“мир”: Peace. What does it mean to Serbia and Kosovo?

serbia and kosovo - sara article

If you’ve taken history beyond primary school (let’s hope so) you know that the World Wars changed relationships between nations dramatically. After-effects still exist after almost 7 decades. A prime example is the relationship between Serbia and Kosovo.

History Today reminds us that Kosovo has, for centuries, been ethnically divided between Albanians and Serbians. The Serbian people of Kosovo in particular were, and still are, proud of the region, citing it as the center of their national identity. This pride was soon threatened however, as Serbia claimed control over Kosovo after the Ottoman empire was dissolved in 1913. Soon after, in 1918, Yugoslavia was born through the Treaty of Versailles, and Serbia was integrated into the country.

Increasing Tension

The breakup of Yugoslavia at the end of the 20th century had far-reaching results for the political status of Kosovo, with the Yugoslav wars being particularly influential.

1998 proved to be a changing year for Kosovo. February saw the start of the Kosovo War. The war was sparked by the rise of the Kosovo Liberation Army, an Albanian military group that attacked Serbian officials.

The United Nations adopted Resolution 1244 on 10 June 1999. The Resolution emphasised the UN’s wishes for Yugoslavia to cease the violence and repression occurring in Kosovo, as well as the authorization for peacekeeping force in Kosovo that would be led by NATO. The war itself was brought to an end through the Kumanovo Agreement of 1999, made between the International Security Force and the governments of Yugoslavia and Serbia.

Kosovo finally gained independence, which the majority of its people had wished for for decades, on February 17th 2008. Despite the International Court of Justice’s approval of the declaration of independence however, only 106 out of the UN’s 192 member states have recognized Kosovo’s independence.

Better, but more to be done

Recent times have seen the improving relationship between Kosovo and Serbia, proven by the Brussels Agreement which was established between the two nations earlier last year. The agreement was signed in Brussels and involved negotiations to inaugurate the normalization of Kosovo-Serbia relations.

Despite these amendments, the UN still hopes to see ultimate peace achieved between the countries, for the benefit of gaining world harmony — an achievement that is also desired by the delegates of THIMUN Qatar 2014.

By Sara Sarwar
Photo By Luma Mansi