KFOR Chronicle
April 2004

1st April
Handover Slatina Airport

On 1st April UNMIK formally took control of the Airport serving Pristina ending five years of KFOR military authority. COMKFOR, SRSG, President Rugova, Iceland's Minister of Transport Sturla Bödvarsson and a lot of military, civil and local authorities took part in the ceremony. At a ceremony marking the handover, SRSG Holkeri, said the transfer to civilian control sends a positive message after the recent wave of deadly violence in the province. "First of all, I would like to thank NATO and KFOR for ensuring Kosovo's lifeline to the outside world,” stated SRSG Holkeri. Pristina airport is expected to handle more than 800,000 civilian passengers this year, a huge increase from 1999, when it was used mainly for KFOR military and humanitarian purposes.

1st April
Visit of French MOD

The French Minister of Defense, Michele Alliot-Marie, visited Kosovo on 1st April. At Prishtina Airport, she held the meeting SACEUR General Jones, and COMKFOR LTG Kammerhoff. "The recent events in Kosovo are unacceptable for the international community and France," stated Michele Alliot-Marie, adding, that the future of Kosovo consists on the coexistence of its inhabitants and the economical development and not on supporting and making use of the violence. The French MOD also visited the French troops in Mitrovica and met SRSG Holkeri and PM Rexhepi.

22nd April
NAC Meeting
(North Atlantic Council)

On 22nd April NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer with 26 NAC Ambassadors visited KFOR HQ and Kosovo. The top NATO official criticized Kosovo's leaders for failing to take responsibility in the aftermath of the worst outbreak of ethnic violence since the end of the province's war nearly five years ago.

SECGEN Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, SACEUR General Jones and COMCJFCN Admiral Johnson and the NAC delegation met with COMKFOR LTG Holger Kammerhoff, international and local authorities, including SRSG Harri Holkeri, during the visit. SECGEN said Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership ought to have used stronger language in its condemnation of the violence and displayed stronger leadership to prevent the violence from being repeated. "I'm afraid that the leadership has failed Kosovo, failed the international community," he added.

30th April

On 30th April the Change of Command of MNB (C) took place in Camp Slim Lines. Swedish Brigadier General Anders Brännström handed over the command to Finish Brigadier General Antti Lankinen during a ceremony visited by COMKFOR, LTG Holger Kammerhoff and the Swedish Defense Minister, Ms Leni Björklund together with several other authorities.

COMKFOR LTG Holger Kammerhoff expressed in his speech his gratitude for how MNB(C) responded on the riots between the 17th and 19th of March.