The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international force responsible for establishing and maintaining security in Kosovo. This peace-enforcement force entered Kosovo on 12 June 1999 under a United Nations mandate.
Prior to the establishment of KFOR, Kosovo was facing a grave humanitarian crisis. It lies in southern Serbia and has a mixed population of which the majority is ethnic Albanians. Originally the region enjoyed a high degree of autonomy within the former Yugoslavia. Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic changed the status of the region, removed its autonomy and brought it under the direct control of Belgrade, the Serbian capital. The Kosovar Albanians opposed the move. Military and paramilitary forces from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were fighting day and night. Ethnic tensions were at their highest and claimed the lives of many people. Nearly one million people had fled Kosovo to seek refuge where their lives would not be endangered. The international community became concerned about the escalating conflict, its humanitarian consequences, and the risk of spreading it to other countries. On 28 May 1998, the North Atlantic Council set out NATO's two major objectives with respect to the crisis in Kosovo: to help to achieve a peaceful resolution of the crisis and to promote stability and security in neighbouring countries with particular emphasis on Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
On 10 June1999 the UN Security Council passed a resolution UNSCR 1244. It announced the Security Council's decision to deploy international civil and security presences in Kosovo, under United Nations auspices.
Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council also decided that the political solution to the crisis would be based on some general principles. These included an immediate and verifiable end to violence and repression in Kosovo; the withdrawal of the military, police and paramilitary forces of the Federal Republic; deployment of effective international and security presences, with substantial NATO participation in the security presence and unified command and control; establishment of an interim administration; the safe and free return of all refugees, etc.
NATO made immediate preparations for the rapid deployment of the security force (Operation Joint Guardian), mandated by the United Nations Security Council. The first elements entered Kosovo on 12 June 1999. The deployment of the security force - KFOR - was synchronized with the departure of Serb security forces from Kosovo. By 20 June, the Serb withdrawal was complete and KFOR was well established in Kosovo. At its full strength KFOR should comprise some 50,000 personnel. It is a multinational force under unified command and control with substantial NATO participation. Agreement has been reached on the arrangements for participation by the Russian Federation. More than twelve other non-NATO nations have also indicated their intention to contribute to KFOR. NATO forces have been at the forefront of the humanitarian efforts to relieve the suffering of the refugees forced to flee Kosovo by the Serbian ethnic cleansing campaign. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia NATO troops built refugee camps, refugee reception centres and emergency feeding stations. In Albania, NATO deployed substantial forces to provide similar forms of assistance. NATO has also assisted the UNHCR with coordination of humanitarian aid flights as well as supplementing these flights by using aircraft from member countries
The objectives of KFOR are to establish and maintain a secure environment in Kosovo, including public safety and order; to monitor, verify and when necessary, enforce compliance with the agreements that ended the conflict; and to provide assistance to the UN Mission in Kosovo.
In accordance with UNSCR 1244, the mission of KFOR is to:
Establish and maintain a secure environment in Kosovo, including public safety and order.
KFOR has the mandate to enforce law and order until the UN Mission in Kosovo can fully assume this responsibility. This is achieved by patrols, air surveillance, checkpoints, response to emergency calls, search operations, border control, investigation of criminal activities and arrest or detention of suspected criminals.
After just three months spent in Kosovo, KFOR troops have arrested hundreds of suspected criminals, confiscated quantities of weapons and ammunition, and restored the overall security and stability of the province. KFOR presence has allowed more than 775,000 refugees and displaced people to come back in Kosovo and feel secure again. Special attention is paid to the protection of minorities.
Monitor, verify and when necessary, enforce compliance with the conditions of the Military Technical Agreement.
KFOR is actively involved in the demilitarization of Kosovo. With the arrival of KFOR, military and police forces from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia completed their withdrawal and met the final timelines of the Military Technical Agreement. Also Kosovo Liberation Army forces have been compliant with the terms of the Undertaking of Demilitarization and Transformation. This Undertaking is a voluntary commitment for immediate cessation of hostilities and for a step-by-step demilitarization of the KLA, which was completed on 20 September 1999.
Already tons of weapons and ammunition have been seized or handed to KFOR. This includes thousands of pistols and rifles, hand grenades, anti-personnel mines, rocket launchers, artillery pieces, mortar bombs, rifle bombs, anti-tank mines, fuses, explosives, and even anti-tank rockets and missiles. The KLA has been disbanded and all KLA weapons have been stored in secure weapons storage sites under the control of KFOR. The transformation of the former KLA is underway through resettlement programs, the creation of the Kosovo Police Service and the stand-up of the Kosovo Protection Corps, which will be an unarmed civil relief organization involved in the rebuilding of Kosovo’s infrastructure.
Provide assistance to the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), including core civil functions until they are transferred to UNMIK.
KFOR and UNMIK are Partners in an international effort to restore Kosovo and help the local population to transform the province into a free and democratic society open to all.
Structure: KFOR contingents are grouped into four multinational brigades. Although brigades are responsible for a specific area of operations, they all fall under a single chain of command under the authority of Commander KFOR. This means that all national contingents pursue the same objective, which is to maintain a secure environment in Kosovo. They do so with professionalism and in an even-handed manner towards all ethnic groups. [16]

[16]- Based on
آخر تعديل: الجمعة, 4 فبراير 2011, 1:32 م