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Yugoslavia does not exist without Kosovo Yugoslavia would disintegrate without Kosovo Yugoslavia and Serbia are not going to give up Kosovo The Economist 9796 pg 48 Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic spoke these words His people share this view because there exists a strong sense of nationalism throughout most of Yugoslavia Kosovo the poorest province of Serbia is the stage for one of the most important international situations in the news today Kosovo is the home of 17 million ethnic Albanians The Economist 11197 pg 53 who are fighting for their independence from Serbia Every day more and more of Kosovos ethnic Albanians are fleeing Serbia to neighboring Albania to escape deadly fighting The conflict in Kosovo is not exactly recent as it is said to have started over 600 years ago in 1389 Peace talks are currently under way but negotiation is not coming easy The ethnic Albanians led by the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army KLA feel that the working and living conditions in Kosovo are not tolerable The Serbs feel that Yugoslavia cannot exist without Kosovo and refuse to grant it autonomy In 1389 the Serbs fought a battle against the Turks in Kosovo which the Serbs consider their ancestral homeland CNN 22399 The Serbs lost the battle called Kosovo Polje CNN Although defeated the Serbs celebrated the battle and it remains a symbol for ethnic pride Soon after the end of World War I Kosovo became part of the kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes Eleven years later it became an absolute monarchy and was divided into regions regardless of racial composition Its name was changed to Yugoslavia It wasnt until 1947 that the Yugoslav constitution granted autonomy to Kosovo which was largely occupied by ethnic Albanians The Albanians instituted Albanian-language schools The real trouble in Kosovo began in 1981 when a large group of Albanian students demonstrated against the working and living conditions in Kosovo At the time only 12 percent of
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