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This article is about the period of the history of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija from 1990 to 1999, up until the introduction of the UNMIK. For the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within SFR Yugoslavia between 1946 and 1974 see Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (1946-1974). For the modern region, autonomous province, or country, see Kosovo
Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo i Metohija
Аутономна Покрајина Косово и Метохиja
Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija
Autonomous Province of the Republic of Serbia, within FR Yugoslavia (1990-1999)1

1990 – 1999

Flag of Kosovo and Metohija


Location of Kosovo and Metohija
Capital Priština
 - Reconstitution 1990
 - UNSCR 1244 1999
 - 1999 10,908 km² (4,212 sq mi)
 - 1999 2,000,000 
     Density 183.4 /km²  (474.9 /sq mi)
1 The Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija did not cease to exist in 1999, but was placed under the administration of the United Nations (UNMIK). While the Kosovar Albanians proclaimed an independent republic in 2008, the new state is only partially recognized and the region is still considered the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (under UN administration) by Serbia and all states that refused to recognize its independence.
History of Kosovo
This article is part of a series
Early History
Prehistoric Balkans
Roman Empire
Byzantine Empire
Middle Ages
Bulgarian Empire
Medieval Serbia
Battle of Kosovo
Ottoman Kosovo
Eyalet of Rumelia
Vilayet of Kosovo
Albanian nationalism
20th century
First Balkan War
Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
AP Kosovo and Metohija
SAP Kosovo
AP Kosovo and Metohija
Recent history
Kosovo War
UN administration
2008 Kosovo declaration of independence
Contemporary Kosovo
See also Timeline of Kosovo history

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The Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija from 1990 to 1999 refers to the status of present-day Kosovo as it existed within the Republic of Serbia during those years. From April 1992, Serbia itself formed an integral part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During this period, the region was recognised by its Albanian majority - as well as by the Republic of Albania - as the independent Republic of Kosova.

This province was established by the Anti-bureaucratic revolution by Slobodan Milošević's government and the reduction of the additional powers of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo in 1990, effectively a return to the pre-1974 status of Kosovo and Metohija as when the constitution was last revised in 1971. In 1990 it was an autonomous part of the Socialist Republic of Serbia within the larger Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and by 1992 the conditions had changed where it remained an autonomous part of the new Republic of Serbia in the smaller Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After 1999, Serbia and the Yugoslav government no longer exercised de facto control over the territory, and in 2008 the Republic of Kosovo was unilaterally declared. The Republic of Serbia does not recognise Kosovo as an independent state, and retains an administrative apparatus for the Autonomous Province.


History 1990-1999

Constitutional changes were made in Yugoslavia in 1990. The parliaments of all Yugoslavian republics and provinces, which until then had MPs only from the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, were dissolved and multi-party elections were held within them. Kosovar Albanians refused to participate in the elections so they held their own unsanctioned elections instead. As election laws required (and still require) turnout higher than 50%, a parliament in Kosovo could not be established.

The new constitution abolished the individual provinces' official media, integrating them within the official media of Serbia while still retaining some programs in the Albanian language. The Albanian-language media in Kosovo was suppressed. Funding was withdrawn from state-owned media, including that in the Albanian language in Kosovo. The constitution made creating privately owned media possible, however their functioning was very difficult because of high rents and restricting laws. State-owned Albanian language television or radio was also banned from broadcasting from Kosovo [1]. However, privately owned Albanian media outlets appeared; of these, probably the most famous is "Koha Ditore", which was allowed to operate until late 1998 when it was closed after publishing a calendar glorifying ethnic Albanian separatists.

The constitution also transferred control over state-owned companies to the Yugoslav central government (at the time, most of the companies were state-owned and de jure they still are). In September 1990, up to 123,000 Albanian workers were dismissed from their positions in government and media, as were teachers, doctors, and civil servants [2], provoking a general strike and mass unrest. Some of those who were not sacked quit in sympathy, refusing to work for the Serbian government. Although the sackings were widely seen as a purge of ethnic Albanians, the government maintained that it was removing former communist directors.

Albanian educational curriculum textbooks previously used were revoked and replaced by new ones. The curriculum was (and still is, as that is the curriculum used for Albanians in Serbia outside Kosovo) identical to its Serbian counterpart and that of all other nationalities in Serbia except that it had education on and in the Albanian language. Education in Albanian was withdrawn in 1992 and re-established in 1994. [3] At the Priština University, which was seen as a centre of Kosovo Albanian cultural identity, education in the Albanian language was abolished and Albanian teachers were also dismissed in large numbers. Albanians responded by boycotting state schools and setting up an unofficial parallel system of Albanian-language education.[1]

Kosovo Albanians were outraged by what they saw as an attack on their rights. Following mass rioting and unrest from Albanians as well as outbreaks of inter-communal violence, in February 1990, a state of emergency was declared and the presence of the Yugoslav Army and police was significantly increased to quell the unrest.

Unsanctioned elections were held in 1992, which overwhelmingly elected Ibrahim Rugova as "president" of a self-declared Republic of Kosova; however, these elections were not recognised by Yugoslav nor any foreign government. In 1995, thousands of Serb refugees from Croatia settled in Kosovo, which further worsened relations between the two communities.

Albanian opposition to the sovereignty of Yugoslavia and especially Serbia had previously surfaced in rioting (1968 and March 1981) in the capital Priština. Rugova initially advocated non-violent resistance, but later opposition took the form of separatist agitation by opposition political groups and armed action from 1996 by the "Kosovo Liberation Army" (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës, or UÇK) whose activities led to the Kosovo War ending with the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the eventual creation of the UN Kosovo protectorate (UNMIK).

Politics and government

Since 1999, the Serb-inhabited areas of Kosovo have been governed as a de facto independent region from the Albanian-dominated government in Pristina. They continue to uses Serbian national symbols and participates in Serbian national elections, which are boycotted in the rest of Kosovo; and in turn, it boycotts Kosovo's elections. The municipalities of Leposavić, Zvečan and Zubin Potok are run by local Serbs, while the Kosovska Mitrovica municipality had rival Serbian and Albanian governments until a compromise was agreed in November 2002.

The Serb areas have united into a community, the Union of Serbian Districts and District Units of Kosovo and Metohija established in February 2003 by Serbian delegates meeting in Kosovska Mitrovica, which has since served as the de facto "capital." The Union's President is Dragan Velić. There is also a central governing body, the Serbian National Council for Kosovo and Metohija (SNV). The President of SNV in North Kosovo is Dr Milan Ivanović, while the head of its Executive Council is Rada Trajković.

Local politics are dominated by the Serbian List for Kosovo and Metohija. The Serbian List is led by Oliver Ivanović, an engineer from Kosovska Mitrovica.

In February 2007 the Union of Serbian Districts and District Units of Kosovo and Metohija has transformed into the Serbian Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija presided by Marko Jakšić. The Assembly strongly criticized the secessionist movements of the Albanian-dominated PISG Assembly of Kosovo and demanded unity of the Serb people in Kosovo, boycott of EULEX and announced massive protests in support of Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo. On 18 February 2008, day after Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, the Assembly declared it "null and void".

There also exists a Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija within the Serbian government, Goran Bogdanović is the current Minister for Kosovo and Metohija.

Administrative divisions

See also


  1. ^ Clark, Howard. Civil Resistance in Kosovo. London: Pluto Press, 2000. ISBN 0745315690



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