The Kosovo Conflict, 1998
erschienen in der Publikation "Konfliktentwicklung auf dem südlichen Balkan I (17)" - April 1999
Autor(en):Prof. Dr.phil. habil. M. A. Stefan Troebst
There are no reliable statistical data on the current number, ethnic structure and mobility of the population of Kosovo. The last census taken in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) in 1991 was boycotted by Kosovo Albanians. According to incomplete official Serbian statistics, in 1991 out of 1,954,747 inhabitants of Kosovo 1,607,690 (82.2 per cent) were Albanians, 195,301 (10.0 per cent) Serbs, 57,408 (2.9 per cent) Southslav-speaking Muslims, 42,806 (2.2 per cent) Roma, 20,045 (1.0 per cent) Montenegrins, 10,838 (0.6 per cent) Turks, and 8,161 (0.4 per cent) Croats. An estimated 90 per cent of the population in Kosovo are Muslims, the rest Christian Orthodox and a small Catholic community. Kosovo Albanians are the "youngest" people of Europe: 45 per cent are under the age of 18, and 70 per cent under 30. Kosovo has the highest birth rate in Europe (23.1 per 1000 in 1989) and also the highest infant mortality rate (27.8 per 1000 live births).
From 1991 to 1994, an estimated number of 400,000 Kosovo Albanians have left Kosovo for political reasons for Switzerland and the European Union, in particular, Germany,
Austria and Sweden. By the end of 1995, 340,700 Kosovo Albanians had sought political asylum outside the FRY. According to UNHCR estimates and figures given by the governments of Albania and Montenegro, the Kosovo War of 1998 resulted in the flight of another 98,100 Kosovo Albanians to Montenegro (42,000), Albania (20,500), other parts of Serbia (20,000), Bosnia-Herzegovina (8,600), Macedonia (3,000), Slovenia (2,000) and Turkey (2,000). Two hundred thousand Kosovo Albanians were dislocated within Kosovo. There were also population movements of Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo. Between 1991 and 1996, some 19,000 Serbian refugees from Bosnia, the Krajina and other parts of Croatia were resettled in Kosovo, whereas in 1998, several tens of thousand Kosovo Serbs fled or were forced to leave the region for the interior of Serbia. Already in the spring of 1997, almost the entire Croat population of Kosovo had emigrated to Croatia. The number of inhabitants in Kosovo is currently under 1.5 million.