Peace Day, Kosovo’s annual national holiday, is celebrated on June 12. In 1999, following the negotiation of a ceasefire in the Kosovo War, the holiday was instituted and sponsored by the United Nations. As a result of the conflict, which began when rebel forces attempted to overthrow Serbian sovereignty and was met with heavy aggression by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1,2 million people were forced to evacuate their homes.
The background of Peace Day
An agreement to end the combat was reached on June 3, and NATO peacekeepers arrived in Kosovo on June 12 to begin establishing a safe zone. It marks the commencement of Kosovo’s transition to an autonomous, democratic system.
After decades of Serbian dominance, the tide of the 20th century brought Kosovo indications of a revolution. Tensions between Kosovo’s Albanian and Serbian communities simmered over throughout the 20th century, resulting in the Kosovo War of 1998 and 1999.
In the 1990s, the Kosovo Liberation Army (K.L.A.) acquired sufficient momentum and began to fight Serbia’s oppression and persecution of its citizens. Throughout the 1990s, the K.L.A.’s campaign expanded significantly and began to deliberately target and assault Serbian law enforcement in Kosovo. Having had enough of the attacks, Serbian authorities began clamping down on K.L.A. members and sympathisers in 1998.
After diplomatic efforts failed to resolve the conflict, NATO had no choice but to intervene. This was a turning point in the conflict because NATO assisted the KLA in pushing back the Yugoslav forces. During the NATO bombardment operation, which lasted from March 24 to June 11, 1999, up to 1,000 aircraft primarily operated out of bases in Italy and aircraft carriers stationed in the Adriatic Sea.
The Kumanovo Agreement was signed on June 3, 1999, and it required the withdrawal of Yugoslav and Serb forces from Kosovo and the establishment of an international presence in the region. On June 12, 1999, the first NATO forces entered Pristine, the capital of Kosovo.
Kosovo, which proclaimed independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008, has been recognised as a sovereign state by 97 member states of the United Nations.
5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT KOSOVO
Kosovo has one of the youngest populations in Europe, with over forty percent of the population under the age of twenty-five.
The majority of its territory is forest, with only about 40 percent of its land being agricultural.
On a thoroughfare named after former U.S. President Bill Clinton in the capital city of Pristina, there is also a statue of Clinton.
In recognition of Mother Teresa’s Albanian heritage, a Roman Catholic church in Pristina bears her name.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, making it the second-youngest nation in the globe.
PEACE DAY DATES