Republic of Kosova

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Republic of Kosova

Republika e Kosovës
Anthem: Himni i Flamurit
"Hymn to the Flag"
Location of the Republic of Kosova in relation to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1999)
Location of the Republic of Kosova in relation to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1999)
StatusRecognized only by Albania
Common languagesAlbanian (official)
• 1992–2000
Ibrahim Rugova
Prime Minister 
• 1990–1991
Jusuf Zejnullahu
• 1991–2000
Bujar Bukoshi
Historical eraYugoslav Wars
• Established
22 September 1991
• Disestablished
1 February 1999
• 1995
CurrencyYugoslav dinar
Albanian lek
Deutsche Mark
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo
United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
Today part of Kosovo[a]

The Republic of Kosova (Albanian: Republika e Kosovës) or First Republic of Kosovo was a self-declared proto-state in southeastern Europe established in 1991.[1] During its peak, it tried to establish its own parallel political institutions in opposition to the institutions of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija held by Yugoslavia's Republic of Serbia.



Late in June 1990, Albanian members of the provincial assembly proposed a vote on whether to form an independent republic; the ethnic Serb president of the assembly immediately shut it down and promised to reopen the assembly on 2 July, which was later postponed.

On 2 July, the vast majority of Albanian members of the Provincial Assembly returned to the Assembly, but it had been locked; so in the street outside they voted to declare Kosovo a Republic within the Yugoslav federation.[2] The Serbian government responded by dissolving the Assembly and the government of Kosovo, removing any remaining autonomy. The Serb government then passed another law on labour relations which dismissed another 80,000 Albanian workers.

Ethnic Albanian members of the now officially dissolved Kosovo Assembly met in secret in Kaçanik on 7 September and declared the "Republic of Kosova" in which laws from Yugoslavia would only be valid if compatible with the Republic's constitution. The assembly went on to declare the "Republic of Kosova" an independent state on 22 September 1991.[3][4] This declaration was endorsed by 99% of voters in an unofficial referendum held a few days later.[5] The Republic of Kosova received diplomatic recognition from Albania.

Parallel structures[edit]

Kosovo Albanians organized a resistance movement, creating a number of parallel structures in education, medical care, and taxation.[6][page needed] New schools opened, with houses being turned into facilities for schools, including high schools and university. And on parallel elections, new leaders were elected, forming a new country within a country. Because of the repression, the new government had its seat in exile. There was a parallel football league, following all the sports men and woman being expelled from the stadiums and sport facilities.[7][8]

NATO intervention[edit]

From 1995 onwards, tensions in the region escalated leading to the Kosovo War which began in 1998, fought between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the revolutionary guerila for liberation Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).[9] The KLA-led campaign continued into January 1999 and was brought to the attention of the world media by the Račak massacre, mass killings of Albanians by Serbian security forces. An international conference was held in Rambouillet, France later that spring and resulted in a proposed peace agreement (the Rambouillet Agreement) which was accepted by the ethnic Albanian side but rejected by the Yugoslav government.

The failure of the talks at Rambouillet resulted in a NATO air campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia lasting from 24 March to 11 June when the Yugoslav authorities signed a military technical agreement allowing NATO peacekeepers (KFOR) and an international civilian mission (UNMIK) to enter Kosovo.

UNMIK assumed control of Kosovo. Provisional Institutions of Self-Government were established to allow Kosovo political and community leaders to be represented in decisions. The KLA was disbanded and replaced by the Kosovo Protection Corps, a lightly armed civilian emergency response organization.

Government in exile[edit]

Chairman of the Assembly
Ilaz Ahmet Ramajli, 1990–1992[10]
Ibrahim Rugova, 1992–2000[10]
Prime Minister
Jusuf Zejnullahu, 1990–1991[citation needed]
Bujar Bukoshi, 1991–2000[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.


  1. ^ "Statement of Albanian PM Sali Berisha during the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo, stating that this is based on a 1991 Albanian law, which recognized the Republic of Kosova". Keshilli i Ministrave. 2008-02-18. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  2. ^ Noel Malcolm, A Short History of Kosovo, p.346.
  3. ^ Jure Vidmar International Legal Responses to Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence Vanderbilt Journal of Transitional Law, Vol 42, p789
  4. ^ Jure Vidmar (2009). "International Legal Responses to Kosovo's Declaration of Independence" (PDF). Vanderbilt Journal of Transitional Law. 42: 789. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-12-20.
  5. ^ Kosovo (Yugoslavia), 30 September 1991: Independence Direct Democracy (in German)
  6. ^ Clark, Howard. Civil Resistance in Kosovo. London: Pluto Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7453-1569-0
  7. ^ How to build a parallel state, Agron Demi for Prishtina Insight, 2018
  8. ^ Forming a parallel state, Besnik Pula
  9. ^ Glenny, Misha (2012). The Balkans. USA: Penguin Books. p. 652. ISBN 978-0-14-242256-4.
  10. ^ a b c Cahoon, Ben. "Alternative government – Republic of Kosovo". World Retrieved 2019-01-08.