The Kosova Liberation Army (KLA), the military force which grew from nothing to become the main representative and protector of the Kosovars against the Serbs during the years of persecution and oppression before NATO intervention in the region earlier this year, was formally disbanded on September 20, when talks with NATO and KFOR commanders were finally concluded nearly 24 hours behind schedule.
NATO and the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) signed an agreement regarding the KLA’s future role in Kosova on June 21. The agreement was signed following what was described as “a frenetic weekend of military and political wrangling from mountainous rebel bases in central Kosova to the capitals of Europe”.
The NATO summit which took place in Washington from April 23-26 ended with a typically western fudge. After weeks of strong words against Slobodan Milosevic’s government regarding the genocide of Kosova’s Muslims, the Alliance concluded their 50th Anniversary session by authorising Russia to seek a mediated settlement to its war with Yugoslavia.
The killings in Račak took place on January 15. Serbian troops and police attacked the town with armoured vehicles and infantry shortly before dawn. They left at sundown, leaving 45 dead bodies. Other villagers either escaped into nearby woods or were arrested.
The NATO Council, which is co-ordinating American and European policy towards Kosova, agreed in Brussels on January 6 that Serbia and the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) were equally to blame for the month of increased troubles in the country from mid-December onwards.
The US admitted on December 3 that its troops in Kosova are helping the Serbs to maintain control of the region and to prevent local people from returning to their homes. That is the upshot of the US confirmation that they are providing armoured escorts to Serb police patrols in the Malisheva region, and a telling reflection of their true role in Kosova.
Fighting in Kosova continued apparently unabated despite last month’s supposed ‘withdrawal’ of Serbian forces after the Holbrooke-Milosevic pact of October 13 and the lifting of the threat of NATO airstrikes against the Serbs.
The demons of Serbian nationalism are on the loose again, this time in the overwhelmingly Muslim province of Kosova. With their blood lust not nearly satiated in Bosnia even after three years of macabre killing rituals, they have now turned their wrath against the defenceless people of Kosova.
A major Serb offensive which began in late July has made major gains against the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) during August.