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Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi charged with war crimes

● Kosovo’s president has been indicted (formally charged with a crime) for war crimes allegedly committed during the Kosovo conflict in the late 1990s.

● This conflict, in which ethnic Albanians opposed ethnic Serbs and the government of Yugoslavia (the rump of the former federal state, comprising the republics of Serbia and Montenegro) in Kosovo garnered attention from NATO. The fallout of this event has led him to cancel a planned trip to the White House this weekend for talks with Serbian leaders.

● A special court at The Hague, in the Netherlands, announced the charges on Thaci and according to a press statement, the Specialist Prosecutor's Office filed a 10-count indictment on April 24, which accuses Thaci, Kadri Veseli (Former Chairman of the Assembly of Kosovo), and others. This was done on the basis of "a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture."

● These events followed a nationalist crisis as Kosovo declared independence from Serbia a decade after the battle between Serb forces and Kosovar-Albanian rebels began. The war, from 1998 to 1999, led to thousands of deaths and the displacement of nearly 90% of Kosovo's population.

● Wednesday's indictment alleges that Thaci, Veseli and other charged suspects "are criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders along with hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents," the statement said.

● However, tensions remain as Kosovo's Ambassador said to the US Vlora Çitaku said in a tweet that "When the dust settles & the smoke clears, #KLA will remain the most successful liberation movement in modern history." This motion, while controversial, could serve as a stepping stone for Kosovo’s foreign policy.

Reporter : Rahul K

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