice to render an advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence from SerbiaSony VAIO PCG-3C1M battery. The advisory opinion, which is legally non-binding but had been expected to carry "moral" weight, was rendered on 22 July 2010, holding that Kosovo's declaration of independence was not in violation of international law.
ICJ advisory opinion on Kosovo's declaration of independence
Main article: International Court of Justice advisory opinion on Kosovo's declaration of independenceSony VAIO PCG-9Z2L battery
Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence In Respect of Kosovo was a request for an advisory opinion referred to the International Court of Justice by the UN General Assembly regarding the 2008 unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo. This was the first case regarding a unilateral declaration of independence to be brought before the courtSony VAIO PCG-9Z1L battery.
Bill Clinton mural, Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina.
Kosovo was the poorest part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), and in the 1990s its economy suffered from the combined results of political upheaval, the Yugoslav wars, Serbian dismissal of Kosovo employees, and international sanctions on Serbia, of which it was then partSony VAIO PCG-9131L battery.
After 1999, it had an economic boom as a result of post-war reconstruction and foreign assistance. In the period from 2003 to 2011, despite declining foreign assistance, growth of GDP averaged over 5% a year. This was despite the global financial crisis of 2009 and the subsequent eurozone crisis. Inflation was lowSony VAIO PCG-8161L battery.
Kosovo has a strongly negative balance of trade; in 2004, the deficit of the balance of goods and services was close to 70 percent of GDP, and was 39% of GDP in 2011. Remittances from the Kosovo diaspora accounted for an estimated 14 percent of GDP, little changed over the previous decade. Most economic development since 1999 has taken place in the trade, retail and construction sectors. The private sector which has emerged since 1999 is mainly small-scaleSony VAIO PCG-8152L battery. The industrial sector remains weak. The economy, and its sources of growth, are therefore geared far more to demand than production, as shown by the current account, which was in 2011 in deficit by about 20% of GDP. Consequently Kosovo is highly dependent on remittances from the diaspora (the majority of these from Germany and Switzerland), FDI (of which a high proportion also comes from the diaspora), and other capital inflows.Sony VAIO PCG-8141L battery
Government revenue is also dependent on demand rather than production; only 14% of revenue comes from direct taxes and the rest mainly from customs duties and taxes on consumption. In part this reflects low levels of production as shown in the current account; but in part it reflects very low direct taxation rates. In 2009 corporation tax was halved from 20% to 10%; the highest rate of income tax is also 10%Sony VAIO PCG-8131L battery.
However, Kosovo has very low levels of general government debt (only 5.8% of GDP), although this would rise if Serbia recognised Kosovo and an agreement was reached on Kosovo's share of SFRY debt (which Serbia estimated in 2009 at $1.264 billion  and which it is currently servicing, though Kosovo is putting money into a separate account to take account, on a conservative basis, of potential liabilities) Sony VAIO PCG-81312L battery. The Government also has liquid assets resulting from past fiscal surpluses (deposited in the Central Bank and invested abroad). Under applicable Kosovo law, there are also substantial assets from privatisation of socially-owned enterprises (SOEs), also invested abroad by the Central Bank, which should mostly accrue to the Government when liquidation processes have been completedSony VAIO PCG-81214L battery.
The net foreign assets of the financial corporations and the Pension Fund amount to well over 50% of GDP. Moreover, the banking system in Kosovo seems very sound. For the banking system as a whole, the Tier One Capital Ratio as of January 2012 was 17.5%, double the ratio required in the EU; the proportion of non-performing loans was 5.9%, well below the regional average; and the credit to deposit ratio was only just above 80%Sony VAIO PCG-81115L battery. The assets of the banking system have increased from 5% of GDP in 2000 to 60% of GDP as of January 2012. Since the housing stock in Kosovo is generally good by South-East European standards, this suggests that (if the legal system's ability to enforce claims on collateral and resolve property issues is trusted), credit to Kosovars could be safely expandedSony VAIO PCG-81114L battery.
The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) introduced an external trade office and customs administration on 3 September 1999, when it established border controls in Kosovo. All goods imported to Kosovo face a flat 10% duty. These taxes are collected at all Customs Points at Kosovo's borders, including that between Kosovo and Serbia. UNMIK and Kosovo institutions have signed free-trade
The euro is the official currency of Kosovo. Kosovo adopted the German mark in 1999 to replace the Serbian dinar, and later replaced it with the euro, although the Serbian dinar is still used in some Serb-majority areas (mostly in the north). This means that Kosovo has no levers of monetary policy over its economy, and must rely on a conservative fiscal policy to provide the means to respond to external shocksSony VAIO PCG-7142L battery. Officially registered unemployment stood at 40% of the labour force in January 2012, although some estimates have put it as high as 60%. The IMF have pointed out, however, that informal employment is widespread, and the ratio of wages to per capita GDP is the second highest in South-East Europe; the true rate may therefore be lower. Unemployment among the Roma minority may be as high as 90%. The mean wage in 2009 was $2.98 per hourSony VAIO PCG-7141L battery.
The dispute over Kosovo's international status, and the interpretation which some non-recognising states place on symbols which may or may not imply sovereignty, continues to impose economic costs on Kosovo. Examples include flight diversions because of a Serbian ban on flights to Kosovo over its territory; loss of revenues because of a lack of a regional dialling code (end-user fees on fixed lines accrue to Serbian TelecomsSony VAIO PCG-71111L battery, while Kosovo has to pay Monaco and Slovenia for use of their regional codes for mobile phone connections; no IBAN code for bank transfers; and no regional Kosovo code for the internet.
A major deterrent to foreign manufacturing investment in Kosovo was removed in 2011 when the European Council accepted a Convention allowing Kosovo to be accepted as part of its rules for diagonal cumulative originationSony VAIO PCG-61411L battery, allowing the label of Kosovo origination to goods which have been processed there but originated in a country elsewhere in the Convention. Since 2002 the European Commission has compiled a yearly progress report on Kosovo, evaluating its political and economic situation. Kosovo became a member of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on 29 June 2009.
Kosovo represents an important link between central and southern Europe and the Adriatic and Black Seas. Kosovo has an area of 10,908 square km. Sony VAIO PCG-61112L battery It lies between latitudes 41° and 44° N, and longitudes 20° and 22° E. The border of Kosovo is approximately 602.09 kilometers long.
Its climate is continental, with warm summers and cold and snowy winters. Most of Kosovo's terrain is mountainous, the highest peak is Đeravica (2,656 m/8,714 ft). There are two main plain regions, the Metohija basin is located in the western part of the Kosovo, and the Plain of Kosovo occupies the eastern part. The main rivers of the region are the White Drin, running towards the Adriatic Sea, with the Erenik among its tributaries) Sony VAIO PCG-61111L battery, the Sitnica, the South Morava in the Goljak area, and Ibar in the north. The biggest lakes are Gazivoda, Radonjić, Batlava and Badovac. 39.1% of Kosovo is forested, about 52% is classified as agricultural land, 31% of which is covered by pastures and 69% is arable. Phytogeographically, Kosovo belongs to the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF and Digital Map of European Ecological Regions by the EuropeanSony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery Environment Agency, the territory of Kosovo belongs to the ecoregion of Balkan mixed forests.Currently, the 39,000 ha Šar Mountains National Park, established in 1986 in the Šar Mountains along the border with the Republic of Macedonia, is the only national park in Kosovo, although the Balkan Peace Park in the Prokletije along the border with Montenegro has been proposed as another one. Sony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery
The largest cities are Pristina, the capital, with an estimated 198,000 inhabitants. The old city of Prizren is towards the south west, with a population of 178,000. Peć in the west has 95,000 inhabitants with Uroševac in the south at around 108,000.
Kosovo is rich in natural resources. In Kosovo there are lots of reserves of lead, zinc, silver, nickel, cobalt, copper, iron and bauxite. There is also believed to be around 14,000 billion tonnes of lignite. Canadian company Avrupa Minerals Ltd has achieved the rights to a three year mining programme, which is expected to start in summer 2011. Sony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery In 2005 the Directorate for Mines and Minerals and the World Bank estimated that Kosovo had €13.5 billion worth of minerals.
Girls celebrate Children's Day
According to the Kosovo in Figures 2005 Survey of the Statistical Office of Kosovo, Kosovo's total population is estimated between 1.9 and 2.2 million with the following ethnic composition: Albanians 92%, Serbs 4%, Bosniaks and Gorans 2%, Turks 1%, Roma 1%. CIA World Factbook estimates the following ratio: 88% Albanians, 8% Kosovo Serbs and 4% other ethnic groups. Sony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery According to latest CIA The World Factbook estimated data, as of July 2009, Kosovo's population stands at 1,804,838 persons. It stated that ethnic composition is "Albanians 88%, Serbs 7%, other 5% (Bosniak, Gorani, Roma, Turk, Ashkali, Egyptian, Janjevci – Croats)".
Albanians, steadily increasing in number, have constituted a majority in Kosovo since the 19th century, the earlier ethnic composition being disputed. Kosovo's political boundaries do not quite coincide with the ethnic boundary by which AlbaniansSony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery compose an absolute majority in every municipality; for example, Serbs form a local majority in North Kosovo and two other municipalities, while there are large areas with an Albanian majority outside of Kosovo, namely in the neighbouring regions of former Yugoslavia: the north-west of Macedonia, and in the Preševo Valley in Southern and Eastern SerbiaSony VAIO PCG-5S1L battery.
At 1.3% per year, ethnic Albanians in Kosovo have the fastest rate of growth in population in Europe. Over an 82-year period (1921–2003) the population of Kosovo grew to 460% of its original size. Whereas Albanians constituted 60% of Kosovo's 500,000 person population in 1931, by 1991 Albanians constituted 81% of Kosovo's 2 million person population. If growth continues at such a pace, the population will reach 4.5 million by 2050. Sony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery However, this is unlikely to happen; until about 1990, Kosovo Albanians had very high birth rates of about 4 children per woman, similar to many poor developing countries, but this has fallen down to about two since then and will likely sink below replacement eventually, as it has in Albania itself. In addition, Kosovo has a high emigration rate now which it did not have before 1990Sony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery.
By contrast, from 1948 to 1991, the Serb population of Kosovo increased by a mere 12% (one third the growth of the population in Central Serbia). In addition, in the same period, hundreds of thousands have left to settle in more prosperous Central Serbia or Western Europe. 60% of Kosovo's pre-1999 Serbian population resides in Serbia proper following the ethnic cleansing campaign in 1999. The population of Albanians in Kosovo increased by 300% in the same periodSony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery – a rate of growth twenty-five times that of the Serbs in Kosovo. Serbs, similar to most other Eastern European Christian ethnic groups, since about 1990 have had very low birth rates (about 1.5 children per woman) and more deaths than births. This ensures a continued dwindling of the Serb minority as a percentage of the population, even with the dropping births among the AlbaniansSony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery.
Official languages in Kosovo are standard literary Albanian and Serbian. Laws are also published in English. Other minority languages include Turkish, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Gorani and Romani. The dialect of most Kosovar Albanians is Gheg Albanian, which involves significant differences between the generally spoken language and the officially written oneSony VAIO PCG-5N4L battery.
Serbian Orthodox Gračanica monastery.
The two main religions of Kosovo are Islam and Christianity. The great majority of Kosovo Albanians (perhaps 97%) have Muslim family backgrounds, as do the Bosniak, Gorani, and Turkish communities and by some of the Roma/Ashkali/Egyptian community. Kosovo censuses do not ask questions on religious affiliation; it is therefore not clear how many maintain a Muslim affiliation. Kosovo society (like the constitution) remains largely secularSony VAIO PCG-5N2L battery. There are an estimated 65,000 Catholics (mostly Albanians, but with some Croats) in Kosovo. The Serb population is almost exclusively Serbian Orthodox. Around 40% of mosques were destroyed in 1998-99, and 140 Orthodox churches were reported to have been destroyed or damaged in the six weeks after the withdrawal of Serbian forces, and around 30 in another outburst of violence in 2004. There is also a small number of evangelical ProtestantsSony VAIO PCG-51513L battery, whose tradition dates back to the Methodist missionaries' work centred in Bitola in the late 1800s. They are represented by the Kosovo Protestant Evangelical Church (KPEC).
Ski Resort in the Šar Mountains.
Relations between Albanian and Serb communities
The relations between Kosovo's ethnic Albanian and Serb populations have been hostile since the rise of nationalism in the Balkans during the 19th century, rivalry which became strong after Serbia gained Kosovo from the Ottoman Empire in 1913 and after Albania became independent in the same year. During the Tito-era of communist rule in YugoslaviaSony VAIO PCG-51511L battery, the ethnic Albanian and Serb populations of Kosovo were strongly irreconcilable with sociological studies during the Tito-era indicating that ethnic Albanian and Serb peoples in Kosovo rarely accepted each other as neighbours or friends and few held interethnic marriages. Ethnic prejudices, stereotypes and mutual distrust between ethnic Albanians and Serbs have remained common for decades. The level of intolerance and separation between Sony VAIO PCG-51412L batterythe ethnic Albanian and Serb communities during the Tito-period was reported by sociologists to be worse than that of Croat and Serb communities in Yugoslavia which also had tensions but held some closer relations between each other.
Roma in Kosovo according to the estimation of the UN-mission in 2005
Despite their planned integration into the Kosovar society and their recognition in the Kosovar constitution, Romani and other minorities (i.e. Ashkali and Egyptian communities) continue to face many difficulties, such as segregation and discriminationSony VAIO PCG-51411L battery, in housing, education, health, employment and social welfare. Many camps around Kosovo continue to house thousands of Internally Displaced People, all of whom are from minority groups and communities. Because many of the Roma are believed to have sided with the Serbs during the conflict, taking part in the widespread looting and destruction of Albanian property, Minority Rights Group International report that Romani people encounter hostility by Albanians outside their local areas. The report addsSony VAIO PCG-51312L battery:
In Kosovo, the critical issue for most minorities has been that of day-to-day security. Organised violence, harassment and attacks on property began at the start of the international administration and have continued ever since. Minorities do not feel adequately protected by the authorities in Kosovo. As described above, organised systematic ethnic cleansing took place in 1999 and 2004, but at all times ongoing insecurity has been chronicSony VAIO PCG-51311L battery. What is critical is not only the actual insecurity but also the perception of minorities as to whether they can be adequately protected.
—Clive Baldwin, Minority Rights in Kosovo under International Rule, 2006, p. 16.
Culture and media
See also: Music of Kosovo, List of radio stations in Kosovo, and Television in Kosovo
Although in Kosovo the music is diverse, authentic Albanian music (see World Music) and Serbian music do still exist. Albanian music is characterised by the use of the çiftelia (an authentic Albanian instrument), mandolin, mandola and percussionSony VAIO PCG-51211L battery. Classical music is also well known in Kosovo and has been taught at several music schools and universities (at the University of Prishtina Faculty of Arts in Pristina and the University of Priština Faculty of Arts at Kosovska Mitrovica).
Several sports federations have been formed in Kosovo within the framework of Law No. 2003/24 "Law on Sport" passed by the Assembly of Kosovo in 2003. The law formally established a national Olympic Committee, regulated the establishment of sports federations and established guidelines for sports clubsSony VAIO PCG-41112L battery. At present only some of the sports federations established have gained international recognition.
Following the Kosovo War, due to the many weapons in the hands of civilians, law enforcement inefficiencies, and widespread devastation, both revenge killings and ethnic violence surged tremendously. The number of reported murders rose 80% from 136 in 2000 to 245 in 2001. The number of reported arsons rose 140% from 218 to 523 over the same periodSony VAIO PCG-3A4L battery. UNMIK pointed out that the rise in reported incidents might simply correspond to an increased confidence in the police force (i.e., more reports) rather than more actual crime. According to the UNODC, by 2008, murder rates in Kosovo had dropped by 75% in five years.
Although the number of noted serious crimes increased between 1999 and 2000, since then it has been "starting to resemble the same patterns of other European cities".According to Amnesty International, the aftermath of the war resulted in an increase in the trafficking of women for sexual exploitationSony VAIO PCG-3A3L battery. According to the IOM data, in 2000–2004, Kosovo was consistently ranked fourth or fifth among the countries of Southeastern Europe by number of human trafficking victims, after Albania, Moldova, Romania and sometimes Bulgaria.
Residual landmines and other unexploded ordnance remain in Kosovo, although all roads and tracks have been cleared. Caution when travelling in remote areas is advisableSony VAIO PCG-3A2L battery.
Kosovo is extremely vulnerable to organised crime and thus to money laundering. In 2000, international agencies estimated that Kosovo was supplying up to 40% of the heroin sold in Europe and North America. Due to the 1997 unrest in Albania and the Kosovo War in 1998–1999 ethnic Albanian traffickers enjoyed a competitive advantage, which has been eroding as the region stabilises. Sony VAIO PCG-3A1L battery However, according to a 2008 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, overall, ethnic Albanians, not only from Kosovo, supply 10 to 20% of the heroin in Western Europe, and the traffic has been declining.
In 2010, a report by Swiss MP Dick Marty claimed to have evidence that a criminal network tied to the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, executed prisoners and harvested their kidneys for organ transplantation. The Kosovo government rejected the allegation. On 25 January 2011, the Council of Europe endorsed the report and called for a full and serious investigation into its contentsSony VAIO PCG-394L battery.
Wine has historically been produced in Kosovo; both red and white. Currently the wine industry is successful and growing after the war in the 1990s. The main heartland of Kosovo's wine industry is in Orahovac (Rahoveci) where millions of litres of wine is produced. The main wines produced in Kosovo include Pinot Noir, Merlot and Chardonnay. Kosovo has recently been exporting wines to Germany and the United StatesSony VAIO PCG-393L battery.
Pristina, also spelled Prishtina listen (help·info) and Priština (Albanian: Prishtinë or Prishtina, Serbian: Приштина or Priština; Turkish: Priştine), is the capital and largest city of Kosovo.[a] It is the administrative centre of the homonymous municipality and district.
Preliminary results of the 2011 census put the population of Pristina at 198,000. The city has a majority Albanian population, alongside other smaller communities including Bosniaks, Roma and others. It is the administrative, educational, and cultural centre of Kosovo. The city is home to the University of Pristina and is served by the Pristina International AirportSony VAIO PCG-391L battery.
The name of the city is derived from a Slavic form *Prišьčь, a possessive adjective from the personal name *Prišьkъ, (preserved in the Kajkavian surname Prišek, in the Old Polish personal name Przyszek, and in the Polish surname Przyszek) and the derivational suffix -ina 'belonging to X and his kin'. The name is most likely a patronymic of the personal name *Prišь, preserved as a surname in Polish Przysz and Sorbian PrišSony VAIO PCG-384L battery, a hypocoristic of the Slavic personal name Pribyslavъ. A false etymology connects the name Priština with Serbo-Croatian prišt (пришт), meaning 'ulcer' or 'tumour', referring to its 'boiling'. However, this explanation cannot be correct, as Slavic place names ending in -ina corresponding to an adjective and/or name of an inhabitant lacking this suffix are built from personal names or denote a person and never deriveSony VAIO PCG-383L battery, in these conditions, from common nouns (SNOJ 2007: loc. cit.). The inhabitants of this city call themselves Prishtinali in local Gheg Albanian or Prištevci (Приштевци) in the local Serbian dialect.
Pristina is located at the geographical coordinates 42° 40' 0" North and 21° 10' 0" East and covers 572 square kilometres (221 sq mi). It lies in the north-eastern part of Kosovo close to the Goljak mountains. From Pristina there is a good view of the Šar Mountains which lie several kilometres away in the south of KosovoSony VAIO PCG-382L battery. Pristina is located beside two large towns, Obilić and Kosovo Polje. In fact Pristina has grown so much these past years that it has connected with Kosovo Polje. Lake Badovac is just a few kilometres to the south of the city.
There is no river passing through the city of Pristina now but there was one that passed through the centre. The river flows through underground tunnels and is let out into the surface when it passes the citySony VAIO PCG-381L battery. The reason for covering the river was because the river passed by the local market and everyone dumped their waste there. This caused an awful smell and the river had to be covered.
The river now only flows through Pristina's suburbs in the north and in the south.
Pristina has an oceanic climate (Cfb in the Köppen climate classification), with continental influences. The city features warm summers and relatively cold, often snowy winters.
In Roman times, a large town called Ulpiana existed 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) to the south of modern-day PristinaSony VAIO PCG-7185L battery. This city was destroyed but was restored by the Emperor Justinian I. Today the town of Lipljan stands on the site of the Roman city, and remains of the old city can still be seen.
After the fall of Rome, Pristina grew from the ruins of the former Roman city. The city was located at a junction of roads leading in all directions throughout the Balkans and it soon rose to become an important trading centre on the main trade routes across south-eastern EuropeSony VAIO PCG-7184L battery.
Pristina came to great importance in the medieval Serbian state, and served as the capital of King Milutin (1282–1321) and other Serbian rulers from the Nemanjić and Branković dynasties until the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, when an invading Ottoman army decisively defeated the Balkans coalition army. In the following decades the area gradually came under Ottoman control, with an Ottoman law-court established in 1423Sony VAIO PCG-7183L battery. The whole of Serbia was subsequently conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1459.
Kosovar Government Central Building (Formerly a bank, damaged in the 1999 war, now fully renovated)
Pjetër Bogdani, an original writer of early Albanian literature, spent the last three years of his life in Kosovo and from March 1686 he promoted resistance to the armies of the Ottoman Empire. At the same time the Great Serb exodus started; tens of thousands of Kosovo Serb families withdrew from Kosovo to the Habsburg Empire, led by their patriarch Arsenije III Carnojevic and the Habsburg army. The demographic balance slowly shifted in favour of AlbaniansSony VAIO PCG-7182L battery.
During the Ottoman Empire, Pristina became increasingly Ottoman in character following the conversion to Islam of many of its inhabitants, both Albanians and Slavs.
From the 1870s onwards Albanians in the region formed the League of Prizren to resist Ottoman rule, and a provisional government was formed in 1881. On the other hand Serbia tried to enlist the support of Albanians against the Ottomans but this came to nothing, as Albanian Mujahidin were encouraging a policy akin to ethnic cleansing.Sony VAIO PCG-7181L batteryThis increased the number of Kosovo Serbs emigrating from Kosovo, while for their part, Albanians from Albania migrated from the infertile lands of northern Albania to take advantage of the fertile lands of Kosovo.
The First Balkan War erupted in 1912 and the Albanians, with Serbian assistance, launched a rebellion against Ottoman rule. By September, all of Kosovo and central and southern Albania were in rebel hands, but the Ottoman rulers persuaded the Albanians to abandon their uprising by promising reforms. Sony VAIO PCG-7174L battery The invasion of Kosovo by the Kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro saw the expulsion of many Albanians, while the same number of Serbs fled from Albanian mercenaries who exacted vengeance.
The occupation of Kosovo and Albania by Serbia's Army ensued, but the Kingdom of Serbia had to concede independence to Albania as a result of the conference of ambassadors in London in 1913, while it was agreed that Kosovo should remain within its territory. In 1918, Kosovo became a part of the newly formed Yugoslavia, though without any of the autonomy that the region later enjoyedSony VAIO PCG-7173L battery.
Before World War II, Pristina was an ethnically mixed town with large communities of Albanians and Serbs. However, a mass series of both ethnic cleansing and genocide perpetrated by ethnic Albanians backed by the Nazis swung this largely in the Albanian's favour.
In 1946, Pristina became the capital of the Socialist Autonomous Region of Kosovo. Between 1953 and 1999, the population increased from around 24,000 to over 300,000. All of the national communities of the city increased over this periodSony VAIO PCG-7172L battery, but the greatest increase was among the Albanian population, a large number of whom had moved from mountain areas to settle in the city. The Albanian population increased from around 9,000 in 1953 to nearly 76,000 in 1981. The Serbian and Montenegrin population increased too but by a far more modest number, from just under 8,000 in 1953 to around 21,000 by 1981. By the start of the 1980s, Albanians constituted over 70% of the city's populationSony VAIO PCG-7171L battery.
Although Kosovo was under the rule of local Albanian members of the Communist Party, economic decline and political instability in the late 1960s and at the start of the 1980s led to outbreaks of nationalist unrest. In November 1968, student demonstrations and riots in Belgrade spread to Pristina, but were put down by the Yugoslav security forces. Some of the demands of the students were nonetheless met by the Tito governmentSony VAIO PCG-7162L battery, including the establishment in 1970 of the University of Pristina as an independent institution. This ended a long period when the institution had been run as an outpost of Belgrade University and gave a major boost to Albanian-language education and culture in Kosovo. The Albanians were also allowed to use the Albanian flagSony VAIO PCG-7161L battery.
In March 1981, students at Pristina University rioted over poor food in their university canteen. This seemingly trivial dispute rapidly spread throughout Kosovo and took on the character of a national revolt, with massive popular demonstrations in Pristina and other Kosovo towns. The Communist Yugoslav presidency quelled the disturbances by sending in riot police and the army and proclaiming a state of emergency, with several people being killed in clashes and thousands subsequently being imprisoned or disciplinedSony VAIO PCG-7154L battery.
Following the reduction of Kosovo's autonomy by Serbian President Slobodan Milošević in 1989, a harshly repressive regime was imposed throughout Kosovo by the Serbian government with Albanians largely being purged from state industries and institutions. The University of Pristina was seen as a hotbed of Albanian nationalism and was duly purged: 800 lecturers were sacked and 22,500 of the 23,000 students expelled. Sony VAIO PCG-7153L battery In response, the Kosovo Albanians set up a "shadow government" under the authority of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), led by the writer Ibrahim Rugova. Although the city was formally controlled by Serbs appointed by the Milošević government, the LDK established parallel structures, funded by private contributions, to provide free services such as health care and education that were largely denied to the Albanian populationSony VAIO PCG-7152L battery.
The LDK's role meant, that when the Kosovo Liberation Army began to attack Serbian and Yugoslav forces from 1996 onwards, Pristina remained largely calm until the outbreak of the Kosovo War in March 1999. The city was placed under a state of emergency at the end of March and large areas were sealed off. After NATO began air strikes against Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999, widespread violence broke out in PristinaSony VAIO PCG-7151L battery. Serbian and Yugoslav forces shelled several districts and, in conjunction with paramilitaries, conducted large-scale expulsions of ethnic Albanians accompanied by widespread looting and destruction of Albanian properties. Many of those expelled were directed onto trains apparently brought to Pristina's main station for the express purpose of deporting them to the border of the Republic of Macedonia, where they were forced into exileSony VAIO PCG-7148L battery. The United States Department of State estimated in May 1999 that between 100,000–120,000 people had been driven out of Pristina by government forces and paramilitaries.
On, or about, 1 April 1999, Serbian police went to the homes of Kosovo Albanians in the city of Pristina/Prishtinë and forced the residents to leave in a matter of minutes. During the course of Operation Horseshoe, a number of people were killed. Many of those forced from their homes went directly to the train stationSony VPCW21M2E/WI battery, while others sought shelter in nearby neighbourhoods. Hundreds of ethnic Albanians, guided by Serb police at all the intersections, gathered at the train station and then were loaded onto overcrowded trains or buses after a long wait where no food or water was provided. Those on the trains went as far as Đeneral Janković, a village near the Macedonian border. During the train ride many people had their identification papers taken from them. Sony VPCW21C7E battery
Several strategic targets in Pristina were attacked by NATO during the war, but serious physical damage appears to have largely been restricted to a few specific neighbourhoods shelled by Yugoslav security forces. At the end of the war, most of the city's 40,000 Serbs fled. The few who remained were subjected to harassment and violence in revenge attacks by gangs of Albanian thugsSony VPCW12S1E/WZ battery, which reduced Pristina's Serb population even further. Other national groups accused by the Albanians of collaboration with the Serbian war effort–notably the Roma– were also driven out. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, by August 1999 fewer than 2,000 Serbs were left in the city. The number reportedly fell even further after the March 2004 unrest in KosovoSony VPCW12S1E/W battery.
The number of registered businesses in Pristina is currently at 8,725, with a total of 75,089 employees. The exact number of businesses is unknown because not all are registered. Since independence the Mayor of Pristina, Isa Mustafa has built many new roads in Pristina. Also he has plans to construct a ring road around the city. The national government is taking part in modernising the roadways as wellSony VPCW12S1E/T battery, building motorways to Uroševac and other cities. An Albanian millionaire in Croatia is building the largest building in the Balkans with a projected height of up to 262 metres (860 ft) and capacity to hold 20,000 people. The cost for this is 400 million Euro. The Lakriste area is designated by Municipality as high-rise area with many complex building. The buildings such as ENK, World Trade Centre, Hysi and AXIS towers are being constructed in an area which previously served as an industrial zone. Sony VPCW12S1E/P battery
Limak Holding and French firm Aéroport de Lyon won the concession tender for Pristina International Airport. Two companies pledged investment of 140 million euros by 2012.
The Museum of Kosovo is located in an Austro-Hungarian inspired building originally built for the regional administration of the Ottoman Vilayet of Kosovo. From 1945 until 1975 it served as headquarters for the Yugoslav National ArmySony VPCW11S1E/W battery. In 1963 it was sold to the Kosovo Museum. From 1999 until 2002, the European Agency for Reconstruction had its main office in the museum building.
The Kosovo Museum has an extensive collection of archaeological and ethnological artifacts, including the Neolithic Goddess on the Throne terracotta, unearthed near Pristina in 1960 and depicted in the city's emblem. Although a large number of artifacts from antiquity is still in Belgrade, even though the museum was looted in 1999Sony VPCW11S1E/T battery.
The Clock Tower (Sahat Kulla) dates back to the 19th century. Following a fire, the tower has been reconstructed using bricks. The original bell was brought to Kosovo from Moldavia. It bore an inscription reading "this bell was made in 1764 for Jon Moldova Rumen." In 2001, the original bell was stolen. The same year, French KFOR troops replaced the old clock mechanism with an electric one. Given Kosovo's electricity problems the tower is struggling to keep timeSony VPCW11S1E/P battery.
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City Park was a badly managed, and was the only real green place in Pristina. Three markets (one of them very large) used to be a hotspot for dumping waste and other materials on the roadsSony VPCYA1S1E/B battery.
After the war of 1999, Pristina has changed dramatically. City Park has been fully changed. It now has stone pathways, tall trees, flowers have been planted and a public area has been built for children. The much larger Gërmia Park, located to the east of the city is the best place for a family to go and relax. Restaurants, small paths for people to have a run and a large outdoor swimming poolSony VPCYA1V9E/B battery, basketball and volleyball court have been built for the pleasure of the citizens. Lately a new green place called Tauk Bashqe has been made half way between Gërmia and City Park.
After the construction of the new Mother Teresa Square, many trees and flowers have been planted. This had a big impact on the city because of the trees releasing oxygen in the air. Many old buildings in front of the government building have been cleared to provide open spaceSony VPCY21S1E/SI battery.
Basketball has been, since 2000, one of the most popular sports in Pristina. In this sport Pristina is represented in the Basketball National League by two teams. Streetball Kosova is a traditionally organized sport and cultural event in Germia Lake in Pristina, since Year 2000, too. Football is also very popular. Pristina's representatives KF Prishtina play their home games in the city's stadiumSony VPCY21S1E/L battery.
Handball is also very popular. Pristina's representatives are recognised internationally and play international matches.
The 1948 official population census of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija organised by the government of the People's Republic of Serbia under the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia government recorded 19,631 citizens in 4,667 families. Sony VPCY21S1E/G battery
The 1953 official population census of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija organised by the government of Serbia under the Yugoslav government recorded 24,229 citizens:
9,034 Albanians (37%)
The 1971 official population census of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo organised by the government of the Socialist Republic of Serbia under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia government 69,514 citizens in 14,813 familiesSony VPCY11S1E/S battery:
96,00 Serbs and Montenegrins (28%)
4,00 Roma (6%)
The 1981 official population census of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo organised by the government of the Socialist Republic of Serbia under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia government 108,083 citizens in 21,017 families:
According to the last census in 1991 (boycotted by the Albanian majority), the population of the Pristina municipality was 199,654, including 77.63% Albanians, 15.43% Serbs and Montenegrins, 1.72% Muslims by nationality, and others.Sony VPCY11S1E battery This census cannot be considered accurate as it is based on previous records and estimates.
In 2004 it was estimated that the population exceeded half a million, and that Albanians form around 98% of it. The Serbian population in the city has fallen significantly since 1999, many of the city's Serbs having fled or been expelled following the end of the war. In early 1999 Pristina had about 230,000 inhabitants. There were more than 40,000 Serbs and about 6,500 Romas with the remainder being AlbaniansSony VPCZ11X9E/B battery.