This essay will aim on the situation in Kosovo in 1999 and will try to have a critique look on NATO’s bombing campaign in Kosovo that year.
The Serbian province and Serbs were considered as the most violate in all of the former Yugoslavia. Serbian authorities repealed Kosovo's parliament in 1990, forcing the region's political leaders to seek refuge in the Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, where they declared Kosovo's independence. However, the underground government of Ibrahim Rugova1, who was elected in May 1992, was declared illegal by the Serbian government.
Albanians in Kosovo continued to agitate for secession from Serbia, seeking either annexation to Albania or outright independence, and tensions started to mount between Albanians and Serbs. In August 1995 Kosovo became the destination of several thousand Serb refugees.2 The government of Albania protested the resettlement of Serbs in the predominantly Albanian region.
In 1996 a militant ethnic Albanian separatist group called the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) formed in the region. Albanian separatists reportedly killed several Serbian police officers in February 1998, tensions exploded between Albanians and Serbian forces, resulting in numerous killings, beatings, and arrests of Albanians by Serbian police and Yugoslav military
Ibrahim Rugova was an Albanian politician who was the first President of Kosovo[a] and of its leading political party, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) 2 Albrecht Schnabel and Ramesh Thakur, “Kosovo and the challenge of humanitarian intervention: Selective indignation, collective action, and international citizenship“, United Nations University Press, 2000, p. 33-34
units.3 Despite threats of sanctions by the international community, the Yugoslav government continued to raze villages, killing more than 200 people by June 1998 and driving thousands across the border into neighbouring Albania.
The Serbian Army had been brutally imposing a scorched earth policy on the Kosovan Albanians who after the end of the Balkan troubles wanted there own country. But the diplomacy over Kosovo quickly grew much more complicated. Unlike Bosnia, which was internationally recognised as a sovereign country, Kosovo was still considered a part of Serbia. Any NATO intervention in Kosovo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's wishes might be taken as an act of war.
NATO and its Intervention in Kosovo
Several NATO governments concluded the alliance could not act in the province without a mandate from the UN Security Council. Russia, meanwhile, was threatening to use its Security Council veto to block such approval. The six-country Contact Group- panel a responsible for monitoring events in the territories of the former Yugoslavia and comprising France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States quickly convened to coordinate peace-making efforts, as it had done earlier for Bosnia.
And so NATO started a campaign against the Serbian forces in Kosovo. The main stance that is in the public eyes and what was mainly portrayed was that NATO was intervening for ethnic reason. Prime Minister Blair used the plight of the Kosovar civilians to justify military 3
Schnabel and Thakur,
action. Air strikes would be launched "to save thousand of innocent men, women and children from humanitarian catastrophe, from death, barbarism and ethnic cleansing by a brutal dictatorship".4 He said that 250,000 Albanians were homeless with 60,000 forced to leave home in the last month and he raised the spectre of the war spreading. "If Kosovo was left to the mercy of Serbian repression there is not merely a risk but a high probability of re-igniting unrest in Albania; Macedonia destabilised, almost certain knock on effects in Bosnia and further tension between Greece and Turkey. There are strategic interests for the whole of Europe at stake. We cannot contemplate, on the doorstep of the EU,...