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Preševo Valley Insurgency
Part of the aftermath of the Kosovo War
Date12 June 1999 – 1 June 2001[1]
(1 year, 11 months, 2 weeks and 6 days)
LocationPreševo, Bujanovac, and Medveđa, Serbia, FR Yugoslavia

Yugoslav victory[2]

  • Peace between the Serbian government and the local Albanian populace in Southern Serbia
  • UÇPMB disbanded
  • Konculj Agreement[3]
Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac

 FR Yugoslavia

  • Flag of Serbia 1992-2004.svg Serbia
Commanders and leaders
Muhamet Xhemajli
(UÇPMB commander)
Ridvan Qazimi "Lleshi"
(Second UÇPMB commander)
Shefket Musliu
(UÇPMB chief)[4]
Pacir Shicri (POW)
(UÇPMB spokesman)[5]
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević
(President of FR Yugoslavia, 1999-2000)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vojislav Koštunica
(Second President of Yugoslavia, 2000-2001)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nebojša Pavković
(Chief of the General Staff)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Ninoslav Krstić
(General of the Army)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Goran Radosavljević
(Police General)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milorad Ulemek
(Secret police)
1,600 insurgents[6]

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 3,500 soldiers and policemen

100 JSO members
Casualties and losses
27 insurgents killed[7]
50 insurgents surrendered to KFOR[8]
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 18 soldiers and policemen killed
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 68 soldiers and policemen wounded
8 civilians killed
37 civilians wounded[9][10]United Nations Two observers wounded

The Insurgency in the Preševo Valley was an armed conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the ethnic-Albanian insurgents[11][12][13] of the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac (UÇPMB).[14] There were instances during the conflict in which the Yugoslav government requested KFOR support in suppressing UÇPMB attacks since they could only use lightly-armed military forces as part of the Kumanovo Treaty that ended the Kosovo War, which created a buffer zone so that the bulk of Yugoslav armed forces could not enter.[15]

The Yugoslav president, Vojislav Koštunica, often warned that fresh fighting would erupt if KFOR units did not act to prevent the attacks coming from the UÇPMB.[16]


The Kosovo War was a parallel conflict between the Yugoslav Army and the Kosovo Liberation Army. It began in February 1998 and ended on 10 June 1999 when the Kumanovo Treaty was signed. According to the treaty, KFOR troops, supervised by the United Nations, would enter as a peacekeeping force, while Yugoslav military forces were to withdraw. It was agreed that the KLA would disband by 19 September 1999.[17] During the war, Serb forces had ravaged the area, and the Serb government disenfranchised the population; this united the local population against Serbs.[18][19] The Preševo valley conflict erupted in June 1999.



During the conflict, 18 members of the Yugoslav security forces were killed and 68 were wounded. 8 civilians were also killed.[20] Some of the deaths were caused by mines.[1]


The number of UÇPMB casualties have been debated. Five insurgents were killed according to the UÇPMB.[21] The Yugoslav government, however, reported that 30-40 insurgents were killed. About 45 Albanian insurgents surrendered to KFOR.[5]

Other casualties

Two UN observers were wounded according to reports.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Mine kills Serb police". BBC News. October 14, 2000. 
  2. David Holley (25 May 2001). "Yugoslavia Occupies Last of Kosovo Buffer". LA Times. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  4. "Rebel Albanian chief surrenders". BBC News. May 26, 2001. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "British K-For troops under fire". BBC News. January 25, 2001. 
  6. "Kosovo rebels accept peace talks". BBC News. February 7, 2001. 
  7. "Remembrance of the recent past". The Economist. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  8. "Serbs retake Kosovo buffer zone". BBC. 24 May 2001. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  9. Yugoslav troops advance in buffer zone, brace for backlash from top rebel's death, Stars and Stripes, May 26, 2001
  10. Number of Serbian soldiers in Presevo Valley during the conflict
  11. Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of an Insurgency, Henry H. Perritt
  12. Reflections on the Balkan Wars: Ten Years After the Break-up of Yugoslavia, Jeffrey S. Morton, Stefano Bianchini, Craig Nation, Paul Forage
  13. War in the Balkans, 1991-2002, R. Craig Nation
  14. Morton, Jeffrey S. (2004). Reflections on the Balkan Wars. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 57. ISBN 1-4039-6332-0.
  15. "Renewed clashes near Kosovo border". BBC News. January 28, 2001. 
  16. "Kostunica warns of fresh fighting". BBC News. January 29, 2001. 
  17. "KLA future in the balance". BBC News. September 7, 1999. 
  18. "Kosovo Lindore/Preshevo 1999-2002. & The FYROM Conflict", Bob Churcher, Conflict Studies Research Centre
  19. Mason, King (2006). Peace at Any Price: How the World Failed Kosovo. Cornell University Press. 
  20. "Uhapšeni Albanci otimali i kasapili Srbe". Večernje Novosti. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  21. "Serbian forces push rebels out of Albanian village". USA Today. 2 July 2001. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 

External links

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