Why exactly there is a country, or at least an attempt at a country, named Kosovo is by no means easy to explain, especially as most Kosovans are actually Albanians, and not Serbs, let alone whatever a Kosovan might be, at all - at the very most, at any previous point in its history, an autonomous province. But to declare independence one has to become independent of somebody, and in this case, as noted above, it was Serbia, a land that had itself ceased to exist after the First World War, when the Hapsburgs united it with Vojvodina and transformed it into Yugoslavia, only to find itself divided up amongst the lands of Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and Italy when the Nazis swept across Europe, and then reunited, but with somewhat different borders, when Tito's Communists took power, and then collapsed altogether into genocidal civil war when Tito was finally allowed to die, at which time Serbia attempted to seize control of the entirety of Yugoslavia, and did manage to retain some of itself as well as Montenegro, but lost Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo to independence. Serbia and Montenegro remained together as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia until 2006, when Montenegro too went its own way.
On the other hand, it is not in the slightest bit difficult to explain why there is a group of people, who may or may not be ethnically Kosovans, but who nonetheless decided to call themselves Kosovans, and to form an independent country separate from either Serbia or Yugoslavia. The explanation lies in two words, of which one is Slobodan and the other Milošević, the leader of Serbia after the fall of Communism, who launched a wave of genocide against Albanians in the province of Kosovo - you can read the full text of his 1989 speech at Gazimestan here, marking the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo, a speech of which Hitler would have been very proud, though he would have said "Jew" where Milošević said "Kosovan".
The full mess of the Balkans War that raged through the 1990s is far too complicated to explain here, and easiest to follow by looking up the archives of the various war crimes trials that ensued, several of them still in progress. It is a very long list!
|Kosovo's "missing remembrance"|
Marks for: 3 for effort
Marks against: minus 3 for everything else
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