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Kosovo And The Serbian Situation 1999

2346 words - 10 pages

The Serbian problem existed long before Milosevic came into being. He is just responsible for exasperating the crisis.In 1389 the Serbs lost the Battle of Kosovo to the Turks (Muslims) and were replaced in the government of their ancient land by foreigners who began a long and on going process of the power in authority "ethically purging" the others in the territories under their control. Politics of the area have always been colorful and exciting by western standards.In the 1920's the Serbs, Muslims and Turks (Albanians) actually got along as they rebuilt from World War I. In 1923 the President of Albania signed a treaty with the Muslim (Albanians) allowing these neighbors to get along ...view middle of the document...

When World War II ended the land was taken from the Germans and given to the "new state" of Yugoslavia under the leadership of Tito since he had fought against the Germans and Hitler. The Albanians were now numerically superior in the Kosovo region and they wanted control of the local government. Once in charge they began a systemic purging of Serbians from the land in revenge for the treatment they had been receiving since the 1300's.It should be noted that during the war local leaders chose sides based on what ever deals they could cut individually. There were Serbs and Albanians fighting on both sides throughout the war with the choice being made based on what was promised to them. During the war years the other majority ethnic group in the area, the Croats took advantage of the unsettled nature of the times to exert their nationalistic plans. This they did by rounding up both Serbian and Albanian leaders and their families and torturing the women and children in front of the men. Then they poked out the eyes of the men and forced them down their throats. They then raped the women again before burning down their buildings and leaving them in the cold. They left bragging that it they survived they would bring forth a new generation of Croats, not Serbs.When Tito took over he killed thousands on both sides who he mistrusted or who rioted. the major riots in the area occurred in 1918, 1941 and 1945. Peace was only maintained by armed troops walking the center of the streets as both Albanians and Serbs tried to kill each other at every opportunity. Tito believed in a multicultural climate and his program was bought into by both sides as he promised food and jobs to those who remained loyal. Both of these benefits were possible due to the use of funds provided by the Marshall Plan. Still Tito would stop at nothing to quell the dissidents and thousands were killed on into the 50's.Serbia and the Serbs now felt persecuted on all sides. When ever someone other than a Serb was arrested for a crime they got a slap on the wrist while Serbs were imprisoned and treated much more harshly by the courts which were mostly Albanian. In spite of all this activity the area had one of the highest standards of living in eastern Europe as long as fund from the Marshall plan held out. Tito created a program of censorship and arrested more "political" prisoners than did any other eastern European nation, including Russia. Jobs were created and filled by ethnic quotas regardless of skill level. Managers of banks were switched every 6 months to give all ethnic groups a chance at leadership---but chaos ensued and loans were defaulted because they were not drafted by the "current" management.Now the major Serbian homeland became Croatian as these refugees moved into the prosperous area. The Serbs were once again finding them selves a minority in their own land. Although scattered, they still comprised more than 40% of the entire population of Yugoslavia, putting them in...

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