Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija
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|Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija|
Location and extent of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (red) within Serbia.
|Capital||Pristina (Prishtina, Priština)
|-||UN interim administration||1999|
4,212 sq mi
|GDP (nominal)||2009 estimate|
|Currency||Serbian dinar (
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|-||Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Drives on the||right|
|Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, while Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory. Its independence is recognised by 101 out of 193 UN member states.|
|Part of a series on the|
|History of Kosovo|
The Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Serbian language: Косово и Метохија, Kosovo i Metohija) comprises the territory of Kosovo within the Republic of Serbia. From April 1992, Serbia itself formed an integral part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. From 1991 to 1999, the region was recognised by its Albanian majority – as well as by the Republic of Albania – as the independent Republic of Kosova.
This province was established by the Anti-bureaucratic revolution by Slobodan Milošević's government and the reduction of the additional powers of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo in 1990, effectively a return to the pre-1974 status of Kosovo and Metohija as when the constitution was last revised in 1971. In 1990 it was an autonomous part of the Socialist Republic of Serbia within the larger Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and by 1992 the conditions had changed where it remained an autonomous part of the new Republic of Serbia in the smaller Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After 1999, Serbia and the Yugoslav government no longer exercised de facto control over the territory, and in 2008 the Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence. While Serbia has not formally recognized Kosovo's indepence and still has an administrative apparatus for the Autonomous Province, its independence is recognised by 101 UN member states, including most NATO countries powers.
Constitutional changes were made in Yugoslavia in 1990. The parliaments of all Yugoslavian republics and provinces, which until then had MPs only from the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, were dissolved and multi-party elections were held within them. Kosovar Albanians refused to participate in the elections so they held their own unsanctioned elections instead. As election laws required (and still require) turnout higher than 50%, a parliament in Kosovo could not be established.
The new constitution abolished the individual provinces' official media, integrating them within the official media of Serbia while still retaining some programs in the Albanian language. The Albanian-language media in Kosovo was suppressed. Funding was withdrawn from state-owned media, including that in the Albanian language in Kosovo. The constitution made creating privately owned media possible, however their functioning was very difficult because of high rents and restricting laws. State-owned Albanian language television or radio was also banned from broadcasting from Kosovo . However, privately owned Albanian media outlets appeared; of these, probably the most famous is "Koha Ditore", which was allowed to operate until late 1998 when it was closed after publishing a calendar glorifying ethnic Albanian separatists.
The constitution also transferred control over state-owned companies to the Yugoslav central government. In September 1990, up to 123,000 Albanian workers were dismissed from their positions in government and media, as were teachers, doctors, and civil servants , provoking a general strike and mass unrest. Some of those who were not sacked quit in sympathy, refusing to work for the Serbian government. Although the sackings were widely seen as a purge of ethnic Albanians, the government maintained that it was removing former communist directors.
Albanian educational curriculum textbooks previously used were revoked and replaced by new ones. The curriculum was (and still is, as that is the curriculum used for Albanians in Serbia outside Kosovo) identical to its Serbian counterpart and that of all other nationalities in Serbia except that it had education on and in the Albanian language. Education in Albanian was withdrawn in 1992 and re-established in 1994.  At the Priština University, which was seen as a centre of Kosovo Albanian cultural identity, education in the Albanian language was abolished and Albanian teachers were also dismissed in large numbers. Albanians responded by boycotting state schools and setting up an unofficial parallel system of Albanian-language education.
Kosovo Albanians were outraged by what they saw as an attack on their rights. Following mass rioting and unrest from Albanians as well as outbreaks of inter-communal violence, in February 1990, a state of emergency was declared and the presence of the Yugoslav Army and police was significantly increased to quell the unrest.
Unsanctioned elections were held in 1992, which overwhelmingly elected Ibrahim Rugova as "president" of a self-declared Republic of Kosova; however, these elections were not recognised by Yugoslav nor any foreign government. In 1995, thousands of Serb refugees from Croatia settled in Kosovo, which further worsened relations between the two communities.
Albanian opposition to the sovereignty of Yugoslavia and especially Serbia had previously surfaced in rioting (1968 and March 1981) in the capital Priština. Rugova initially advocated non-violent resistance, but later opposition took the form of separatist agitation by opposition political groups and armed action from 1996 by the "Kosovo Liberation Army" (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës, or UÇK) whose activities led to the Kosovo War ending with the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the eventual creation of the UN Kosovo protectorate (UNMIK).
Politics and government
Since 1999, the Serb-inhabited areas of Kosovo have been governed as a de facto independent region from the Albanian-dominated government in Pristina. They continue to use Serbian national symbols and participates in Serbian national elections, which are boycotted in the rest of Kosovo; and in turn, it boycotts Kosovo's elections. The municipalities of Leposavić, Zvečan and Zubin Potok are run by local Serbs, while the Kosovska Mitrovica municipality had rival Serbian and Albanian governments until a compromise was agreed in November 2002.
The Serb areas have united into a community, the Union of Serbian Districts and District Units of Kosovo and Metohija established in February 2003 by Serbian delegates meeting in Kosovska Mitrovica, which has since served as the de facto "capital." The Union's president is Dragan Velić. There is also a central governing body, the Serbian National Council for Kosovo and Metohija (SNV). The President of SNV in North Kosovo is Dr Milan Ivanović, while the head of its Executive Council is Rada Trajković.
In February 2007 the Union of Serbian Districts and District Units of Kosovo and Metohija has transformed into the Serbian Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija presided by Marko Jakšić. The Assembly strongly criticised the secessionist movements of the Albanian-dominated PISG Assembly of Kosovo and demanded unity of the Serb people in Kosovo, boycott of EULEX and announced massive protests in support of Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo. On 18 February 2008, day after Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, the Assembly declared it "null and void".
Also, there was a Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija within the Serbian government, with Goran Bogdanović as Minister for Kosovo and Metohija. In 2012, that ministry was downgraded to the Office for Kosovo, with Aleksandar Vulin as the head of the new office.
Five of Serbian Districts are on the territory of Kosovo, comprising 28 municipalities and 1 city. In 2000, UNMIK created 7 new districts and 30 municipalities. Serbia does not exercise sovereignty over this polity. For the UNMIK districts and the districts of Kosovo, see Districts of Kosovo.
in 2002 (rank)
|Municipalities and cities|
|Kosovska Mitrovica District
- North Kosovo
- Kosovo Serb enclaves
- Kosovo District
- Autonomous Province of Vojvodina
- Republic of Serbia (federal)
- (Serbo-Croatian)  UN estimate. Kosovo’s population estimates range from 1.9 to 2.4 million. The last two population censuses conducted in 1981 and 1991 estimated Kosovo’s population at 1.6 and 1.9 million respectively, but the 1991 census probably under-counted Albanians. The latest estimate in 2001 by OSCE puts the number at 2.4 million. The World Factbook gives an estimate of 2,126,708 for the year 2007 (see Kosovo entry at The World Factbook).
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- "Kosovo’s declaration of independence did not violate international law – UN court". UN News Centre. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
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- "NATO – Topic: NATO's role in Kosovo". Nato.int. 31 August 2012.
- Steven Beardsley. "Kosovo aims to form military force and join NATO – News". Stripes.
- Clark, Howard. Civil Resistance in Kosovo. London: Pluto Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7453-1569-0
- Day, Matthew (11 November 2010). "Serbia calls for boycott of Kosovo elections". The Daily Telegraph.
- Declaration of Establishing the Assembly of the Community of Municipalities of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (English)
- "Ivanović: Frustracija Kosovom uzrok nestabilnosti". Blic.rs.
- Vesna Peric Zimonjic (29 June 2008). "Kosovo Serbs set up rival assembly". The Independent (UK). Archived from the original on 30 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
- Ben Cahoon. "Kosovo". Worldstatesmen.org. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "Closure of Serbian ministry sparks debate". Southeast European Times. 14 August 2012.