Serbia (Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac)


Conflict Summary

The ethnic-Albanian Ushtria Clirimtare Presheve Medveja e Bujanovec (Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac, UCPMB) launched a guerrilla campaign targeting Serbian security forces in the wake of the Kosovo conflict. Their aim was to unify several southern Serbian provinces populated by many ethnic Albanians with that of Kosovo, creating an autonomous, or independent, region. Serbia, however, has had the backing of US-led NATO forces in trying to pressure the disbandment of UCPMB. A diplomatic solution was agreed little more than a year after conflict broke out, but extremists were allegedly still active within the region. A new paramilitary group called the Albanian National Army (ANA) emerged in 2002, which incorporated extremist elements of the UCPMB who believe that Kosovo should be independent and allied with Albania. No ANA activity has been recorded since August 2003 and three of the four ethnic Albanian parties of the region are actively cooperating within the political structures established by the central government.