Updated: 21 September 1999 NATO Press Releases


21 Sept.

Statement by the Secretary General of NATO, Dr. Javier Solana, on the Demilitarization of the UCK

I warmly welcome the statement by KFOR, that the Kosovo Liberation Army has complied with its commitment to demilitarize.

This is a milestone for the ongoing peace implementation efforts by the international community in Kosovo. As of today, the KLA has ceased to exist as a structured para-military organisation. Moreover, all weapons as required under the Undertaking on Demilitarisation have been handed over and are now in specially designated storage sites under KFOR control. Any individuals who are found to be violating these undertakings will be dealt with severely by KFOR. Any non-authorised weapons found will be confiscated.

The successful demilitarisation process is only the beginning of a larger effort by the international community, and in particular KFOR, to promote reconciliation in Kosovo and to integrate former combatants into civilian life. I welcome the establishment by the UN Mission in Kosovo of a new, multi-ethnic civilian emergency force, the Kosovo Protection Corps, which will play an important role in civil emergency planning and reconstruction tasks in Kosovo. I hope the new Corps will be formed in the very near future.

I call on all members of Kosovar society, especially former KLA fighters, to seize this unique opportunity to build a peaceful and stable Kosovo of the future.

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