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"We must be mindful that even though we now have a chance to replace violence with peace, ethnic and religious hatred with a democratic future, a bloody century in Europe with a Europe undivided, democratic and at peace, there is still quite a lot to be done. . . In the past four months we have seen some of the worst inhumanity in our lifetime, but we've also seen the bravery of our troops, the resolve of our democracy, the decency of our people and the courage and determination of the people of Kosovo. We now have a moment of hope, thanks to all those qualities. And we have to finish the job and build the peace."

President Clinton
The White House
June 10, 1999

Confronted with a massive humanitarian crisis in Kosovo that threatened U.S. interests and challenged U.S. values, President Clinton galvanized support among NATO's 19 member states for military action in the spring of 1999 to force a halt to the systematic and brutal repression and expulsion of Kosovo's people by Slobodan Milosevic's regime. NATO's 79-day air campaign successfully forced the withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo and paved the way for the deployment of an international presence authorized by the United Nations. With a 47,000-strong NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) providing security for the province, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has overseen the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees and is working to establish substantial autonomy and self-government for Kosovo. In October 2000 Kosovars voted overwhelmingly and peacefully in the area's first democratic elections, an important step in developing institutions of self-government. Having won the conflict in Kosovo, President Clinton is committed to winning the peace and supporting international efforts to rebuild civil society, ensure the protection of minorities and restore hope for the people of Kosovo.


Reversing Ethnic Cleansing

  • Achieved the safe and unconditional return of over 900,000 refugees and displaced persons.
  • Met the needs of hundreds of thousands of Kosovar victims of ethnic cleansing during their refuge in Macedonia and Albania and provided temporary asylum to over 13,000 refugees in the United States. Facilitated unhindered access for humanitarian aid organizations and provided over $500 million to date in assistance for food, shelter and other humanitarian assistance.
  • Provided warm, dry shelter for over 450,000 Kosovar returnees by supporting basic repairs to 76,000 homes that were damaged by Serb forces. As part of this international effort, USAID provided $33 million in shelter assistance, while a substantial portion of the Department of State's $40 million contribution to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees also went towards winterization efforts.

Achieving Victory in Kosovo

  • Achieved verifiable halt to all Serb military activities and the withdrawal from Kosovo of all Serb military, police and paramilitary forces.
  • Deployed KFOR, including an initial 8,000 American forces, to stabilize the province, provide security to the UNMIK administration, facilitate the return of over 900,000 refugees and, in conjunction with the UN International Police, provide safety and security to the province's inhabitants.
  • Russian troops serve shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. and other partners in KFOR. Russian troops are serving within a unified, NATO-led command structure that ensures KFOR's military effectiveness.
  • Secured the demobilization and disbanding of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and assisting with efforts to reintegrate former KLA members into society through, counseling, job training, job placement, micro-lending, seed grants, scholarships and opportunities in the new multi-ethnic Kosovo Police Service and the Kosovo Protection Corps.

Building Democracy and Self-Government in Kosovo

  • Provided key logistical, financial and personnel support to the UNMIK civil administration in its efforts to create provisional self-governing institutions, restore law and order, hold successful municipal elections and rebuild Kosovo's economy. Continue to support a broad base of social services that facilitate inter-ethnic tolerance and the creation of a multi-ethnic Kosovo.
  • Forged agreement on the principle, backed by UN Security Council Resolution 1244, that the future status of Kosovo will be determined through a peaceful political process.
  • Contributed over $150 million at the 1999 Kosovo Donors Conference in Brussels to strengthen democracy and support civil society in Kosovo. As a result of the conference, UNMIK was completely funded for 1999 and received substantial pledges of support for 2000. In addition, 45 percent of the Kosovo Consolidated Budget is now funded through locally generated revenue. Developed a capital budget for Kosovo that outlines a medium to long-term public investment program.
  • Sponsored, along with the European Union and with support from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Sarajevo Summit that launched the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, a process designed to strengthen democracy, economic development and security throughout the entire region.
  • Fostered a free and independent media by providing financial support and advice on regulatory and licensing matters. Daily print journals, radio programs and the newly restored Radio/Television Kosovo are all operational, aiding the international community's democracy-building efforts. Established a network of local independent radio through equipment and programming support. Throughout the election period, independent television stations will be broadcast via satellite.


October 2000 Successful and peaceful municipal elections held in Kosovo.
September 2000 Kosovo-wide election campaigns begin. Slobodan Milosevic is ousted from power in the FRY and a new, democratic government elected. FRY President Kostunica has expressed support for UNSCR 1244 and a negotiated settlement in Kosovo.
August 2000 UNMIK announces October 28th as the date for province-wide municipal elections. UNMIK and KFOR shut down the Zvecan lead smelter in Mitrovica, significantly reducing hazardous lead waste.
July 2000 At the Airlee House Conference in Virginia, all Kosovar Serb and Albanian participants agree to a joint resolution outlining steps to prevent violence. UNMIK completes civil registration of almost 80 percent of the eligible electorate.
June 2000 With strong U.S. leadership and personal appeals by President Clinton to European counterparts, economic reconstruction gathers pace.
May 2000 The United States concludes, and delivers, a study on the Kosovo judicial system to the international community and UNMIK. In conjunction with the study, the United States commits $2.5 million in "Quick-Start" judicial support packages for distribution to municipal courts throughout Kosovo.
April 2000 Kosovo-wide registration begins for anticipated municipal elections. Out-of-area registration commences as well. Municipal elections are tentatively scheduled for October 8.
March 2000 The Regional Financial Conference in Brussels - part of the Stability Pact process - agrees to fund a range of "Quick Start" packages for the region, honoring a commitment made at the July 1999 Stability Pact Summit.
January 2000 UNMIK concludes a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Federation on Elections Systems on the conduct of the registration and elections process.
January 2000 UNMIK negotiates creation of Interim Administrative Structures, designed to give Kosovo Albanians and Serbs a joint role in decisionmaking affecting the province.
November 1999 President Clinton travels to Kosovo, delivering a message of reconciliation and ethnic tolerance to Kosovo's ethnic communities.
September 1999 OSCE, under UNMIK auspices, accepts the first cadre of cadets at the Kosovo Police Service School at Vucitrn.
September 1999 The Kosovo Liberation Army disbands and demilitarizes, clearing the path for the Kosovo Protection Corps to be established, with the aim of employing thousands of former KLA members in civilian reconstruction and emergency services efforts.
July 1999 At the first Kosovo Donor's Conference in Brussels, donor countries commit over $2.082 billion (with the U.S. pledging $556 million) for Kosovo's immediate reconstruction needs. Following intensive U.S. lobbying, donor countries pledge $1.058 billion at a second Kosovo Donors Conference in Brussels in November 1999 to fund longer-term requirements.
July 1999 President Clinton travels to Sarajevo to address the Stability Pact Summit and begin a new era of regional cooperation in Southeast Europe and enhanced efforts to integrate the region into the rest of Europe.
June 1999 Secretaries Albright and Cohen reach agreement with their Russian counterparts in Helsinki concerning Russian participation in KFOR, marking the second major NATO-led peace operation in the Balkans in which American and Russian forces have served together.
June 1999 President Clinton visits Kosovar Albanian refugees at the Stenkovec Refugee Camp in Macedonia, reaffirming the U.S. commitment to peace and an end to ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
June 1999 With strong leadership from President Clinton, the United States, Western European countries and Russia agree on the text of a draft UN resolution at the G-8 talks in Cologne to deploy an international civil and security presence in Kosovo.
May 1999 With strong U.S. backing, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia indicts Milosevic and other Serb leaders for crimes against humanity.
April 1999 President Clinton delivers speech at Norfolk Naval Station outlining for the country and the world the necessity of NATO's air campaign and importance of maintaining Alliance unity.
March 1999 Under Secretary Albright's auspices, ten months of intense negotiations to broker a political settlement to the Kosovo crisis culminate with the Rambouillet Agreement. Although Kosovar Albanian representatives sign the agreement, the Serbs refuse to do so, instead launching a sustained and systematic campaign of atrocities and ethnic cleansing leading to the commencement of the NATO air campaign on March 24.
November 1998 Under the terms of the October Agreement, the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission, led by U.S. Ambassador William Walker, arrives in Kosovo to begin its mission of monitoring human rights and Serb compliance with the agreement.
October 1998 Under President Clinton's leadership, NATO authorizes the use of force against Serbia if Milosevic does not halt the atrocities being committed by the Yugoslav military against civilians in Kosovo. A subsequent high- level mission to Belgrade by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke results in the "October Agreement," under which Milosevic agrees to return Serb forces to garrisons in Kosovo and permit the return of tens of thousands of refugees.



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