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Tensions Rise Between Kosovo and Serbia

Following a recent attack by Serbian “terrorists”, Serbia has sent their military to the Serbia-Kosovo border.
A map of both Kosovo (yellow-orange) and Serbia (green).

The U.S. has claimed that Serbia has sent a “large military deployment” towards the Serbia-Kosovo border. D.C. is urging them to withdraw their troops from the border. A couple of weeks ago, 30 ethnic Serb gunmen stormed the Banjska village of northern Kosovo. They proceeded to barricade themselves in an Orthodox monastery. 3 gunmen and one police officer were killed during this incident. The Kosovar Prime Minister claims that Serbia supported the gunmen, which is extremely similar to what happened over 100 years ago when Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, causing World War I. A senior figure in Serbia admitted to organizing the group but stated that Belgrade itself was not involved.

Kosovo is a tiny landlocked country in the Balkan region of Europe, about the same size as LA County. 1.8 million people live there, with only 6% of the population Serbian and 92% Albanian. After the breakup of Yugoslavia from 1990-1992, Kosovo wanted independence. Serbia tried to hold onto power in the region by the genocide of 10,000 ethnic Albanians, which ended in 1999 after intervention from NATO. Though Serbian forces retreated, Albanians and Serbians are still enemies in Kosovo. They then declared independence in 2008. 99 UN members recognize Kosovo, but Russia and China do not, therefore blocking them from entering the UN. Serbia has vowed to never recognize Kosovo as independent.

The recent violence is caused by the Kosovar government’s policy to hold authority over all of Kosovo. Ethnic Serbs don’t like this and want more autonomy. In 2022, Serbs protested against a ban on Serbian number plates on vehicles. When local elections were held in April 2023, many Serbs boycotted it. Despite this, 4 ethnic Albanian mayors were elected with armed Kosovar police. The EU Foreign Policy Chief blames the Kosovar Prime Minister for not giving more autonomy to Serbs. However, the Kosovo Foreign Minister retaliated by stating that he did not call the attackers “terrorists” or show support for the Kosovar police.

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About the Contributor
Mikael Ronaque, Head of Department (World News)/Editor in Chief
Hi! I'm Mikael, Head of Department of World News. I am a 7th grader at the time of writing and I edit articles and publish as well. I am Indian and have one sibling (a little brother). I aim to write about various things around the world with as little bias as possible.

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