Balkan Special Report
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  Time Lines
NATO Peacekeeping: June 10 to Present | NATO Airstrikes: March 24 to June 9
Peace Negotiations: January to March 23 | Kosovo Background: 1980s to 1998

1998
 

October
Under the threat of NATO airstrikes, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic reached accords with U.S. special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke to end the conflict by sending 2,000 international inspectors to Kosovo and scheduling regular overflights by NATO surveillance aircraft as a deterrent to further violence.

September
NATO set in motion plans to launch airstrikes against Serbian targets, while the U.N. Security Council issued a call for an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of government forces from Kosovo. In a harrowing massacre of civilians, 19 ethnic Albanians, mostly women, children and elderly, are believed to have been executed by Serbian police units.

August
Serbian forces captured the rebel stronghold of Junik, driving ethnic Albanian fighters from their logistical and weapons distribution center. Meanwhile, a sweeping government offensive against the guerrillas begun in mid-July displaced thousands more ethnic Albanians, who were forced to flee their homes.

June
U.S. special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke met with President Milosevic in Yugoslavia and threatened use of NATO intervention in the conflict in Kosovo, and also talked with the commander of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army. Holbrooke left after unsuccessfully brokering a cease-fire agreement.

May
The "contact group" agreed to ease sanctions on Yugoslavia after President Slobodan Milosevic began talks with ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova on a political settlement. Rugova called off further negotiations June 6 as violence escalated.

April
In an effort to diffuse another Balkans war, the six-nation "contact group," charged with implementing peace in the Balkans, announced they will impose sanctions on Yugoslavia unless President Slobodan Milosevic withdraws his security police and opens unconditional talks on Kosovo's future.

February/March
Serbian police and special forces launched a massive assault on ethnic Albanian rebels throughout Kosovo. Homes were burned in Lausha and Donji Prekaz, as police continued raids on the Drenica region that left 5,000 homeless and several dead.


1996
 

February/March
The Kosovo Liberation Army, a rebel group of ethnic Albanians fighting for an independent Kosovo, claimed responsibility for a series of violent attacks and triggered warfare with Serbian troops that forced thousands to flee into neighboring Albania.


1995
  The presidents of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia initialed a U.S.-sponsored peace settlement for Bosnia, pledging to bring to an end a fratricidal three-year war that caused the deaths of nearly a quarter of a million people.


1992
  October
Ethnic Albanian and Serb leaders held peace talks for the first time in three years.

May
Writer Ibrahim Rugova was elected president of Kosovo in semi-clandestine elections.

April
Days after the European Community recognized Bosnia as an independent state, Bosnian Serbs announced the creation of their own independent state within Bosnia. The ensuing three-year war between Muslims, Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs engulfed the region.

1991
  October
The parliament of Bosnia-Hercegovina adopted a declaration of sovereignty. Bosnian Serbs boycotted a national referendum that approved the measure in 1992 and launched attacks on Muslim towns.

June
Driven by nationalist fervor that swept the region after the collapse of communism, Slovenia and Croatia formally declared themselves to be sovereign and independent states. The declaration touched off the Croatian civil war that pitted Croats against Serbs, backed by Yugoslavia's army, and eventually spread into neighboring Bosnia by 1992.


1990
 

December
President Milosevic won a resounding victory and the former Communist Party retained its power following Serbia's first free election in half a century.

July
Serbia dissolved the Kosovo government after ethnic Albanian deputies in Kosovo's parliament declared independence.


1989
  May
Milosevic was named president of Serbia, the largest of Yugoslavia's six republics, including Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia.

March
The Serbian National Assembly ratified constitutional changes in March that returned Kosovo's judiciary and police to Serbian control. Rioting in the province followed, killing more than 20 people.


1987
  Feeding off the resentment, political rising star Slobodan Milosevic sparked nationalism by promising Serbs they would reclaim Kosovo. In September, Milosevic became leader of the powerful Serbian Socialist (formerly Communist) Party.


1980
  Yugoslavia's Communist President Marshal Tito died. During his 35-year rule, he granted self-rule to Kosovo, which is 90 percent ethnic Albanian, and Vojvodina – Serbia's two provinces – a move that stirred resentment among Serbs.


NATO Peacekeeping: June 10 to Present | NATO Airstrikes: March 24 to June 9
Peace Negotiations: January to March 23 | Kosovo Background: 1980s to 1998

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