The NATO-led multinational Kosovo peace implementation force (KFOR)
now consists of 49,000 personnel, 41,000 of whom are in Kosovo,
6,000 in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1)
and 1,600 in Albania. In addition to the 17 NATO nations in KFOR,
21 Partner and other non-NATO nations are also participating. Of
the Partner and non-NATO contributors, Russia has the largest contingent
with 3,595 troops in Kosovo.
The current KFOR Commander (COMKFOR), Lt. General Sir Mike Jackson
(left) of the UK, and the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) he leads,
will rotate out of Kosovo starting in October, to be replaced by
forces from LANDCENT under Germany's General Klaus Reinhardt (right).
The change of command is scheduled for 8 October in Pristina, Kosovo.
The Kosovo Liberation Army, or UCK, has almost completed its demilitarisation
and will cease to exist as an organisation on 19 September.
The Kosovo Police School has recently been refurbished with KFOR
help, and has just started training recruits for the new Kosovo
Police Service (KPS) under the supervision of the Organisation for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Until the KPS is fully
effective, the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK)
has deployed International Police officers into Kosovo, who are
carrying out joint patrols with KFOR troops.
Despite a recent upsurge of violence, marked by ethnic unrest and
violent attacks, the overall trend of violent and security related
incidents in Kosovo is still downward. The general low level of
serious incidents, points towards continuing KFOR and UNMIK success
in restoring peace and stability throughout the Province. However,
KFOR will continue to seek a secure environment for all, regardless
of their ethnic background and in support of UNSCR
1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional