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Freedom and fear: Kosovo remembers war, 20 years after

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Twenty years ago tears were flowing in Kosovo — of joy or of despair depending which side you were on — as NATO troops rolled in, ending the war with Serbia.

For Kosovo Albanians, June 12, 1999 was a day of liberation from Belgrade’s repression.

But for the Serb minority, it was a loss that ushered in a new chapter of fear and uncertainty.

This Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of that turning point. Kosovo’s government will celebrate with fanfare, in a ceremony featuring a speech from former US president Bill Clinton, a core ally during his time in office.

NATO’s three-month intervention ultimately halted the violence between Albanian separatists and Serb forces under the direction of strongman Slobodan Milosevic

But while the violence was ended, the two sides have never fully reconciled. Relations between Kosovo’s Albanian and Serb communities remain fraught.

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