WINNING THE WAR AND THE PEACE IN KOSOVO
"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."
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.
A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Reversing Ethnic Cleansing
- Achieved the safe and unconditional return of over 900,000 refugees and
- 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
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
- 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
TIMELINE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
||Successful and peaceful municipal elections held in Kosovo.
||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
||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.
||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
||With strong U.S. leadership and personal appeals by President Clinton
to European counterparts, economic reconstruction gathers pace.
||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-wide registration begins for anticipated municipal elections. Out-of-area
registration commences as well. Municipal elections are tentatively scheduled
for October 8.
||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
||UNMIK concludes a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Federation
on Elections Systems on the conduct of the registration and elections process.
||UNMIK negotiates creation of Interim Administrative Structures, designed
to give Kosovo Albanians and Serbs a joint role in decisionmaking affecting
||President Clinton travels to Kosovo, delivering a message of reconciliation
and ethnic tolerance to Kosovo's ethnic communities.
||OSCE, under UNMIK auspices, accepts the first cadre of cadets at the Kosovo Police Service School at Vucitrn.
||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
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||With strong U.S. backing, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia indicts Milosevic and other Serb leaders for crimes against
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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
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