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Kosovo (Province, Serbia): Albanian armed movements

Last modified: 2023-09-02 by rob raeside
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Kosovo Liberation Army


Flag of UÇK - Image by Ivan Sarajčić, 3 February 1999

The flag of UÇK (photo of a public celebration of the proclamation of independence of Kosoavo), a movement fighting for the independence of Kosovo, is red with the UÇK emblem. This is also used as a mini-flag on the sleeves of their uniforms.

Ivan Sarajčić, Muhamed Mesić & Antonio Gutierrez, 23 March 2008


Tank flag of UÇK - Image by Muhamed Mesić, 15 December 1998

The flag mounted on a UÇK tank (photo, Dnevni Avaz) was red with the Albanian eagle, a yellow stripe and above it the letters UÇK.

Muhamed Mesić, 15 December 1998

The flag of the 134th Brigade of UÇK (photo) is a red, apparently fringed in gold, with the Albanian eagle in the centre; above it are placed the UÇK initials, to the left of it the word "BRIGADA" and to its right "134". Beneath the eagle are clasped hands.

Jan Mertens, 3 December 2006

Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac

The Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac was a guerrilla group fighting for independence from Serbia for the three municipalities: Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac, home to most of the Albanians of inner Serbia, adjacent to the province of Kosovo and Metohija. UÇPMBs uniforms, procedures and tactics mirrored those of the disbanded KLA. The UÇPMB operated from 1999 to 2001.
After the end of the Kosovo war in 1999, a three-mile "Ground Safety Zone" (GSZ) was established between Kosovo (still Serbian territory, but governed by United Nations) - and inner Serbia and Montenegro. Yugoslav army units were not permitted to patrol the area, only lightly-armed police forces. The exclusion zone included the predominantly Albanian village of Dobrosin, but not Preševo.
Former KLA guerrilla soldiers quickly established bases in the demilitarized zone, and Serbian police had to stop patrolling the area to avoid being ambushed. In January 2001, the UÇPMB killed three Serbs in Mucibaba, near Preševo. In Bujanovac, four bombs were detonated in February, one near an elementary school, two in a Gypsy neighbourhood and one next to a cinema. Attacks were also made on Albanian politicians opposed to the KLA, including the murder of Zemail Mustafi, the Albanian vice-president of the Bujanovac branch of Slobodan Milošević's Socialist Party of Serbia.
Seeing that the situation was getting out of control, NATO allowed the Yugoslav army to reclaim the demilitarized zone on May 24th 2001, and at the same time giving the rebels the opportunity to turn themselves over to KFOR. KFOR promised to just take their weapons and note their names before releasing them.
More than 450 UÇPMB members took advantage of KFOR's screen and release policy, among them Shefket Musliu, the commander of the UÇPMB, who turned himself over to KFOR at a checkpoint along the GSZ just after midnight May 26.

The flag of UÇPMB was red with the group's seal in the center. (photo, El Pais, 3 January 2001).

Esteban Rivera & Santiago Dotor, 8 May 2005