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Conflict in Kosovo and Serbia

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There has been a growing conflict in Kosovo since 29 May 2023 between Kosovo and Serbia.

Bad blood has existed in this region over sectarian and religious lines for decades because the region is a historic battleground between the old Ottoman/Turkish empire that was predominantly Muslim.

The other two powers were the expansionist Russians and the Russian Empire before it was dissolved in 1917 during the February and October revolution.

The Russians are predominantly Orthodox Christianity which split from the main branch of Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church, in the 10th century.

The other big players historically war the Habsburgs, who were predominantly Catholic and ruled most of central Europe until the rise of Germany in the 19th century.

The reason for current hostilities is that Kosovo unilaterally became independent of Serbia in 2008, and the Serbians are unhappy about losing parts of their territory.

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Conflict in Kosovo

A European Union official Josep Boreelo Fontelles is a Spanish politician serving as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy since 1 December 2019.

He has put out a statement that Kosovo and Serbia have agreed to implement the Annex agreement, which is aimed at both nations and the path to normalisation between both societies.

This agreement was signed in March 2023; the parties have fully committed to honouring all articles of the agreement concerning the obligations and expectations of both parties in good faith.

Since March, any optimism and hope from the agreement are sadly falling short, with both parties quickly abandoning the deal in the months after March.

There is a growing conflict with ethnic Serbians attacking United Nations peacekeeping forces based in the region, which has led to further deployment of 700 peacekeepers to Kosovo and Serbia, with the previous number of 3800 peacekeepers bringing the total up to 4500 peacekeepers.

Conflict is further heightened by the Serbian government trying to install Serbians into mayoral positions in their provinces, with the majority identifying as the people of Kosovo.

pexels-photo-11644201.jpeg  Conflict in Kosovo
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A Brief History of the Kosovo and Serbian Conflict

Kosovo and Serbia used to be part of the nation of Yugoslavia until the 1990s, gaining independence after the Cold War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Kosovo was part of the nation of Serbia.

During the Kosovo War in the 1990s, NATO intervened on the side of Kosovo, stationing peacekeeping forces within Kosovo to protect them from Serbia.

This is a principal reason why ethnic Serbians do not see United Nations peacekeepers as being neutral in their actions.

With Kosovo unilaterally voting for independence in 2008, and the United Nations, the United States and the majority members of the European Union supporting a free Kosovo have led to tensions between them and the Serbian government.

Continuing tension between Kosovo and Serbia is that Serbia still does not recognise the independence and legitimacy of an independent state of Kosovo. Also, in Kosovo, 8% of its population identify ethnically Serbian.

Separatist support within Kosovo for reunification with Serbia has led to repeating protests by ethnic Serbians to rejoin Serbia into a united nation.

selective focus photography of brown wooden book shelf  Conflict in Kosovo
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Sources and Bibliography

Britannica Russian Revolution Russian history [1917] link

Historical European Union Archives Borrell i Fontelles, Josep link

BBC Kosovo: Why is violence flaring up again? link

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