Kosovo marks today the 18th anniversary of NATO’s air attacks against Slobocan Milosevic regime forces.
The attacks were launched on 24 March 1999 a little after 8 pm, upon the order of the then Secretary General of NATO, Javier Solana.
The start of the bombing on Serb forces marked the start of the end of agony for Kosovo’s Albanians who had been living under the terror of Serbia’s regime.
After 78 days of bombing, Slobodan Milosevic, who at that time was Serbia’s president, surrendered in June 1999 and accepted the Kumanovo’s Agreement.
After the bombing, around one million Albanians of Kosovo returned to their homes, after having sought refuge in neighboring Albania and FYROM and also in other countries of the world.
Around 12 thousand killed, 2 thousand disappeared and over 800 thousand deported from the country, was the human toll of the conflict in Kosovo.
Comparing Kosovo’s tragedy with the Holocaust, the then US president, Bill Clinton had declared that “NATO put an end to intentional and systematic efforts for ethnic cleansing and genocide”.
On June 10, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1244, which installed the UN temporary administration in Kosovo along with KFOR military presence.
On 17 February 2008, Kosovo proclaimed independence, which has been recognized by 114 countries, including the US, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, etc.
Kosovo’s Parliamentary Speaker, Kadri Veseli has declared that 24 March 1999 is one of those moments when the cause of a nation to gain its freedom becomes a cause for the entire humanity. /balkaneu.com/