Insurgency in the Preševo Valley

Preševo Valley Insurgency
Part of the Yugoslav Wars

Preševo Valley (marked in orange)
Date12 June 1999 – 1 June 2001[1]
(1 year, 11 months, 2 weeks and 6 days)
LocationPreševo, Bujanovac, and Medveđa, Serbia, FR Yugoslavia

Konculj Agreement (peace)[2]

UÇPMB  FR Yugoslavia
Commanders and leaders

Muhamet Xhemajli
(UÇPMB commander)
Ridvan Qazimi "Lleshi"  
(Second UÇPMB commander)
Shefket Musliu
(UÇPMB chief)[4]
Pacir Shicri
(UÇPMB spokesman)[5]

Tahir Dalipi
(UÇPMB spokesman)
Slobodan Milošević
(President, 1999–2000)
Vojislav Koštunica
(Second President, 2000–01)
Nebojša Pavković
(Chief of the General Staff)
Ninoslav Krstić
(General of the Army)
Goran Radosavljević
(Police General)
Milorad Ulemek
(Secret police)
Units involved
1,600 separatists[6] 3,500 soldiers and policemen
100 JSO members
Casualties and losses
27 killed
400 surrendered to KFOR[7]
18 killed
68 wounded
15 civilians killed (8 Serb, 7 Albanian)
2 UN observers wounded

The Insurgency in the Preševo Valley was an armed conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the ethnic Albanian separatists[8][9][10] of the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac (UÇPMB).[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]


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.[14] The Preševo valley conflict erupted in June 1999.



During the conflict, 18 members of the Yugoslav security forces were killed and 68 were wounded. Eight civilians were also killed.[15] Some of the deaths were caused by mines.[1]


In 2013, UÇPMB veterans erected a memorial with the names of 27 insurgents who were killed in the conflict.[16] Seven ethnic Albanian civilians were also killed.[17]

Other casualties

Two United Nations observers were wounded, according to reports.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Mine kills Serb police". BBC News. 14 October 2000. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  3. Holley, David (25 May 2001). "Yugoslavia Occupies Last of Kosovo Buffer". LA Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  4. "Rebel Albanian chief surrenders". BBC News. 26 May 2001. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
  5. "British K-For troops under fire". BBC News. 25 January 2001. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013.
  6. "Kosovo rebels accept peace talks". BBC News. 7 February 2001. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
  7. Schonauer, Scott (26 May 2001). "Yugoslav troops advance in buffer zone, brace for backlash from top rebel's death". Archived from the original on 8 August 2007.
  8. Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of an Insurgency, Henry H. Perritt
  9. Reflections on the Balkan Wars: Ten Years After the Break-up of Yugoslavia, Jeffrey S. Morton, Stefano Bianchini, Craig Nation, Paul Forage
  10. War in the Balkans, 1991–2002, R. Craig Nation
  11. Morton, Jeffrey S. (2004). Reflections on the Balkan Wars. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 57. ISBN 1-4039-6332-0.
  12. "Renewed clashes near Kosovo border". BBC News. 28 January 2001. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014.
  13. "Kostunica warns of fresh fighting". BBC News. 29 January 2001. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013.
  14. "KLA future in the balance". BBC News. 7 September 1999. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013.
  15. "Uhapšeni Albanci otimali i kasapili Srbe". Večernje Novosti. 4 May 2012. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  16. "Remembrance of the recent past". The Economist. 14 January 2013. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  17. "Human rights violations committed in Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac from the period of the NATO bombing to the granting of an amnesty to former soldiers of the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac". Humanitarian Law Centre. 7 May 2012. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.

Coordinates: 42°18′20″N 21°38′34″E / 42.3056°N 21.6428°E / 42.3056; 21.6428

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