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The ethnic conflict in the Ex-Yugoslavia did not end with the solution of the Bosnian conflict, but it knew a further drift in the territory of Kosovo, a small region of the Balkan peninsula. Historically, it belonged to the territory of Serbia, but it’s mostly populated by Albanian ethnic groups. For large part of the nineteenth century it was part of the Yugoslavia, where Serbia had a primary role among the six states which formed it. Within the time there were more, increasing contrasts between the independent will of the Albanian Kosovar and the determination of  the Serbs in considering Kosovo as a fundamental part of its state. The Serb leader Slobodan Milošević considered Kosovo as a sacre territory for Serbs and decided to cut off the established local autonomy to the region. When, in 1990, Kosovo self-declared its own independence, Beograd dissolved the local parliament. At that point the Albanian Kosovar elected a new parliament and immediately after the UCK (the Kosovo Liberation Army) started the first  terrorist actions, which caused a very hard repression by the Serb Army and the beginning of the bloody civil war. In 1998 the serb bombing recalled the attention of the International community’s opinion, while thousand of people, in order to escape from death, left their homes and many of them reached Albania, Macedonia and Greece. In the autumn of the same year NATO threatened Milošević to bomb Serbia, in case the action of ethnic cleanings against Albanian Kosovar wouldn’t had stopped. After the failure of a diplomatic solution of the crisis, in the spring of 1999 NATO decide to military operate through bombing on military targets in Serbia and Kosovo, with the intention to save the civilian population of Kosovo from deportations and massacres. After 78 days of military intervention an agreement was reached, putting and end to the war and imposing to Serbia to withdraw its troops and to recognize the presence of a military contingent in Kosovo formed by NATO and Russian forces, under the control of the United Nation. On june 28, 2001, Milošević was confined to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in order to be tried. On March 11, 2006 he was found dead in his cell in the prison, in never explained circumstances. The death of Milošević preceded of few month the plausible conclusion of his trial. On March 2006 the Court has officially closed the penal action without the main sentence for which its most important trial it was established.

©1999 by Massimo Sciacca - All rights reserved

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