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Kosovo at a glance

  • Published at 01:06 am November 19th, 2019
View of National Library of Kosovo Bigstock

Kosovo, formerly an autonomous province of former Yugoslavia, had to pay a heavy price for its independence

Kosovo is the youngest country in Europe and the second newest country in the world. With an area of 10,887sq-km (4,203 square miles), the country is landlocked in the centre of the Balkans and bordered by Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest, and Montenegro to the west. It possesses varied and diverse landscapes for its size by climate along with geology and hydrology. Most of central Kosovo is dominated by the vast plains and fields. The Albanian Alps and Šar Mountains rise in the southwest and southeast, respectively.

The Balkan country has a population of about 2,126,708. Of them, 95% speak Albanian and 3% speak Serbian. Turkish and Romany are also spoken. In terms of religion, Muslims account for 95%, Orthodox 4%, and Roman Catholic 1%. Officially, Kosovo is secular and has a parliamentary democracy.

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Kosovo, formerly an autonomous province of former Yugoslavia, had to pay a heavy price for its independence. Serbia, the dominant republic of former Yugoslavia which still considers Kosovo as its territory, did not want to cede the province. And, the Serbian military led a brutal campaign in Kosovo causing many deaths.

At one stage in early 1990s, Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) started fighting against the Serbian military. Later, when the situation went from worse to worst for the people of Kosovo, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) launched a bombing campaign on Serbia to force it to withdraw forces from Kosovo. Subsequently, Kosovo was placed under United Nations administration. Following numerous international diplomatic efforts, Kosovo declared independence on February 17, 2008.

The first-ever ambassador of Kosovo in Bangladesh, Güner Ureya, described his country as a very stable one in every aspect.

In an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune recently, he also said: “Kosovo has made big progress in the last two decades. Kosovo has worked with its full competence and commitment to building strong, accountable and transparent democratic institutions.

“The Albanian population is the majority in Kosovo, but our country is established on the foundation of a multi-ethnic society,” said the envoy.

“Our country is dedicated to peace and stability in itself, in the region, and also in the world. Our favourite notions are ‘peace, freedom, prosperity, and sustainability.’ We wish these notions to be translated to ideas,” he added.