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Reality Demands: Documenting Violations of International Humanitarian Law in Kosovo 1999

"Reality Demands" is the product of seven months field research conducted by local and international personnel in Albania and Kosovo, which reconstructs events from March to June 1999 during the Yugoslav offensive in seven municipalities in south-western Kosovo. The Humanitarian Law Documentation Project was conceived in the spring of that year as violence and destruction in Kosovo forced hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from their homes into neighbouring countries. The purpose of the project was to identify serious violations of international humanitarian law - often termed 'the laws of war' - committed between January and June, and to record direct evidence of these violations by taking statements from victims and witnesses.

In this report, the International Crisis Group presents an analysis of the conflict in Kosovo in 1999, focusing on violations of international humanitarian law within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). the report explains the legal provisions applicable, defines the mandate and jurisdiction of the ICTY and presents a legal analysis of those facts, as described, which qualify as serious volations of international humanitarian law.

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