5 Jan, 2000 Balkanblog
Wednesday, January 5, 2000 - An anti-vehicle rocket was fired into an Albanian bar in Pristina. There were no injuries.
Friday, January 7, 2000 - In Prizren, an ethnic Albanian gang killed two Serb women, said Tanjug. Three Serb men were beaten in Lipljan — five miles south of Pristina. A Serb man was shot and killed in Prizren a day earlier, and another Serb man was shot and wounded by a gunman firing from a car with no license plates in the town of Kosovo Polje. So far, the peace keeping forces have not been able to stop ethnic violence against Serbs. Before the air strikes against Yugoslavia, violence was aimed against the ethnic Albanian population.
In central Kosovo, seven grenades were fired in the direction of Serb houses from a nearby road. No one was injured. In another incident near Gorazdevac, two grenades were fired, causing no damage.
Saturday, January 8, 2000 - Yugoslav Army General Nebojsa Pavkovic threatened the Yugoslav Army would return to Kosovo. He said the UN and NATO failed to prevent a genocide against Serbs.
Sunday, January 9, 2000 - A group of ethnic Albanians killed a Serb civilian in front of his home in Gnjilane.
Monday, January 10, 2000 - All major opposition parties in Serbia agreed to join forces in a joint struggle to topple Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. In a joint document, they demanded that Milosevic's government would schedule nationwide elections by the end of April 2000. They pledged to cooperate before, during, and after the elections. They also urged to end a ban on international air traffic and oil trade.
Tuesday, January 11, 2000 - The UN said of the 4,000 international police for Kosovo, less than half that number were serving there. Germany agreed to double its police contingent to more than 400. The United States promised to raise its contribution from 400 to 500.
Wednesday, January 12, 2000 - Three policemen died in a shootout in Aracinovo, near Skopje, Macedonia, when an unidentified assailant opened fire from a passing car.
Thursday, January 13, 2000 - Serb authorities released ten ethnic Albanians who were suspected of attacking police in Kosovo but filed charges against 144 ethnic Albanians — former members of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army — jailed in central Serbia.
An explosion was set off near Mitrovica's Eastern Bridge. No one was injured in the incident.
Sunday, January 16, 2000 - The Serb paramilitary leader Zeljko Raznatovic was killed in a Belgrade hotel. Raznatovic — AKA "Arkan" — was secretly indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in September 1997 for his actions during the Bosnian and Croatian wars. He was also indicted for the massacre of 250 men taken from a hospital in Vukovar in 1991, during the Croatian war.
Opposition members and insiders claimed that he was silenced, because he could tie key figures in President Slobodan Milosevic's government with Balkan war crimes.
A UN war crimes tribunal spokesman said two lawyers claiming to represent Arkan contacted the court separately a week earlier and said they were interested in negotiating a deal, although it was unclear whether they really represented Arkan.
In Vitina, a US Army Staff Sergeant was charged with sexually assaulting and killing an 11-year-old ethnic Albanian girl. He was transferred to the US confinement facility in Mannheim pending the investigation. The US military feared it could threaten relations between US peacekeepers and the Kosovo civilians. (See KFOR, August 1, 2000.)
Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - In Klina — near Pec — Portugese KFOR troops reported that two rifle grenades had been shot into a café. There were no injuries.
Wednesday, January 19, 2000 - Widespread rumors that the Yugoslav government had a hand in the killing of Serb paramilitary leader Arkan were denied by a Yugoslav government official.
Thursday, January 20, 2000 - Ethnic Albanians driving through the Serb part of Kosovska Mitrovica threw a grenade at a group of Serb teenagers, injuring two.
Teenagers stopped a vehicle and asked the strangers inside what they were doing in the area. When the group realized the people in the car were ethnic Albanians, the car sped off. The ethnic Albanians tossed a grenade. NATO peacekeepers and UN police soon sealed off the street.
Friday, January 21, 2000 - The first 44 members of the Kosovo Protection Corps — including dozens of former rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army — were sworn in by top international civilian and military officials in Kosovo.
Leaders of seven countries bordering Yugoslavia — Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia — met with senior EU and NATO officials to discuss how to help economies and prevent more war in the Balkans.
Saturday, January 22, 2000 - Three men were arrested in the slaying of Serb warlord Arkan. Two of them were said to be former policemen sacked or suspended for links to the underworld.
Tuesday, January 25, 2000 - David Gowan — a British diplomat, appointed UK Kosovo War Crimes Coordinator to provide expert help to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia — revealed that the British team investigated 70 sites, all in the southwest of Kosovo, and recovered 508 bodies. He made it clear that many bodies would never be found "because of natural degradation, lack of information about the whereabouts of graves and deliberate attempts by the Serb forces to hide evidence, for instance by burning bodies or dumping them in rivers."
US peacekeeping troops in Kosovo came under scrutiny, following allegations of improper conduct by US troops.
Wednesday, January 26, 2000 - UNHCR announced plans to register people who fled Kosovo to Serbia after the arrival of NATO forces in 1999. According to UNHCR, most of those displaced wanted to return to Kosovo under conditions of security guarantees and wanted to see the Yugoslav army return to Kosovo.
Macedonian police filed charges against 11 ethnic Albanians in connection with the shootout of January 12 — in which three policemen were killed.
Thursday, January 27, 2000 - A Serb court sentenced three Kosovo Albanians for rape and terrorism but released one because of lack of evidence.
Saturday, January 29, 2000 - Serbia released 22 ethnic Albanians and them over to officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who took them to Pristina. It was estimated that some 1,700-1,800 ethnic Albanians were still being held in prisons.
Sunday, January 30, 2000 - The Serbian Renewal Movement warned that increased contacts between Kosovo Albanian leader Hashim Thaci and ethnic Albanian leader Arben Xhaferi seemed to pursue a Greater Albania.
One hundred tons of heating fuel arrived in Pirot as part of European Union aid to opposition-run municipalities. The EU planned to send 25,000 tons of fuel to municipalities controlled by Milosevic's opponents.
Wednesday, February 2, 2000 - A day before, a rocket attack on a UN bus with markings of the — UN High Commissioner for Refugees — carrying 49 Serb civilians left two Serbs dead and three injured.
United States senators expressed growing impatience with the continuing US military role in the Balkans, arguing that the failure of European nations to do more was prolonging the American presence there.
A military court in Belgrade indicted seven people — one army lieutenant and six civilians — for allegedly planning to assassinate president Slobodan Milosevic, Yugoslav Army General Nebojsa Pavkovic and opposition leader Vuk Draskovic.
Ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova announced that the shadow government he operated in Kosovo for 10 years was dissolved and would turn over millions of dollars to the UN-supervised administration running the province. Unconfirmed reports put the amount of money at close to $250 million.
Thursday, February 3, 2000 - Two grenade attacks against Serb cafes left at least 20 people wounded and shootings that claimed the lives of three ethnic Albanians.
Friday, February 4, 2000 - Serbian media reported an elderly Serb was shot dead by a masked gunman in the American-controlled town of Gnjilane.
Hundreds of ethnic Albanians pelted French soldiers with stones and bottles in Kosovska Mitrovica, charging that NATO-led peacekeepers failed to prevent the deaths of at least six Kosovo Albanians. The French troops fired tear gas to disperse about 500 rioters.
Saturday, February 5, 2000 - For the second day, French peacekeepers clashed with ethnic Albanians in Kosovska Mitrovica. Forty-one people, including 11 French soldiers, were injured. Two ethnic Albanians died Saturday of gunshot wounds. Some 30 Albanian families — 104 people — were evacuated during the night from the Serb-controlled northern part of the city to the southern, Albanian district.
Later, UNHCR said that over a period of several days an estimated 97 people were attacked by Serbs, 15 Serbs were hand-grenaded in a bar, five Albanians were killed, five NATO peacekeepers injured, seven UN vehicles burnt, and all international agencies withdrawn from the north side of the river.
Another three days of rioting in Mitrovica left another two people dead, another 11 French NATO troops injured, a 15-year-old boy shot by a suspected Serb sniper on Saturday, another hand-grenade attack on a Serb village, Serb paramilitaries openly patrolling the streets of northern Mitrovica, and a huge French NATO contingent that Albanians claim is massively biased in favor of the Serbs.
Monday, February 7, 2000 - The Yugoslav defense minister — Pavle Bulatovic, an ally of president Milosevic — was gunned down in a Belgrade restaurant. He died later in a military hospital. he ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party accused American, French or British intelligence agents of being behind the murder.
Australian aid worker Steve Pratt — one of the CARE workers arrested March 31, 1999, during the first week of the NATO campaign against Yugoslavia — said on Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s Four Corners current affairs show he was threatened with death if he did not sign a trumped up espionage confession while in detention in Yugoslavia. (See KFOR September 1, 1999.)
Wednesday, February 9, 2000 - UN police raided local police buildings in two Bosnian Croat-held towns, finding large caches of illegal weapons and telephone tapping equipment.
The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal sent freed war crimes defendant Zlatko Aleksovski back to jail. The former Bosnian Croat prison commandant, was convicted of war crimes in May 1999, but released immediately because he had served out his 2½-year sentence in pretrial detention, but the prosecution appealed.
The US endorsed a move by the EU to lift a ban on commercial air travel to Yugoslavia.
Thursday, February 10, 2000 - Yugoslavia's most respected newspaper and its chief editor were found guilty and fined $13,000 by a court in Novi Sad of publishing an article in which a professor accused a colleague of organizing a dismissal of teachers disloyal to president Milosevic.
Friday, February 11, 2000 - A report by UNHCR and OSCE said ethnic minorities in the province were still suffering severe discrimination and were often violently attacked. Of an estimated 20,000 Serbs living in the provincial capital Pristina during 1998, only about 700-800 remain, the report said.
Friday, February 12, 2000 - Danish and French KFOR troops raided a Serb bar in Kosovska Mitrovica but no evidence was found to support accusations it was a base for paramilitaries. A crowd of around 150 Serbs gathered outside the bar. KFOR imposed a curfew on the city and reinforced the French — heavily criticized by Albanians — with 140 British troops and about 140 Dutch, Italian, and German troops.
Sunday, February 13, 2000 - French peacekeeping troops on foot and in armored personnel carriers took combat positions on the Serb-dominated north side of Kosovska Mitrovica. Snipers shot and wounded two French soldiers. An ethnic Albanian sniper was shot dead and four were wounded and captured. Seventeen people were arrested in follow-up operations after the violence. Serb sources said the trouble began when several ethnic Albanians from the southern side crossed a bridge over the Ibar River leading to the Serb side and threw several hand grenades.
Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - After an ambulance — on its way to Kosovska Mitrovica — overturned, UN police found 14 anti-tank rocket launchers, more than 180 high-explosive grenades and over 3,000 cartridges for guns.
Wednesday, February 16, 2000 - After nearly a year of tension over the wars in Yugoslavia, Russia and NATO announced that they are restoring their ties.
Thursday, February 17, 2000 - In Kosovska Mitrovica, two rocket attacks were reported. One anti-tank rocket was fired by unknown assailants at a Serb home — no casualties were reported. Another In another attack a rocket landed harmlessly in a field near Suvi Do.
More than 4,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Pristina to protest escalating violence that left at least nine people dead and dozens injured in Kosovska Mitrovica.
NATO's retiring supreme commander in Europe — General Wesley Clark — suggested US peacekeepers may have to stay in Bosnia and Kosovo indefinitely., since Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic was rebuilding his forces. Clark also cited potential flash points in Montenegro. "Until he's taken to trial as a war criminal, we're not going to see a resolution to the problem."
Friday, February 18, 2000 - In an attempt to counter the influence of the pro-independence media in Montenegro, the Yugoslav government expanded the broadcast of its new television outlet.
Sunday, February 20, 2000 - During a massive house-to-house search in Mitrovica for illegal weapons, a crowd of angry Serbs pelted American and German peacekeepers with rocks and bricks. The search was conducted by 2,300 troops, including French, Belgian, Danish, Austrian, American, British, Canadian, Dutch, German, Norwegian and Turkish troops. They found plastic explosives, 15 rifles and handguns, one grenade, one machine gun and loads of ammunition.
Monday, February 21, 2000 - In Kosovska Mitrovica, French and British troops fired tear gas to push back thousands of ethnic Albanians trying to force their way across a bridge into the Serb-controlled side of the city. In New York, the American ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, blamed the Yugoslav government for fomenting trouble in Kosovska Mitrovica.
As many as 50,000 ethnic Albanians marched to Kosovska Mitrovica to demand an end to the city's ethnic bloodshed. Tensions began after a grenade attack on a UN bus on February 2 killed two Serbs. That triggered a round of revenge attacks that left nine people dead and scores injured.
Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - US paratroopers swooped down on the Serb part of Mitrovica, arresting eight people and seizing weapons in a surprise raid three days after Serbs drove them away in a hail of stones. The the Americans seized a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, rifles, grenades and ammunition. KFOR announced plans to start moving ethnic Albanians back to their homes in the Serb-controlled part of Kosovska Mitrovica north of the Ibar. Serb leaders objected to the resettlement plan. KFOR agreed to establish a security zone in the center of the city, in which demonstrations would be banned.
Intelligence reports reinforced NATO's belief that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's government was behind the rising violence in Kosovska Mitrovica. NATO also said it detected radio contacts between police units in Serbia and Serbs in the city. Richard Holbrooke, the American ambassador to the United Nations, and General Wesley Clark, supreme NATO commander in Europe, accused the Yugoslav government of stirring up unrest after peacekeeping troops in Mitrovica began house-to-house searches for weapons.
Associated Press writer Robert H. Reid said "If Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic can hold on to any part of Kosovo, which the United Nations recognizes as sovereign Yugoslav territory, the area around Kosovska Mitrovica is his best shot. It is a prize worth gambling to retain."
The Yugoslav army begun new training, and NATO intelligence observed a great deal of military movement in the Kosovo border area.
Friday, February 25, 2000 - In response to a call from the North Atlantic Council for more reinforcements, Canada sent some 100 additional soldiers to Kosovska Mitrovica. France sent an army battalion (some 600 troops). A US spokesman said a US Marine Expeditionary Unit was on standby for possible movement. The reinforcements were intended to facilitate the return of Albanians to the Serb-controlled northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica. Some nations, including Russia, Finland, Denmark and Portugal, said they were not inclined to widen their participation. All NATO allies expressed willingness to extend participation — Kosovo's future as well as the entire peacekeeping effort were on the line.
Saturday, February 26, 2000 - In Gnjilane, a representative in the Serb National Council — representing the Kosovo Serbs — was shot and killed by unknown assailants as he walked to work through a Serb part of town.
Monday, February 28, 2000 - A bus ran over a land mine near Kosovska Mitrovica. The nearly empty vehicle was damaged, there were no injuries. Local Serbs blamed ethnic Albanians from the nearby Raski Potok village.
Wednesday, March 1, 2000 - Ethnic Albanian guerrillas in Gnjilane formed a rebel group, the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac — after three predominantly ethnic Albanian towns just outside Kosovo in southern Serbia. The group said it would try to protect villagers in the region from brutal attacks by Serb forces.
According to the US-based International Rescue Committee nearly 1,300 ethnic Albanians streamed from Serbia into Gnjilane — approximately 30 miles southeast of Pristina.
Jacques Klein — Un envoy to Bosnia — warned that Yugoslav president Milosevic was becoming more powerful. Foreign assistance would enable him to rebuild his country after the NATO air campaign. It was said Russia and China were providing assistance. Earlier, Carl Bildt warned that Serbia and Montenegro were "set on a somewhat slow but very steady collision course."
Thursday, March 2, 2000 - The US said it would put up 10,000 wanted posters across Bosnia offering up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief, Ratko Mladic. The latter two were accused by the International Warcrimes Tribunal of genocide during the Bosnia war.
The $5 million offer was up since May 1999, but the US said it probably did not receive enough publicity. The offer is valid for the 27 other people indicted of war crimes and still at large.
Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica drove back 43 ethnic Albanian families trying to return to their homes in the Serb part of the city with a hail of stones. It was the first attempt by NATO and the UN to end the division in the city.
A Russian peacekeeper died of his wounds two days after he was shot by attackers who stole his gun in the largely ethnic Albanian town of Srbica. On March 27, the Associated Press reported the private was shot with his own weapon by a 15-year old. The teenager apparently flashed a peace sign at the private, who approached the teenager. With his own machine gun, the Russian peacekeeper was shot. He was the 27th peacekeeper to die in Kosovo but the first to die from a deliberate attack.
An explosion was reported in Lipljan — 10 miles south of Pristina. All windows were smashed in a building inhabited by Serbs. No injuries were reported.
As part of a crackdown of independent media that criticize the Milosevic regime, the Yugoslav government took over the popular private Vecernje Novosti daily.
Friday, March 3, 2000 - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned that the violence in parts of Kosovo could spread and spill over into southern Serbia.
French peacekeepers punched a corridor through a crowd of Serb protesters — firing tear gas and stun grenades — in an attempt to return dozens of ethnic Albanians to their homes. An earlier attempt to use a footbridge built by NATO, failed. In a second punch, Danish armored personnel carriers lumbered across the river, pushing through the crowd to reach the buildings, firing more tear gas and stun grenades.
An AP reporter and a cameraman were fired at by unknown assailants using an explosive device and automatic weapons, while driving out of Kosovska Mitrovica in a car with Belgrade license plates.
Saturday, March 4, 2000 - In a second attempt, Danish armored personnel carriers in Kosovska Mitrovica, carrying 41 ethnic Albanians lumbered across the Ibar River. French peacekeepers abandoned plans to move more ethnic Albanians to the north side of the town.
In an article, warning about a new guerrilla war brewing just across the border between ethnic Albanians and Serbian forces the Los Angeles Times reported about Yugoslavia's Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac Liberation Army (Albanian UCPMB). The name was taken from the three main towns in an area that is mostly populated by ethnic Albanians and located in Serbia proper, just east of Kosovo's provincial border.
Fighting was reported between Serb police and a new ethnic Albanian armed group in a tense area of Serbia just outside eastern Kosovo. KFOR said it had no intention of intervening further into Serbia. Some 175 ethnic Albanian women and children fled from the area near Dobrasi into Gnjilane, Kosovo.
Sunday, March 5, 2000 - NATO peacekeepers arrested two Bosnian Serbs, one of whom was accused of committing war crimes while helping run the notorious Omarska internment camp.
The first troops from Eurocorps — a four-nation European military grouping — arrived in Macedonia en route to Kosovo. The 68 soldiers from France, Germany, Belgium and Spain are part of a 350-strong contingent of troops that Eurocorps will provide to the NATO-led Kosovo peacekeeping mission headquarters. NATO designated Eurocorps in January to run the operation in Kosovo for the next six months. It was the first time a non-NATO group was selected to lead a NATO operation.
Monday, March 6, 2000 - NATO peacekeepers tightened border controls, in an attempt to stop the flow of weapons and guerrillas believed to fuel tensions in the region just inside Serbia.
Tuesday, March 7, 2000 - In Kosovska Mitrovica, a street fight escalated into a fiery battle. Two rockets hit a apartment complex, in the Serb-held part of the city, where dozens of ethnic Albanians had been resettled by NATO peacekeepers. One apartment was damaged, but there were no injuries. Hand grenades were thrown and shots were fired. Sixteen French peacekeepers and 24 civilians were wounded.
Bernard Kouchner, UN administrator in Kosovo, said it's time to start talking about what "substantial autonomy" and self-government will mean for Kosovo. He stressed he was not speaking of independence. He referred to the Rambouillet accords, which suggested a model of a state within a state, with its own constitution, laws, courts, president, parliament, the right to conduct foreign affairs with other governments and to chart its own economic course.
Wednesday, March 8, 2000 - NATO peacekeepers imposed an early curfew in Kosovska Mitrovica.
Opposition activist Bogoljub Arsenijevi, serving a 3-year prison term for leading violent protests against President Slobodan Milosevic went missing. Reports from independent media outlets said he had escaped from police custody while recovering from surgery in a hospital. His wife said she doubted that her husband had escaped.
Thursday, March 9, 2000 - Albin Kurti — former spokesman for Kosovo's disbanded rebel organization — went on trial today on charges of terrorism and conspiracy against the state, Yugoslav media reported.
UN police accused French KFOR troops of standing back when assistance was needed during the riots in Kosovska Mitrovica. K-For strongly denied the accusations. During the riots, some ethnic Albanians were killed. Danish troops assisted UN police.
Friday, March 10, 2000 - General Klaus Reinhardt said there were no plans to venture across the border with Serbia. The Presevo Valley falls just outside Kosovo's administrative boundaries. Sporadic clashes were reported between a newly formed rebel group of ethnic Albanian guerrillas and Serb police.
Saturday, March 11, 2000 - French peacekeepers declared that they had returned 93 people — 49 families — across the Ibar River, which divides Kosovska Mitrovica, and settling them back home. Peacekeepers guarded the three buildings with the families, using razor wire, armored vehicles, and tanks.
Sunday, March 12, 2000 - Belgrade police forced Radio Television Pozeg — an opposition-run radio and television station — off the air. It allegedly failed to pay state fees for using its frequency.
Monday, March 13, 2000 - The US urged ethnic Albanians to stop attacks on Serbs and other minorities in Kosovo before the violence would weaken international support.
NATO Supreme Commander Clark said the West would not stay indifferent to attempts by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to ``tighten the noose'' around Montenegro. As part of a number of measures to put pressure on Montenegro not to pull away from Belgrade, Yugoslav troops prevented goods entering Montenegro from Serbia.
Tuesday, March 14, 2000 - Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, expressed Moscow's concern that "the very critical situation" in southern Serbia could ignite a new war. Russia also warned that Kosovo "is drifting toward independence" in violation of UN resolution 1244.
After being ordered by Yugoslav Telecommunication Minister Ivan Makrovic to pay $1 million for use of its frequencies, Studio B paid, to prevent from being closed down. The sum was paid by the opposition municipal government in Belgrade.
Wednesday, March 15, 2000 - NATO peacekeepers clashed with angry Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica. The Serbs responded with a call for a campaign of civil disobedience against the UN and NATO administration. At least 15 Serbs and an undetermined number of peacekeepers and journalists were injured.
Following a request from General Clark for 2,000 additional troops to reinforce KFOR, France offered 600 to 700 more and Italy said it would provide another 350.
The US sternly warned ethnic Albanian leaders in Kosovo that US and other NATO peacekeepers were determined to defend the border against crossover attacks on police in Serbia.
Pentagon officials expressed concern about the gathering of ethnic Albanian guerrillas in the rugged no-man's region of the Presevo Valley. Since several weeks, the military tracked six to eight armed groups, ranging in number for a two dozen to 200 each, some of whom have connections to the former Kosovo Liberation Army.
Thursday, March 16, 2000 - Without prior notice, president Milosevic's government shut down the local television station in the opposition-run southeastern town of Pirot and police removed transmission equipment. Serbian opposition parties and media called for action to halt the media crackdown.
In an attempt to ease tension in Kosovska Mitrovica, French commanders agreed to let both Serb guards and international peacekeepers keep watch over a bridge to the ethnic Albanian-controlled part of the city. The change in strategy followed a clash between NATO troops and about 300 Serb civilians.
Saturday, March 18, 2000 - European officials and the premiers of the countries bordering Yugoslavia agreed that Montenegro should stay within the Yugoslav federation but with closer contacts with other nations in the region. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was urged to end his economic blockade of Montenegro.
Sunday, March 19, 2000 - Seven Czech peacekeepers strayed across Kosovo's administrative boundary between the province and the rest of Serbia and were detained for eight hours by Serb authorities. The Czechs were assigned to a reconnaissance unit, traveling in a BMP-2 armored vehicle equipped with satellite navigation and night vision.
France and Italy announced 1,200 peacekeepers would be sent to Kosovska Mitrovica. Britain said it planned to send 170 troops and two helicopters to Kosovo to engage in surveillance and intelligence work.
Monday, March 20, 2000 - Ethnic Albanian leader Hashim Thaci promised to do what he could to stop Serb-Albanian violence in southern Serbia.
Underworld figure Branislav Lainovic was shot and killed in front of his hotel in Belgrade. He was a former commander of the Serb Guard, a paramilitary group organized by opposition Serbian Renewal Movement which fought on the side of the Serb rebels in Croatia at the start of the war there in 1991.
Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - NATO established a "confidence zone" in Kosovska Mitrovica with barbed wire along the bridge over the river that separates ethnic Albanians and Serbs. Signs forbid weapons, demonstrations, and parking.
The Pentagon said it would send a number of Predator and Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Kosovo, to assist in intelligence gathering.
An explosion destroyed a railway bridge about 7 miles northwest of Kosovska Mitrovica, cutting off rail traffic between northern Kosovo — where most of the remaining Serbs live — and Kosovo Polje, a Serb-dominated village just outside Pristina. No injuries were reported.
Thursday, March 23, 2000 - Ethnic Albanian militants near the Presevo Valley — in southern Serbia — pledged to become a political organization. The move was considered a first step toward easing tensions just across Kosovo's administrative boundary. There was no promise to lay down weapons.
Saturday, March 25, 2000 - The Yugoslav Ministry of Telecommunications returned a transmitter that it had seized from a local Serbian TV station in Kraljevo, 70 miles south of Belgrade. The transmitter was confiscated on March 18, claiming it lacked a frequency license. The move triggered seven days of anti-government demonstrations organized by the opposition-run municipal government. In return for the transmitter, Kraljevo authorities promised to cease the anti-Milosevic protests and pay about $10,000 in frequency license taxes.
In a period of several months, dozens of non-governmental media outlets and independent newspapers have been ordered to shut down or subjected to severe fines under Serbia's repressive Information Law — sponsored by Milosevic's ruling Socialists.
Sunday, March 26, 2000 - Hundreds of ethnic Albanians gathered at three separate spots — along Kosovo's border with Macedonia, in the town of Urosevac and near the town of Kacanik — near the main US Army base in Kosovo in protest of the release of a suspect on murder and weapons smuggling charges.
Tuesday, March 28, 2000 - The Times reported that the CIA uncovered a Serb plot to assassinate NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson and Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Clark. The CIA feared the Serbs were going to use shoulder-launched missiles to attack the helicopter carrying both officials. Their flight plans were re-scheduled.
Wednesday, March 29, 2000 - For the first time, NATO troops entered the no-man's zone just outside Kosovo's boundary following reports of Yugoslav military activity in the 3.5 mile zone. On a fact-finding mission NATO searched for evidence of a tank, sighted March 25. Any presence of Yugoslav military forces would break the agreement that ended NATO's 78 day bombing campaign.
US officials feared Milosevic could crack down on the group of ethnic Albanian guerrillas active in southern Serbia, possibly triggering another armed conflict.
Thursday, March 30, 2000 - The Pentagon announced it would send 125 long-range reconnaissance troops to Kosovo and 14 tanks and six artillery pieces to neighboring Macedonia as a deterrent. Earlier that day, the US House of Representatives narrowly defeated (219-200 vote) an effort to withdraw the 5,900 US peacekeepers from Kosovo unless European nations start paying a larger share.
The reconnaissance troops would monitor the border with southern Serbia, where ethnic Albanian guerrillas were becoming more active, despite an agreement reached earlier.
Friday, March 31, 2000 - In Kosovska Mitrovica, a French lieutenant was shot to death by a fellow French soldier. It was not immediately clear if the shooting was an accident.
Saturday, April 1, 2000 - A nine-page document from the British Department of Defense containing a detailed plan for rules of engagement in Kosovo turned up on the Internet.
Croatia's president Stipe Mesic said another war in the Balkans would be possible, unless the West takes steps to stop Milosevic.
Sunday, April 2, 2000 - Kosovo's Serb National Council said they would end a six-month boycott of the UN interim government but added that their representatives would take part as observers only and that decisions would be reviewed after three months. Serbs from the city of Mitrovica did not support the decision.
Monday, April 3, 2000 - In the past 2 1/2 month, the Yugoslav government closed 10 independent radio stations and threatened or fined 20 others that diverged from the state-approved point of view.
Tuesday, April 4, 2000 - Kosovo Serbs clashed with NATO troops in Sevce — 40 miles south of Pristina. Fourteen Serbs, 11 US soldiers, and one Pole were injured. The clash started after a Serb was arrested for illegal weapons possession. About 150 Serbs surrounded the house and refused to allow the troops to leave. The suspect escaped custody. After roads were blocked by the crowd, NATO used helicopters to bring in reinforcements. Polish troops also set up roadblocks outside Jazince to stop a crowd of some 300 Serbs from joining the demonstration.
Wednesday, April 5, 2000 - The Associated Press reported that Albanian guerilla Xhavit Hasani was arrested by the UN and deported to Macedonia to face felony charges a month ago — a move that was criticized by human rights organizations as Amnesty International. On April 2, militants kidnapped four Macedonian soldiers. The soldiers were released after Hasani was allowed out of prison on $100,000 bail.
Top UN representative Bernard Kouchner personally intervened in the case, signing the order that sent Hasani to Macedonia to face charges of shooting at 11 people, including two policemen. Western diplomats described the action as legally questionable – signing Hasani away without giving him any legal forum to argue against it. He was held from January 25 to March 9.
US defense secretary William Cohen said the clash in which 11 US troops were injured showed the need for more police in the region, not more soldiers.
Opposition activist Jan Svetlik was taken from his home in Zrenjanin by three unidentified men. It occurred just before the municipal assembly of the town of Zrenjanin was going to vote to retake control of the town's government and oust a major loyal to president Milosevic.
Thursday, April 6, 2000 - A Serb man was shot in the leg when Swedish peacekeepers fired on protesters armed with pitchforks and axes who were trying to attack the monastery in Gracanica — about five miles southeast of Pristina. The monastery became the unofficial base of the moderate Serbian National Council, led by Bishop Artemije. The crowd protested after moderate Serbs decided to participate in Kosovo's interim government.
Friday, April 7, 2000 - About 100 radical Serbs rallied again outside the monastery in Gracanica. The rally dispersed without incident after Serb representatives met with peacekeepers.
US secretary of state Madeleine Albright met with leaders from eight Serbian cities. She pledged to help the municipal leaders in Serbia to rebuild cities "that fell victim to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's regime".
Ethnic Albanian rebels vowed to step up attacks in southern Serbia, despite an earlier agreement and pressure from the US to stop. Western officials believed the violence could spill over into Kosovo and Macedonia. The Pressevo Valley is in Serbia and is not under control of the UN and NATO.
Saturday, April 8, 2000 - Moderate Serb said they would stick to their decision to participate in the UN interim government.
Sunday, April 9, 2000 - The Serb suspect who escaped April 4, during clashes between the Serb population and US peacekeepers in Sevce turned himself in.
Monday, April 10, 2000 - Television station Studio B — ran by the opposition municipal government in Belgrade — was fined $40,000 in a suit filed by a police officer. The station refused to pay.
Serbia's minister of culture, Zeljko Simic, filed a suit against the independent Vreme weekly for statements published in an interview carried by the paper.
In the city of Nis, more than 10,000 people protested the verdict against the local Narodne Novine newspaper, which was ordered a week earlier to pay $35,000 in a suit filed by the Yugoslav army.
Serbian president Milan Milutinovic underwent heart surgery. Milutinovic was indicted in 1999 by the UN war crimes tribunal in connection with atrocities committed by Serb forces during the conflict in Kosovo.
Tuesday, April 11, 2000 - A Serb observer attended a session of the UN interim government. The move was as a test for the international community's ability to bring both sides together in a multiethnic society. Moderate Serb leaders say they will withdraw from the council if Serb refugees do not begin to return within three months.
Wednesday, April 12, 2000 - An explosion shattered windows of the office of Yugoslav president Milosevic in Belgrade. No injuries were reported. Milosevic's ruling Socialists blamed the opposition.
Thursday, April 13, 2000 - Because of ethnic violence in the French zone and increased activity of Albanian rebels in the Presevo Valley in southern Yugoslavia, some 3,5000 troops were requested by NATO. The roughly 5 battalions were mainly intended to replace battalions scheduled to leave. On March 30, the US said it would send a reconnaissance company to Kosovo.
NATO secretary-general Lord Robertson said that NATO peacekeepers "are willing to take the risks" to arrest war crimes suspects, including wartime Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, political strongman Radovan Karadzic and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
Australia's new ambassador to Belgrade presented his credentials to President Slobodan Milosevic. The move was criticized by many Western nations.
Macedonian legal authorities said they would seek assault charges against US soldiers allegedly responsible for injuring a Macedonian policeman and brawling with residents. (Macedonia serves as a staging ground and a supply route for international peacekeepers in Kosovo.)
Saturday, April 14, 2000 - Top UN war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte said that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic must not be allowed to continue evading international justice; his arrest is a priority. "I deplore the fact that, 10 months after the publication of his indictment, he is still in power, evading international justice," del Ponte said. She also said she will press NATO-led forces in Bosnia to arrest former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Bosnian Serb wartime military commander, General Ratko Mladic.
In Belgrade, some 10,000 participated in a major anti-Milosevic rally. Live coverage of the rally on the leading nongovernment television station, Studio B, was jammed.
Monday, April 17, 2000 - A former leading member of Serbia's ruling Socialists who had participated in failed peace talks for Kosovo committed suicide. He was considered close to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic but he came under Socialist party scrutiny for criticizing its policies in Kosovo.
Tuesday, April 18, 2000 - A rocket hit an apartment building in Pristina. No injuries were reported.
Wednesday, April 19, 2000 - In one of the largest mass trials ever in Serbia, 145 ethnic Albanians faced terrorism charges for allegedly fighting Serb forces in Kosovo in April 1999. The men said they had been taken away from their homes for identity checks and then detained. When NATO took control of Kosovo in June, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's withdrawing forces transferred more than 2,000 ethnic Albanians charged with terrorism from Kosovo to prisons elsewhere in Serbia.
Thursday, April 20, 2000 - The 15-year old boy suspected of killing a Russian peacekeeper on March 2, 2000 escaped again. He reportedly admitted to his father that he shot the Russian soldier with his own gun after provoking a fight.
A Yugoslav forensic expert testified that he found child and adult remains in the village of Klecka, southwest of Pristina. In a court case against two Kosovo Albanians, Yugoslavia said its crackdown on Kosovo was justified.
Friday, April 21, 2000 - Yugoslavia accused NATO of using depleted uranium rounds on eight sites in Yugoslavia during the 78-day air campaign. Months earlier NATO admitted US A-10 planes fired armor-piercing depleted uranium rounds on some 100 missions.
US senators urged the UN to schedule local elections as soon as possible to enable foreign troops to return home.
Serbian opponents of Milosevic urged the West to lift sanctions against Yugoslavia.
Saturday, April 22, 2000 - Serbian opposition leaders renewed calls Saturday for early elections. They also promised greater coordination to oust Milosevic.
Gunfire erupted along Kosovo's eastern boundary, near the village of Djordjevac, in the Pressevo Valley.
A US-backed plan to start resettling Serbs in Kosovo triggered some scepticism by the UN.
Sunday, April 23, 2000 - Nine explosions were reported near the village of Gorazdevac in the Italian zone. Three craters were found near a KFOR checkpoint, and six other craters were found near a group of Roma houses. No injuries were reported.
Monday, April 24, 2000 - Seven people went on trial on charges of plotting to assassinate president Slobodan Milosevic and his army chief General Nebojsa Pavkovic.
Wednesday, April 26, 2000 - In order to assist the UN international crimes tribunal in The Hague, the OSCE announced it would establish a similar court in Kosovo to address serious ethnic crimes committed during the 1998-99 conflict between Kosovo's separatist majority ethnic Albanians and Serbian security forces.
During a routine press conference, KFOR reported an increase of violence aimed against KFOR troops. Numerous gunshots were fired against guards and tents of a KFOR Russian camp in Brocna; KFOR returned fire. A Molotov cocktail was thrown from a passing vehicle at a KFOR checkpoint in Marina. A KFOR Russian vehicle was stopped and threatened by demonstrators in Pristina. The KFOR soldiers turned the vehicle around and left without further incident. No injuries were reported.
A Russian soldier was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head just north of the town of Glogovac — 25 km west of Pristina. The soldier had been reported missing since April 16. KFOR commander Lieutenant-General Juan Ortuno condemned the killing by saying "An attack against one soldier is an attack against us all".
An ally of Milosevic was gunned down in Belgrade. Petrovic never played a big role in politics, nor was his name ever publicly tied to any of the numerous scandals linked to Milosevic's regime.
Thursday, April 27, 2000 - Ahead of a UN fact-finding mission, the UN ambassadors of pro-Serbian Russia and China met with Yugoslav president Milosevic and his prime minister and foreign minister.
Friday, April 28, 2000 - Six Serbs accused of plotting to kill president Slobodan Milosevic were convicted of conspiracy and terrorism (see April 24).
Saturday, April 29, 2000 - Serb mobs clashed with NATO peacekeepers escorting ethnic Albanians back to homes in Kosovska Mitrovica. KFOR sent in reinforcements by vehicle and helicopter to end the blockade. Witnesses reported serious violence in which Serbs stoned ethnic Albanian houses in the vicinity, shot at a helicopter bringing troops to the scene and clashed with soldiers before being pushed back.
In other parts of the north hundreds of furious Serbs blocked intersections and vandalized at least 15 UN international police cars. Troops and anti-riot police squads were dispatched to disperse the mobs.
Sunday, April 30, 2000 - A UN Security Council delegation vowed to seek more police and administrators for the mission in Kosovo to curb violence and build democracy. After a three-day tour, the delegation concluded there was no need to change or replace resolution 1244 but that its implementation must be improved. The delegation also said UNMIK was still seriously short of administrators and police.
Monday, May 8, 2000 - At a conference on security and stability in southeastern Europe NATO secretary-general Lord Robertson indicated NATO would accept Croatia as a junior partner — pointedly setting up the new democratic government as a role model for the country's former rivals in the Balkan wars.
Thursday, May 11, 2000 - US senators debated on a proposal requiring withdrawal of US troops in Kosovo after July 1, 2001, unless Congress would authorize them to stay. The Clinton administration fiercely opposed the plan to cut off funding for the 5,900 troops. US senators were unhappy about the growing string of military deployments in hot spots like Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti. The Clinton administration feared that Congress sent the wrong message to Milosevic.
About 200-300 stone-throwing Serbs attacked US soldiers of the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force in Vrbovac — near the southern town of Vitina. In one of two incidents, a squad of US military police was stoned as the unit responded to an explosion which destroyed an abandoned house. In the second, troops guarding a Serbian Orthodox church were surrounded and attacked.
A Serb reporter who was detained by police for writing about alleged atrocities committed by the Yugoslav army in Kosovo was handed over to a military court and could face espionage charges.
Monday, May 15, 2000 - In the first war crimes trial arising from the Kosovo conflict, a Serb man appeared before ethnic Albanian judges in a district court to face a charge of genocide. Milos Jokic was accused of leading a nine-member paramilitary group which terrorized members of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority during last year's NATO air war.
Tuesday, May 16, 2000 - The US said it was "deeply dismayed" that Russia had allowed Yugoslav Defense Minister Dragoljub Ojdanic — indicted by the UN for alleged war crimes in Kosovo — to visit Moscow. The States Department spokesman said: "Russia — like all UN member states — has the obligation...to arrest war criminals who enter its territory."
Thursday, May 18, 2000 - In the US, the Senate killed a proposal to require the withdrawal of US troops from Kosovo after July 2001 unless Congress authorized them to stay.
Clinton said that since the end of the air campaign European allies supplied 85% of the troops and nearly 85% of the police.
In Belgrade, Serb police used tear gas and batons to break up a rally against the government's seizure of the influential Studio B television station, but the opposition said new demonstrations were planned.
Friday, May 19, 2000 - More than 40,000 people gathered at an opposition rally in Skopje to demand the Macedonian government resign and hold early elections. Macedonia is believed to be dangerously close to bankruptcy. With more than half the workforce unemployed and a foreign debt amounting to $1.45 billion, the impoverished Balkan nation is hoping to boost its economy by bringing in foreign capital.
Monday, May 22, 2000 - A court in Nis convicted 143 Kosovo Albanians of terrorism charges and sentenced them to up to 13 years in prison. It was the biggest mass trial ever in Serbia. The court ruled that the group, all from the southeastern Kosovo town of Djakovica, took part in attacks against Serb police during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 - In Kosovska Mitrovica, hundreds rallied to protest the conviction of 143 Kosovo Albanians on terrorism charges.
Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - Two Russian peacekeepers were wounded in what NATO said were retaliatory attacks for roughing up Ramush Haradinaj — a former regional commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Haradinaj was briefly detained by Russian and German military police in the town of Lozica, 30 miles from Pristina, because of improper paperwork for two guns found in his car. Haradinaj tried to escape and took the weapon of one of the soldiers.
The US asked Europe to provide more international police for Kosovo.
Masked men beat up a few dozen Belgrade University students, breaking up a sit-in protest against President Slobodan Milosevic's government.
Yugoslavia's justice minister Petar Jojic — a member of the ultranationalist Serb Radical Party — criticized the UN in a 25-page open letter, containing many obscenities. He said of UN chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte "You are running the dungeon which, like the worst whore, you have sold out to the Americans and to which you bring innocent Serbs by force, by kidnapping and murder" and "your acts will be a matter of investigation and the last part of your rotten life you will spend behind bars."
Thursday, May 25, 2000 - Gunmen attacked Russian peacekeepers for a second straight day. Attackers fired some 30 machine gun rounds into the Russian camp at Kijevo, about 20 miles south of Pristina.
Friday, May 26, 2000 - KFOR troops were fired on with an automatic weapon at their checkpoint north of Malisevo. There were no injuries.
Saturday, May 27, 2000 - The Yugoslav army was placed on higher alert against domestic and foreign enemies, according to the Vijesti, a daily in Montenegro.
Sunday, May 28, 2000 - Top Serbian opposition leaders arrived in Moscow to ask Russia to end its support for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
Monday, May 29, 2000 - An attacker shot and killed a 4-year-old Serb boy and two men in the village of Cernica — 28 miles southeast of Pristina. The killings provoked widespread Serb protests.
Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - Serb officials freed 23 ethnic Albanians. It was unclear whether the prisoners had been tried and sentenced, or had been awaiting trial. When NATO bombs drove Serb forces to withdraw, Hundreds of Albanians were arrested and transferred to Serbia. In total, 911 prisoners were released, but 1,188 remained imprisoned.
Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - A crowd of Serbs attacked a vehicle belonging to Norwegian peacekeepers investigating a reported shooting near the Kosovo capital Pristina.
An ethnic Albanian from Kosovo was found guilty of terrorism and sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacks on Serbian police and Yugoslav soldiers.
Thursday, June 1, 2000 - The Yugoslav army chief of staff Pavkovic said Yugoslavia would "not allow the scenario of the former republics of Yugoslavia to be repeated". He was referring to the secession of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia.
Friday, June 2, 2000 - A car filled with Serb civilians drove over a land mine just south of Pristina, killing two men and injuring a woman and two children.
Saturday, June 3, 2000 - A Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle lost power on a mission over southern Kosovo and was forced to make a parachute landing "within two miles of the Kosovo border". Earlier, a British "Phoenix" was forced to make a parachute landing in the ground safety zone, which is the three mile buffer zone along Kosovo's boundary with Serbia proper. Unfortunately for the British, the Phoenix aircraft was recovered by Yugoslav forces.
Monday, June 5, 2000 - In an effort in an effort to curb violence, the UN chief administrator, Bernard Kouchner, announced restraints on Kosovo's ethnic Albanian media.
Tuesday, June 6, 2000 - Troops protecting Britain's military chief in Kosovo, Brigadier Richard Shirreff, opened fire on a crowd of hostile ethnic Serbs. At least one Serb was wounded. It was the most serious clash between peacekeepers and Serbs in Kosovo this year.
A US soldier accused of raping and killing an 1—year old Kosovo girl on January 16, 2000, was facing a court martial in Germany, with the possibility of life imprisonment without parole if convicted.
Wednesday, June 7, 2000 - Serbia's Supreme Court overturned the conviction of ethnic Albanian human rights activist Flora Brovina. She was convicted of terrorism by a court in the southern city of Nis on December 9, 1999, and sentenced to 12 years in prison for alleged links to the former rebel Kosovo Liberation Army.
Macedonia increased its military presence on the border with Kosovo because of recent frontier incidents and illegal crossings.
Thursday, June 8, 2000 - In Canada, Svend Robinson — controversial leftist New Democratic Party's spokesman on foreign affairs, representing a Vancouver suburb in parliament — said US Army General Clark should be tried for war crimes for the deaths of civilians. He was especially referring to the attack of Serbian radio/TV headquarters, killing 16 civilians.
KFOR peacekeepers raided a hospital to seize an ethnic Serb who had threatened to kill Britain's top military commander in Kosovo. KFOR said the man was under investigation for attempted murder and was transferred to a medical facility elsewhere in the province. Peacekeepers tried to arrest him on Wednesday but were prevented by several hundred ethnic Serb protesters. KFOR returned to the medical center in the early hours of Thursday.
Five Serb police officers were injured when their four-wheel-drive vehicle hit a land mine in a tense area of southern Serbia near Kosovo.
Friday, June 9, 2000 - Top UN official Bernard Kouchner told the Security Council that the UN administration in Kosovo will have to remain for "a significant number of years", saying it will take years to build a society based on tolerance and democracy.
The UN reported that an increased number of attacks on Serbs in Kosovo appeared to be part of an orchestrated campaign of violence.
Monday, June 12, 2000 - Chinese leader Li Peng and Yugoslavia's President Slobodan Milosevic accused the UN mission in Kosovo of tolerating "genocide" against non-Albanians. They urged the withdrawal of the NATO-led peacekeeping force.
Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - The Dita daily — an ethnic-Albanian newspaper — temporarily banned by Kosovo's chief UN administrator Bernard Kouchner reappeared. It carried the same article that led to the ban — an article the United Nations says contributed to the murder of a Serb employee.
The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague said it found no reason to investigate NATO for criminal activity during its 78-day bombing campaign in Kosovo that nearly killed 500 civilians. The committee was appointed 13 months ago by war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. It reviewed complaints by the Yugoslav government and by international human rights bodies.
Thursday, June 15, 2000 - Gunmen attacked and wounded Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic in Budva, in an Adriatic coastal resort. He accused Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic of responsibility for the shooting. The shooting followed a string of mysterious assassinations of officials and underworld figures in Belgrade. Russia condemned the shooting.
Friday, June 16, 2000 - KFOR troops discovered a massive stockpile of ammunition stored in two large bunkers that were stacked to the ceiling with rifles, heavy machine guns, grenades, grenade launchers, mortars, mines and other ordnance. NATO said it was probably linked to anti-Serb extremists. The bunkers were found just half a mile from the wartime headquarters of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
NATO started a major raid aimed at sezing weapons after two Serbs were killed and another wounded after their vehicle ran over a landmine. The road was almost exclusively used by Serbs to avoid Albanian villages.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that two of its former employees in Pristina were indicted by the UN for alleged embezzlement and fraud. They were charged with colluding to unlawfully obtain 190,000 DM of IOM assets.
Dennis McNamara, the UN head of humanitarian assistance in Kosovo, criticized NATO for its failure to reveal the location of cluster bombs. So far, 94 people were killed and more than 400 injured by land mines and unexploded ordnance.
Two masked men wearing uniforms of the officially disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army shot and killed a member of the Democratic League of Kosovo, a moderate ethnic Albanian politician.
Montenegrin police said they had arrested the gunmen who wounded Vuk Draskovic.
Saturday, June 17, 2000 - Despite a ban, some 100 Kosovo Serbs rallied on in Kraljevo in central Serbia to seek an organized return to their homes a year after leaving Kosovo.
Sunday, June 18, 2000 -
The commander of Kosovo's former ethnic Albanian guerrilla army denied NATO suggestions that a huge weapons cache discovered June 16 was illegally hidden by the guerrillas. Brigadier General Richard Shireff — commander of the British peacekeeping contingent that found the ordnance — said all evidence suggested it was former KLA property. This would be a violation of the peace settlement.
Monday, June 19, 2000 - Mass graves at Brestovac were exhumed by the UN. They were believed to hold 34 of more than 50 civilians killed in the village by Serb troops in March 1999 during their crackdown on Kosovo.
The New York Times said the Clinton administration was exploring the possibility of a deal for Milosevic to leave office while guaranteeing his safety and his savings. The UN war crimes tribunal did not agree, but indicated it would not impede diplomatic moves to restore political stability to Yugoslavia. The US State Department denied the report. However, a Greek newspaper reported a month ago that US officials had quietly approached Athens to try to work out an arrangement for his departure from office. Despite the fact that Milosevic is faced with international isolation he managed to remain in power, one year after the NATO air campaign.
Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - Russia and China accused the UN tribunal of playing politics in prosecuting suspected war criminals in the Balkans and called on the Security Council to monitor its operations closely. Canada and the United States strongly defended the court against Russian and Chinese attacks.
Thursday, June 22, 2000 - Yugoslavia accused the United States and international peacekeepers in Kosovo of trying to spread "ethnic Albanian terrorism" to Serbia. The accusation came after a series of bomb blasts. Bombs damaged the town hall in Bujanovac and the municipal courthouse in Presevo and Serbian police said that another bomb "of Albanian origin" was deactivated outside the court later.
Norway's top general, Sigurd Frivold, proposed sweeping cuts in the Norwegian defense budget, "the biggest reorganization of the military since World War II". The report outlined plans for Norway's national defense until 2010 based on current budget levels of $2.94 billion a year. Norway's military spending has declined from 7.1 percent of the national budget in 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, to a current level of just over 5 percent. The cuts would also affect peacekeeping operations.
Friday, June 23, 2000 - The World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) temporarily suspending work in Mitrovica. They condemned the "unacceptable" level of attacks on their operations there. CARE, Caritas and ADRA also said they were stopping work, leaving only KFOR and armed United Nations police in the north.
During a regular press conference KFOR said is was able to confirm that the weapons found June 16 belonged to the former KLA. KFOR said it had considerable evidence to link the weapons in the bunker to KLA units operating during the war. This evidence contradicted rumours that Serb military forces, prior to leaving Kosovo, stored the weapons and ammunition for later use.
Yugoslavia's army showed its muscle to Montenegro with a massive military exercise in Montenegro along the country's volatile border with Albania.
Saturday, June 24, 2000 - Hundreds of Serbs attacked a UN office in Strpce — 25 miles south of Pristina — breaking windows, burning computers and setting a UN flag ablaze. They also stoned UN vehicles. The villagers were apparently unsatisfied with the response to their request for a search for an elderly villager. His body was found several days later.
Monday, June 26, 2000 - A Serbian court in Nis convicted six Kosovo Albanians of conspiring against the state. They were sentenced to 14 months in prison.
Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - After a population-based study, researchers more accurately calculated that from 1998 to 1999 approximately 12,000 Albanian Kosovars were killed during the Kosovo conflict as a result of war-related trauma. The conclusion was that the figures indicated that 12,000 Kosovar Albanians died from war-related trauma out of a total of 18,800 overall deaths, while another 3,900 people were missing.
Five men that Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic said were mercenaries hired by France to kill him went on trial, charged with espionage and murder. The group was arrested on November 26, 1999. If convicted, the men face up to 20 years in prison.
1 Jul, 2000 Balkanblog
Saturday, July 1, 2000 - As a punitive measure on the Serb community of Strpce, American troops stopped providing armed escorts for Serbs traveling in convoys to buy food. All community improvement projects were also halted. (See June 24.)
Monday, July 3, 2000 - The European Commission released a white list of 190 Yugoslav companies to be exempted from European sanctions imposed last year because they have proved they are not linked to President Slobodan Milosevic. Companies on the list included food, pharmaceutical and electrical companies as well as the local subsidiaries of international firms including Ericsson, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, and Volvo. Companies in sensitive fields such as fuel supply, banking and production of military equipment were not on the list.
Tuesday, July 4, 2000 - A Serb convoy consisting of buses and cars was stoned while traveling from Serbia to the village of Strpce. At the border, they requested an escort from KFOR. This was denied due to the sanctions placed on Strpce for the recent vandalism of the UNMIK building and aggression toward KFOR peacekeepers. Near Pozaranje, unidentified persons stoned the vehicles and passengers — after which Polish peacekeepers escorted the vehicles to Strpce.
Wednesday, July 5, 2000 - President Milosevic's allies asked parliament to make changes to the Yugoslav constitution that could enable Milosevic to seek re-election after his term expires next year. They proposed that the president be elected directly by the voters and not be appointed by the assembly's two chambers. Serbia has a population of 10 million; Montenegro only 600,000. Other proposed changes could affect the position of pro-Western Montenegro. The change in the constitution only requires parliamentary approval. Under the current law, Milosevic could not seek a second term after expiration of his term in July 2001. Milosevic has been indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Staying in power could be his only guarantee against prosecution.
Thursday, July 6, 2000 - The Yugoslav parliament approved constitutional changes that strengthen Milosevic's iron grip on power and weaken Montenegro.
Friday, July 7, 2000 - Lawmakers on backed the Montenegrin government's decision to reject changes to the constitution in order to strengthen Milosevic's position. A proposed amendment by the Social Democrats to the government resolution calling for a referendum on Montenegro's independence was rejected by the lawmakers.
Former KLA commander Ramush Haradinaj was wounded in a shootout in Streoce with supporters of an ethnic Albanian political rival.
Sunday, July 9, 2000 - Ramush Haradinaj was flown to Germany from a US military hospital in Kosovo to another in southern Germany. His political party said he had been the target of an assassination attempt but others insisted they had wounded Haradinaj after he came to their home to attack them.
Officials feared that the incident could have serious effects on peacekeeping in Kosovo. If Haradinaj was attacked, he was the third KLA ex-commander to be targeted in recent months. If he was arrested for committing a crime, it could mean destabilization of Kosovo's fragile political situation and could lead to more violence.
On June 24, Haradinaj was involved in a scuffle with Russian peacekeepers. This was followed by a string of gun, grenade and rocket attacks on Russian bases.
Monday, July 10, 2000 - A US soldier near the village of Cerkes Sadovina in eastern Kosovo accidentally shot a seven year-old ethnic Albanian boy who later died from his injuries. Children had been watching US forces repair a school fence when a soldier accidentally let off a burst of three rounds from his M249. Despite a plea by the father's boy and despite the fact that the shooting later proved to be an accident, the soldier faced court martial in November 2000.
Montenegro said that Yugoslavia no longer exists. Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic said that with the latest federal constitutional changes — and Montenegro's decision to ignore them — the republic "has practically left the constitutional and legal system of Yugoslavia." He also said Montenegro will not take part in federal elections envisaged by Milosevic. There are fears that Milosevic might intervene militarily against Montenegro if it proclaims outright independence.
Wednesday, July 12, 2000 - Unidentified attackers fired at a car on a rural road in Kosovo's American sector, wounding three Serb men. Later, US troops fired warning shots over a crowd of angry Serbs who gathered in the town of Klokot to protest the attack.
Thursday, July 13, 2000 - A police checkpoint near Konculj in southern Serbia near the Kosovo border was attacked for the third time in 24 hours. A mortar shell was fired from close range at the checkpoint in a demilitarized buffer zone between territory controlled by Yugoslav forces and Kosovo. It was followed by shots from an automatic weapon.
Friday, July 14, 2000 - A grenade was fired from an Albanian neighborhood into the Serb sector of Kosovska Mitrovica. No injuries were reported. The blast prompted rumors that a popular Serb cafe had been hit, and angry Serbs flooded into the area. They dispersed later when peacekeepers convinced them the cafe was not hit.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the commander of US troops in Kosovo, Brig Gen Randal M. Tieszen, said that agents of the Yugoslav government were active in the Serb communities of Kosovo and appear intent on undermining UN efforts to rebuild the province.
Saturday, July 15, 2000 - Serb moderates said they might participate in the province's first internationally supervised elections in Serbian areas where NATO can provide security. The UN said it needed substantial participation from all ethnic groups to give legitimacy to the balloting. If the Serbs would boycott the ballots, it would raise questions about the legitimacy of any UN-sponsored political system.
Serb leaders in Kosovska Mitrovica, however, remained opposed to voting until the UN allows 1,500 Serbs to return this month and draws up a firm timetable to allow another 210,000 to come home. The UN resisted the demand.
Sunday, July 16, 2000 - In Leposavic — northern Kosovo — Belgian troops evacuated election registrars working for the OSCE after learning that Serbs opposed to internationally sponsored elections were heading to the area to disrupt registration. Municipal elections were set for October.
Monday, July 17, 2000 - KFOR fired tear gas and shot in the air to disperse a crowd of Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica. Some members of the crowd took a United Nations police officer captive late in the evening but later released him. The crowd had gathered after UN police arrested a Serb man in the Serb-dominated north of the city. Outside the police station they threw stones at peacekeepers.
An explosion in Kosovo Polje leveled a medieval Serbian Orthodox Church.
Tuesday, July 18, 2000 - Ten suspects were charged in Belgrade over the murder of Serb warlord Arkan — an international war crimes suspect who was killed January 16, 2000.
Thursday, July 20, 2000 - French troops arrested a Serb in Kosovska Mitrovica. It triggered protests by Serbs already demanding the release of a militant detained for alleged attacks against ethnic Albanians.
Serbs resisted attempts by the UN for them to register to vote in municipal elections set for October.
Friday, July 21, 2000 - The murder trial of a Serb man and his two sons, accused of killing an ethnic Albanian in a shootout in Kosovo on July 10, 1999, took a dramatic turn when the trial judge said American troops confirmed they killed two people at the scene that day. It was unclear why the US Army waited so long to provide information in the case.
Saturday, July 22, 2000 - Gunmen shot and wounded three Serb men in Kosovska Kamenica, an ethnically mixed town jointly patrolled by Russian and American troops.
The Albanian-language newspaper Dita refuse to pay a $11,900 fine for violating regulations on publishing personal information on alleged war criminals. The OSCE fined Dita for repeatedly violating a UN regulation against accusing individuals who have not been charged with a crime of being war criminals.
Sunday, July 23, 2000 - German chancellor Gerhard Schröder criticized the constitutional amendments Milosevic pushed through. He accused Milosevic of grabbing power in Belgrade in the same way Hitler established the Nazi dictatorship in Germany in 1933. Earlier, he and Italian prime minister Giuliano Amato told the Group of Eight that the international community must not recognize any Yugoslav elections based on the new laws.
Monday, July 24, 2000 - The Serbian opposition seemed divided on whether to take part in Yugoslav elections. Some leaders argue that a boycott would only hand the Serbian strongman an easy victory. The upper house of Yugoslavia's parliament adopted election laws that allow Milosevic to run and win again when his current term expires in mid-2001.
Tuesday, July 25, 2000 - Unknown attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades into a building housing NATO-led peacekeepers in the town of Zvornik in Bosnia's Serb Republic — close to the border with Yugoslavia.
Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - In a trial a military court convicted a Serbian journalist of espionage for writing about Serb atrocities in Kosovo and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment. (See October 10, 2000.)
Friday, July 28, 2000 - Over a period of 2 1/2 week, 21 Albanians moved from the northern part Kosovska Mitrovica to the southern part, after threats from local Serbs. Kosovska Mitrovica is the only city where large numbers of ethnic Albanians and Serbs live together.
Yugoslavia's ruling Socialist Party officially named Milosevic as its presidential candidate. Presidential, parliamentary and local elections were scheduled for September 24.
President Clinton and Chancellor Schröder pledged continued support for Milosevic's political opponents. The fragmented opposition has been criticized by both Western officials and Serbian opposition supporters for its inability to join forces against the Yugoslav president.
NATO Secretary-General George Robertson warned president Slobodan Milosevic not to meddle with Montenegro's legitimately elected president. Montenegro said it would boycott any ballot Milosevic calls. Its pro-Western officials said they would organize an independence referendum should Milosevic force elections on Montenegro's territory.
Sunday, July 30, 2000 - KFOR stepped increased its patrols and presence along Kosovo's eastern boundary with Serbia to prevent an armed ethnic Albanian group operating in the area. The UCPMB (Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac Liberation Army) was believed to have been involved in several sporadic clashes with Serbian police.
Monday, July 31, 2000 - Prosecutors for the UN Yugoslav war crimes tribunal studied the file of Nazi mass murderer Adolf Eichmann, who was kidnapped by Israeli agents in 1960. It established that perpetrators of mass atrocities are not protected from unlawful arrest, like ordinary crime suspects. War criminals will stand trial, the UN said, regardless of how or where they were captured. In the past, the Eichmann precedent also has been used by US courts trying torture and terrorism suspects kidnapped abroad.
Tuesday, August 1, 2000 - It was announced that four Dutch men were arrested in Serbia in July 2000 on suspicion of plotting to assassinate or abduct President Slobodan Milosevic. Yugoslavia said the four were sent by Western intelligence agencies who were planning to kidnap Milosevic and other alleged war criminals indicted by the Hague tribunal. The Dutch Foreign Ministry denied any military operation.
A US military court sentenced US Army Staff Sergeant Frank Ronghi to life in prison without parole for killing an 11-year-old ethnic Albanian girl while on peacekeeping duty in Kosovo on January 13, 2000 (see January 16, 2000).
Thursday, August 3, 2000 - The Yugoslav army said it had arrested two Britons and two Canadians in Montenegro on August 1, carrying military equipment and explosives and suggested they were specialists in sabotage. The OSCE said the two Britons were two missing OSCE personnel who worked for a police training school in Kosovo and had been on holiday in Montenegro. Canadian Defense Minister Art Eggleton said the men were not Canadian military and he understood them to be businessmen.
Two ethnic Albanian politicians from of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) — led by Ibrahim Rugova — were shot and wounded in separate attacks. The two were due to stand for election in Kosovo. KFOR said it had arrested four suspects.
Friday, August 4, 2000 - Three Serbs accused of genocide or war crimes evaded a UN police guard to escape from a Kosovo hospital. They had been taken there from the town's detention center on the advice of doctors from both KFOR and the UN. They were guarded around the clock by UN police.
Opponents of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic agreed on candidates for parliament. However, they failed to unite behind a presidential nominee to take on the authoritarian Milosevic. The largest opposition party, the Serbian Renewal Movement, said it would take part only in local elections, but not in the races for parliament and president. Earlier, Montenegro said it would boycott the elections due to Milosevic's recent changes in the country's constitution.
Monday, August 7, 2000 - The Belgian branch of the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders announced it was ceasing operations in Kosovo. DWB accused the UN to allow ethnic cleansing to persist in Kosovo.
Friday, August 11, 2000 - Four Dutch men, arrested in July (see August 1) and accused of plotting to kill President Slobodan Milosevic — were sentenced to 30 days in jail for entering the country illegally.
The Canadian government requested — and received — the help of Russia's foreign minister in winning the release of two Canadians and two Britons that were arrested August 3. The four were held on suspicion of terrorism. The UN said they were simply returning from a holiday. They had informed Yugoslav authorities when they crossed the border from Kosovo to Montenegro for a short holiday but were detained at a roadblock as they were heading back to Kosovo. Three Yugoslav soldiers present during the arrest of the four testified that none of the accused had used force. The testimony countered earlier army claims that the men had resisted arrest.
Saturday, August 12, 2000 - The Clinton administration expressed concern that Yugoslavia could be causing new problems in the Balkans with a move against Montenegro. US officials said the Yugoslav military was put on higher states of alert more frequently. The US said there was increased activity in Montenegrin communities considered loyal to Yugoslavia.
The pro-Western president, Milo Djukanovic, said he would avoid a conflict with Serbia, despite provocations.
UN officials set October 28, 2000 as the date for Kosovo's first-ever internationally supervised elections. The elections will choose members for 30 municipal assemblies in Kosovo. Serbs in the province overwhelmingly refused to register. The province's main ethnic minorities — Serbs and Gypsies, or Roma — were also missing from the voter lists.
Sunday, August 13, 2000 - French peacekeepers discovered a cache of grenades, ammunition, and radios in Kosovska Mitrovica. Ten men were detained. Tension rose over the future of a Serb-controlled lead smelting plant in the nearby town of Zvecan, just north of the city. The UN said the plant was spewing pollution into the air, raising lead levels to 200 times the accepted World Health Organization norms.
Tuesday, August 15, 2000 - Angry Serbs attacked British soldiers guarding a Kosovo lead smelter near Kosovska Mitrovica after French, British and Danish troops seized the controversial plant at dawn.
Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - About 1,500 Serbs protested the closure of NATO's takeover of a lead smelter in Zvecan — near Kosovska Mitrovica — although Kosovo's chief UN administrator, Bernard Kouchner, said they were acting in the interest of the Serbs. The UN said the smelter was pumping toxic waste into the air. Kouchner closed the mine until repairs could be made.
Thursday, August 17, 2000 - Seven Belgian peacekeepers were taken prisoner on the Kosovo border by Serb police and held for 15. The Belgian patrol accompanied a UN vehicle that — according to Serb police — strayed over the security boundary between Kosovo and Serbia. All were later released along with their weapons after negotiations between the Serbs and KFOR.
Friday, August 18, 2000 - Nine children were injured in a drive-by grenade attack in the Obilic area — north of the capital Pristina. A small crowd of Serbs protested against the attack in the village of Crkvene Vodice. They expressed anger that KFOR and UN police had not prevented it.
A bomb blast at a building in central Pristina — housing the offices of Serbian authorities and political parties of different ethnic groups — injured two people.
Another blast damaged a building housing the offices of the Democratic League of Kosovo in the central town of Malisevo.
Sunday, August 20, 2000 - Four members of the ethnic Albanian UCPMB guerilla group were arrested by KFOR troops in search for twomissing Serbs. The two Serbs were reported missing August 12.
A grenade attack left nine Serb children with minor injuries in the village of Crkven Vodica — 7 miles northwest of Pristina — when unidentified assailants threw two hand grenades into a basketball court from a car. An explosion in Pristina injured one woman and damaged several political offices.
Monday, August 21, 2000 - Two Canadians and Two Britons arrested August 3, 2000 said they had been beaten by Yugoslav army soldiers. Their trial faced another delay.
Tuesday, August 22, 2000 - A KFOR soldier from UAE shot and killed two Albanians at a checkpoint in the northern part of Kosovo. The soldier opened fire after the checkpoint was attacked by four Albanians, apparently to seize the weapons of the KFOR soldiers.
Britain's Foreign Office urged Yugoslavia either to charge two British police officers held on spying charges or release them immediately. They were arrested along with the two Canadians.
Wednesday, August 23, 2000 - Kosovo Albanians and Serbs agreed to declare September 9 a day of protest against the violence plaguing Kosovo. The Russian Foreign Minister said that Kosovo's UN-led administration was turning a blind eye to the violence against ethnic Serbs.
The US advised Serbs to take part in the elections of September 24. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that she did not believe the elections were going to be fair, but that even under Milosevic's rule the opposition could do well.
Thursday, August 24, 2000 - Two KFOR United Arab Emirate (UAE) soldiers were wounded by rifle grenades. Two grenades were fired at the Emirati contingent's headquarters in Vucitrn in the French zone in northern Kosovo. The Emiratis returned fire. Three suspects were arrested and handed over to UN police.
Friday, August 25, 2000 - A US soldier was charged with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty in the killing July 10, 2000 of a 6-year-old Albanian boy.
US government sources said that Yugoslav military personnel armed with machine guns boarded a US vessel carrying humanitarian food supplies in the Adriatic a week earlier and allowed the ship to leave after payment of a $3,200 fee. The shipment consisted of grain, earmarked for Kosovo. A State Department spokesman said this action could impede future humanitarian shipments in the region. The American Maritime Congress said that the vessel also was carrying military cargo for Israel and Egypt.
Russia has warned that Kosovo's first internationally supervised election could threaten regional stability and undermine efforts to establish a real democratic and multiethnic society. Russia's UN Ambassador Sergey Lavrov accused the UN administrator in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, of setting an election date without consulting the council and of ignoring international experts. The US and the UK welcomed the municipal election of October 28, 2000.
The Zvecan lead plant in northern Kosovo — closed August 15 — was being evaluated by Swedish, French and American technicians with the intention to renovate and modernize the plant. The UN pledged to continue paying the plant's 600 workers and to pay the salaries of 2,000 others whose livelihood depended on the factory. It was expected that the refinery could be operational within 3 months and the furnaces within 6 months.
Saturday, August 26, 2000 - Former Serbian president Ivan Stambolic has vanished mysteriously. He was reported missing August 25. He often publicly criticized Milosevic for being a power-obsessed autocrat.
Sunday, August 27, 2000 - A car driven by an ethnic Albanian struck a group of Serbian children playing in a field, killing one eight year old and injuring four others. Angry Serbs, protesting a lack of security, attacked UN and KSOR vehicles after the hit and run. Both the UN and KFOR ordered their forces to withdraw from the area. Peacekeepers arrested the driver.
Monday, August 28, 2000 - KFOR announced more mobile patrols in an attempt to crack down on violence.
Wednesday, August 30, 2000 - Milosevic announced that upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections would also be open to Serbs in Kosovo. The announcement appeared to be an effort to show that Milosevic's government still considers Kosovo to be a part of Yugoslavia. The United Nations is preparing to hold local elections in Kosovo on October 28, 2000.
Washington opposed including Kosovo in the September 24 elections. European governments were not as adamant, pointing out that Kosovo formally remains part of Yugoslavia, even if run by NATO and the UN.
Thursday, August 31, 2000 - Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic announced plans to visit Kosovo. With the UN war crimes indictment looming against him, he would face immediate arrest if he were to travel to Kosovo. It was apparently an attempt to boost the president's image ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled September 24, 2000.
Friday, September 1, 2000 - In a show of force, an elite Yugoslav army unit organized a military exercise with more than 200 tanks and 1,000 infantry troops — apparently meant to boost Milosevic's tarnished image. It was Yugoslavia's intention to let this unit return to Kosovo. NATO said it was too early for Yugoslav troops to return.
The top international official in Kosovo delayed a decision on whether to let the province take part in Yugoslavia's upcoming elections.
Saturday, September 2, 2000 - Fifteen prisoners, most of them Serbs and most of them charged with war crimes, escaped from a jail in the northern city of Mitrovica. KFOR soldiers recaptured only two in prison grounds shortly after the breakout. It was the fifth breakout of prisoners in Mitrovica this year.
Monday, September 4, 2000 - The head of Kosovo's UN administration, Bernard Kouchner, suspended the director of the prison in Mitrovica, a police officer from the US.
Bernard Kouchner said he would not prevent Yugoslav presidential and parliamentary elections from taking place in Kosovo, though international officials will not support or organize the September 24 elections. Kouchner also said the elections, called by Yugoslav president Milosevic, do not meet any international standards.
Wednesday, September 6, 2000 - A large number of weapons, including rifles, machine guns, pistol, hand grenades, knifes, etc, was found in an apartment block inhabited by both Albanian and Serb Kosovars.
Thursday, September 7, 2000 - US Secretary of State Albright voiced concern about the safety of Montenegro and its independence-minded President Milo Djukanovic. She also disclosed plans for a joint NATO naval exercise with Croatia off the coast of Montenegro.
War crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic was seen in a bar in Sarajevo, in Lukavica, a part of Sarajevo still controlled by Bosnian Serb hard-liners. The US has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrests of Karadzic, Mladic and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
Serb supporters and opponents of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic clashed in Kosovska Mitrovica over elections.
Friday, September 8, 2000 - Greece's foreign minister rejected independence aspirations of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians. Papandreou was the first ranking Western official to visit Yugoslavia after last year's air strikes to stop Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. He met Milosevic in Belgrade on September 7. He also echoed Western concerns about manipulation in Yugoslavia's parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for Sept. 24. Greece's foreign suggested Milosevic could take the first step out of international isolation by safeguarding a fraud-free vote.
Saturday, September 9, 2000 - President Milosevic said he would not allow foreign observers from Western countries to monitor elections.
Monday, September 11, 2000 - The Swiss charity organization Caritas Switzerland said that one of its local workers in Kosovo killed three people in a row over construction supplies.
Macedonia's ruling coalition and the opposition both claimed victory in local elections. Outside observers described the elections as being marred by irregularities, intimidation and security incidents.
Tuesday, September 12, 2000 - NATO-led peacekeepers and UN police in Kosovo were searching for gunmen who shot and killed an ethnic Albanian town planning director, Rexhep Luci, who was found in his Pristina apartment. Luci was involved in a UN-led process to demolish illegally constructed buildings in Kosovo.
NATO announced plans to increase KFORs troop strength ahead of Yugoslav elections — 2,400 troops would be sent to bolster the force of about 40,000 troops.
Wednesday, September 13, 2000 - NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson said that if Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic would visit Kosovo as part of his national election campaign, NATO-led forces would arrest him immediately.
Thursday, September 14, 2000 - Supporters of Milosevic hurled stones, cans and tomatoes at his main election rival, Vojislav Kostunica, in Kosovska Mitrovica. Kostunica was leading in opinion polls ahead of the September 24 vote.
Friday, September 15, 2000 - President Milosevic stepped up his re-election campaign. Opposition analysts say his increased pre-election activity indicates his concern that he may lose the Sept. 24 ballot.
US Secretary of State Albright warned that Milosevic may "steal" the upcoming presidential election and called on the Serbian people to monitor the vote count. Russia joined the US and four other key countries dealing with the former Yugoslavia to stress they will evaluate the results of the Sept. 24 election "on the basis of internationally recognized standards." In a joint statement the countries called for a democratic Yugoslavia and warned Belgrade to refrain from political violence in Serbia or against Montenegro.
Police in Yugoslavia arrested twelve opposition activists and a lawyer during a search of their Belgrade campaign headquarters. Police also briefly detained party leader Goran Svilanovic when he arrived at Belgrade's main police station with parents and friends of the activists being held in the building.
Saturday, September 16, 2000 - Carla del Ponte — chief war crimes prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia — said she was losing patience with NATO's inability to arrest indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic. Karadzic is at the tribunal's list of wanted war criminals, along with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Del Ponte said she would like the creation of a special force to go after indicted war criminals hiding out in Bosnia and Kosovo. Karadzic has reportedly been sighted near Sarajevo, but authorities in the Serbian part of Bosnia refuse to arrest him, and the area is out-of-bounds for international troops empowered to seize him.
Sunday, September 17, 2000 - The leader of the ethnic Albanian rebel army UCPMB in southern Serbia claimed that Serbian forces were massing in the Albanian-majority region in the run-up to Yugoslav elections.
Monday, September 18, 2000 - The European Union offered to lift sanctions imposed over Belgrade's role in the violent break-up of Yugoslavia if Milosevic would be replaced.
Yugoslavia accused US president Bill Clinton, British prime minister Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac of France of war crimes, during NATO's 1999 air strikes. Other names included US State Secretary Albright and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. During a trial in Belgrade, their names were attached to empty front row seats and lawyers were appointed by Serb authorities.
Tuesday, September 19, 2000 - KFOR foiled a plot to detonate a bomb in Kosovo, following a massive search in Gracanica — a Serb enclave just outside the capital Pristina. Three hundred Swedish and British peacekeepers swept into the village, uncovering three pounds of plastic explosives, detonators, wiring, assorted ammunition, three pistols and an AK-47 assault rifle. Three people were arrested, two of whom are believed to be current or former members of the Yugoslav army's special forces unit.
US officials said they feared Milosevic would cheat in order to win the elections of the 24th. The United States was surprised by the strength shown by the opposition in polls, which had the main Serbian opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica with a wide lead over Milosevic. An opposition bloc called the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, made up of 18 political parties and one trade union, pulled together behind this moderate nationalist. Opinion polls showed Kostunica with about 40 percent support against about 20 percent for Milosevic. Over a three year period the United States gave about $75 million in aid to opposition groups in Yugoslavia. A US official said Kostunica did not accept any US money for his campaign.
Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - The US government welcomed a European Union pledge to end sanctions against Yugoslavia when a democratic transition takes place. Sanctions included an oil embargo and bans on travel by Serbian government officials and financial dealings with companies associated with the regime.
A Serb student was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing ethnic Albanians. It was the first trial for war crimes committed in Kosovo during the crackdown by Yugoslav forces in 1999. He was found guilty of killing an ethnic Albanian, ordering the killing of another and rape of an ethnic Albanian woman.
Thursday, September 21, 2000 - US president Clinton, US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, US defense secretary William Cohen, German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British prime minister Tony Blair, French president Jacques Chirac, as well as NATO former secretary-general Javier Solana and retired commander General Wesley Clark were found guilty by a Belgrade court and sentenced — in absentia — to 20 years in prison for NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.
The four-day trial was held in an attempt to resurrect anti-NATO sentiment here and win votes for president Slobodan Milosevic ahead of the September 24 elections. The Belgrade judge also ordered the defendants to pay the cost of the trial and pronounced NATO guilty of the deaths of 546 Yugoslav army soldiers, 138 Serbian policemen and 504 civilians - 88 of them children.
Yugoslavia's government has dismissed opinion polls putting opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica six to 20 percentage points ahead in the presidential poll, raising fears that president Slobodan Milosevic, indicted for war crimes, would declare victory whatever the outcome.
The UN administration in Kosovo said it would send observers to Serb enclaves in Kosovo to count the turnout, so they could counter any claims by Belgrade that more of the estimated 100,000 Serbs in the province voted that actually did. France said some 20 parliamentarians from EU countries were ready to monitor the elections, but they would only go if they are assured of carrying out their mission unhindered. Belgrade has barred observers from the OSCE — Europe's main body for monitoring elections.
Four men burst into the offices of Rugova's party in the town of Lipljan — 10 miles south of Pristina — assaulting a local party leader and smashing windows.
Friday, September 22, 2000 - NATO secretary-general Lord George Robertson urged Milosevic not to rig the vote or violate the rights of Montenegro.
Saturday, September 23, 2000 - The local party office of key political leader Hashim Thaci was burned. Party officials blamed their rivals in Kosovo's largest party, which is run by moderate leader Ibrahim Rugova.
Yugoslavia refused to let EU officials monitor the balloting and severely limited the number of foreign journalists permitted in the country. A Danish journalist was arrested in Belgrade for allegedly entering the country illegally. A Norwegian journalist and his cameraman were detained for several hours by federal army troops in Montenegro after filing street scenes in the capital Podgorica but were released. About 20 foreign reporters were also ordered to leave the country.
Two US nationals working for the UN who took a short-cut through Serbia were held overnight by Serb police and then freed. The two environmental experts were warned by US troops patrolling the eastern border of Kosovo with Serbia's tense Presevo valley that they could be at risk for entering Serbia illegally — but they decided to go ahead. They were on their way to Skopje airport in Macedonia, but became impatient when they ran into a long queue of vehicles at the Blace border crossing.
Sunday, September 24, 2000 - With the government withholding results from the first round of local polls two weeks ago, Macedonians returned to vote in a new round of elections. The vote was surrounded by tension and scattered violence.
Local monitors reported numerous voting irregularities in Yugoslavia's elections. Opposition representatives on electoral commissions had been banned from some polling stations or barred from watching preparations for the vote. Officials could see how people voted, members of Milosevic's Socialist Party campaigned outside polling stations, opposition representatives were told to leave polling stations.
Kosovo's UN administrator Bernard Kouchner said Kosovo Albanians ignored the Yugoslav elections, dismissing them as a purely Serbian event of no consequence to the province.
Monday, September 25, 2000 - Vojislav Kostunica, claiming victory in presidential elections, pledged to bring Yugoslavia out of international isolation. He also criticized the West for policies he said helped Slobodan Milosevic hold on to power.
In a case against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Manhattan judge Peter Leisure ordered him to pay $4.5 billion in damages for atrocities committed by his soldiers. The jury awarded $617 million in compensatory damages and $3.9 billion in punitive damages for injuries and deaths suffered by 39 people. The damages were awarded to 13 women and 10 men, none of whom were in the courtroom when the verdict was read. The lawsuit was brought under a 221-year-old US law letting foreign citizens sue foreign officials and citizens for violating the law of nations.
Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - US and Croatian troops launched a joint assault near the island of Zirje, just off the Adriatic city of Sibenik. The exercise coincided with Western warnings to embattled Yugoslav president Milosevic.
Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - Yugoslavia's electoral commission said that president Milosevic and his main challenger Vojislav Kostunica must undergo a second round of elections as neither had won a majority in the first. Final figures showed that Kostunica won 48.96 percent of the votes, and Milosevic 38.62 percent. Kostunica rejected the idea of a runoff vote against Milosevic, saying it would be an "insult" to voters. In several newspapers, Milosevic's move was considered an attempt to win time to recover from the devastating blow. The UN administrator in Kosovo, Kouchner, called the Belgrade government's vote count for Kosovo a lie.
President Clinton accused Milosevic from stealing the election from the opposition. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook warned Milosevic not to use power to cling to office.
Former KLA chief Hashim Thaci said that any attempts by Yugoslav leaders to return police or military units to Kosovo would "bring another war", possibly trapping NATO. His statements are generally considered as an attempt to increase pro-independence sentiments before municipal elections, scheduled for October 28.
Thursday, September 28, 2000 - In an attempt to force Milosvic to quit after losing elections, Yugoslavia's opposition launched a five-day campaign of strikes and civil disobedience, with the threat of more to come.
Friday, September 29, 2000 - Opposition protests gathered momentum as students walked out of schools in a string of towns run by the opposition, taxi drivers blocked traffic in the city of Nis, workers at several companies went on strike and cinemas and theaters closed in Belgrade and elsewhere.
The BBC's only correspondent in Belgrade was ordered out of the country. According to the BBC because the Yugoslav government was unhappy with the way the BBC reported events surrounding the elections.
Saturday, September 30, 2000 - In Zvecan, Danish, French and Pakistani peacekeepers clashed with Serbs hurling rocks and bottles after a factory fire destroyed an electrical transformer relaying power to the area. The crowd of 50 was later dispersed.
Sunday, October 1, 2000 - German chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Russian president Vladimir Putin said the victory by Kostunica reflected the will of the Serbian people. Russia, agreeing with the West that the Serbs voted for democratic change, was ready to send two envoys to Belgrade for talks. Milosevic rejected Russia's offer to help. The US again said that it ruled out any deal with Milosevic.
The Serbian opposition called for a boycott of state institutions. Workers at Serbia's biggest coal mine downed their tools. A foreman told Reuters that the nearby power plant in Obrenovac, which supplies half of Serbia's electricity, would run out of coal in eight days.
The opposition has accused Milosevic's supporters of stuffing ballot boxes with the votes of Kosovo Albanians — who boycotted the poll — to inflate the turnout and pull Kostunica's vote below the 50 percent needed for a first round win. Milosevic — not surprisingly — made it clear he had no intentions of stepping down and Yugoslavia's election commission ordered a run-off poll for October 8. Opposition leaders sent their version of the vote count to Moscow to try to persuade Russia to condemn Milosevic, a move that would inflict serious damage on his authority. They also reached out to Greece for help.
Kostunica said he had no intentions to extradite Milosevic to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague and said he even would guarantee his safety. He also called NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia a criminal act. Although not against the West, he said he did not intend to turn Yugoslavia into a "Western puppet". His attitude undoubtedly helped i his victory against Milosevic.
Monday, October 2, 2000 - Milosevic made clear he had no intention of admitting election defeat.
Switzerland froze about 100 bank accounts belonging to allies of Slobodan Milosevic. In June of 1999 the Swiss government also froze the assets of Milosevic and four other war crimes suspects at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.
Tuesday, October 3, 2000 - A crowd of 50,000 students marched toward the official residence of embattled Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. After negotiations with the police they turned away.
The United States said they would expect Russia to extradite Milosevic the moment he showed up in Moscow.
Wednesday, October 4, 2000 - About 50 people attacked a UN bus carrying 22 Serb police officers and translators in the divided northern city of Kosovska Mitrovica.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov that Moscow was still actively consulting with both sides on Putin's offer to have the two presidential candidates meet in Moscow. Kostunica said he had no intentions of leaving the country.
Yugoslavia's constitutional court annulled part of the controversial presidential election, although it was not immediately clear what part the court was referring to.
Thursday, October 5, 2000 - President Clinton ruled out US military intervention in Yugoslavia. Administration officials urged Russia to use its influence to persuade president Milosevic to step aside. The Pentagon said its troops (5,200 in Bosnia and 6,700 in Kosovo) were not on a heightened state of alert. President Clinton urged Russia to acknowledge Kostunica.
Friday, October 6, 2000 - After annulling part of the September 24 elections earlier, Yugoslavia's Constitutional Court ruled that opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica won an outright victory in the country's presidential elections.
European foreign ministers agreed to lift two out of four sanctions imposed against Yugoslavia during 1999: the oil embargo and the flight ban. The financial restrictions and the visa ban would require more time, according to the EU. An arms embargo by the UN would also stay in place.
Milosevic accepted election defeat but said that, being the leader of the largest political party in Serbia, he intended to continue to play a political role in Yugoslavia. The US, Russia, and the UK said it was time for Milosevic to leave. Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov congratulated Kostunica and handed him a carefully written letter from president Vladimir Putin — avoiding the words president or election — saying "I hope that you as the leader of the democratic forces in Yugoslavia, having assumed responsibility for the future of the fraternal Yugoslav people, will be able to do everything possible to overcome the internal political crisis". Only China expressed concerns regarding the situation in Yugoslavia, although the country "respected the choice of the Yugoslav people". China denied reports that Yugoslavia's gold reserves were flown to Beijing by Milosevic.
Special UN envoy in the Balkans, Bildt, said he expected Kostunica to initiate talks with Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic on a new relationship between the two states.
Yugoslavia released two Britons and one of two Canadians, arrested August 3, 2000 on suspicion of terrorism. The other Canadian was still held on a charge of possession of explosives-related material. His release was expected too. British prime minister Tony Blair sent an expression of gratitude to Yugoslav leader Vojislav Kostunica.
Saturday, October 7, 2000 - In a low-key ceremony, Kostunica was sworn in as the new president of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia's first popularly elected president was invited to Washington to deliver the keynote address at The Yugoslavia Reconstruction Conference, scheduled for November 13.
Kostunica stated his first priority was improving relations with Montenegro. He also said Yugoslavia needed to strengthen its sovereignty over Kosovo, a message received with mixed feelings by ethnic Albanians, whose hope for an independent Kosovo rapidly faded.
Sunday, October 8, 2000 - A senior pro-democracy leader, Mladjen Dinkic, said it would be possible to try Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia on charges of rigging the elections. He said 15,000 citizens had signed a petition calling for charges against all members of the Federal Electoral Commission. The stalling tactics sparked a popular revolt that swept Kostunica into office.
Milosevic was said to reside in the heavily guarded presidential residences in Belgrade's elite Dedinje suburb. Kostunica said he had no intentions to move into the official residence and did not force Milosevic to move out.
A senior US official said that as Yugoslavia "draws closer to European nations, the new government will realize that until Milosevic faces the war crimes tribunal, Yugoslavia will not be reintegrated". Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov, who went to Belgrade to arrange a resignation deal in meeting with Kostunica and Milosevic, was said to have carried assurances that if Milosevic surrendered power there would be no pressure for a war crimes trial.
Monday, October 9, 2000 - The Serbian government resigned. New elections were scheduled for December 9, 2000 (the president and the parliament are elected separately). A transitional government was said to be formed, headed by Milosevic ally Mirko Marjanovic. Kostunica's allies insisted that the pro-Milosevic authorities in Serbia had lost all legitimacy. All major Serbian parties agreed to early elections, delivering a severe blow to Milosevic's efforts to keep a foothold in Yugoslavia's institutions and to challenge the newly installed Kostunica.
Chinese officials stopped the son of Slobodan Milosevic, Marko Milosevic, from entering China. He was traveling on a diplomatic passport, but was put back on an Aeroflot flight to Moscow. During the NATO air attack on Yugoslavia, China supported Milosevic. Since the fall of Milosevic, fearful of being isolated on the world stage, China followed Russia's course and recognized Kostunica as the new Yugoslav president.
The European Union agreed to end the oil blockade and lift a flight ban, but said two other sanctions — financial restrictions and a visa ban — would only be eased progressively because the EU did not want to help those who backed Milosevic's government. The lifting of EU sanctions had previously been linked to having Milosevic transferred to the UN court in The Hague. The EU also said it would study ways to quickly reopen the key Danube River which has been blocked by tons of debris from NATO.
Albania, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Bosnia hailed Milosevic's downfall.
Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - A Serbian journalist jailed July 26, 2000 for reporting on alleged war crimes by Serbian troops in Kosovo was freed.
French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine and Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica held talks which included the possibility of Yugoslavia joining the European Union.
Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - Yugoslav journalist Miroslav Filipovic was released pending a new trial. He was arrested for writing about alleged atrocities in Kosovo and was sentenced in July to seven years in prison for publicizing state secrets.
Bulgaria's parliament urged Yugoslavia's new leaders to hand ousted president Slobodan Milosevic to the international war crimes tribunal in the Hague. Kostunica, however, opposed handing Milosevic over, and said it was not a priority issue.
President Vojislav Kostunica wanted to solidify his control of the armed forces by replacing the country's army chief with a former general sacked by ousted president Slobodan Milosevic. Kostunica said the police were already on the government's side. Four Serbian police generals assigned to the dreaded State Security service declared their allegiance to Kostunica.
There were signs the public would not accept any delays in purging the government of the Milosevic forces. Heads of state companies and other institutions ran by the former president's people were attacked by angry workers and the state customs office was reportedly overtaken at gunpoint.
The independent trade union Nezavisnost sacked the entire pro-Milosevic management of the country's largest metal mine and smelter complex in the eastern Serbian region of Bor, replacing it with independent experts close to Kostunica.
Thursday, October 12, 2000 - President Kostunica met James O'Brien, US president Clinton's special Balkan adviser. It was the first high-level contact between the two countries since the NATO bombing campaign in 1999. Kostunica said he wanted the United States to help enforce UN resolution 1244 on Kosovo. One of the provisions of the resolution permits some Yugoslav security forces to return to UN-administered Kosovo. O'Brien said that this could spark rebellion by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority. The US also said it would review its restrictions on Serbian participation in international lending programs. Kostunica also met with Italian Premier Giuliano Amato.
Friday, October 13, 2000 - Supporters of president Vojislav Kostunica said they had secured an agreement to form a transitional government to smooth the way for early elections for the Serbian parliament, December 24.
Seven Serbian police officers were wounded when their vehicles drove over a land mine on a road close to the boundary with Kosovo.
Saturday, October 14, 2000 - Fifteen European Union leaders offered Kostunica $175 million in emergency aid to help Serbs through the winter.
During a visit to France where he met with EU officials, Kostunica vowed to honor the two crucial accords on Yugoslavia — the Dayton peace accord that ended the Bosnian war and a UN Security Council resolution on Kosovo. He also said that although cooperation with the UN tribunal in The Hague was a part of the Dayton accord, he considered it not to be a priority. He pledged to cooperate with Montenegro but said the name Yugoslavia was no longer appropriate and should be changed to Serbia-Montenegro.
Sunday, October 15, 2000 - The US suggested that Kosovo should gain republic status, making the province one of three self-governing republics within Yugoslavia. The plan would require a commitment by Montenegro to remain in Yugoslavia — a stance that is not going over well within Montenegro's government.
The commander of SFOR in Bosnia said NATO-led peacekeeping troops were ready to arrest former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic if he attempts to escape Yugoslavia via Bosnia.
Monday, October 16, 2000 - President Vojislav Kostunica reached agreement with Slobodan Milosevic's party to share power in Serbia until the December 23 elections.
Zarko Korac, one of the leaders of the 18-party Democratic Opposition of Serbia, said Slobodan Milosevic will be put on trial in Serbia for electoral fraud.
Friday, October 20, 2000 - A French peacekeeper was found dead of a gunshot wound in the head in an ethnically mixed neighborhood of the Serb-controlled part of Kosovska Mitrovica. The French army press service said the soldier was alone in a truck and had been killed by his own weapon. It did not provide other details.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov promised Moscow's support to help Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica's efforts to stabilize Yugoslavia.
Sunday, October 22, 2000 - Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica visited Bosnia-Herzegovina, becoming the first Yugoslav leader to visit the country since it declared independence in 1991. In an attempt to ease tension between Belgrade and Sarajevo and establish diplomatic relations, Kostunica had lunch with all the Bosnian Serb leaders, except pro-Western Prime Minister Milorad Dodik.
Monday, October 23, 2000 - A rocket-propelled grenade crashed into a block of Serb flats in Pristina. No one was injured.
In The Kosovo Report — presented to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan — the Independent International Commission on Kosovo recommended a new status for Kosovo: "conditional independence" — an independent and self-governed Kosovo, but within an international framework, covering among other things external security and protection of minority rights.
Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - The Serbian parliament appointed a transitional government to run the country's dominant republic until early elections.
Thursday, October 26, 2000 - The UN war crimes tribunal seemed willing to cut Vojislav Kostunica some slack if he would surrender other suspects than Slobodan Milosevic and would give investigators a free hand in Yugoslavia. But despite Kostunica's eagerness to have his country welcomed back into the international community, he showed no willingness to comply with the tribunal's most basic demands.
Friday, October 27, 2000 - Yugoslavia requested admission to the United Nations. Yugoslavia is a founding member of the UN in 1945 but its membership has been in limbo since 1992 when Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Macedonia declared independence from Belgrade. The General Assembly in September 1992 adopted a resolution saying Belgrade could not "continue automatically the membership of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the United Nations." However, the disintegration of member state was not foreseen in the UN Charter and Yugoslavia's membership was neither terminated not suspended.
Russian president Vladimir Putin promised Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica that Moscow would soon resume supplying energy to Yugoslavia. He also called on other nations to help boost the Balkan country's shattered economy — a rather superfluous statement. Moscow was slow to withdraw its support from former president Milosevic and it was the sole European power to hesitate over recognizing Kostunica.
Saturday, October 28, 2000 - Kosovo Albanians casted their votes in the first free election in Kosovo run by international officials and protected by 40,000 KFOR troops, 4,100 UN police and 2,500 local graduates of the UN's police-training school. The municipal poll turned into a battle between the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) — led by Ibrahim Rugova— and the militant Democratic Party — headed by former guerrilla commander Hashim Thaci.
The moderates led by Rugova won the municipal elections with 58 percent of the votes. Thaci's radical party won 27 percent of the votes. The majority of Serbs remaining in Kosovo boycotted the election.
Serb leaders said they would hold their own ballot for local representatives, but did not announce a date. UN officials said the issue was still under discussion.
Sunday, October 29, 2000 - The seven countries bordering Yugoslavia — Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria and Macedonia — pledged to swiftly restore political and economic relations. However, they also urged Yugoslavia to speed up democratic reforms and abide by Western standards.
Monday, October 30, 2000 - In Norway, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica warned that Kosovo's drive for independence could be "very dangerous" for the region. Norway announced it was lifting financial sanctions on Yugoslavia.
Wednesday, November 1, 2000 - China and the US agreed to furnish each other with space for new embassies in their capitals. It was agreed that the US could build a new embassy in Beijing and a consulate in Guangzhou. Chine acquired space in Washington, DC.
Leading ethnic Albanian activist Flora Brovina. She was jailed on terrorism charges by Milosevic's regime and released after 18 months by Yugoslavia's new president.
Thursday, November 2, 2000 - Yugoslavia entered the UN. It promised to be a trustworthy new member and a good neighbor in the Balkans. It did not commit itself to hand over ousted President Slobodan Milosevic.
Yugoslavia always refused to apply as a new country after the breakup of the Yugoslav socialist republic in the early 90's. As a result, Yugoslavia was barred from speaking or voting in the General Assembly, although it remained a UN member and the communist-era flag flew at UN headquarters. During a ceremony the flag was replaced by the flag of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - identical to the old red, white and blue one but without the red star in the middle.
Saturday, November 4, 2000 - Yugoslavia's parliament approved the country's first communist-free government. The new Cabinet — proposed by the new President Vojislav Kostunica — won approval in both chambers of the federal parliament from the deputies of Yugoslavia's two republics, Serbia and Montenegro. It was formally inaugurated shortly afterward.
Sunday, November 5, 2000 - Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic said relations could be restored within the next couple of weeks with countries who severed ties last year during NATO's air campaign, including the US, Germany and the UK.
Monday, November 6, 2000 - Police stormed a Yugoslav prison in Nis, trying to contain a riot that began as a hunger strike but grew out of hand as Serbian prisoners burned their cells and took to rooftops demanding shortened sentences, better living conditions, and new management.
Yugoslavia said it wanted to establish diplomatic ties with neighboring Bosnia. President Kostunica said this was necessary for "much-needed balance in the region."
Former President Milosevic was accused of unlawful renovations on his house. A Belgrade district authority started legal proceedings against him for construction at his residential complex.
Tuesday, November 7, 2000 - Moderate ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova urged Western governments and Belgrade to support independence for Kosovo, saying it would settle tensions in the region. But President Kostunica said earlier independence for Kosovo is out of the question and Western powers did not support independence for the province.
Wednesday, November 8, 2000 - The United States said it would restore relations with Yugoslavia without waiting until it fixed up its damaged embassy in Belgrade. Yugoslavia broke off relations with the US in March 1999 after NATO planes attacked Yugoslav targets.
Prison protests spread to two more prisons in Sremska Mitrovica and Pozarevac despite government promises to improve conditions. One inmate died after falling from a roof. In the fourth day of the protests, no violence was reported.
Thursday, November 9, 2000 - The Council of Europe offered Yugoslavia membership in the 41-nation organization if the country meets specific democratic and human rights conditions.
Friday, November 10, 2000 - Montenegro threatened to hold a referendum on seceding from the Yugoslav federation unless the republic's union with Serbia would be radically revamped — including international recognition of the two as independent states. Montenegro's desire for more independence has intensified since the ouster of former President Slobodan Milosevic.
Yugoslavia's President Vojislav Kostunica said that he wanted to boost relations with Israel and announced plans to become the first Yugoslav president to visit Israel.
Saturday, November 11, 2000 - New members of the assembly in Pristina were sworn in, but without representatives of the minority Serb community which boycotted elections a month earlier. Similar ceremonies were held in other municipal centers.
Prison guards in three of Yugoslavia's largest jails refused to work, insisting on better working conditions and demanding an end to prison riots that have undermined the country's new government. The week of unrest was seen by critics as an indication of a shaky grip on law and order.
Sunday, November 12, 2000 - The UN War Crimes Tribunal chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic will be arrested soon on war crimes charges. She commented on news that Yugoslavia had approved the setting-up of an office by the Dutch-based Tribunal in Belgrade.
Thursday, November 16, 2000 - The top UN administrator in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, called for parliamentary elections in the spring as the next step to self-government in Kosovo. At the same time he warned that any immediate move to settle Kosovo's future status could very quickly lead to another conflict. The US and Britain backed Kouchner but Russia accused him of steering the province towards independence.
Several hundred relatives of Serbs missing in Kosovo marched in Belgrade calling for help. They blocked a street in front of the Serbian parliament demanding the release of Serbs they said had been abducted or arrested in Kosovo.
Guards returned to Serbia's main prisons, where prisoners have held control since a burst of rioting in which one person died and many were injured.
Friday, November 17, 2000 - President Clinton marked the resumption of diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia with a promise of about $45 million in emergency food aid to help the people of Serbia through the winter.
Saturday, November 18, 2000 - Speaking at a news conference during the forum attended by Balkan leaders and US diplomats, Ibrahim Rugova — the head of Kosovo's majority party — said a long-term NATO presence in Kosovo is crucial to the stability of the region.
Wednesday, November 22, 2000 - A bomb explosion rocked a building used by the Yugoslav representative in Kosovo, Stanimir Vukicevic, killing one staff member and injuring another.
Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic will have to face justice for his role in Balkan wars but he will not be extradited to the UN war crimes court, Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic said. The chief international war crimes prosecutor challenged the world's quick embrace of Yugoslavia's new leader, saying his refusal to immediately surrender former president Slobodan Milosevic for trial is unacceptable.
Thursday, November 23, 2000 - In the three-mile buffer zone between central Serbia and Kosovo, two days of attacks by the independence-minded rebels have left four Serb policemen dead and 10 wounded. Rebels also captured several border checkpoints and a main road leading from the Presevo Valley region to Kosovo.
NATO detained 10 suspected ethnic Albanian guerrillas operating inside Serbia and seized a truck loaded with weapons. They were detained trying to evade a checkpoint and re-enter Kosovo from a security zone over the boundary in Serbia proper.
A senior politician and adviser to moderate Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova, Xhemajl Mustafa, was shot dead in an ambush at his home.
Saturday, November 25, 2000 - A US peacekeeper died from injuries sustained when he fell from a helicopter.
Ethnic Albanian guerrillas agreed to a 48-hour halt in their attacks on Serbian police in a buffer zone next to Kosovo. They also returned the bodies of three Serb policemen killed in an upsurge of fighting. Belgrade warned it would send more police to the 5 km wide security zone if the peacekeepers failed to halt guerrilla attacks. Serb police gave NATO a 72-hour deadline to stop incursions by ethnic Albanian militants over the border into Serbia.
Slobodan Milosevic appeared in public for the first time since his ouster. He depicted Yugoslavia's new pro-democratic leaders as traitors paid by the West to destroy the country. His harshly worded opening speech at his Socialist Party special congress showed that he intended to regain power with the same vintage themes he used while leading the country into four Balkan wars and economic decline.
Sunday, November 26, 2000 - The UN war crimes tribunal expressed outrage that Slobodan Milosevic could flaunt himself in the public and political arena while under an international arrest warrant. Milosevic won re-election as leader of Serbia's Socialist party and appeared on state television twice in the week leading up to the party congress.
Monday, November 27, 2000 - Yugoslavia bolstered its forces near the US-patrolled boundary with Kosovo. The government of Vojislav Kostunica believed the attacks in southern Serbia were launched by ethnic Albanian extremists operating from Kosovo. Belgrade threatened to launch counterattacks on its side of the border.
Although the area has a substantial ethnic Albanian population, the Presevo Valley was not considered part of Kosovo and therefore was not included in the June 1999 Dayton agreement that started the NATO-led peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. Yugoslav army T55 battle tanks and armored personnel carriers were maneuvering near the three-mile buffer zone separating Kosovo from the rest of Serbia. The presence was seen as a demonstration of Belgrade's resolve to prevent ethnic Albanian rebels from seizing and holding Serbian territory.
Yugoslavia postponed a deadline it had set earlier for NATO to curb Kosovo Albanian militants on the Kosovo border - saying it wanted to give diplomacy a chance.
Around 45 police officers supported by some 400 British soldiers detained nine ethnic Albanians in a bid to stop intimidation of minority Serbs in the town of Obilic — west of the provincial capital Pristina.
Tuesday, November 29, 2000 - Without firing a shot, Serbian police retook the strategic village of Lucane — on the edge of the buffer zone between Kosovo and Serbia. Under the Dayton agreement signed last year, Serbian police were allowed only light weapons in the area.
Norwegian peacekeepers seized a truck carrying 20 mortar rounds, 20 anti-personnel mines, 1,000 rifle rounds, one anti-tank weapon and a number of uniforms of the guerrilla group calling itself the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac. Three Albanians were arrested.
Friday, December 1, 2000 - The Yugoslav government reopened its Bozaj border crossing with Albania located on the territory of Montenegro. The crossing was a source of potential conflict between the Montenegrin police and the Yugoslav army stationed in the republic.
Police firing rubber bullets stormed and seized a Yugoslav prison in Nis where rioting inmates had taken control from striking guards earlier in the week. Fearing for their safety, guards had refused to enter the cell blocks where clashes erupted among some 1,000 inmates.
Saturday, December 2, 2000 - Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan visited Belgrade. It was the first high-level visit by a Beijing official since the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. Vojislav Kostunica was invited to visit China. China expressed support for the new government.
An off-duty Kosovo police officer was shot twice while getting out of his car in the provincial capital Pristina.
Tuesday, December 5, 2000 - Amnesty International called on president Vojislav Kostunica to order the arrest of former president Slobodan Milosevic and other indicted war criminals.
Ethnic Albanian militants fired at Yugoslav army positions and Serbian police in two separate attacks. It was the first reported breach of an unofficial cease-fire.
Yugoslavia's government sought a UN Security Council meeting on the crisis along the rebel-controlled buffer zone between Kosovo and southern Serbia.
Wednesday, December 6, 2000 - For a second straight night ethnic Albanian militants fired on Serb police — using rifles and rocket propelled grenades. No casualties were reported.
Three Serb men accused of planning a revolt and plotting to kill then-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic walked out of jail as they were pardoned by new president Vojislav Kostunica.
Thursday, December 7, 2000 - A UN police officer and his interpreter were beaten by Serbs angry at a weapons raid in Kosovska Mitrovica. The raid resulted in one of the largest weapons finds in Mitrovica.
Friday, December 8, 2000 - Serb police and ethnic Albanian rebels exchanged fire in the buffer zone, near the village of Bukovac. Yugoslavia demanded KFOR expel ethnic Albanian rebels from the buffer zone or Yugoslav security forces would take action.
Danish defense minister Han Haekkerup was appointed as chief UN administrator in Kosovo to succeed Bernard Kouchner of France.
Monday, December 11, 2000 - KFOR troops arrested two ethnic Albanians after an explosion in Kosovska Mitrovica. The explosion in the front yard of a Serb cafe left a crater some 20 inches across and was followed by several machine-gun bursts.
Wednesday, December 13, 2000 - Thousands of angry Serbs blocked key roads near the Kosovo border, demanding that authorities drive out the ethnic Albanian militants entrenched in the area.
Friday, December 15, 2000 - Thousands of Serbs blocking roads to demand authorities drive ethnic Albanian rebels from a border area near Kosovo lifted their blockade after an appeal from president Vojislav Kostunica. The move came despite calls by allies of deposed president Slobodan Milosevic to continue the protest near the buffer zone — an attempt to undermine the government.
Yugoslavia and Bosnia established diplomatic relations, almost nine years after Bosnia broke away from the old socialist Yugoslav federation in bloodshed.
Serbian police arrested former customs chief Mihalj Kertes — a close ally of deposed President Slobodan Milosevic — on charges of abusing his authority and embezzling US$2 million and US$700,000 in separate cases. Kertes was the highest-ranking Milosevic official to be arrested by new Yugoslav authorities.
Human Rights Watch urged the international community to end the "grace period" in dealing with Serbia and human rights following the downfall of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.
Saturday, December 16, 2000 - In the northwestern Kosovo town of Leposavic, about 200 Serbs angered by the arrest of a motorist set fire to a police station, stoned vehicles, and briefly took seven Belgian soldiers hostage. Two Serbs died in the melee and one was wounded. The Serb motorist was arrested for speeding and possession of unspecified illegal communications equipment.
A senior member of Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) was wounded in a drive-by shooting.
Sunday, December 17, 2000 - Near the town of Gornje Karacevo, a joint US-Russian patrol came under fire from across the boundary with Serbia when blowing up a road to prevent armed groups from crossing the boundary.
After the incident, KFOR sent 150 British troops, with 16 armored vehicles, to Kosovo's tense boundary.
Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - The chief UN war crimes prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, angrily dismissed suggestions that Slobodan Milosevic would face justice at home and insisted that the former Yugoslav president be brought to The Hague for trial. "Yugoslavia is not — and for many years will not — be in a position to hold a fair trial of Milosevic for the charges brought, and to be brought, by this tribunal", she said.
The new chief UN administrator for Kosovo, Hans Haekkerup, that his first priority would be to speed the shift to self-government in the southern Serbian province — including parliamentary elections expected in 2001. Most analysts seemed to agree that Kosovo Albanians can no longer count on merely drifting to de facto independence now that Milosevic has been replaced by Kostunica.
Gunmen blasted a multistory UN police station with rifle fire and hand grenades overnight in the village of Zubin Potok. No injuries were reported, but four police cars were damaged and one van was blown up.
British peacekeepers detained 13 ethnic Albanians trying to smuggle arms from Kosovo into the buffer zone in Serbia proper southeast of the regional capital Pristina.
Thursday, December 21, 2000 - NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said KFOR was taking effective action to stop ethnic Albanian guerrillas using a buffer zone in Serbia as a safe haven for extremist violence. KFOR stepped up monitoring of the boundary. So far, they detained seven guerrilla suspects and seized weapons.
Saturday, December 23, 2000 - Serbia's parliamentary election ended peacefully in Kosovo. The ballot provided a choice between the Socialist Party of former Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic and reformers led by the new Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica. The UN administration said it had nothing to do with the Serbian election and ethnic Albanians stayed away from the polls.
The first unofficial election results showed that voters dealt a crushing blow to Milosevic's Socialist party.
Monday, December 25, 2000 - Yugoslavia called on the UN Security Council to set a deadline for ethnic Albanian rebels to leave the buffer zone along the boundary with Kosovo, warning that otherwise Belgrade would remove them.
Thursday, December 28, 2000 - Yugoslavia called on the United Nations to take urgent steps to clear ethnic Albanian guerrillas from a violence-plagued buffer zone bordering Kosovo. A declaration said that if NATO and the UN were not able to get the guerrillas out, Yugoslavia would have to get rid of them by itself.
NATO officials, Serbia's deputy prime minister and Albanian representatives as well as a rebel commander met to discuss the three mile wide buffer zone between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia.
In Paris, the European Union called on Yugoslav authorities to free ethnic Albanians from Kosovo who have been imprisoned in Serbia since the end of the conflict in 1999.
An ethnic Albanian teen-ager suspected of killing of a Russian peacekeeper was re-arrested in his northern hometown of Srbica by UN police. (See KFOR chronology, May 24, 2000 and KFOR chronology, July 9, 2000.) A crowd of about 30 people tried to prevent the arrest, but was held back by a warning shot fired by a police officer.
Friday, December 29, 2000 - Montenegro said it wanted to separate from Serbia and become independent. President Milo Djukanovic's government approved the blueprint for the future of the Yugoslav federation. Proposed were one army with the leader of each republic in complete charge of forces on his territory, joint embassies, one convertible currency, and a single market. Djukanovic also said both republics should have a separate seat at the United Nations.
During a visit by Macedonian president Boris Trajkovski to Yugoslavia the division of some US$477 million worth of assets to be shared by the former Yugoslav republics was discussed. The two countries tried to normalize relations and signed two agreements on cooperation between their foreign ministries and on social security.
Saturday, December 30, 2000 - US senators Arlen Specter and George Voinovich on a visit to Yugoslavia told pro-democracy leaders that former President Slobodan Milosevic must be tried for war crimes if the country wanted to fully rejoin the international community.
In the village of Veliki Trnovac, Serbian police and ethnic Albanians removed two checkpoints, following an agreement — aimed at easing tension in the Presevo Valley — reached by KFOR.
Sunday, December 31, 2000 - Ethnic Albanian rebels in the buffer zone along the Kosovo boundary seized six Serb men a half mile from a US checkpoint.
Associated Press, The Times, Reuters, Washington Post, The Irish Times, Canadian Press, CBC News, Los Angeles Times, BBC. NATO, Agence France Presse, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe Online, MSNBC.