Exile Armies pp 159-170 | Cite as

The Kosovo Liberation Army

  • Matthew Bennett


The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) more properly the UCK (Ushtria Çlirimitare e Kosovës) came to international prominence in the late 1990s, as a product of the crisis in the province of Kosovo-Metohija in Serbia. (For its Albanian population the land is known as Kosova; for cartographers; simply Kosovo.) Although some claim a history for the organization stretching back over two decades, it does not seem to have existed as a functioning institution until 1996 or 1997.2 There was no coincidence in the sudden rise of an active, military response to Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbian government’s repressive policies in the region, at that time. The attempted resolution of the Balkan wars that were a result of the break-up of Yugoslavia had been reached via the Dayton Accords of November 1995. While this agreement went a long way to resolving the conflict between the major successor states of the Yugoslav federation established as result of the Second World War, it actually left the ethnically Albanian majority population of Kosovo in a worse position than ever before.3


North Atlantic Treaty Organization Albanian Population Kosovo Liberation Army Heavy Weapon Kosovo Liberation 
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  1. Noel Malcolm, Kosovo: A Short History (Basingstoke: Macmillan – new Palgrave Macmillan, 1998) and Ben Lombardi, ‘Kosovo – Introduction to Yet Another Balkan Problem’, European Security, 5(2) (Summer, 1996), 256–78 makes the point about Dayton on p. 268.Google Scholar
  2. Tim Judah, ‘Kosovo’s Road to War’, Survival, 41(2) (Summer, 1999), 7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Zoran Kusovac, ‘Croat general to Lead KLA as Part of Reorganisation’, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 12 May 1999, 4.Google Scholar
  4. Zoran Kusovac, ‘KLA Power Rising’, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 8 July 1999, 21.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Matthew Bennett

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