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Yugoslavia Is History

February 4, 2003



This week, the remnants of a nation formed in 1929 and called Yugoslavia - the Land of Southern Slavs - will cease to exist in name. In its place will emerge an awkward union called Serbia and Montenegro.

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This corner of Europe will be all the better for it. The historic attempt to clump together so many rival ethnic groups in one country failed, especially during the postcommunist wars of the 1990s. The Serb nationalism that Slobodan Milosevic incited in order to cling to power led to Yugoslavia's demise, and his undoing.

Left hanging in uncertainty after this new union is Kosovo, the mainly ethnic Albanian enclave that became a ward of the international community after a 1999 war with Serbia. Until Kosovo is allowed to decide its own future, the world must make sure there's no repeat of the repressive history once demonstrated in Yugoslavia.

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