Kosovo Force

Kosovo Force
Insignia NATO Army KFOR.svg
The emblem of the KFOR, which contains Latin and Cyrillic script.
Founded11 June 1999; 20 years ago (1999-06-11)
Size3,500 personnel
Part of North Atlantic Treaty Organization
EngagementsYugoslav Wars
MG Lorenzo D'Addario, EI
Flag (2008–09)
Flag of the Kosovo Force (2008–2009).gif

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

The 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 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.[1]

The KFOR has gradually transferred responsibilities to the Kosovo Police and other local authorities. As of February 2019, 28 states contribute to the KFOR, with a combined strength of more than 3,500 military and civilian personnel.[3]


Map of the KFOR's sectors in 2002.

NATO's initial mandate in 1999 for the KFOR was:[4]

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]

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]


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.[5] 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.[6]

Structure 2019[]

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.[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[]

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 [es] (Spain, 18 April 2000 – 16 October 2000)
  4. Carlo Cabigiosu [it] (Italy, 16 October 2000 – 6 April 2001)
  5. Thorstein Skiaker [no] (Norway, 6 April 2001 – 3 October 2001)
  6. Marcel Valentin [fr] (France, 3 October 2001 – 4 October 2002)
  7. Fabio Mini [it] (Italy, 4 October 2002 – 3 October 2003)
  8. Holger Kammerhoff [de] (Germany, 3 October 2003 – 1 September 2004)
  9. Yves de Kermabon [fr] (France, 1 September 2004 – 1 September 2005)
  10. Giuseppe Valotto [it] (Italy, 1 September 2005 – 1 September 2006)
  11. Roland Kather [de] (Germany, 1 September 2006 – 31 August 2007)
  12. Xavier de Marnhac (France, 31 August 2007 – 29 August 2008)
  13. Giuseppe Emilio Gay [it] (Italy, 29 August 2008 – 8 September 2009)
  14. Markus J. Bentler [de] (Germany, 8 September 2009 – 1 September 2010)
  15. Erhard Bühler (Germany, 1 September 2010 – 9 September 2011)
  16. Erhard Drews [de] (Germany, 9 September 2011 – 7 September 2012)
  17. Volker Halbauer [de] (Germany, 7 September 2012 – 6 September 2013)
  18. Salvatore Farina (Italy, 6 September 2013 – 3 September 2014)
  19. Francesco Figliuolo [it] (Italy, 3 September 2014 – 7 August 2015)
  20. Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta [it] (Italy, 7 August 2015 – 1 September 2016)
  21. Giovanni Fungo [it] (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[18] and another article.[19]

Kosovo peacekeeping[]

On 14 January 2017, the Belgrade-Kosovska Mitrovica train incident happened when a Serbian train was prevented from entering Kosovo.

9 January 2016 protests wanting the government to withdraw from a border demarcation agreement with Montenegro and a agreement to set up a Community of Serb Municipalities. [20]

The 2015 Kosovo protests were a series of violent protests calling for the resignation of a Minister and the passage of a bill on Trepca Mines ownership.

The 2014 student protest in Kosovo demanded the resignation or dismissal of the University of Pristina Rector.

On 19 April 2013, the Belgrade Pristina Normalization Agreement was concluded .

The 2013 protests in Kosovo began with increases in electricity bills and turned into a protest against corruption.

Beginning July 2011 until 2012, a series of confrontations in North Kosovo resulting in multiple deaths and injuries.

The 25 August 2009 Pristina protests resulted in vehicle damages and multiple injuries.

In 2008 unrest in Kosovo with protests and instances of violence.

The 10 February 2007 protest in Kosovo resulted in 2 deaths and many injuries.

The 2004 unrest in Kosovo was the worst ethnic violence since 1999, leaving hundreds wounded and at least 14 people dead.

Unrest in Kosovo continued following adoption of UN 1244 through 2003.

Major initiatives were undertaken to ensure that Sexual Exploitation and Abuse is accounted for and victims get support they need when, according to some international organizations after KFOR and other organizations were established, Kosovo became a major destination country for women and young girls trafficked into forced prostitution. [21][22][23][24]

KFOR fatalities[]

Marines from the U.S. provide security for Canadian policemen as they investigate a mass grave in July 1999.

Since the KFOR entered Kosovo in June 1999, soldiers from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America fell in the accomplishment of their duty.

The biggest fatal event is that of the 42 Slovak soldiers dead in a military plane crash in Hungary.

In 20 years, more than 200 NATO soldiers have lost their lives serving to ensure peace and stability for the people of Kosovo.


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.[25]

In July 2011, following the Kosovo Police's attempts to seize two border outposts and consequent clashes that followed, KFOR troops intervened.[26]

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.[27]


  1. ^ a b c "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. ^ "KFOR Key Facts and Figures" (PDF). nato.int. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  4. ^ "NATO KFOR – KFOR Objectives". jfcnaples.nato.int. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Units". Kosovo Force. NATO. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  8. ^ "KFOR Press Release". Nato.int. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Kosovo Force (KFOR)" (PDF). NATO. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  10. ^ "20130422_130419-kfor-placemat" (PDF). Nato.int. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  11. ^ http://forsvaret.no/operasjoner/internasjonalt/kosovo/Sider/Bidraget.aspx
  12. ^ "Kosovo International Force Protection (KFOR)". fuerzaaerea.mil.ar. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  13. ^ "GALERÍAS DE FOTOS DE KFOR". http://www.jef3op.ejercito.mil.ar/. Archived from pictorial the original Check |url= value (help) on 10 March 2009. External link in |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ "Georgia announces withdrawal of peacekeepers from Kosovo". RIA Novosti. 14 April 2008. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  15. ^ 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.
  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.
  19. ^ "Nato's role in Kosovo". NATO. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Large anti-government protest in Kosovo turns violent". 2016 Zululand Observer. 9 January 2016.
  21. ^ UN prevents sexual exploitation and abuse https://www.un.org/preventing-sexual-exploitation-and-abuse/
  22. ^ "Kosovo UN troops 'fuel sex trade'". BBC News. 6 May 2004. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  23. ^ "Amnesty International". 2008. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "No added NATO security in Kosovo". cnn.com. CNN. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012.
  26. ^ b92 "KFOR blocks Kosovo police unit in tense neighborhood" Check |url= value (help). 22 November 2012.
  27. ^ "Restaurant bears in Kosovo rescued" (PDF). openPR. Retrieved 21 August 2013.

External links[]