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(The Trepca mining complex is the most valuable piece of economic real estate in the former Yugoslavia.) Though largely ignored in most histories of World War II, Nazi Germany's use of ethnic Muslim populations significantly affected the course of events during World War II in a number of areas, the Balkans in particular.
The Nazis formed and operated Muslim Waffen SS divisions in the former Yugoslavia.
Never much of a fighting unit, Skanderbeg helped round up Kosovo's Jewish population, fought against the Yugoslavian Partisans, and helped safeguard the successful German retreat from Greece and Albania.
In light of the fact that German intelligence actively supported the KLA in the mid-to late 90's, it is not irrelevant to ask whether some of the Waffen SS connections to the area may have figured in the shaping of events there.
As an outcome of World War I, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes is formed.
Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina had been part of the fallen Austro-Hungarian empire; Serbia and Montenegro existed as an independent state (Macedonia was then part of Serbia).
Each enclave is now made up of roughly 90% of its own ethnic group. S., European Union begin to lift economic sanctions, offer aid.
Serbia and Montenegro form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with Slobodan Milosevic as its leader. and other nations, the Serbian economy continues to deteriorate and dissent spreads. Opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica wins elections held Sept. Milosevic refuses to release the complete results, demanding a runoff election. A general strike is called and one million people flood Belgrade. Milosevic is arrested by Yugoslavian authorities and charged with corruption and abuse of power.
Slobodan Milosevic begin his trial at the UN International Criminal Tribunal on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo, as well as for committing genocide in Bosnia.
He is the first head of state to face an international war-crimes court.
Because 12% of Croatia's population is Serbian, however, rump Yugoslavia fights hard against its secession for the next four years. The most ethnically diverse of the Yugoslav republics, Bosnia is 43% Muslim, 31% Serbian, and 17% Croatian (according to the 1991 Yugoslavian census).
As Croatia moves towards independence, it evicts most of its Serbian population. Ethnic tensions strain to the breaking point, and Bosnia erupts into war.
Utilizing the versatile Haj Amin Al-Husseini (self-styled "Grand Mufti of Jerusalem," Nazi espionage agent, SS Major, Palestinian nationalist leader), the Waffen SS successfully recruited from among Muslim populations in the Balkans, Middle East and Soviet Union.