Kosovo Force

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Kosovo Force
Insignia NATO Army KFOR.svg
Emblem of KFOR in both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts
Active 11 June 1999 – present
Country 28 countries
Type Command
Part of NATO
Lorenzo D’Addario (Major General, Italian Army)

The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force which is responsible for establishing a secure environment in Kosovo. Its operations are being gradually reduced as Kosovo's armed forces, Kosovo Security Force, established in 2009, become self sufficient.[1]

KFOR entered Kosovo on 11 June 1999,[2] 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 FRY and the KLA in daily engagement. Nearly one million people had fled Kosovo as refugees by that time, and many did not permanently return.[1]

KFOR has gradually transferred responsibilities to the Kosovo Police and other local authorities. As of 29 November 2018, KFOR consisted of 4,000 troops.[1]


Map of the KFOR-Sectors, 2002

NATO's initial mandate was:[3]

  • 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 demilitarize the Kosovo Liberation Army;
  • to support the international humanitarian effort;
  • to co-ordinate 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:[1]

  • 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 program;
  • 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.[4]


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.[4] 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.[5]

Structure 2018

  • Kosovo Force, in Pristina[6]
    • Headquarters Support Group (HSG), in Pristina
    • Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU), in Pristina (Military Police regiment composed entirely of Italian Carabinieri)
    • Multinational Battle Group-East (MNBG-E), at Camp Bondsteel near Ferizaj (U.S. Army force supported by Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Turkey)
    • Multinational Battle Group-West (MMBG-W), at Camp Villaggio Italia near Peć (Italian Army force supported by Austria, Moldova, and Slovenia)
    • Joint Logistics Support Group (JLSG), in Pristina (Logistics and engineering support)
    • KFOR Tactical Reserve Battalion (KTRBN), at Camp Novo Selo (Composed entirely of Hungarian Army troops)
    • Joint Regional Detachment–North (JRD-N), at Camp Novo Selo (Local non-kinetic liaison and monitoring)
    • Joint Regional Detachment–South East (JRD-SE), in Pristina (Local non-kinetic liaison and monitoring)
    • Joint Regional Detachment–West (JRD-W), in Prizren (Local non-kinetic liaison and monitoring)

Contributing states

Turkish Land Forces KFOR soldiers in riot training
German KFOR soldiers patrol southern Kosovo in 1999
Italian KFOR soldier protecting Serb civilians in Orahovac during the 2004 unrest

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][9]

Contributing NATO countries

Contributing non-NATO countries

Withdrawn countries

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 – 1 September 2016)
  21. Giovanni Fungo (Italy, 1 September 2016 – 15 November 2017)
  22. Salvatore Cuoci (Italy, 15 November 2017 – 28 November 2018)
  23. Lorenzo D'Addario (Italy, 28 November 2018 – present)

Note: The terms of service are based on the official list of the KFOR commanders[17] and another article.[18]

Kosovo, peacekeeping and human trafficking

When KFOR and other organizations were established, 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. Since then, however, major policy initiatives have been undertaken to ensure that Sexual Exploitation and Abuse is accounted for and that victims get the support that they need.[19][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 19 October 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, 6 Italian, 5 French, 5 Polish, 4 Spanish, 3 Ukrainian, 3 Swedish, 2 Turkish, 1 Austrian, 1 Danish, 1 Dutch, 1 Greek, 1 Hungarian (natural death),[25] 1 Norwegian, 1 Romanian, 1 Slovenian, 3 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]


  1. ^ a b c d "NATO's role in Kosovo". nato.int. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Defense.gov News Article: Larger Kosovo Force Takes to Field". archive.defense.gov. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  3. ^ "NATO KFOR – KFOR Objectives". jfcnaples.nato.int. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b "NATO Topics: Kosovo Force (KFOR) – How did it evolve?". Nato.int. 20 February 2008. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  5. ^ Muhamet Brajshori (29 December 2010). "US troops to guard Kosovo's border". setimes.com. Southeast European Times. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Units". Kosovo Force. NATO. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  7. ^ "KFOR Press Release". Nato.int. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  8. ^ "Kosovo Force (KFOR)" (PDF). NATO. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  9. ^ "20130422_130419-kfor-placemat" (PDF). Nato.int. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  10. ^ http://forsvaret.no/operasjoner/internasjonalt/kosovo/Sider/Bidraget.aspx
  11. ^ "Kosovo International Force Protection (KFOR)". fuerzaaerea.mil.ar. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  12. ^ "GALERÍAS DE FOTOS DE KFOR". jef3op.ejercito.mil.ar. Archived from pictorial the original Check |url= value (help) on 10 March 2009.
  13. ^ "Georgia announces withdrawal of peacekeepers from Kosovo". RIA Novosti. 14 April 2008. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  14. ^ Mu Xuequan, ed. (5 March 2008). "Azerbaijan to withdraw peacekeepers from Kosovo". News.xinhuanet.com. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  15. ^ Tor, Rodolfo A PhD and Annanette B Cruz-Salazar. Global Pulisya. Quezon City, The Philippines: Namnama Global Publishing House. 2010.
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ "KFOR Commanders". SHAPE. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Nato's role in Kosovo". NATO. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  19. ^ UN prevents sexual exploitation and abuse https://www.un.org/preventing-sexual-exploitation-and-abuse/
  20. ^ "Kosovo UN troops 'fuel sex trade'". BBC News. 6 May 2004. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  21. ^ "Amnesty International". 2008. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  22. ^ Traynor, Ian (6 May 2004). "Nato force 'feeds Kosovo sex trade'". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  23. ^ "British soldier killed in a car accident in Kosovo". Spacewar.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2004. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  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 10 June 2013.
  27. ^ "No added NATO security in Kosovo". cnn.com. CNN. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012.
  28. ^ b92 "KFOR blocks Kosovo police unit in tense neighborhood" Check |url= value (help). 22 November 2012.
  29. ^ "Restaurant bears in Kosovo rescued" (PDF). openPR. Retrieved 21 August 2013.

External links

  • KFOR Placemap
  • KFOR official site (NATO)
  • K-For: The task ahead (from BBC News, 13 June 1999)
  • First deaths in K-For operation (from BBC News, 14 June 1999)
  • Memorial honors soldiers' sacrifices June 2002: 68 soldiers have died since KFOR entered Kosovo.
  • Nato force 'feeds Kosovo sex trade' (from The Guardian, 7 May 2004)
  • Radio KFOR
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