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The battle of Kosovo

The political conflict in Kosovo is no more an expression of ancient ethnic and religious hatreds than the recent wars in Croatia and Bosnia. Noel Malcolm traces the history of the Albanian and Serbian presence in Kosovo and makes the case for Albanian self-government

By Noel Malcolm   May 1998

The Yugoslav crisis began in Kosovo, and it will end in Kosovo.” One can hear this saying repeated almost anywhere in the former Yugoslavia; it is one of the few things on which all parties to the conflicts of the 1990s seem to agree.

It was in Kosovo, in 1987, that a little known communist apparatchik called Slobodan Milosevic discovered what a powerful weapon Serbian nationalism could be. It was through his exploitation of the Kosovo issue that Milosevic was able to take over the party machine in Serbia, extend his power to other parts of the federal Yugoslav system…

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