The Commander of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission, Major General Franco Federici, visited KFOR units deployed at the Jarinje and Brnjak crossing points in northern Kosovo. For the next two weeks, KFOR will maintain a temporary, robust and agile presence in the area, in support to the implementation of the recent arrangement on de-escalation and the way forward in northern Kosovo reached between Belgrade and Pristina, under the auspices of the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue. KFOR is mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999 to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities living in Kosovo.
“Our KFOR mission plays a fundamental role to ensure the effective implementation of this arrangement, and NATO remains strongly committed to the stability of the Western Balkans region,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, during the visit paid to NATO Headquarters on Friday (01 October 2021) by the EU Special Representative Miroslav Laj?ák. Secretary General Stoltenberg praised NATO-EU cooperation regarding Kosovo as an excellent example of the strategic partnership between the two organisations.
“KFOR units are fully ready to perform this important task in support to local and regional stability,” Major General Federici said. “In the past days I have conducted talks with all parties involved and provided regular updates to the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkans regional issues, Mr. Miroslav Laj?ák, and to my NATO chain of Command,” he added. “I thank the institutions in Kosovo, the mayors of the northern municipalities, and all the stakeholders who have contributed to de-escalate the situation for their efforts, and I look forward to remaining in contact with them,” Major General Federici also pointed out.
The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Its operations are gradually reducing until Kosovo’s Security Force, established in 2009, becomes self sufficient. KFOR entered Kosovo on 11 June 1999, two days after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. At the time, Kosovo was facing a grave humanitarian crisis, with military forces from Yugoslavia in action against the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in daily engagements. Nearly one million people had fled Kosovo as refugees by that time, and many did not permanently return. KFOR is gradually transferring responsibilities to the Kosovo Police and other local authorities. Currently, 28 states contribute to the KFOR, with a combined strength of approximately 4,000 military and civilian personnel.