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Tags Current Affairs

Kosovo President indicted for war crimes

Date: 27 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) at The Hague in the Netherlands has announced that it has filed a 10-count indictment charging Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci and another Kosovo politician Kadri Vesli of war crimes.

 

Details

  • The indictment alleges that Thaci and other charged suspects are responsible for nearly 100 murders of known victims and political opponents of Kosovo Albanian, Serb and Roma ethnicities.

  • As of now, the indictment is only an accusation and reflects the SPO’s determination that it can prove the charges against Thaci beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • It is now up to the judge at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) to review the indictment and decide if the case will go to trial.

 

Kosovo

  • Kosovo is a landlocked country in the Western Balkans with a population of more than 1.8 million situated north of Greece and surrounded by Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro, whose current residents are ethnic Albanians and Serb, Roma and other minority groups.

  • In 1913, Kosovo was partitioned between Serbia and Montenegro. After World War I, Kosovo was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which was later named Yugoslavia.

  • After World War II, Kosovo became an autonomous province of Serbia, following which the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution gave Kosovo the status of a Socialist Autonomous Province within Serbia.

  • Following a movement for independence, the government eliminated Kosovo’s autonomy and imposed direct rule from Belgrade (Serbia’s capital) and ordered the removal of ethnic Albanian state employees, whose jobs were then taken over by Serbs, a minority in Kosovo.

  • This led to the start of a resistance movement led by Kosovo Albanian leaders in the 1990s, whose main aim was to secure independence for Kosovo.

  • The leaders set up a parallel government funded by the Albanian diaspora and when this movement failed to show results, it led to the emergence of armed resistance in 1997 in the form of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

  • In February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia after years of conflict. While Kosovo’s status is recognized by the US and some countries in the EU, Serbia backed by Russia refuses to do so.

  • When Kosovo issued independence from Serbia in 2008, India is one of the countries that do not recognize the independence of Kosovo.

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