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The Life of Slobodan Milosevic

Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, who presided over the Balkan wars of the 1990s, was found dead March 11 in his cell at a United Nations prison near The Hague.


Aug. 20, 1941: Born in Pozarevac, in central Serbia.
1964: Graduates from Belgrade Law School, joins the Communist Party.
1984: Appointed party leader in the capital, Belgrade, by friend Ivan Stambolic, head of the Serbian Communist Party.


1986: Succeeds Stambolic as Serbian Communist boss after Stambolic is elevated to president of Serbia.
April 1987: Delivers inflammatory speech in Kosovo to Serbs demanding protection from ethnic Albanian majority in province. Speech catapults Milosevic to prominence.
September 1987: Milosevic accuses Stambolic and others of anti-communist and anti-Serbian policies during live telecast of party meeting, forcing their resignations.
1989: Milosevic becomes president of Serbia, strips Kosovo of autonomy. More than 20 killed in protests.


1990: Yugoslavia sends in troops to impose control. Serbia dissolves Kosovo's government.
1991: Croatia and Slovenia declare independence from Yugoslavia. Milosevic sends tanks to Slovenian borders, triggering a brief war that ends in Slovenia's secession. Milosevic encourages Serbs in Croatia to take up arms.
1992: U.N.-patrolled cease-fire in Croatia takes effect in January. In March, Bosnia-Herzegovina declares its independence. Milosevic bankrolls Bosnian Serb rebellion.
1995: Milosevic agrees to settlement of Bosnian war at U.S.-sponsored peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, with presidents of Croatia and Bosnia. NATO authorizes deploying 60,000 troops.


November-December 1996: Milosevic allies win parliamentary elections, but opposition coalition apparently wins run-offs in most local elections, including Belgrade. Milosevic-controlled electoral commissions annul local elections, provoking nightly rallies. Violence breaks out in late December, with dozens injured and at least one killed.
January 1997: Milosevic concedes defeat and allows opposition to take control of several cities.
July 1997: Because of constitutional term limits, Milosevic has parliament name him president of Yugoslavia, comprising only the republics of Serbia and Montenegro.
February 1998: Milosevic sends troops to crush new ethnic Albanian uprising in Kosovo.


September 1998: U.N. Security Council adopts resolution calling for immediate cease-fire and political dialogue.
October 1998: NATO authorizes airstrikes against Serb military targets. Milosevic agrees to withdraw troops, allow return of refugees and 2,000 unarmed monitors to verify compliance. Attacks continue.
March 1999: Kosovo Albanians sign peace deal calling for broad interim autonomy and 28,000 NATO troops. Serb delegation refuses and talks suspended.
March 24, 1999: NATO airstrikes begin.


May 1999: Milosevic and four subordinates are indicted by U.N. war crimes tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity -- murder, deportation and persecutions -- and violations of the laws and customs of war.
June 3, 1999: Yugoslavia's government accepts plan for U.N. administration of Kosovo and return of more than 850,000 ethnic Albanians policed by NATO-led force.
June 9, 1999: Yugoslav and Western generals sign pact.
Sept. 24, 2000: Yugoslavs vote directly for president for first time. Supporters of Milosevic challenger Vojislav Kostunica declare victory next day, but election commission says runoff needed, prompting massive protests and strikes that sweep country.
Oct. 5: Milosevic ousted after huge mobs rampage through Belgrade, driving security forces from streets and seizing parliament, TV network, police stations.
April 1, 2001: Milosevic arrested in his villa after 26-hour standoff with police.
June 28, 2001: Milosevic flown to The Hague, Netherlands, to face trial on war crimes charges at U.N. tribunal.


Feb. 12, 2002: Trial begins on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
January 2004: Prosecution closes case after calling 294 witnesses.
June 2004: Milosevic, defending himself, names nearly 1,400 people he wants to call in his defense, including former President Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and ex-NATO chief Gen. Wesley Clark.
December 2005: Trial adjourned for six weeks due to Milosevic's ill health.
January 2006: Trial reopens, with tribunal urging Milosevic to wrap up defense by April, with verdict to be issued later in the year.
Feb. 24, 2006: Tribunal rejects Milosevic's request to seek medical treatment in Russia.
March 11, 2006: Milosevic found dead in cell at U.N. detention center near The Hague, Netherlands.

SOURCE: Associated Press | GRAPHIC: Amanda Zamora,

© 2005 The Washington Post Company