Die Geschichte des Kosovo-Konfliktes von 1389 bis 1999: 1389 | 1918 | 1929 | 1941 | 1945 | 1974 | 1981 | 1987 | 1989 | 1991 | 1992 | 1995 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999.
Serbs fight – and lose – an epic battle to Ottoman Turks in Kosovo, which the Serbs consider their ancestral homeland. Despite the loss, „Kosovo Polje,“ as it is known, is celebrated in Serbian folklore and remains a symbol for ethnic pride.
After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I, Kosovo becomes part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
The country becomes an absolute monarchy, its regions divided without regard to racial composition and its name is changed to Yugoslavia.
German army invades in April, and the country is later occupied by Italians, Hungarians and Bulgarians.
At end of World War II, Yugoslavia becomes a communist republic.
A revised Yugoslav constitution grants autonomy to Kosovo, a Serbian province largely occupied by ethnic Albanians. The Albanians, most of whom are Muslim, institute Albanian-language schools and observe Islamic holidays.
Demonstrations by Albanian students against the working and living conditions in Kosovo – only 12 percent of the Albanians in Kosovo are employed; they also have the highest birthrate in Europe – turn bloody, escalating the exit of Serbs and Montenegrins from the province.
Slobodan Milosevic rises to power in Yugoslavia, fanning the flames of Serbian nationalism while Albanian civil rights continue to erode.
Escalating tensions between Serbs and ethnic Albanians and fear of secession prompt Milosevic to strip the province – now 90 percent Albanian – of its autonomy. The army and police are sent in battle strength to keep order.
Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina declare independence from Yugoslavia, triggering ethnic fighting between Croats, Muslims and Serbs. A year later, all-out war breaks out in Bosnia.
Kosovo’s Albanian majority votes to secede from Serbia and Yugoslavia, and indicates a desire to merge with Albania. Serb forces massacre thousands of Bosnian Muslims and carry out „ethnic cleansing“ by expelling Muslims and other non-Serbs from areas under Bosnian Serb control. Late that year, U.S. President George Bush warns the Serbs that the United States will use force if the Serbs attack Kosovo.
A peace agreement to end the Bosnian War is signed late in the year by leaders of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia.
The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a small militant group, begins killing Serb policemen and others who collaborate with the Serbs. They also establish areas from which the Serbs are driven entirely.
February – Milosevic sends troops into the areas controlled by the KLA, destroying property and killing 80 Kosovars, at least 30 of them women, children and elderly men. The killing provokes riots in Pristina, the Kosovar capital, turns the conflict into a guerrilla war and raises again the specter of ethnic cleansing by the Serbs.
May – Milosevic and Ibrahim Rugova, an advocate of a peaceful path to independence for Kosovo, hold talks for first time, but the Albanian side boycotts further meetings.
July and August – KLA seizes control of 40 percent of Kosovo before being defeated in a Serb offensive.
September – Serb forces attack central Kosovo, where 22 Albanians are found massacred. U.N. Security Council calls for immediate cease-fire and political dialogue.
October – NATO allies authorize airstrikes against Serb military targets, Milosevic agrees to withdraw troops, facilitate the return of refugees and accept unarmed international monitors.
October-December – U.S. envoy Christopher Hill tries to broker political settlement. Scattered daily violence undermines fragile truce.
December – Yugoslav troops kill 36 KLA rebels. Six Serbs killed in a cafe, prompting widespread Serb protests. Fighting in north kills at least 15.
January 15 – 45 ethnic Albanians slain outside Racak. International officials demand a war crimes investigation.
January 29 – Serb police kill 24 Kosovo Albanians in a raid on a suspected rebel hideout. Western allies demand warring sides attend Kosovo peace conference or face NATO airstrikes.
February 6-17 – First round of talks between Kosovo Albanians and Serbs in Rambouillet, France. Serbs refuse to consider NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo; Albanians agree to sign when talks resume.
March 13 – A series of daytime bombings kill seven people and injures dozens, all ethnic Albanians, in the government-held towns of Kosovska Mitrovica and Podujevo; both sides accuse the other.
March 15 – Talks resume in Paris and the Kosovo Albanians confirm to international officials that they are ready to sign the peace deal unilaterally „at a time and place of your choosing.“
March 18 – Kosovo Albanians sign peace deal calling for interim broad autonomy and for 28,000 NATO troops to implement it. Serb delegation refuses to sign accord.
March 19 – Talks suspended.
March 20 – International peace monitors evacuate, citing security and possibility of NATO airstrikes.
March 22 – Holbrooke arrives in Belgrade on a last-ditch bid to convince Milosevic to accept the accord.
March 23 – Serb parliament solidly rejects NATO demands to send peacekeeping troops into Kosovo. Holbrooke ends his mission, saying Milosevic has refused to agree to a plan for autonomy for Kosovo, secured by NATO troops. The failure of diplomacy opens the way for NATO airstrikes.
March 24 – NATO launches airstrikes.
May 27 – The United Nations‘ International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia announces indictment of Milosevic as a war criminal.
May 31 – Belgrade say it agrees to the principles of the G-8’s plan. The Western allies remain skeptical.
June 3 – The Serbian parliament approves the G-8’s peace plan. Milosevic reportedly also votes in favor of the plan.
June 9 – Yugoslav and NATO generals sign an agreement on the withdrawal of Serb troops from Kosovo, following a marathon session of intense talks near the Yugoslav-Macedonian border. Once it is verified that the pullout has begun, NATO airstrikes will be suspended.
June 10 – Yugoslavia begins the process of withdrawing its security forces from Kosovo. NATO announces that it has suspended the bombing campaign, and the U.N. Security Council formally ratifies the negotiated peace proposal.
June 11 – As NATO makes final preparations to move peacekeepers into Kosovo, Russian troops stationed in Bosnia move through Belgrade and take up positions near the Kosovo border. But Western leaders say they have assurances that the Russians won’t move into Kosovo.
June 12 – In the early morning hours, Russian troops make a surprise arrival in Kosovo’s provincial capital of Pristina, to the cheers of Serb citizens. Later in the day, NATO forces begin moving north across the Macedonian border.
June 18 – Under an agreement signed in Helsinki, Finland, by Russian and U.S. leaders, about 3,000 Russian troops will take part in KFOR, serving in sectors controlled by German, French and American Forces.