Republic of Kosova
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|Republic of Kosovo|
|Republika e Kosovës|
|Recognised only by Albania|
Himni i Flamurit
Hymn to the Flag
Location of the Republic of Kosovo within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1999)
|Historical era||Yugoslav Wars|
|•||Established||September 22, 1992|
|•||Disestablished||February 1, 1999|
The Republic of Kosovo (Albanian: Republika e Kosovës) was a self-declared state proclaimed in 1992 by an assembly of ethnic Albanian politicians of AP Kosovo and Metohija. It was recognized only by the Republic of Albania. 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 the Republic of Serbia.
The Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo was established in 1974 with a high degree of autonomy within the Socialist Republic of Serbia. This autonomy was curtailed by constitutional amendments in 1989, in the anti-bureaucratic revolution, resulting in mass protests by Kosovar Albanians, starting with the 1989 Kosovo miners' strike, many of whom were arrested by the then-Yugoslav authorities. This resulted in a declaration of a state of emergency in February 1990 and the resignation of the Provincial Council of Ministers in May.
The Serbian [federal] government enacted a series of laws which prohibited Albanians from buying or selling property, they shut down Albanian-language media, and dismissed thousands of ethnic Albanian government employees.
Late in June, Albanian members of the provincial assembly proposed a response - a vote on whether to form an independent republic; the (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. 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 fired another 80,000 Albanian workers.
Ethnic Albanian members of the now officially dissolved Kosovo Assembly met in secret in Kačanik on 7 September and declared the "Republic of Kosovo" 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 Kosovo" an independent state on 22 September 1992. This declaration was endorsed by an unofficial referendum held a few days later. Serb authorities took this very seriously, and attempted to capture and prosecute those who had voted.
From 1995 onwards, tensions in Kosovo escalated leading to the Kosovo war which began in 1998, fought between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the rebel KLA. The KLA-led campaign continued into January 1999 and was brought to the attention of the world media by the Račak massacre, mass killings of Albanians by Serb security forces. 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.
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. A Kosovo Transitional Council was established to enable Kosovo political and community leaders were represented in decisions. The KLA was disbanded and replaced by the Kosovo Protection Corps, a lightly armed civilian emergency response organization. Kosovo declared independence again in 2008.
- Statement of Albanian PM Sali Berisha during the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo, stating that this is based on an 1991 Albanian law, which recognized the Republic of Kosovo Archived April 20, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Noel Malcolm, A Short History of Kosovo, p.346.
- Noel Malcolm, A Short History of Kosovo, p.347
- Clark, Howard. Civil Resistance in Kosovo. London: Pluto Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7453-1569-0
- Ben Cahoon. "Serbia". Worldstatesmen.org. Retrieved 2010-06-19.