Last updated:
14-Nov-2002 11:03 AM









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Commitment to the Balkans
8 November 2002
Press kit
Key information,
quotes and background
Key texts
Statement on the Balkans, Meeting of NATO Defence Ministers, Brussels, 6 June 2002
NATO's Role in Peacekeeping
Key links
Amber Fox

Maintaining security and stability

At their meeting in Prague, NATO Heads of State and Government will reiterate the Alliance’s commitment to security and stability in the Balkans.

Since 1995, NATO-led forces helped end conflicts and are now helping to keep the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1).

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The security provided by NATO-led peacekeepers (IFOR, now SFOR) since 1995 has resulted in the return of large numbers of refugees and displaced persons uprooted by the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

IFOR and SFOR have in addition provided support for implementation of civilian aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement and have contributed substantially to progress made in fields such as defence reform;
the restructuring and reduction of armed forces; weapons collection; arrest and detainment of persons indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); assistance for minority returns; humanitarian assistance; control of airspace, public security, de-mining; and supervision of the electoral process.


Security provided by the NATO-led Kosovo peacekeeping force (KFOR) has enabled some 1.3 million people from inside Kosovo and abroad to return to their homes and villages.

Work undertaken by KFOR and in cooperation with other organisations has contributed substantially to reconstruction and de-mining; security and public order; security of ethnic minorities; protection of patrimonial sites; border security; interdiction of cross-border smuggling; implementation of a weapons, ammunition and explosives amnesty; weapons destruction; the establishment of civil institutions; the maintenance of law and order; the reconstruction of the judicial and penal system; and supervision of the electoral process.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1)

Operation Essential Harvest was launched following the request of President Trajkovski in August 2001 for NATO assistance in demilitarising the National Liberation Army and disarming ethnic Albanian groups operating in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1).

This operation resulted in the collection of some 3 875 weapons
and 397 600 other items, including mines and explosives.

Operation Amber Fox was launched in September 2001, in response to a further request by President Trajkovski for a follow-on force to provide protection for international monitors from the European Union and the OSCE overseeing the implementation of the peace plan. The mandate of the mission, which involves some 1 000 troops provided by NATO member countries, has been extended to 15 December 2002.

  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
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