After fighting ceased in October/November 1918, the occupation of Albania continued. It is needless to say, that Albania as much as other countries affected by the war, suffered from problems such as food shortage and infectious diseases.
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's 14 points included the principle that nations should be given the right to decide their own affairs; according to this principle, Albania's independence was restored, although Greece continued to occupy southern Albania (Northern Epirus) until 1923. A curiosity : the small island of Saseno, only a few km off the Albanian coast (hitherto Greek) was allocated not to Albania, but to Italy (1920).
A National Congress was held in Lushnje in January 1920, where the principles for Albania's government were decided upon. Albania was split in two rival camps, one lead by Ahmed Bey Zogu, representing the conservative landowners and tribal chiefs, traditionally leaning on Turkey, the other lead by Fan S. Noli, an western-educated Orthodox bishop in favour of introducing a western-style liberal democracy. The young republic's head of state 1919-1924 was Turchan Pasha. In 1924, Fan Noli ascended to the presidency; now unrestrained, he implemented an ambitious program of Land Reform and modernization. In 1924 Ahmed Zogu fled the country, taking up exile in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Meanwhile the modernization and land reform program had caused much resistance; Ahmed Zogu returned with an armed force and overthrew the Noli administration (Jan. 1925).