Photo gallery: 24th Anniversary of Blace Exodus

Kosovo commemorates the 24th anniversary of the exodus of Albanians from all over Kosovo to the border villages in North Macedonia, during the war of 1999. Prishtina Insight brings a photo gallery of that time.

On the 24th anniversary of the exodus of Kosovo Albanians towards North Macedonia and Albania, following the intensification of fights in Kosovo, the Association for the Return of Albanians Displaced from their Land organised a commemorative event in Bllace, North Macedonia.

The association awarded 24 municipalities, local communities, humanitarian associations, non-governmental organizations and mediums from North Macedonia, which have helped Kosovar refugees during the 1998-99 war.

To commemorate the event, photographer Asllan Krasniqi opened an exhibition with 24 photographs of  the “Exodus 99” from Bllaca, Stenkoci and Çegrani.

During the war in Kosovo in 1999, around 360,000 people (equivalent to 16 percent of the country’s population) sought refuge in North Macedonia. Nearly all departed the country the same year.

Their return from the refugee camps in North Macedonia began after the entry of NATO troops in Kosovo in June 1999.

Prishtina Insight brings a photo gallery of moments from the April-May 1999 exodus.

STENKOVAC, NORTH MACEDONIA : Macedonian relatives and Kosovar Albanian refugees from Kosovo try to reach each others’ hands through a wire-netting fences surrounding the refugee camp in Stenkovac, Thursday, 29 April 1999. Thousands of refugees arrived on Wednesday at the border point in Blace. Photo: EPA/MLADEN ANTONOV

BLACE, NORTH MACEDONIA: Ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo board buses in Blace for permanent shelter and safety from war-torn Kosovo,Friday 30th April 1999.Thousands of refugees arrived today at the Macedonian border seeking safety. Photo: EPA/GEORGI LIKOVSKI

BLACE, NORTH MACEDONIA: A Macedonian policeman stands guard at the border village of Blace, some 25 km north of Skopje, as he guards thousands of Albanian refugees from Kosovo’s capital Pristina, Saturday 03 April 1999. The Macedonian government decided Saturday to turn away 50,000 Kosovars after concluding that a new influx of refugees could trigger economic chaos and political unrest in the small Balkan state.

BLACE, NORTH MACEDONIA : Some 3.000 Albanian refugees wait in line in the temporary refugee camp in Blace, to be transported to the camp of Cegrane, on Thursday 06 May 1999. The border was closed for refugees 06 May by Macedonia authorities with the explanation that all the refugee camps in Macedonia were overcrowded. According to the UN High Commission for Refugees some 4.000 people are waiting to cross the border from from Kosovo. EPA PHOTO EPA/MLADEN ANTONOV/ma-fob

SKOPJE, NORTH MACEDONIA: A Kosovo Albanian woman with her children, refugees newly arrived from Kosovo, sit behind a fence in Blace at the Yugoslav-Macedonian border, some 20km north of Skopje, Thursday 2 April 1999. Hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians were evicted from their homes after NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia began on March 24.

BLACE, NORTH MACEDONIA : Ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo’s town Urosevac (Ferizaj) pass through the remains of the makeshift camp which hosted tens of thousands of refugees in the past days, at the neutral zone between the Yugoslav-Macedonian border in Blace, some 25 km north of Skopje on Wednesday 14 April 1999. More than 2,000 refugees who arrived by train from Urosevac walked through the neutral zone to the Macedonian checkpoint. Photo: EPA/GEORGI LIKOVSKI/lg-cl

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