Kosovo Force

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Kosovo Force
Insignia NATO Army KFOR.svg
Emblem of KFOR in both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts
Active 1999–present
Country 31 countries
Type Command
Part of NATO

The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-led international peacekeeping force which was responsible for establishing a secure environment in Kosovo[a].[1]

KFOR entered Kosovo on 12 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 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in daily engagement. According to NATO, Serb forces had committed ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians and the death toll had reached a historic high. Nearly one million people had fled Kosovo as refugees.[2]

KFOR has gradually transferred responsibilities to the Kosovo Police and other local authorities.[3] As of 26 December 2013, KFOR consists of 4000 troops.[4]


Map of the KFOR-Sectors, 2002

NATO’s initial mandate was:[5]

  • 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.[6]


KFOR Task Forces, 2006

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.[6] Then in February 2010, the Multinational Task Forces became Multinational Battle Groups and in March 2011, KFOR was restructured again, into just two multinational battlegroups; one based at Camp Bondsteel, and one based at Peć.[7]

Contributing states

Turkish Land Forces KFOR soldiers in riot training
German KFOR soldiers patrol southern Kosovo in 1999

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.[8]

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:[9][10]

Contributing NATO countries

Contributing non-NATO countries

Withdrawn countries

[12] [13]

KFOR Commanders

  1. Mike Jackson (United Kingdom, 10 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 de Marnhac (France, 31 August 2007 - 29 August 2008),
  13. Giuseppe Emilio Gay (Italy, 29 August 2008 - 8 September 2009),
  14. Markus J. Bentler (Germany, 8 September 2009 - 1 September 2010),
  15. Erhard Bühler (Germany, 1 September 2010 - 9 September 2011),
  16. Erhard Drews (Germany, 9 September 2011 - 7 September 2012),
  17. Volker Halbauer (Germany, 7 September 2012 – 6 September 2013),
  18. Salvatore Farina (Italy, 6 September 2013 – 3 September 2014),
  19. Francesco Figliuolo (Italy, 3 September 2014 - 7 August 2015),
  20. Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta (Italy, 7 August 2015 – Present).

Note: The terms of service are based on the official list of the KFOR commanders[18] and another article.[19]

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.[20][21][22]

KFOR fatalities

U.S. Marines provide security for Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers as they investigate a mass grave in July 1999.

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.[23] 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, 26 German,[24] 34 Unidentified, 18 American, 12 Russian, 8 British, 3 Swedish, 6 Italian, 5 French, 5 Polish, 4 Spanish, 3 Ukrainian, 2 Turkish, 1 Austrian, 1 Danish, 1 Dutch, 1 Greek, 1 Hungarian (natural death),[25] 1 Norwegian, 1 Romanian, 1 Slovenian, 1 Swiss, 1 Lithuanian, 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.[26] 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.[27]

In July 2011, following the Kosovo Police's attempts to seize two border outposts and consequent clashes that followed, KFOR troops intervened.[28]

In 2013, KFOR was involved in a rescue operation of the last restaurant bears in Kosovo. The bears are now kept at the Bear Sanctuary Prishtina.[29]

See also

Notes and references


a. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognised as an independent state by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. "NATO's role in Kosovo". Nato.int. 10 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "NATO Topics: NATO in Kosovo". Nato.int. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2010-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Linda Karadaku (2010-12-08). "KFOR commander Buhler vows to protect "global treasures"". setimes.com. Southeast European Times. Archived from the original on 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2015-07-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://www.aco.nato.int/kfor/about-us/troop-numbers-contributions.aspx
  5. "NATO Topics: Kosovo Force (KFOR)". Nato.int. Retrieved 2010-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "NATO Topics: Kosovo Force (KFOR) - How did it evolve?". Nato.int. 20 Feb 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2010-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Muhamet Brajshori (2010-12-29). "US troops to guard Kosovo's border". setimes.com. Southeast European Times. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2011-01-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "KFOR Press Release". Nato.int. Retrieved 2010-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Kosovo Force (KFOR)" (PDF). NATO. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-17. Retrieved Mar 22, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "20130422_130419-kfor-placemat" (PDF). Nato.int. Retrieved 2013-04-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. http://forsvaret.no/operasjoner/internasjonalt/kosovo/Sider/Bidraget.aspx
  12. "Kosovo International Force Protection (KFOR)". fuerzaaerea.mil.ar. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2010-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "GALERÍAS DE FOTOS DE KFOR". www.jef3op.ejercito.mil.ar. Archived from pictorial the original Check |url= value (help) on 2009-03-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "RIA Novosti - World - Georgia announces withdrawal of peacekeepers from Kosovo". en.rian.ru. 2008-04-14. Archived from the original on 2012-10-08. Retrieved 2010-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Mu Xuequan, ed. (2008-03-05). "Azerbaijan to withdraw peacekeepers from Kosovo". News.xinhuanet.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2010-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Tor, Rodolfo A PhD and Annanette B Cruz-Salazar. Global Pulisya. Quezon City, The Philippines: Namnama Global Publishing House. 2010.
  17. Alejandrino, Charlemagne S and Annanette B Cruz-Salazar. National Pride, World Peace. City of Pasig, The Philippines: Makabayan Publishing House. 2010. ISBN 978-971-94613-0-2
  18. "KFOR Commanders". SHAPE. Retrieved 9 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Nato's role in Kosovo". NATO. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Kosovo UN troops 'fuel sex trade'". BBC News. 2004-05-06. Retrieved 2008-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Amnesty International". 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Traynor, Ian (2004-05-06). "Nato force 'feeds Kosovo sex trade'". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2008-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "British soldier killed in a car accident in Kosovo". Spacewar.com. Archived from the original on 2004-12-24. Retrieved 2010-04-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Todesfälle im Auslandseinsatz. Stand: Mai 2013 (Berlin, 06.06.2013.) www.bundeswehr.de
  25. http://index.hu/kulfold/2013/05/22/meghalt_egy_magyar_katona_koszovoban/
  26. "UN officer dies after Kosovo riot". BBC News. 18 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-06-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "No added NATO security in Kosovo". cnn.com. CNN. Archived from the original on 2012-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. b92 "KFOR blocks Kosovo police unit in tense neighborhood" Check |url= value (help). November 22, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Restaurant bears in Kosovo rescued" (PDF). openPR (in German). Retrieved 2013-08-21.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links