Europe

Kosovo profile - Timeline

  • 16 July 2015
  • From the section Europe

A chronology of key events

12th century - Kosovo lies at the heart of the Serbian empire, under the Nemanjic dynasty. The period sees the building of many Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries.

Image caption Exodus: Ethnic Albanians fled en masse in 1999 with accounts of killings, atrocities and forced expulsions at the hands of Serb forces

1389 28 June - Epic Battle of Kosovo heralds 500 years of Turkish Ottoman rule. Over the ensuing decades many Christian Serbs leave the region. Over the centuries the religious and ethnic balance tips in favour of Muslims and Albanians.

1689-90 - Austrian invasion is repelled.

1912 - Balkan Wars: Serbia regains control of Kosovo from the Turks, recognised by 1913 Treaty of London.

1918 - Kosovo becomes part of the kingdom of Serbia.

1941 - World War II: Much of Kosovo becomes part of an Italian-controlled greater Albania.

1946 - Kosovo is absorbed into the Yugoslav federation.

1960s - Belgrade shows increasing tolerance for Kosovan autonomy.

1974 - Yugoslav constitution recognises the autonomous status of Kosovo, giving the province de facto self-government.

1981 - Troops suppress separatist rioting in the province.

1987 - In a key moment in his rise to power, future president Slobodan Milosevic rallies a crowd of Kosovo Serbs, who are protesting against alleged harassment by the majority Albanian community.

1989 - Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic proceeds to strip rights of autonomy laid down in the 1974 constitution.

1990 July - Ethnic Albanian leaders declare independence from Serbia. Belgrade dissolves the Kosovo government.

1990 September - Sacking of more than 100,000 ethnic Albanian workers, including government employees and media workers, prompts general strike.

1991 - Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia break away from Yugoslavia and declare their independence.

1992 July - An academic, Ibrahim Rugova, is elected president of the self-proclaimed republic.

1993-97 - Ethnic tension and armed unrest escalate.

1998 March-September - Open conflict between Serb police and separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Serb forces launch a brutal crackdown. Civilians are driven from their homes.

1998 September - Nato gives an ultimatum to President Milosevic to halt the crackdown on Kosovo Albanians.

Nato intervention

1999 March - Internationally-brokered peace talks fail.

Nato launches air strikes against Yugoslavia lasting 78 days before Belgrade yields.

Hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanian refugees pour into neighbouring countries, telling of massacres and forced expulsions which followed the start of the Nato campaign.

1999 June - President Milosevic agrees to withdraw troops from Kosovo. Nato calls off air strikes. The UN sets up a Kosovo Peace Implementation Force (Kfor) and Nato forces arrive in the province. The KLA agrees to disarm. Serb civilians flee revenge attacks.

2002 February - Ibrahim Rugova is elected as president by the Kosovan parliament after ethnic Albanian parties reach a power-sharing deal. Bajram Rexhepi becomes prime minister.

2003 October - First direct talks between Serbian and Kosovo Albanian leaders since 1999.

2003 December - UN sets out conditions for final status talks in 2005.

Mitrovica clashes

2004 March - Nineteen people are killed in the worst clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians since 1999. The violence started in the divided town of Mitrovica.

2004 October - President Rugova's pro-independence Democratic League tops poll in general election, winning 47 seats in 120-seat parliament. Poll is boycotted by Serbs.

2004 December - Parliament re-elects President Rugova and elects former rebel commander Ramush Haradinaj as prime minister. Mr Haradinaj's party had entered into a coalition with the president's Democratic League.

2005 March - Mr Haradinaj indicted to face UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, resigns as prime minister. He is succeeded by Bajram Kosumi.

President Rugova unhurt when explosion rocks convoy of vehicles in which he is travelling through Pristina.

2005 July - Nearly-simultaneous blasts go off near UN, OSCE and Kosovo parliament buildings in Pristina. No-one is hurt.

2006 January - President Rugova dies in Pristina after losing his battle with lung cancer. He is succeeded in February by Fatmir Sejdiu.

Image caption Calls for independence grew in the province of Kosovo in spite of resistance from Serbia

2006 February - UN-sponsored talks on the future status of Kosovo begin.

2006 July - First direct talks since 1999 between ethnic Serbian and Kosovan leaders on future status of Kosovo take place in Vienna.

2006 October - Voters in a referendum in Serbia approve a new constitution which declares that Kosovo an integral part of the country. Kosovo's Albanian majority boycotts the ballot and UN-sponsored talks on the future of the disputed province continue.

Independence

2007 February - United Nations envoy Martti Ahtisaari unveils a plan to set Kosovo on a path to independence, which is immediately welcomed by Kosovo Albanians and rejected by Serbia.

2007 July - US and European Union redraft UN resolution to drop promise of independence at Russian insistence, replacing it with pledge to review situation if there is no breakthrough after four proposed months of talks with Serbia.

2007 November - Hashim Thaci emerges as winner in general elections.

2008 February - Kosovo declares independence. Serbia says declaration illegal. Europe's major powers and the United States recognise independence.

2008 March - Serb opponents of independence seize a UN courthouse in Mitrovica, and more than 100 people are injured in subsequent clashes with UN and NATO forces. A UN police officer is killed.

New constitution

2008 April - Parliament adopts new constitution.

2008 June - A new constitution transfers power to majority ethnic Albanian government after nine years of UN rule. Kosovo Serbs set up their own rival assembly in Mitrovica.

2008 October - The UN General Assembly votes to refer Kosovo's independence declaration to the International Court of Justice.

2008 December - European Union mission (Eulex) takes over police, justice and customs services from the UN. Serbia accepts the EU mission.

2009 January - New multi-ethnic Kosovo Security Force launched under NATO supervision, replacing a unit dominated by veterans of independence campaign against Serbia.

2009 February - UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague acquits former Serbian President Milan Milutinovic of charges that he ordered a campaign of terror against Kosovo Albanians in the 1990s.

2009 August - Ethnic clashes break out in Mitrovica.

2009 November - First post-independence local elections.

UN ruling

2010 July - The Hague War Crimes Tribunal orders new trial for former PM Ramush Haradinaj and two other ex-members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) on charges of war crimes, saying that an earlier trial was marred by witness intimidation.

The International Court of Justice rules that Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was not illegal under international law, in response to a complaint from Serbia that it had violated its territorial integrity.

2010 September - President Fatmir Sejdiu resigns after court rules that he breached the constitution by staying in a party post while in office.

2010 December - PM Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) wins narrow majority in an early parliamentary election called when Fatmir Sejdiu's Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) pulls out of the governing coalition.

Council of Europe publishes report alleging that Kosovo Liberation Army rebels then led by Mr Thaci were involved in organ trafficking and other crimes after 1999 conflict with Serbia. Mr Thaci rejects the allegations.

2011 February - Kosovo-Swiss tycoon Behgjet Pacolli becomes president after winning narrow majority in third round of voting in parliament. Hashim Thaci is re-appointed as prime minister.

Talks with Serbia

2011 March - Serbia and Kosovo begin direct talks to try end their dispute - their first talks since Kosovo broke away from Serbia.

President Pacolli steps down after the high court rules parliament had not been in quorum during his election. Parliament elects senior police officer Atifete Jahjaga to be Kosovo's first female president in April.

2011 July-October - Violence as Serbs resist efforts of Kosovo government to impose its authority.

2011 December - Kosovo and Serbia reach agreement on regulating border crossings.

2012 September - The group of 23 EU countries, the US and Turkey overseeing Kosovo since 2008 end its supervisory role over the government, although Nato-led peacekeepers and EU rule-of-law monitors remain.

2012 October - Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic meet in Brussels for the first direct political contact between the two governments since Kosovo proclaimed independence in 2008.

EU auditors say the EU police mission in Kosovo is inefficient and Kosovo itself remains plagued by organised crime and corruption.

2012 November - Former PM Ramush Haradinaj is acquitted for a second time by the Hague War Crimes Tribunal.

Normalisation

2013 January - EU-mediated talks resume between Kosovo and Serbia days after parliament in Belgrade approves support for minority Serb rights within Kosovo.

2013 April - Kosovo and Serbia reach a landmark agreement on normalising relations that grants a high degree of autonomy to Serb-majority areas in northern, while both sides agree not to block each other's efforts to seek EU membership.

2013 June - The EU gives the green light to the opening of talks with Kosovo on an association agreement.

2013 September - Gunmen in a Serb-majority area kill a member of the EU police force - the first deadly attack on the mission since its creation.

2013 November - The Kosovo government holds the first local elections supported by Serbia since the 2008 declaration of independence, but a re-run is ordered in ethnic Serb areas after masked men damage ballot boxes.

2014 February - A war crimes court in Serbia finds nine members of a paramilitary unit guilty of killing more than 100 ethnic Albanian civilians during the conflict in Kosovo fifteen years ago.

2014 May - Early election called for June after a plan to create a 5,000-strong national army stalls due to a boycott of parliamentary proceedings by Serb-minority MPs.

Inconclusive election

2014 June - Parliamentary elections give inconclusive result that leads to six months of political deadlock.

2015 June - Former PM and wartime commander Ramush Haradinaj is briefly detained in the Slovene capital Ljubljana on the basis of a 2006 Interpol arrest warrant issued at the request of Serbia.