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Kosovo

Yearbook 1998

Kosovo. During the summer, the tense situation in Kosovo exploded and violent fighting was fought between Serbian security forces and Kosovo's liberation army, UCK (Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosovės).

1998 Kosovo

Following tough international pressure, Kosovo's unofficial president Ibrahim Rugova signed an agreement with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević in the fall. The agreement includes that the thousands of people who have escaped the fighting should be able to return to their homes. However, there was no indication that Rugova had given up its demand for full independence for Kosovo and later accession to Albania.

According to Countryaah, from the mid-1970s until 1989, Kosovo had extensive self-government, but dissatisfaction grew among the Albanians, which required the province to become a full sub-republic in what was then Yugoslavia. Increasingly violent demonstrations and mining strikes met with increased violence from the federal authorities, the conflict escalated and reached a critical point in 1989 when Kosovo was made a symbol of the Serbian nationalist wave that carried Slobodan Milošević to power. The same year, Kosovo's autonomy was restricted and the following year the authorities dissolved the provincial parliament and according to a new Serbian constitution, the province was deprived of its autonomy. Authorities launched a campaign to make Kosovo more Serbian. E.g. a provision was introduced that tuition in schools should be in Serbian. Mines were closed, companies were seized and more and more Serbian security forces and police began sending to Kosovo. The Albanians responded by establishing an underground state in the state. Kosovo's parliament, gathered in secret, adopted a constitution in 1990 under which Kosovo is an independent republic. In 1992, the Albanians in a secret election elected a parliament with 130 members and appointed the party leader of the Kosovo Democratic Alliance, Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovės (LDK), Ibrahim Rugova, as president.

Rugova received international recognition as the Albanian leader and the Albanian disappointment was great when Kosovo was not included in the Dayton Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. The frustration among the Albanians in Kosovo has increased ever since.

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