Kosovo Force

Kosovo Force
Emblem of KFOR in both latin and cyrillic letters

The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force responsible for establishing a secure environment in Kosovo.[1]

KFOR entered Kosovo on 12 June 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 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.[2]

As of August 2011, KFOR consists of 5,872 troops.[3]



Map of the KFOR-Sectors, 2002

NATO’s initial mandate was:[4]

  • 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.[5]


As of 1 February 2010, the Multinational Task Forces changed the structure and become Multinational Battle Groups.

KFOR Task Forces, 2006
German KFOR badge
German Army KFOR soldiers and a Marder infantry fighting vehicle in southern Kosovo in 1999
German 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.[5]

  • Multinational Battle Group North (MNBG-N):

MNTF-N is deployed in the northern region of Kosovo, headquartered in Novo Selo and is commanded by Colonel Barrera, (French Army).
Contributing nations: Belgium, Denmark, France (Lead nation), Greece, Estonia, Luxembourg, Morocco.

  • Multinational Battle Group East (MNBG-E):

MNTF-E is deployed in the eastern region of Kosovo, headquartered near Uroševac. The majority of U.S. Soldiers in MNTF-E come from National Guard units, with a different state taking over each rotation of approximately one year.

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: Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, United States (Lead nation). The official site is http://www.nato.int/KFOR/

  • Multinational Battle Group South (MNBG-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 Stephan Thomas (German Army).
Contributing nations: Austria, Germany (Lead Nation), Switzerland, Turkey, The Netherlands.

  • Multinational Battle Group West (MNBG-W):

MNTF-W is deployed in the region of Metohija, headquartered in Peć and is commanded by Colonel Carlo Emiliani (Italian Army).
Contributing nations: Italy (lead nation), Slovenia, Hungary, Romania.

  • Multinational Battle Group Center (MNBG-C) (NO LONGER OPERATIONAL):

MNTF-C was deployed in the region of Drenica, headquartered in Lipljan.
Contributing nations: Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Slovakia, Sweden.

  • Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU):

MSU is deployed in Pristina and is commanded by Colonel Eduardo Russo, (Italian Carabinieri).
The Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU) is a police force with military status, with an overall police capability.
Contributing nations: Italy.

  • KFOR Tactical Reserve Manoeuvre Battalion (KTM):

KFOR Tactical Reserve Manoeuvre Battalion (KTM) is a Portuguese Battalion level unit, operating as part of KFOR CJSOR since 2005. Its most relevant characteristics are the absence of caveats, capability to deploy by air or ground Kosovo-wide at reduced NTM, CRC trained and self-sustainable for 72 hours, giving COMKFOR a wide variety of possibilities and flexibility of employment.
KTM is under the direct control of COMKFOR and is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Nuno Maria Vasconcelos Albergaria Pinheiro Moreira (Portuguese Army)

Starting in March 2011, KFOR will be restructured again, into two multinational battlegroups; one based at Camp Bondsteel, and one based at Peć.[6]

Contributing states

At its height, KFOR troops numbered 50,000 and came from 39 different NATO and non-NATO nations. The official KFOR website indicated that in 2008 a total 14,000 soldiers from 34 countries were participating in KFOR.[7]

The following is a list of the total number of troops which have participated in the KFOR mission. Much of the force has been scaled down since 2008, and so current numbers are reflected here as well:[8]

Contributing NATO Nations:

Contributing non-NATO Nations:

KFOR Commanders

  1. Mike Jackson ( United Kingdom, 12 June 1999 - 8 October 1999),
  2. Klaus Reinhardt ( Germany, 8 October 1999 - 18 April 2000),
  3. Juan Ortuño Such ( Spain, 18 April 2000 - 16 October 2000),
  4. Carlo Cabigiosu ( Italy, 16 October 2000 - 6 April 2001),
  5. Thorstein Skiaker ( Norway, 6 April 2001 - 3 October 2001),
  6. Marcel Valentin ( France, 3 October 2001 - 4 October 2002),
  7. Fabio Mini ( Italy, 4 October 2002 - 3 October 2003),
  8. Holger Kammerhoff ( Germany, 3 October 2003 - 1 September 2004),
  9. Yves de Kermabon ( France, 1 September 2004 - 1 September 2005),
  10. Giuseppe Valotto ( Italy, 1 September 2005 - 1 September 2006),
  11. Roland Kather ( Germany, 1 September 2006 - 31 August 2007),
  12. Xavier Bout de Marnhac ( France, 31 August 2007 - 29 August 2008),
  13. Giuseppe Emilio Gay ( Italy, 29 August 2008 - 8 September 2009),
  14. Marcus Bentler ( Germany, 8 September 2009 - 31 August 2010),
  15. Erhard Bühler ( Germany, 1 September 2010 - 9 September 2011),
  16. Erhard Drews( Germany, 9 September 2011 - Present)

Kosovo, peacekeeping and human trafficking

Since the establishment of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in 1999, according to some international organizations Kosovo became a major destination country for women and young girls trafficked into forced prostitution, in part as a result of the presence of peacekeeping forces. According to Amnesty International, most women trafficked into Kosovo from abroad are from Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.[13][14][15]

KFOR fatalities

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

Since the KFOR entered Kosovo in June 1999, 168 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.[16] After that 50 more NATO soldiers were confirmed to have died, including 42 Slovak soldiers in a military plane crash in Hungary.

The fatalities by country are: 42 Slovak, 34 Unidentified, 18 American, 13 German, 12 Russian, 8 British, 7 Swedish, 6 Italian, 5 French, 5 Polish, 4 Spanish, 3 Ukrainian, 2 Turkish, 1 Austrian, 1 Danish, 1 Dutch, 1 Greek, 1 Norwegian, 1 Romanian, 1 Slovenian, 1 Swiss, 1 United Arab Emirates and 1 Portuguese.[original research?]

Eight UNMIK police officers have been killed in Kosovo since 1999, in addition to the KFOR fatalities.[17] The fatalities by country are: 3 American, 1 Indian, 1 Jordanian, 1 Nigerian, 1 Ghanaian and 1 Ukrainian police officer.[original research?]


After the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence the commander of NATO forces in Kosovo said on 20 February, 2008 that he did not plan to step up security in the tense north despite Kosovo Serbs forcing the temporary closure of two boundary crossings between Kosovo and uncontested Serbia.[18]

In July 2011, following the Kosovo Police's attempts to seize two border outposts and consequent clashes that followed, KFOR troops intervened.

See also


  1. ^ "NATO's role in Kosovo". Nato.int. 10 June 2010. http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_48818.htm. Retrieved 13 June 2010. "Today, just under 10,000 troops from the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), provided by 31 countries (24 NATO and 7 non-NATO), are still deployed in Kosovo to help maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin." 
  2. ^ "NATO Topics: NATO in Kosovo". Nato.int. http://www.nato.int/issues/kosovo/index.html. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  3. ^ "NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR)." NATO. Last updated August, 2011.
  4. ^ "NATO Topics: Kosovo Force (KFOR)". Nato.int. http://www.nato.int/issues/kfor/index.html. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  5. ^ a b "NATO Topics: Kosovo Force (KFOR) - How did it evolve?". Nato.int. http://www.nato.int/issues/kfor/evolution.html. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  6. ^ "US troops to guard Kosovo's border (SETimes.com)". http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2010/12/29/feature-02. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  7. ^ "KFOR Press Release". Nato.int. http://www.nato.int/issues/kfor/index.html. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  8. ^ "NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR)." NATO. Last updated 4 June, 2011. Accessed Jun 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "description". Fuerzaaerea.mil.ar. http://www.fuerzaaerea.mil.ar/misiones/kosovo.html. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  10. ^ pictorial[dead link]
  11. ^ "RIA Novosti - World - Georgia announces withdrawal of peacekeepers from Kosovo". En.rian.ru. 2008-04-14. http://en.rian.ru/world/20080414/105041588.html. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  12. ^ "Azerbaijan to withdraw peacekeepers from Kosovo_English_Xinhua". News.xinhuanet.com. 2008-03-05. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/05/content_7718316.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  13. ^ "Kosovo UN troops 'fuel sex trade'". BBC News. May 6, 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3686173.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  14. ^ "Amnesty International". 2008. http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen/stories-9-eng. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  15. ^ Traynor, Ian (7 May 2004). "Nato force 'feeds Kosovo sex trade'". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1211214,00.html. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 
  16. ^ "British soldier killed in a car accident in Kosovo". Spacewar.com. http://www.spacewar.com/2004/041019134332.plak2o1d.html. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  17. ^ "UN officer dies after Kosovo riot". BBC News. 18 March 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7300015.stm. 
  18. ^ CNN, No added NATO security in Kosovo, 2008

External links

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