KFOR tasks have included assistance with the return or relocation of displaced persons and refugees; reconstruction and de-mining; medical assistance; security and public order; protection of patrimonial sites; border security; interdiction of cross-border weapons smuggling; implementation of a Kosovo-wide weapons, ammunition and explosives amnesty programme; weapons destruction; and support for the establishment of civilian institutions, law and order, the judicial and penal system, the electoral process and other aspects of the political, economic and social life of Kosovo.
Special attention continues to be paid to the protection of minorities. This includes regular patrols near minority enclaves, check points, escorts for minority groups, protection of heritage sites such as monasteries, and donations including food, clothes and school supplies.
On 12 June 2008, NATO agreed to start implementing additional tasks in Kosovo, i.e. assist in the standing down of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) and in the establishment of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), as well as a civilian structure to oversee the KSF. The following tasks have been implemented in close coordination and consultation with the relevant local and international authorities:
- Stand-down of the Kosovo Protection Corps
The KPC was conceived as a transitional post-conflict arrangement, under the responsibility of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. Its mandate was to provide disaster-response services, perform search and rescue, provide a capacity for humanitarian assistance in isolated areas, assist de-mining and contribute to rebuilding infrastructure and communities.
The KPC ceased its operational activities on 20 January 2009 and was formally dissolved on 14 June 2009. In parallel, the Kosovo Security Force was developed to ensure that key capabilities were available for emergency situations.
- Stand-up of the Kosovo Security Force / NATO Liaison and Advisory Team
NATO has supervised the stand-up and training of a multi-ethnic, professional and civilian-controlled Kosovo Security Force. The KSF is a lightly armed volunteer force, with no heavy weapons such as tanks, heavy artillery or offensive air capability. It has primary responsibility for security tasks that are not appropriate for the police such as emergency response, explosive ordnance disposal, management of hazardous material, fire fighting and civil protection.
The first Kosovo-wide recruitment campaign for the KSF started on 21 January 2009 and focused on encouraging all minority communities in Kosovo to apply. The recruitment process was carried out in two official languages: Albanian and Serbian. Initial operational capability was reached in mid-September 2009, with some 1,500 personnel; full operational capability was declared by the North Atlantic Council on 9 July 2013, with approximately 2,200 active personnel. The KSF’s total strength is mandated to a maximum of 2,500 active personnel and 800 reservists.
In order to continue supporting the KSF, the Alliance established the NATO Liaison and Advisory Team (NLAT) in July 2013. The NLAT is distinct from KFOR and consists of approximately 35 military and civilian personnel. Based in Pristina, this body is charged with providing advice and support to the KSF at brigade level and above, focusing on staff capacity-building and training.
- Establish a civilian-led body to supervise the KSF / NATO Advisory Team
NATO assisted and continues to assist in establishing a civilian-led organisation that exercises control over the KSF. Primary responsibility for this task rests with NATO Headquarters in Brussels; KFOR is tasked to support the NATO Advisory Team that has been established in Pristina.