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SERBIA´S KOSOVO DRAMA, historical perspective
The thousand-year long history of Serbia’s troublesome province of Kosovo (Kosovo and Metohija) is a case study of conflicting narratives and opposing versions of history. The case of Kosovo became famous worldwide after the Kosovo Albanian minority in Serbia, within the wider federal, communist Yugoslavia, organized separatist movements, fully backed by communist Albania, openly demanding, since 1981, secession from Serbia, and claiming the status of a constituent nation. It was an announcement of the coming collapse of Titoist Yugoslavia in 1991. The violent dismemberment of communist Yugoslavia, followed by the series of wars for Yugoslav succession (1992-1995), had its last chapter with the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia and FR of Yugoslavia in 1999, followed by the UN protectorate over Kosovo, administered by UNMIK under UN SC Resolution 1244 of June 1999, and militarily protected by the NATO-led KFOR.
The following study, covering the period from the medieval times to unilateral proclamation of independence of Kosovo by the Kosovo Albanians in 2008, illustrated by a series of lesser known Kosovo-related documents, provides relevant historic insight into important elements of the Kosovo drama, in particular from Serbian, rarely quoted or deliberately neglected sources.
Dušan T. Bataković, historian and diplomat, is the foremost Serbian specialist for the Kosovo question. He has published dozens of books on Kosovo in Serbian and various other languages, including: The Kosovo Chronicles (1992), Kosovo. La spirale de la haine (1993 & 1998), Kosovo and Metohija. Living in the Enclave (ed., 2007) and Kosovo. Un conflit sans fin? (2008). Currently ambassador of Serbia to France, Bataković was an advisor to the Serbian Orthodox Church on Kosovo (1997-2000), advisor to the President of Serbia and member of the Belgrade negotiating team during the UN-sponsored status talks on Kosovo in Vienna (2005-2007).