Kosovo is a disputed region in southeast Europe, limiting with Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia. It contains over 1.8 million people and diverse ethnic groups, the majority being ethnic Albanians followed by an important minority of Serbs. The status of Kosovo is still controversial. Serbia claims Kosovo is a Serbian autonomous region, based on the Serbian constitution and on resolution 1244 of the Security Council. On the other hand, the provisional government at Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on February 17th 2008. Up to date, 92 countries have recognized the state of Kosovo, having nearly full support of the European Union as well as support from the United States and 90 UN member states. The conflict in Kosovo has an ethnic nature but can be seen both from the instrumental and symbolic points of view. From a symbolic point of view, the root of the conflict is that Serb nationalists believe that Kosovo is the cradle of the Serbian nation. The Serbian medieval state was located in the Kosovo region and its surroundings. The most important date on the Serb national calendar is the 15th of June (1389) when battle of Kosovo Polje took place. The Serbs were defeated by the Ottoman Empire. During the 500 year reign of the Ottoman Empire over the area Christian Serbs left the region, making Muslims and Albanians the most favored. After the first Balkan wars, Serbia regained control of the Kosovo are from the Turks. Serbs feel that Kosovo is Serb by right and history and so they shall control it even though they are a minority in the region. Ethnic Albanese feel discriminated by this Serbian minority, for over 500 years Kosovo, though under the Turkish empire, was controlled and administered by Albanians. They believe Serbs lost the right to control the territory when they were defeated by the Ottoman Empire and thus have no right to control and discriminate them. From the instrumentalist point of view, the conflict starts when, after Tito’s death, the demands of the Albanians that Kosovo should become the seventh republic of Yugoslavia started growing. This exacerbated the existing tensions between ethnic Albanese and Serbs. Serbs started rebelling against the Albanian control of the area. Milosevic gave his support to the Serb vindications, obtaining so the support of the whole Serbian population in Yugoslavia. This was not enough to gain him the Yugoslavian presidency. He needed the support of Kosovo so the Albanese leaders of the communist party in Kosovo where arrested. From this point onwards, Kosovo was rid of the little autonomy it had left and the state of emergency was declared. The changes made in the constitution where justified as the only solution to protect the Serb minority against the abuses of the Albanese majority. Attacks by the Kosovo Liberation Army where becoming more and more frequent and had their turning point when the town of Racak was attacked by the joint forces of the Serbian police and the Yugoslavian Army, 45 Albanians were killed. This attack was considered a massacre in the international community and was charged as awar crime against Milosevic and his officials. On January 30th 1999, NATO decided to intervene in Kosovo claiming that the situation was unsustainable and that international intervention was needed. UN didn’t support or approve this. NATO’s military intervention ended in the Rambouillet conference where both parts to the conflict had to compromise. The agreement was never signed by Serbia. UN INVOLVEMENT
After NATO’s present intervention in the conflict the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1244 under Chapter VII of the Charter on the 10th of June of 1999, which authorized member states to establish a security presence in the area to lessen hostilities that may have been in place, as well as demilitarize the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) and help with the safe return of refugees to the area. The resolution also stipulated that the...
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