The Definition of Genocide

The definition of genocide according to is "the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group." The most famous example is probably the murder of the Jewish people, and many others, in Nazi Germany. In Kosovo, the Kosovar people are at risk because they declared themselves independent from Serbia. Serbia does not want to give up their territory and refuses to acknowledge this. This has caused tensions in these two groups within the country.

The 10 Stages of Genocide

There are ten steps involved in all genocides.

  1. Classification - People are identified as different based on something like race, religion, or class. In Kosovo, the Serbs hate the Kosovar Albanians because Kosovo declared itself independent from Serbia. The Serbian government wants to expand Serbia's borders to include Kosovo and parts of many other countries.
  2. Symbolization - How a group shows their hatred of another. In Kosovo, there is not much symbolization because the groups are separated by area. The Serb population of Kosovo lives predominately in the very northern part of the country.
  3. Discrimination - Groups are separated and the victim group has many of their civil rights taken away. Kosovar Albanians were not allowed to go to school and were not, when Kosovo was a part of Serbia, represented in the government. Many were also fired from there jobs by Slobodan Milošević, leader of the League of Communists of Serbia and soon to be president of the Yugoslavia.
  4. Dehumanization - The group being discriminated against is not not given their human rights. They may be portrayed as a disease or an undesirable animal. This step is crucial because it makes it seem as though murdering these people is not actually murder. In Kosovo, mainly the Serb government did the killing. They already hated Kosovars for wanting to take away some of their land and power. They thought of them as subhumans that wanted to ruin Serbia's chances at expanding and becoming a greater power.
  5. Organization - The group that wants to commit genocide plans what they will do. A "final solution" is planned. After a group called the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) declares that they will keep attacking Serb police to protest the discrimination against the Kosovar Albanians, the Serb government begins to plan how they will reacquire the area Kosovo has taken from them.
  6. Polarization - The groups are separated and forbidden to interact. Large amounts of propaganda is published. People of the victim group are publicly murdered. Serbs and Kosovar Albanians had never really interacted in the first place. There were many confrontations with Serb police in Kosovo, especially along the border, in which people were killed.
  7. Preparation - All of the persecuted group is easily identifiable. Arms are amassed and spread to those who will be doing the killing. In Serbia, arms had been flowing into the country for a long time. The way they identified the Kosovars was solely by where they lived.
  8. Persecution - People are separated by some kind of wall or an immense amount of space. They are usually displaced and not allowed to bring much of their belongs. Most of the things they own are taken from them. Many were forced to flee to Albania with none of their belongings. They were not forcibly moved by the Serbs, but if they had not fled they would have been killed.
  9. Extermination - The mass murder of the victim group. Usually committed by the government. Sometimes they are put into camps to be killed and them they are cremated. Villages in Kosovo were raided and those who could not get out were murdered. The Serbians called this "ethnic cleansing."
  10. Denial - Occurs after the genocide. The government refuses to confirm the genocide ever happened. This is currently happening in Serbia and Kosovo. There is also the risk of another genocide because of the continued high tentions between Serbia and Kosovo.


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) attempted to stop the genocide in Kosovo by dropping bombs on Serbia. This campaign went on for eleven weeks until a peace agreement was reached. The United Nations (UN) Security Council put an embargo on guns, but this did not help to stop much of the violence. UN peace keepers were eventually put in Kosovo, and they began to administrate there.

What more could have been done

Much more could have been done to prevent this genocide from taking place. People speaking out about what was happening would have brought more attention to it. This would create more potential for powerful people to step in. The best way to stop genocide is making it known so that people can act against it. If the knowledge of the genocide stays within the borders of the country where it is taking place, it creates little room for prevention. If people had openly opposed the Serb plan to murder the Kosovar Albanians, it might have been prevented.


The topic of genocide, even though it is difficult, must be discussed. As of 2014, at least 49 countries of the world are in one of the stages of genocide. Genocide is not often in the United States news because it is mainly in countries across the Atlantic Ocean. It also may be because it is kept quiet. Word should be spread though. People need to know that these genocides are happening because then they are able to do something about it. Although many people would think they can do nothing, they can also help spread the word. The more people that know the better. The easier it is to help those groups that are suffering.
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Sources used to create this flyer

"Country Profile: Kosovo." Genocide Watch. Genocide Watch, 19 Apr. 2002. Web. 08 May 2016

"genocide". Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 08 May. 2016

Stanton, Gregory H. "10 Stages of Genocide." Genocide Watch. Genocide Watch, 2013. Web. 05 May 2016.

"Kosovo Conflict." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 08 May. 2016

"Countries at Risk." Genocide Watch. Genocide Watch, 2014. Web. 08 May 2016

"Kosovo Genocide Timeline." Kosovo Genocide Timeline. Soft Schools, n.d. Web. 08 May