Articles on the Kosovo Conflict



On the question of deaths in Kosovo due to war
Compiled by Balkan Witness staff

Experts Greet HLC's "Kosovo Memory Book" International experts have praised the Humanitarian Law Centre's database on victims of the Kosovo conflict, the Kosovo Memory Book. Natasa Kandic, founder of HLC, stated that the database will ease the work of courts to find those giving orders and those committing the crimes. "This database is a powerful weapon against liars that claim this is not true", Kandic said. By Petrit Collaku, BIRN, February 4, 2015

List of Kosovo War Victims Published The list of 13,421 people who were killed or went missing between January 1998 and December 31, 2000, including civilians and members of armed forces, was published by the Humanitarian Law Center on a website called The Kosovo Memory Book. The searchable list of names is here. Balkan Insight, December 10, 2014

The Kosovo Memory Book In this report, each victim or missing person is documented by name and surname.
According to the Humanitarian Law Center, 13,517 persons died, were killed or went missing during the armed conflict in Kosovo in the period from January 1st 1998 until June 14th 1999 and after the deployment of international troops in Kosovo until December 2000. There is still no information about the fate of 1,886 persons whose families are still searching for their bodies.

Hundreds of Kosovo Albanians found in mass grave Reuters, December 13, 2013
The Serbian Prosecutor's Office believes that the remains were transported there (Rudnica, Serbia) during the withdrawal of Serbian forces from Kosovo in June 1999, and that this was done by members of the then special police unit. (Tanjug report) See photo of exhumation in progress.

John Pilger and the Tasmanian Genocide By Marko Hoare, December 14, 2007
Pilger falsely claims that no mass graves of Albanian victims of Milosevic’s regime have ever been found.

Revisiting "Killings and Migration in Kosovo": responses to additional data and analysis This report confirms and expands upon the results in the 2002 analysis by Ball et al. The report confirms that the data re inconsistent with the claim that the KLA or NATO could have been substantial causes of the killing and migration in Kosovo during March-June 1999. By Patrick Ball, Meghan Lynch, and Amelia Hoover, January 28, 2007 (PDF)

Acknowledged and Unacknowledged Kosovo Albanian Graves Natasa Kandic, Humanitarian Law Center, November 11, 2004
There are at least 17 mass graves in Serbia containing the bodies of Kosovo Albanians - more than the eight acknowledged sites.

Kosovo: Orders of Magnitude By Adam Jones, July 25, 2000
How many people died in Kosovo? The article examines the evidence.

Civilian Deaths in the NATO Air Campaign (PDF) By Human Rights Watch, February 2000
Some 500 Yugoslav civilians were killed in ninety separate incidents over seventy-eight days of bombing, although it must be acknowledged that this evidence may be incomplete. About 60 per cent of the deaths were in Kosovo.

Killings and Refugee Flow in Kosovo, March-June 1999 (PDF) A Report to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. By Patrick Ball, et al. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), January 3, 2002
The findings of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that Yugoslav forces organized a systematic campaign of violence resulting in killings and refugee flow. This study shows a circumstantial link between Yugoslav army activities and the observed pattern of killings and refugee flow.
The study rules out KLA and NATO activity as significant causes of killings and refugee flow.

More on Refugee Flow Patterns in Kosovo, March-May 1999, AAAS

Mass Graves Found All Over Kosovo Associated Press, June 22, 1999
Ask someone for directions to a field holding the corpses of 142 people who were executed and he says, after that I'll show you a grave holding six members of a single family. Mass graves are everywhere in Kosovo: more than outsiders can track down in their first days back in the province; enough to keep war crimes prosecutors busy for years, if they choose. Apparently fearing just such prosecution, Serb soldiers, paramilitary, police, and civilians cremated many of their ethnic Albanian victims, or returned to exhume corpses for burning or reburial in single graves, survivors say. But while the 2 1/2-month war was time enough for killing untold thousands, it wasn't enough time for cleaning up afterward. The signs of slaughter abound.

War and mortality in Kosovo, 1998–99: an epidemiological testimony By Dr. Paul B. Spiegel and Peter Salama, The Lancet, June 24, 2000 (Free registration required)
Roughly 12,000 are estimated to have died in Kosovo due to war. Mortality rates peaked coincident with the intensification of the Serbian campaign of “ethnic cleansing.”

Counting Bodies in Kosovo By Michael Ignatieff, November 21, 1999
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia estimates that there are 11,334 bodies at 529 grave sites. Whether these bodies will be found depends on whether the Serb military and the police removed them. Serb forces made substantial efforts to cover their tracks. The real problem in establishing how many people actually died in Kosovo is not Western propaganda, but Serb attempts to cover the traces of their crimes.

The Kosovo Numbers Game By Ian Williams, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, November 12, 1999 (Republished November 16, 2005)
How many people were killed in Kosovo? Opponents of the NATO bombing campaign claim estimates were wildly exaggerated through cynical propaganda. But the totals for confirmed dead are mounting. "Holocaust revisionism" - denial of the genocide of the Jews during World War II - is illegal in some countries. But the downward revision of the numbers murdered in Kosovo is proving very fashionable - even in the New York Times.

Inquiry Estimates Serb Drive Killed 10,000 in Kosovo By John Kifner, The New York Times, July 18, 1999
At least 10,000 people were slaughtered by Serbian forces during their three-month campaign to drive the Albanians from Kosovo, according to war crimes investigators, NATO peacekeeping troops, and aid agencies struggling to keep up with fresh reports each day of newly discovered bodies and graves. That death toll would be more than twice the number of about 4,600 dead estimated by the State Department in late May, shortly before the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague indicted Slobodan Milosevic and four of his top aides on charges of crimes against humanity. ''We're getting newly reported mass graves every day in all of Kosovo,'' said J. Clint Williamson, a legal officer and leading investigator for the tribunal. ''The list keeps growing.''

More Reports From the Area of Conflict

Balkan Witness Home Page

Articles index



Articles by Roger Lippman


Contact Balkan Witness

Report broken links