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Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia 

Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia
Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia

In News: Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia

  • Violent clashes have taken place in Kosovo between ethnic Serbs and police belonging to the Albanian-led government.
  • NATO has also announced that it is deploying an extra 700 troops to the country after more than 30 of its peacekeepers were injured.

Reason Behind Current Round Of Violence

  • The current round of violence took place after ethnic Serbs tried to prevent Albanian mayors taking charge in local councils.
    • Ethnic Serbs are a minority in Kosovo but are in a majority in northern Kosovo.
  • The Albanians took control of the councils after Serbs boycotted local elections in Kosovo’s north in April.
  • Results of the elections, which saw a turnout of less than 3.5%, were rejected by the Serbs as a sham.

All about Kosovo Conflict

Topic: Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia
  • Ethnicities at the Centre
    • Of the 1.8 million people living in Kosovo, 92% are Albanian and only 6% Serbian.
    • The rest are Bosniaks, Gorans, Turks and Roma.
      • Serbs are Eastern Orthodox Christians, while the Albanians in Kosovo are majority Muslims.
    • For many Serbians, the Kosovo region, is the heart of its national and religious identity — and home to numerous cherished mediaeval Serb Orthodox Christian monasteries.
    • On the other hand, Kosovo’s majority ethnic Albanians view Kosovo as belonging to them, and accuse Serbia of occupation and repression.
  • Root of Conflict: Breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s
    • After the disintegration, Kosovo – a province of the former country – sought its own autonomy and independence. This was opposed by Serbia.
      • As part of Yugoslavia, the republic of Serbia included the regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina.
      • Within Serbia, Kosovo and Vojvodina held the status of autonomous provinces.
  • Armed Clashes
    • In 1998, armed clashes broke out between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an ethnic Albanian guerrilla group seeking independence, and the Serbian security forces.
    • The conflict intensified, leading to a significant loss of life and the displacement of thousands of people.
  • NATO’s Intervention
    • International efforts to resolve the conflict was led by the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
      • It resulted in a military intervention in 1999.
    • NATO conducted a bombing campaign against Serbian targets and forced the withdrawal of Serbian security forces from Kosovo.
    • The NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFor) is still based in Kosovo, with a current strength of 3,762.
  • Kosovo unilaterally declared independence
    • In 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence.
    • A total of 99 out of 193 UN countries now recognise Kosovo’s independence, including the US, the UK and 22 out of 27 European Union (EU) countries.
      • But Russia and China (do not recognise Kosovo) have blocked Kosovo’s membership of the UN.

Geographical Location of Kosovo & Serbia
Geographical Location of Kosovo & Serbia
Geographical Location of Kosovo & Serbia
Topic: Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia
  • Serbia
    • Serbia, officially known as the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country located to the north of Kosovo.
    • It is bordered by Hungary to the north, Romania and Bulgaria to the east, North Macedonia to the south, Kosovo to the southwest, Montenegro to the west, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest.
    • The capital and largest city of Serbia is Belgrade.
  • Kosovo
    • Kosovo, officially known as the Republic of Kosovo, is a partially recognized country situated in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula.
      • Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia does not recognise Kosovo’s statehood.
      • Neither does India, Russia, China and five European Union countries – Spain, Slovakia, Cyprus, Romania and Greece recognise Kosovo.
    • It is bordered by Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest, and Montenegro to the west.
    • The capital and largest city of Kosovo is Pristina.

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