Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo

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This report documents serious breaches of international humanitarian law, the rules of war, committed in Kosovo from February to early September 1998. The vast majority of these abuses were committed by Yugoslav government forces of the Serbian special police (MUP) and the Yugoslav Army (VJ). Under the command of Yugoslav President Slobodan Miloševic, government troops have committed extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, systematically destroyed civilian property, and attacked humanitarian aid workers, all of which are violations of the rules of war. The Albanian insurgency, known as the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA, or UÇK in Albanian), has also violated the laws of war by such actions as the taking of civilian hostages and by summary executions. Although on a lesser scale than the government abuses, these too are violations of international standards, and should be condemned.