in Kosovo: the KLA Memorial
The KLA / Kosovo Liberation Army (in Albanian UÇK / Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës) was an ethnic-Albanian paramilitary organization that sought the separation of Kosovo from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and Serbia during the 1990s and the eventual creation of a Greater Albania, stressing Albanian culture, ethnicity and nation.
KLA struggle escalated from 1997 onward due to the Yugoslavian army retaliating with a crackdown in the region which resulted in violence and population displacements. The bloodshed, ethnic cleansing of thousands of Albanians driving them into neighbouring countries and the potential of it to destabilize the region provoked intervention by international organizations, such as the United Nations, NATO and International non-governmental organizations. NATO supported the KLA and intervened on its behalf in March 1999.
On 11 June 1999 -two days after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1244-the Kosovo Force / KFOR -a NATO-led international peacekeeping force- entered Kosovo, which at the time was facing a grave humanitarian crisis, with military forces from the FRY and the KLA in daily engagement.
In June 1999 Camp Bondsteel was constructed to house American peacekeeping forces soon after Kosovo achieved independence from Serbia. It is located near Uroševac (Ferizaj) and it is the main base for the US army under KFOR / Kosovo Force command in Kosovo. Camp Bondsteel is the largest and the most expensive foreign military base built by the US in Europe, since the Vietnam War.
In September 1999, with the fighting over and an international force in place within Kosovo, the KLA was officially disbanded and thousands of its members entered the Kosovo Protection Corps, a civilian emergency protection body that replaced the KLA and Kosovo Police Force.
The KLA memorial, stands in Marine, Sklenderaj / Srbice on the road from Drenas to Skenderaj.
These photos were taken in August 2018.