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  • In 2008, Kosovo became Europe's newest country.

  • This small state of 1.8 million people,

  • emerged as a result of one of Europe's

  • most brutal sectarian conflicts since the Second World War.

  • It was a conflict that pitted an authoritarian

  • nationalist leader, Slobodan Milosevic.

  • When bombing stop,

  • then it will be very easy to continue political process.

  • Against Western military power.

  • We must not allow, ethnic cleansing or genocide,

  • particularly at the edge of Europe.

  • Today, Kosovo is peaceful but poor.

  • Kosovo didn't only transition from war to peace.

  • It was transition now from communist country

  • to a capitalist one,

  • from a ravaged countryside to the one being rebuilt.

  • Kosovo was part of Serbia from 1912.

  • Then, in 1918, Serbia became part

  • of what would become Yugoslavia.

  • Serbs considered and say that Kosovo is their Jerusalem.

  • It was a sort of heart of Serbia.

  • To this day,

  • Kosovo is still divided along ethnic lines.

  • Over 90% of its population are ethnic Albanians,

  • who are mostly Muslim.

  • Serbs, who are Orthodox Christians, account for about 5%.

  • This is the southern city of Pristina,

  • capital of Kosovo Province.

  • Throughout the 1980s,

  • Kosovo enjoyed autonomy within Serbia.

  • But the majority ethnic Albanian population

  • wanted more political freedom.

  • Kosovo Albanian nationalism was growing.

  • There were demands that Kosovo become a republic.

  • Kosovo Serbs began to complain,

  • saying that they were threatened.

  • But there was one man standing in the way

  • of Kosovo Albanians, Slobodan Milosevic,

  • the leader of the Serbian communist party.

  • Milosevic wanted to keep Kosovo as part of Serbia.

  • He rallied the minority Serb population

  • and further divided Kosovo.

  • Slobodan Milosevic used the Kosovo Serb issue

  • to take power and to play the nationalist card,

  • which was to propel him to full power within Serbia.

  • In 1989, Milosevic became President of Serbia,

  • and within weeks, placed Kosovo back under the direct

  • control of his Serbian government.

  • Petrit Selimi was growing up in Kosovo at the time.

  • He and his family belong to the ethnic Albanian majority.

  • When Milosevic came to power, we lost our status.

  • Our political rights were lost,

  • our economic freedoms were lost,

  • and our education rights were lost.

  • As communism collapsed across Central

  • and Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia began to disintegrate.

  • From 1991, its republics declared independence.

  • Wars broke out in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia,

  • as ethnic Serbs living in these new countries,

  • opposed independence.

  • Milosevic wanted to carve a greater Serbia out of the ruins.

  • So he so he sent his troops

  • to support Serbs in these conflicts.

  • During this turbulent time,

  • Kosovo's political leadership declared independence, too,

  • but this was ignored by Serbia

  • and the international community.

  • In the late 1990s, a guerrilla group,

  • the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA,

  • began to attack Serbian police units.

  • Its aim was to win independence through force.

  • It was mixture of excitement,

  • but fear that something big is about to unfold.

  • Milosevic sent more Serbian security forces

  • into Kosovo to defeat the KLA.

  • The Serbian security forces

  • and the Yugoslav army were quite brutal.

  • I mean, the KLA were quite brutal as well,

  • but the overwhelming preponderance of force, of course,

  • was on the side of the Serbian security forces.

  • On January the 15th, 1999,

  • Serb forces attacked the village of Racak,

  • killing 45 Kosovo Albanian civilians.

  • Racak massacre was a turning point

  • because as soon as the massacre unfolded, people were there,

  • western journalists, observers, seeing the dead bodies,

  • and calling it what it was, a crime against humanity.

  • As Serbian forces

  • retook territory from the KLA,

  • thousands of Kosovo Albanians fled their homes.

  • The images shocked the West.

  • At a peace conference in France,

  • Western powers gave Serbia and Kosovo Albanians

  • an ultimatum, accept a peace deal or face military action.

  • We're not interested in a partial agreement.

  • We're interested in a settlement that works.

  • The Serbs rejected the deal.

  • We are not talking to Albanians.

  • We are talking to Americans,

  • who would like to take our territory for themselves

  • and for NATO.

  • And Albanians were just excuse for them.

  • NATO resolved to punish Milosevic and his army,

  • and began air strikes on Serb military targets in Kosovo

  • and throughout Serbia itself.

  • It is about creating the kind of world

  • where an innocent people are not singled out for repression,

  • for expulsion, for destruction,

  • just because of their religious and ethnic heritage.

  • During the war, my parents, my brother,

  • fled the neighborhood, were kicked out by paramilitaries.

  • They were hiding in the forest

  • I didn't know for several days, are they alive or not.

  • After 78 days of bombing

  • and hundreds of civilian deaths, Serbia capitulated.

  • Milosevic withdrew his forces from Kosovo.

  • NATO tanks rolled in,

  • and Petrit was reunited with his family.

  • As Kosovar Albanians returned,

  • tens of thousands of ethnic Serbs fled north to Serbia.

  • It would be another nine years

  • before Kosovo finally declared independence.

  • Today Kosovo has a rough and ready democracy

  • and a growing economy, but unemployment is high at 33%.

  • In recent years, clashes caused by ethnic tension,

  • have erupted on occasions.

  • Today most Kosovo Serbs consider themselves

  • citizens of Serbia.

  • They don't recognize the Kosovo state

  • and they don't feel a part of it.

  • External pressure could improve

  • those strained relations.

  • Both Kosovo and Serbia

  • are working to join the European Union.

  • I don't think either of us would be able to join

  • the European Union family

  • until we sort out the issues with each other.

  • Dialogue is the only way we can move forward.

  • If Kosovo and Serbia are to become

  • EU member states, their governments and peoples

  • will have to work together and bury their bloody past.

In 2008, Kosovo became Europe's newest country.

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成為國家(How did Kosovo become a country? | The Economist)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 09 月 27 日
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