Ibrahim Rugova

Rugova, Ibrahim (ēbrähēmˈ rōgōˈvā) [key] 1944–2006, ethnic Albanian leader in Kosovo. A scholar and author, he studied at Kosovo's Priština Univ. and the Sorbonne, Paris, and became president of the influential Kosovo Writers Union (1988) and professor of Albanian at Pristina Univ. Entering politics when Serbia began its campaign against Kosovo's Albanians in the late 1980s, he became (1989) leader of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo, which advocated democracy and self-determination for the province. Rugova eschewed the use of force, a stance that brought him both respect internationally and criticism from some Albanian Kosovars, particularly in the violent late 1990s when Serb brutality led to NATO intervention. In 2001 his party won the provincial assembly elections and in 2002 he became province's president, under the supervision of the United Nations. He was reelected in 2004 and survived an assassination attempt (2005) before he died in office.

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