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Kosovo`s road to independence

International Desk |
Update: 2010-07-22 00:44:57
Kosovo`s road to independence

 PRISTINA: Key dates in the history of Kosovo as the International Court of Justice prepares to give a non-binding opinion on the legality of its proclamation of independence from Serbia.


- 12th Century: Kosovo is in the heart of a Serbian empire ruled by the Nemanjic dynasty in a period when many Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries are constructed.


- June 28, 1389: The Ottoman army defeats Serb forces in the Battle of Kosovo Polje, heralding several centuries of Turkish rule which changes the ethnic balance of Kosovo in favour of Muslims and Albanians.


- 1913: Serbia takes control of Kosovo after the Balkans wars.


- 1946: Kosovo is integrated into communist dictator Josip Broz Tito`s Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It obtains autonomy within Serbia 28 years later.


- June 28, 1989: Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic addresses around one million Serbs at a ceremony marking 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo Polje. He later reduces Kosovo`s autonomy.


- July, 1990: Kosovo Albanians declare independence after a secret referendum which Belgrade rejects.


- Late Feb-early March, 1998: Milosevic forces begin a brutal crackdown on the recently formed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and its civilian supporters. The conflict claims several thousand mostly ethnic Albanian lives.


- March 24, 1999: NATO launches an air war against the Serb forces. At around the same time, Serb forces expel some 800,000 ethnic Albanians from Kosovo. After 78 days, the NATO action ends and some 200,000 Serbs flee in fear of reprisals.


- March 17, 2004: NATO peacekeepers fail to quell three days of anti-Serb rioting by ethnic Albanians that leaves 19 dead, some 900 wounded and dozens of Serbian religious sites destroyed or damaged.


- Jan 26, 2007: After leading about 13 months of mostly fruitless talks between Pristina and Belgrade, UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari presents a plan envisaging Kosovo`s "internationally supervised" independence.


- Dec 10, 2007: Kosovo says it will begin talks with the United States and European Union on independence from Serbia after another round of talks ends in failure.


- Feb 17, 2008: Kosovo`s ethnic Albanian-dominated parliament declares independence, which is rejected by Serbia and Russia, but recognised ever since by 69 countries, including the United States and 22 out of 27 European Union member-states.


- Oct 8, 2008: The United Nations General Assembly, at Serbia`s request, asks the International Court of Justice to render a legal opinion.


- Dec 9, 2008: The EU`s justice and police mission -- EULEX -- officially launches its mission in Kosovo, the bloc`s biggest ever civilian operation.


- June, 2009: Kosovo joins the IMF and the World Bank, becoming the 186th member of the sibling multilateral institutions.


- Dec 1, 2009: The ICJ opens public hearings in The Hague with Serbia, Kosovo and 29 other states, including the US and Serbia`s ally Russia, taking part.


- July 22, 2010: The ICJ to announce its non-binding opinion whether Kosovo`s independence is in accordance with international law.


BDST: 0942 HRS, July 22, 2010


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