Insurgency in the Preševo Valley

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Preševo Valley Insurgency
Part of the Yugoslav Wars
Date 12 June 1999 – 1 June 2001[1]
(1 year, 11 months, 2 weeks and 6 days)
Location Preševo, Bujanovac, and Medveđa, Serbia, FR Yugoslavia
Result

Decisive Yugoslav victory[2]

Belligerents
UÇPMB  FR Yugoslavia
Commanders and leaders

Muhamet Xhemajli
(UÇPMB commander)
Ridvan Qazimi Lleshi  
(Second UÇPMB commander)
Shefket Musliu
(UÇPMB chief)[4]
Pacir Shicri
(UÇPMB spokesman)[5]

Tahir Dalipi
(UÇPMB spokesman)
Slobodan Milošević
(President, 1999–2000)
Vojislav Koštunica
(Second President, 2000–01)
Nebojša Pavković
(Chief of the General Staff)
Ninoslav Krstić
(General of the Army)
Goran Radosavljević
(Police General)
Milorad Ulemek
(Secret police)
Units involved
Strength
1,600 separatists[6] Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 3,500 soldiers and policemen
100 JSO members
Casualties and losses
27 killed
400 surrendered to KFOR
18 killed
68 wounded
15 civilians killed (8 Serb, 7 Albanian)
2 UN observers wounded

The Insurgency in the Preševo Valley was an armed conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the ethnic Albanian separatists[7][8][9] of the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac (UÇPMB).[10] There were instances during the conflict in which the Yugoslav government requested KFOR support in suppressing UÇPMB attacks since they could only use lightly armed military forces as part of the Kumanovo Treaty that ended the Kosovo War, which created a buffer zone so that the bulk of Yugoslav armed forces could not enter.[11]

The Yugoslav president, Vojislav Koštunica, often warned that fresh fighting would erupt if KFOR units did not act to prevent the attacks coming from the UÇPMB.[12]

Background[edit]

The Kosovo War was a parallel conflict between the Yugoslav Army and the Kosovo Liberation Army. It began in February 1998 and ended on 10 June 1999 when the Kumanovo Treaty was signed. According to the treaty, KFOR troops, supervised by the United Nations, would enter as a peacekeeping force, while Yugoslav military forces were to withdraw. It was agreed that the KLA would disband by 19 September 1999.[13] The Preševo valley conflict erupted in June 1999.

Casualties[edit]

Yugoslav[edit]

During the conflict, 18 members of the Yugoslav security forces were killed and 68 were wounded. Eight civilians were also killed.[14] Some of the deaths were caused by mines.[1]

UÇPMB[edit]

In 2013, UÇPMB veterans erected a memorial with the names of 27 insurgents who were killed in the conflict.[15] A further 400 were reported to have surrendered to KFOR.[16] Seven ethnic Albanian civilians were also killed.[17]

Other casualties[edit]

Two United Nations observers were wounded, according to reports.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mine kills Serb police". BBC News. October 14, 2000. 
  2. ^ David Holley (25 May 2001). "Yugoslavia Occupies Last of Kosovo Buffer". LA Times. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/europe/balkans/serbia/152-southern-serbias-fragile-peace.aspx
  4. ^ "Rebel Albanian chief surrenders". BBC News. May 26, 2001. 
  5. ^ "British K-For troops under fire". BBC News. January 25, 2001. 
  6. ^ "Kosovo rebels accept peace talks". BBC News. February 7, 2001. 
  7. ^ Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of an Insurgency, Henry H. Perritt
  8. ^ Reflections on the Balkan Wars: Ten Years After the Break-up of Yugoslavia, Jeffrey S. Morton, Stefano Bianchini, Craig Nation, Paul Forage
  9. ^ War in the Balkans, 1991–2002, R. Craig Nation
  10. ^ Morton, Jeffrey S. (2004). Reflections on the Balkan Wars. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 57. ISBN 1-4039-6332-0.
  11. ^ "Renewed clashes near Kosovo border". BBC News. January 28, 2001. 
  12. ^ "Kostunica warns of fresh fighting". BBC News. January 29, 2001. 
  13. ^ "KLA future in the balance". BBC News. September 7, 1999. 
  14. ^ "Uhapšeni Albanci otimali i kasapili Srbe". Večernje Novosti. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Remembrance of the recent past". The Economist. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Yugoslav troops advance in buffer zone, brace for backlash from top rebel's death, Stars and Stripes, May 26, 2001
  17. ^ "Human rights violations committed in Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac from the period of the NATO bombing to the granting of an amnesty to former soldiers of the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac". Humanitarian Law Centre. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°18′20″N 21°38′34″E / 42.3056°N 21.6428°E / 42.3056; 21.6428