Ethnic tension and cultural strife are part of Kosova’s history (also called Kosovo and Metohija) since it was a province of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. The Albanian nationalism movement called the League of Prizren that in 1878 sowed the seeds of discord between Muslim Albanians and Christian Serbs had its center in Kosova itself. Tension grew even stronger when a Serbian recolonization of Kosova was forced by the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the period between World Wars I and II. Ethnic conflict between Albanian nationalists and the newly formed Serbian-dominated Yugoslavian government continued throughout the 20th century, coupled with a significant religious repression against both Albanian and Slav Muslims.

During the 1990s, Albanian separatists tried to diplomatically achieve the independence of Kosova but ...

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