Republic of Kosova

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Republic of Kosova
Republika e Kosovës
Anthem: Himni i Flamurit
"Hymn to the Flag"
Location of the Republic of Kosova in relation to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1999)
Location of the Republic of Kosova in relation to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1999)
StatusRecognised only by Albania
Common languagesAlbanian (official)
• 1992–2000
Ibrahim Rugova
Prime Minister 
• 1990–1991
Jusuf Zejnullahu
• 1991–2000
Bujar Bukoshi
Historical eraYugoslav Wars
• Established
22 September 1991
• Disestablished
1 February 1999
• 1995
CurrencyYugoslav dinar
Albanian lek
Deutsche Mark
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo
United Nations Administered Kosovo
Today part ofKosovo[a]

The Republic of Kosova (Albanian: Republika e Kosovës) or First Republic of Kosovo was a self-declared proto-state in Southeastern Europe established in 1991.[1] During its peak, it tried to establish its own parallel political institutions in opposition to the institutions of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija held by Yugoslavia's Republic of Serbia.

The flag used by the Republic of Kosova was very similar to the flag of Albania, depicting the same symbol on the same coloured background.



Late in June 1990, Albanian members of the provincial assembly proposed a vote on whether to form an independent republic; the ethnic Serb president of the assembly immediately shut it down and promised to reopen the assembly on 2 July, which was later postponed.

On 2 July, the vast majority of Albanian members of the Provincial Assembly returned to the Assembly, but it had been locked; so in the street outside they voted to declare Kosovo a Republic within the Yugoslav federation.[2] The Serbian government responded by dissolving the Assembly and the government of Kosovo, removing any remaining autonomy. The Serb government then passed another law on labour relations which dismissed another 80,000 Albanian workers.

Ethnic Albanian members of the now officially dissolved Kosovo Assembly met in secret in Kaçanik on 7 September and declared the "Republic of Kosova" in which laws from Yugoslavia would only be valid if compatible with the Republic's constitution. The assembly went on to declare the "Republic of Kosova" an independent state on 22 September 1991.[3][4] This declaration was endorsed by 99% of voters in an unofficial referendum held a few days later.[5] The Republic of Kosova received diplomatic recognition from Albania.

Parallel structures[edit]

Kosovo Albanians organized a resistance movement, creating a number of parallel structures in education, medical care, and taxation.[6][page needed] New schools opened, with houses being turned into facilities for schools, including high schools and universities. And on parallel elections, new leaders were elected, forming a new country within a country. Because of the repression, the new government had its seat in exile. There was a parallel football league, following all the sports men and woman being expelled from the stadiums and sport facilities.[7][8]

NATO intervention[edit]

From 1995 onwards, tensions in the region escalated leading to the Kosovo War which began in February 1998,[9][10][11] fought between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the revolutionary guerrilla for liberation Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).[12] The KLA-led campaign continued into January 1999 and was brought to the attention of the world media by the Račak massacre, the mass killing of about 45 Albanians (Including 9 KLA insurgents)[13] by Serbian security forces.[14] An international conference was held in Rambouillet, France later that spring and resulted in a proposed peace agreement (the Rambouillet Agreement) which was accepted by the ethnic Albanian side but rejected by the Yugoslav government.[15]

The failure of the talks at Rambouillet resulted in a NATO air campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia lasting from 24 March to 11 June when the Yugoslav authorities signed a military technical agreement allowing NATO peacekeepers (KFOR) and an international civilian mission (UNMIK) to enter Kosovo.

UNMIK assumed control of Kosovo. Provisional Institutions of Self-Government were established to allow Kosovo political and community leaders to be represented in decisions. The KLA was disbanded and replaced by the Kosovo Protection Corps, a lightly armed civilian emergency response organization.


Position Name Period Notes Ref
President Ibrahim Rugova 1992–2000 In exile in Italy from 5 May to 15 July 1999 [16]
Prime Minister
Bujar Bukoshi 1991–2000 In exile in Ljubljana, then from May 1992 to Aug 1999 in Bonn
Hashim Thaçi 1999–2000 Provisional Prime Minister in opposition
Chairman of the Assembly Ilaz Ramajli 1990–1992

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The political status of Kosovo is disputed. Having unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo is formally recognised as an independent state by 101 UN member states (with another 13 states recognising it at some point but then withdrawing their recognition) and 92 states not recognizing it, while Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory.


  1. ^ "Statement of Albanian PM Sali Berisha during the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo, stating that this is based on a 1991 Albanian law, which recognized the Republic of Kosova". Keshilli i Ministrave. 2008-02-18. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  2. ^ Noel Malcolm, A Short History of Kosovo, p.346.
  3. ^ Jure Vidmar International Legal Responses to Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence Vanderbilt Journal of Transitional Law, Vol 42, p789
  4. ^ Jure Vidmar (2009). "International Legal Responses to Kosovo's Declaration of Independence" (PDF). Vanderbilt Journal of Transitional Law. 42: 789. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-12-20.
  5. ^ Kosovo (Yugoslavia), 30 September 1991: Independence Direct Democracy (in German)
  6. ^ Clark, Howard. Civil Resistance in Kosovo. London: Pluto Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7453-1569-0
  7. ^ How to build a parallel state, Agron Demi for Prishtina Insight, 2018
  8. ^ Forming a parallel state, Besnik Pula
  9. ^ Independent International Commission on Kosovo (2000). The Kosovo Report (PDF). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0199243099.
  10. ^ Quackenbush, Stephen L. (2015). International Conflict: Logic and Evidence. Los Angeles: Sage. p. 202. ISBN 9781452240985.
  11. ^ "Roots of the Insurgency in Kosovo" (PDF). June 1999.
  12. ^ Glenny, Misha (2012). The Balkans. USA: Penguin Books. p. 652. ISBN 978-0-14-242256-4.
  13. ^ Judah 2000, p. 193
  14. ^ Strauss, Julius (2001-06-30). "Massacre that started long haul to justice". Retrieved 2013-02-05.
  15. ^ Suy, Eric (2000). "NATO's Intervention in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia". Leiden Journal of International Law. 13: 193–205. doi:10.1017/S0922156500000133. S2CID 145232986.
  16. ^ "Alternative government: Republic of Kosovo".