in Kosovo: Adem Jashari Memorial Complex in Prekaz 01
On 5 March 1998, the Special Anti-Terrorism Unit of Serbia attacked Prekaz (Kosovo) in an operation against Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇL/KLA) fighters, regarded as terrorists by Serbia. The attack led to a massacre in which Adem Jashari, a leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, his brother Hämez and about 60 other family members of them were murdered.
According to Amnesty International “the attack was not intended to apprehend armed Albanians, but to eliminate the suspects and their families”. Serbia, however, claimed the raid was due to KLA attacks on police outposts.
While Albania media portrayed Adem Jashari as a “freedom fighter”, Yugoslavia media depicted him as a “terrorist”.
The deaths of Jashari and his family generated an international backlash against the FRY / Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (by this time, consisting of the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro). In late March 1999 more than 100.000 people marched in American and European cities to protest the attack.
The Kosovo War had started in late February 1998 and lasted until 11 June 1999. It was fought by the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia , which controlled Kosovo before the war, and the KLA, with air support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 24 March 1999 and ground support from the Albanian army.
The NATO bombing campaign has remained controversial, as it did not gain the approval of the UN Security Council and because it caused at least 488 Yugoslav civilian deaths, including substantial numbers of Kosovar refugees.
In fact NATO used Belgrad’s rejection of the proposed peace agreement in Rambouillet as justification to start the bombing. According to the former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger “the Rambouillet text, which called on Serbia to admit NATO troops throughout Yugoslavia, was a provocation, an excuse to start bombing.”
The war ended with the Kumanovo Agreement on 9 June 1999, with Yugoslav and Serb forces agreeing to withdraw from Kosovo to make way for an international presence. It is documented that 13,517 people were killed or went missing during the conflict.
These photos were taken in the Adem Jashari Memorial Complex in August 2018.