Conflict and Intervention in Kosovo Josey and Hernan

KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army)

  • Participants: Extremist Albanian Kosovars
  • Role in Conflict: A militaristic group that escalated and participated in the Kosovo Conflict
  • Reasons for Interfering: To acquire autonomy for Kosovo, protect their citizens from Serbia
  • Nature of involvement: They targeted Serbia, uncoordinated attacks at first. Terrorist-like actions, a war of revenge on the Serbians. Attacked Serbian villages and forces.
  • Examples and Events:
  • The ceasefire was ignored by the Serbs and killed 36 KLA soilders on the border of Albania
  • The KLA kills 6 Serbs as a reprisal at Pec
  • KLA renewed the conflict because they wanted revenge on the Serbs for the causualties they have done. Also, this caused a greater opportunity for NATO to intervene with missiles and defend the KLA from FRY
  • KLA March 1999 KLA forces were improved and modified by Agim Ceku
  • Conclusion: The war was a failure due to 90% of their own people in Kosovo left and were being forced out from other villages. Not only that, but about 10,000 of the deaths came mostly from Albanians than the Serbs where 1,700 of their people died. Even with the help of the NATO, the KLA had no choice but to withdraw their troops and lose to the Serbs. Milosevic then withdraws troops immediately after the war with no apparent reason. They did not achieve immeadiate independence.

FRY (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)

  • Participants: Serbia, Serbian government and military, and Slobodan Milosevic
  • Role in the Conflict: Participated in conflict, escalated it into something like a war
  • Reasons for Intervening: Couldn't give the KLA any more concessions. Milosevic depended on Serbian support which was against giving Kosovo Autonomy. In Addition, the military capabilities of the KLA were increasing. They also believed in dealing with the conflict alone without outside influence. The US showed no sign of interfering which motivated the FRY to act.
  • Nature of Involvement: The FRY targeted Albanian Kosavars. Sent a large military operation of FRY troops to Kosovo. They used deportation, raids, and ethnic cleansing. Troops and civilians began to form all or nothing mindsets which led to many atrocities. In addition para military groups were hired to aid the FRY.
  • Examples:
  • March 5th of 1999 Jashari clan killed
  • Assault on Račak (January 15, 1999) and claimed it was police action. It was a Massacre leaving several dead.
  • Destruction of villages in Prizren
  • Conclusion: International community issued warnings and reports and eventually a ceasefire was agreed upon in October 1998. Serbia removed 6,000 troops, but this caused the KLA in grow in power so FRY returned to the conflict and it intensified. Then on March 24, 1999 NATO air strikes began. Serbs loose restraint and creates huge refugee crisis. Did not obtain Russian support they needed, so eventually Milosevic conceded to a peace plan.

Ethnic Cleansing

  • Participants: Serbia, Kosovo, Verification Mission (newspaper reporting group), and US Ambassador Walker (visited the site of the Račak massacre).
  • Role in the Conflict: use force to remove ethnic Albanians either by deportation or death.
  • Reasons for Intervening: to promote the Serbian minority in Kosovo, ethnic tension between the two groups.
  • Nature of involvement: Albanian Kosvars were targeted by Serbians using force or intimidation to remove them from Kosovo.
  • Examples:
  • Crimes against humanities are based on the Geneva Convention of 1949 Article 49: Must a justifying reasoning of why a certain group of people are being forcible transferred into another country. These acts were being committed.
  • Račak massacre
  • Conclusions: Serbians became the center of attention to the Western after the US Ambassador Walker experienced in seeing the sight of the Račak massacre. This event made it difficult to distinguish between the act of genocide or police actions to be main reason why the Račak massacre occurred. Even if it was under police actions, they carried out terrorist actions getting rid of Albanians from Račak with the use of guns, grenades, tanks, heavy artillery, and fire on houses. Thus resulting ethnic cleansing from the Serbs to be a red flag and have international communities to take action such as NATO.

United Nations (UN)

  • Participants: UN, US, Serbia
  • Role in Conflict: Did not enter the conflict but sought to intervene by bringing Serbia and Kosovo to the peace table. Their efforts did lack any action that brought an end to the conflict.
  • Reasons for intervening: Wanted to end the conflict, stop repression, and because of duty as a world organization.
  • Nature of Involvement: They did not target any specific group but did grow to favor the KLA. They did not physically intervene besides having remaining troops in Yugoslavia handle the situation.
  • Examples:
  • Sent out an Arms embargo
  • UN resolution 1160 of March 1998: condemned both sides and called for dialogue and arms embargo
  • Did not intend to send more peacekeepers
  • Condemned NATO air strikes, said that it went against Serbia's sovereignty. It was Illegal under UN charter
  • UN ceasefire in October 1998
  • Conclusion: Any actions the UN had were based mostly on verbal warning. They only succeeded in making UN resolutions intensify the KLA’s efforts. Their role in the conflict transferred over to NATO. Eventually there was the Rambouillet Accords and autonomy for Kosovo.

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

  • Participants: USA (mainly bombed Yugoslavia)
  • Role in the conflict: it both escalated the conflict and intervened to stop it.
  • Reasons for Intervening: UN would not sanction any attack on Yugoslavia. There may have also been the incentive for the US to be more involved in the East/Middle East.
  • Nature of involvement – They targeted strategic Yugoslav military installations, Belgrade, the FRY, and Serbian interior ministries. However, they did bomb hospitals, schools, factories, trains, and even refugees.
  • Examples:
  • 24 of March 1999 NATO sends air strikes
  • US accidentally bombs the Chinese embassy on May 7, 1999 with an excuse of outdated maps
  • Leader Martti Ahtissari and Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin advise Milosevic to accept the G8 terms in order to avoid further bombing
  • Conclusions: The continuation of 78 days of bombing Yugoslavia was a failure. Instead of degrading the Yugoslav army and bringing Milosevic to his knees, Yugoslavia’s moral increased along with the amount of support after NATO and the US was bombing Yugoslavia. This is due to the NATO commanders who were divided in targeting specific areas. However, after the excessive use of air bombing, NATO decides to do a ground invasion with a leader who was committed: Tony Blair. Even though president Clinton stated that no US troops would be on the ground, they bypassed their promise and went with the plan since this was the only way in defeating Milosevic. In the end, NATO along with the US win after Russia advised Milosevic to accept the terms of NATO otherwise further bombing and invasion could worsen.

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