The region had always been witness to ethnic battles, and the twentieth century saw the most bloody episodes in the unfolding saga of the Balkans. Countries such as the U. S., U. K. and a majority of the European Union are in favour of the declaration and have formally recognized Kosovo as a state. To these countries, Kosovo is officially known as the Republic of Kosovo. The topic of this essay is to determine the legality or otherwise of Kosovo’s declaration of independence. The essay will also deal with the issue of recognition of Kosovo as a state according to the relevant theories. Lastly, it will also examine whether the declaration of Kosovo as a state is proper according to the Montevideo Convention.
Kosovo was a part of the nation of Serbia, which succeeded Yugoslavia after its dissolution. It is a Balkan region given to ethnic strife since antiquity. To the Serbs, it is an integral part of Serbia, as the area covers the Kosovo Polje (Blackbird Field). This place is ‘sacred territory for the Serbs as the place where Serbs were ‘defeated and subjugated by the Turks’.1 is where The Kosovo problem is one step in the still to be completed Balkan saga. The area now comprising Kosovo was first defined as an area of a state in 1945 as the autonomous Kosovo-Metohian Area.As a part of Yugoslavia, Kosovo gained limited internal autonomy ihn the later part of the sixties. In the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia, Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo was given more powers. A President and prime Minister were formally recognised for the Area. It was also represented in the Federal Presidency. It was thus that Kosovo became a republic in the Federation. The Parliament of the un-recognized Republic of Kosovo approved a resolution supporting the "Independence and Sovereignty of Kosovo" in September 1991. Put to a clandestinely organized and held referendum in Bosnia the resolution was approved overwhelmingly.2
The Dayton Peace Agreement had