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Self-declared independent country in the central Balkans, formerly a province of Serbia. Area: 4,212 sq mi (10,908 sq km). Population: (2009 est.) 1,805,000. The capital and administrative centre is Pristina. Ethnic Albanians (most of them Muslim) make up the vast majority of the population, with Serbs (mostly Christian) accounting for the bulk of the remainder. Kosovo was an autonomous region until 1989, when Serbia took control of Kosovo's administration, prompting protests from the region's Albanian population, which in 1990 voted to secede from Yugoslavia. Serbia responded by tightening its control of Kosovo, which led to the Kosovo conflict. The region was administered by the UN beginning in 1999. Kosovo declared independence in 2008. That December the UN transferred most of its powers of oversight to the European Union.
Variants of KOSOVO
Kosovo Albanian Kosova
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Kosovo, visit Britannica.com.