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Pocket badge of the KFOR in both latin and cyrillic letters

The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international force responsible for establishing a safe and secure environment in Kosovo, the self-proclaimed, independent and partially recognized landlocked country in the Balkans, which has been under United Nations administration since 1999.

KFOR entered Kosovo on June 12 1999 under a United Nations mandate, two days after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. At the time of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo was facing a grave humanitarian crisis, with military and paramilitary forces from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in daily engagement. Ethnic tensions were at their highest and the death toll had reached a historic high. Nearly one million people had fled Kosovo as refugees.[1]

Since the establishment of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in 1999, according to some international organizations Kosovo has become a major destination country for women and young girls trafficked into forced prostitution. According to Amnesty International, most of women are trafficked from Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.[2][3][4]

As of 2007, KFOR consisted of approximately 16,000 troops.[citation needed]

After the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence the commander of NATO forces in Kosovo said on February 20 2008 that he did not plan to step up security in the tense north despite violent attacks by Kosovo Serb which forced the temporary closure of two boundary crossings between Kosovo and Serbia.[5]

Objectives

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Map of the KFOR-Sectors, 2002

NATO’s initial mandate was: [6]

  • to deter renewed hostility and threats against Kosovo by Yugoslav and Serb forces;
  • to establish and maintain a secure environment in Kosovo, including public safety and civil order;
  • to demilitarise the Kosovo Liberation Army;
  • to support the international humanitarian effort;
  • to coordinate with and support the international civil presence.

Today, KFOR focuses on building a secure environment in which all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origins, can live in peace and, with international aid, democracy and civil society are gradually gaining strength. KFOR tasks have included:

  • assistance with the return or relocation of displaced persons and refugees;
  • reconstruction and demining;
  • medical assistance;
  • security and public order;
  • security of ethnic minorities;
  • protection of patrimonial sites;
  • border security;
  • interdiction of cross-border weapons smuggling;
  • implementation of a Kosovo-wide weapons, ammunition and explosives amnesty programme;
  • weapons destruction;
  • support for the establishment of civilian institutions, law and order, the judicial and penal system, the electoral process and other aspects of the political, economic and social life of the province.

The Contact Group countries have said publicly that KFOR will remain in Kosovo to provide the security necessary to support the provisions of a final settlement of Kosovo's status.[7]

Structure

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KFOR Tasks Forces, 2006

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Ukrainian soldiers on foot, patrolling in Serbian village near Brezovica

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German Army KFOR soldiers and a Marder infantry fighting vehicle in southern Kosovo in 1999

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french legion KFOR soldiers patrol southern Kosovo in 1999

KFOR contingents were originally grouped into 4 regionally-based multinational brigades. The brigades were responsible for a specific area of operations, but under a single chain of command under the authority of Commander KFOR. In August 2005, the North Atlantic Council decided to restructure KFOR, replacing the four existing multinational brigades with five task forces, to allow for greater flexibility with, for instance, the removal of restrictions on the cross-boundary movement of units based in different sectors of Kosovo.[7]

  • Multinational Task Force North (MNTF-N):

MNTF-N is deployed in the northern region of Kosovo, headquartered in Novo Selo and is commanded by Brigadier General Claude Mathey since May 30, 2008 (French Army).
Contributing nations: Belgium, Denmark, France (Lead nation), Greece, Estonia, Luxemburg, Morocco.

  • Multinational Task Force East (MNTF-E):

MNTF-E is deployed in the eastern region of Kosovo, headquartered in Uroševac and is commanded by Brigadier General Keith D. Jones (U.S. Army) since March 7, 2009. The majority of U.S. Soldiers there are members of the California Army National Guard who are mobilized for the KFOR mission.

Camp Bondsteel serves as the headquarters for Multinational Task Force East (MNTF-E). Camp Monteith had been previously used by the KFOR, but is now the training camp for the Kosovo Security Force (formally the Kosovo Protection Corps).

Contributing nations: Armenia, Greece, Lithuania, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, United States (Lead nation). The official sites are http://www.tffalcon.hqusareur.army.mil/ and http://www.kfor10.org/

  • Multinational Task Force South (MNTF-S):

MNTF-S is deployed in the southern region of Kosovo, headquartered in Prizren. This Task Force has been established on May 15, 2006 and is commanded by Brigadier General Robert Prader (Austrian Army) since May 29, 2008.
Contributing nations: Austria (Lead Nation), Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey.

  • Multinational Task Force West (MNTF-W):

MNTF-W is deployed in the region of Metohija, headquartered in Peć and is commanded by Brigadier General Agostino Biancafarina (Italian Army) since April 30, 2008.
Contributing nations: Italy (lead nation), Spain, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania.

  • Multinational Task Force Center (MNTF-C):

MNTF-C is deployed in the region of Drenica, headquartered in Lipljan and is commanded by Brigadier General Kyösti Halonen (Finnish Army).
Contributing nations: Czech Republic, Finland (Lead nation), Ireland, Latvia, Slovakia, Sweden.

Contributing nations

At its height, KFOR troops numbered 50,000 and came from 39 different NATO / Non-NATO nations. The official KFOR website indicated that in 2008 a total 14,000 soldiers from 34 countries were participating in KFOR.[8]

The nations contributing the most personnel to KFOR at the time included:

Other contributing NATO Nations included:

Other contributing non-NATO Nations have included:

KFOR Commanders

  1. Mike Jackson (Template:Country data United Kingdom, June 12, 1999 - October 8, 1999),
  2. Klaus Reinhardt (22x20px|border  Germany, October 8, 1999 - April 18, 2000),
  3. Juan Ortuño Such (22x20px|border  Spain, April 18, 2000 - October 16, 2000),
  4. Carlo Cabigiosu (22x20px|border  Italy, October 16, 2000 - April 6, 2001),
  5. Thorstein Skiaker (22x20px|border  Norway, April 6, 2001 - October 3, 2001),
  6. Marcel Valentin (22x20px|border  France, October 3, 2001 - October 4, 2002),
  7. Fabio Mini (22x20px|border  Italy, October 4, 2002 - October 3, 2003),
  8. Holger Kammerhoff (22x20px|border  Germany, October 3, 2003 - September 1, 2004),
  9. Yves de Kermabon (22x20px|border  France, September 1, 2004 - September 1, 2005),
  10. Giuseppe Valotto (22x20px|border  Italy, September 1, 2005 - September 1, 2006),
  11. Roland Kather (22x20px|border  Germany, September 1, 2006 - August 31, 2007),
  12. Xavier de Marnhac (22x20px|border  France, August 31, 2007 - August 29, 2008),
  13. Giuseppe Emilio Gay (22x20px|border  Italy, August 29, 2008 - present).

Magazines

  • The KFOR Chronicle is published monthly, and is cleared for public dissemination. It is also published on the Internet for an international audience.
  • The The Guardian East is a monthly publication created by the US led Multi-National Task Force - East.

KFOR fatalities

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Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers investigate an alleged mass grave, alongside US Marines

Since the KFOR entered Kosovo in June 1999, 165 NATO soldiers have been killed, mostly in accidents. On October 19, 2004, it was confirmed that 115 NATO soldiers had been killed during the operation.[11] After that 50 more NATO soldiers were confirmed to have died, including 42 Slovak soldiers in a military plane crash in Hungary.

See also

References

External links

cs:KFOR da:KFOR de:KFOR es:KFOR eo:KFOR fr:Kosovo Force it:Kosovo Force hu:KFOR nl:Kosovo Force ja:KFOR no:KFOR pl:KFOR pt:Força do Cóssovo ro:KFOR ru:KFOR sq:KFOR sl:KFOR sh:KFOR fi:KFOR sv:KFOR

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