by: Gloria and Hannah
The Kosovar Albanians have always had bad blood with Serbians due to land claim and separation issues. There have been many disputes between the two groups of people, with some countries recognizing Kosovo’s independence and some of the world refusing to recognize Kosovo.
Serbia and Kosovo are divided at South of Serbia.
Genocide: the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization): an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 North American and European countries.
Cherished: to hold something dearly
Autonomy: Independence or freedom, as of the will of one’s actions. Self government, or the right of self government.
Committed: carry out or perpetrate (a mistake, crime, or immoral act)
The Kosovo Genocide was a heartbreaking event taking place in 1998-1999. Conflict erupted when ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo, the Serbian Provence at the time, started a nonviolent protest against the constitutional autonomy of Serbia’s republic president. Kosovo being a cherished piece of land to Serbians declined, leading to conflict and attacks between Serbian forces, and the newly announced group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The Serbian forces committed major war crimes against the Kosovar Albanians, such as ethnic cleansing, forced deportation, torture, and murder.
Units brutally attacked one another gaining attention from countries all around the world watching as Albanians refuged for safety demanding a halt and the return of refugees. Milošević, the new body President of Serbia simply agreed but soon failed leading to the commence of new attacks.
In February 1999 in France, negotiations began to sprout however, unfortunately did not hold. On March 23, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bombed large Serbian military, lasting for eleven weeks. Finally, in June NATO and Yugoslav signed a peace treaty. The aftermath was strong, as most Albanian refugees returned to Kosovo and the remaining Serbians departed to other regions. February 2008, Kosovo declared independence and split from Serbia. Most countries recognized Kosovo as a standing country, although to this day Serbia fails to perceive Kosovo as it’s own.
As years carry out, Albanians and Serbians continue to show bitterness and hatred towards one another. During the 2018 World cup, Serbia and Switzerland played a match against one another. Switzerland holds two ethical Albanian soccer players, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri. As the match played out ,both players started showing the Albanian national symbol, A two headed eagle. The Serbian team was heated, filing a complaint to FIFA, international governing body of association football, having the two players fined of about $10,100.
What is important about the land of Kosovo that the Serbians want back so badly? Serbia cherishes Kosovo’s region as the heart of its religion and statehood. A great number of medieval Serbian Orthodox Christian monasteries are in Kosovo. Kosovo is also positioned right in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, with luscious mountains, dense forests, fertile valleys, and clear, crisp rivers.
Watch a Quick Video on the separation of Kosovo and Serbia!
You are a reporter for the largest Canadian newspaper company The Globe and Mail, sent to Kosovo and Serbia to discuss and remember the hardships of the Kosovo Genocide. Although, you must mainly focus on the question of: What is the Kosovo Genocide?
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Ray, Michael. Encyclopedia Britannica. May 20,2020. Tikkanen, Amy. Wallenfeldt, Jeff. October 26,2020 https://www.britannica.com/event/Kosovo-conflict
Bird, Chris. The Guardian. November 11,1999. October 26,2020 https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/nov/11/balkans.unitednations
Boren, Cindy. The Washington Post. June 26,2018. November 2, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soccer-insider/wp/2018/06/24/fifa-investigates-switzerland-players-goal-celebration-an-albanian-nationalist-gesture/