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NATO in Kosovo

NATO in Kosovo

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NATO in Kosovo

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  1. NATO in Kosovo Standard Grade Modern Studies – Europe

  2. NATO in action - Kosovo • Kosovo lies in Southern Serbia and has a mixed population of which the majority are ethnic Albanians. • Until 1989, the region enjoyed a high degree of autonomy within the former Yugoslavia. • In 1989 Serbian leader Slobodan Milsoveic altered the status of the region, removing its autonomy and bringing it under the direct control of Belgrade, the Serbian capital.

  3. Kosovo and the Balkans

  4. NATO in action - Kosovo • The Kosovo Albanians strenuously opposed the move and as a result formed an armed resistance group titled the Kosovan Liberation Army. • President Milosevic launched a campaign to destroy the KLA, and to drive ethnic Albanians from their homes. • Part of the problem is religious with a conflict between Kosovo Albanian Moslems and Serbian Slav Christians.

  5. Kosovo – problems • The consequence of this fighting was over 600,000 people becoming refugees. • A further 270,000 people being displaced with Kosovo. • It was due to these circumstances that NATO became involved. • On the 24th March 1999 NATO launched their first attack on Serbia and Kosovo.

  6. NATO actions in Kosovo • NATO carried out high and low level bombing missions which hit targets including the TV station in Belgrade – but also convoys of refugees by accident. • NATO imposed an oil embargo. • NATO worked on producing an international peace plan. • On June 9th NATO stopped bombing as the Serb Generals signed terms to withdraw from Kosovo and on June 10th, alliance ground forces – KFOR – were authorised to move into Kosovo. • Since then NATO has acted as peacekeepers and have been involved in clearing mines.

  7. NATO - KFOR troops • At its full strength, KFOR comprised of 50,000 personnel. • By 2004 KFOR had just under 20,000 troops, provided by all 19 NATO members and 20 non-NATO countries. • This force forms the largest NATO-led operation in the world. • Despite this reduction in manpower, NATO has confirmed that KFOR troops will be staying in Kosovo in the foreseeable future to ensure peace in this area.

  8. Actions taken by KFOR troops • Provided humanitarian aid to help the thousands of refugees. • Built refugee camps and helped to develop feeding stations. • In Albania, NATO deployed forces to provide similar assistance to refugees. • Acted as a peacekeeping force to ensure that no group was break the conditions of the peace plan. • Detected and destroyed land mines. • Collected and destroyed ammunition from armed groups.

  9. How successful has NATO been in Kosovo? • Air power did achieve its aims but did not knock out as much Serb weaponry as first thought. • It was probably only the threat of invasion by UK ground forces that forced Milosevic to back down. • Kosovo is now almost all ethnic Albanian. • Many Serbs fled Kosovo when the Kosovo Albanians were allowed to return. • The Serbs feared revenge attacks and claimed that NATO would not/could protect them.

  10. Trial on Milosevic • On the 12 February 2002 a trial at the Hague court began accusing Milosevic of war crimes in Kosovo. • During a length trial Milosevic was accused of the genocide of thousands of Kosovan Albanians. • On March 11th 2006 Milosevic was found dead in his cell – he died of a heart attack. • In June 2006 the Supreme Court of Serbia decided that Milosevic had ordered the murders of political opponents.