Updated: 21-Nov-2001 Week of 22-28 September 1999

22 Sep. 1999
Multi-national Corps for NATO missions

This month, a joint corps composed of 3 NATO member countries -Denmark, Germany and Poland- has been inaugurated at its base in the Baltic port of Szczcin in Poland. The chief aim of the "Multi-national Corps North-East" is to contribute to common defence, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

Officers from the 3 NATO countries have been working together for the past 2 years and preparations for the Corps' first exercise, « Crystal Eagle », have already started. The Corps will reach full readiness by end 2000 and will be placed under a rotating command : the Danish General Henrik Ekmann will command the Corps for the first two years, followed by a Pole, who is currently deputy-commander, and a German, who is now Chief of Staff. It will be composed of the 12th Szczcin motorised division, the 14th Armoured Grenadiers of Neubrandenburg and the motorised division of Fredericia.

22 Sep. 1999
Kosovo Update

Over the last few weeks, KFOR has made great strides in improving the overall security situation in Kosovo. Considerable effort has been expended to safeguard lives, to protect property, and to bring law and order to the Province. This has been achieved through very proactive measures, such as constant patrolling, including joint patrols with Russian troops, the detention of perpetrators of violence, and the confiscation of unauthorised weapons by KFOR.

KFOR has also been providing high level support to the UN Interim Administration in Kosovo, UNMIK, and to the Kosovo Transitional Council, recently set up by the Special Representative to the UN Secretary General (UN SRSG), Dr. Bernard Kouchner. The Transitional Council has representatives from all the major groups in Kosovo, and is now working hard to push forward a legitimate Civil Administration in the Province.

As the security situation improves, KFOR has been able to start handing over some of its activity to the developing Civil Administration. For example, the UN International Police (UNIP) has taken over the policing of Pristina from KFOR, and is carrying out joint patrols with KFOR in other areas. They have opened their first detention centre and their first police stations. UNMIK has also appointed interim Judges and Prosecutors, to process those persons detained by KFOR and UNIP.

Following the completion of the UCK's Demilitarisation on 20th September 1999, the UN SRSG issued a directive for the establishment of a new Kosovo Protection Force (TMK). This will have 3,000 members and 2,000 reserves, and will begin working for UNMIK in areas of de-mining, disaster response, and humanitarian functions, under the direction of COMKFOR. However, it will have no political role, and no role in law enforcement.

22 Sep. 1999
Solana to leave NATO on October 6

NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana, has officially announced that he will be leaving on 6 October, after four years at the service of the Alliance.

The new Secretary General, Lord Robertson, will take up his functions on 14 October once he has left his present position as Secretary of State for Defence, United Kingdom. Deputy-Secretary General, Ambassador Balanzino, will act as interim Secretary General during the transfer of functions.

23 Sep. 1999
The European Union welcomes the completion of the disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army and the formation of a multi-ethnic Kosovo Protection Corps.
24 Sep. 1999
Russian warplanes begin a bombing campaign in areas around the rebel province of Grozny in an escalation of the conflict in Chechnya.
26 Sep. 1999
Solana visits Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina

NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana, accompanied by the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR), General Wesley Clark, went on a two-day visit to Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

They arrived in Kosovo on 26 September where they met the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Kosovo, Dr Bernard Kouchner, and the Commander of KFOR General Sir Mike Jackson. They also met senior Kosovar Albanian and Serb leaders and paid a visit to KFOR troops and local leaders in the Kosovar town of Pec.

During their visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina on 27 September, the Secretary General and SACEUR met with members of the Presidency, the High Representative, Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch and the Commander of SFOR, General Montgomery Meigs. The size of the NATO-led peacekeeping force, SFOR, is currently under discussion following the stabilisation of the security situation in the country.

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