PRISTINA - KFOR’s recent increased presence in Jarinje for preventive security reasons proved to be an extremely successful activity, largely due to productive and appreciative collaboration of the Government of Montenegro, the Serbian Chief of Defense, the institutions in Kosovo, the EU-led Rule of Law mission (EULEX), and KFOR.
KFOR Regional Command-East increased their presence at Jarinje crossing gate for preventative reasons after successfully and actively coordinating with all interested parties. This increase was necessary, given recent reporting of the alleged possible presence of organized criminal groups that were embedded within the demonstrations.
KFOR Commander Major General Angelo Michele Ristuccia stated that KFOR maintains proper capabilities and means to deter violence in the region and and ensure conditions exist that encourage further political dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade to move forward, under the EU facilitation.
KFOR showed balance and resoluteness throughout the entirety of the event. There were no injuries reported, and tensions were reduced due to coordination between official parties and KFOR leadership.
KFOR believes strongly that the use of violence and aggressive behavior to influence political decision in Kosovo is unacceptable and perceived as provocation. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the region’s collective security and safety – these tenants are essential for future dialogue.
Through consistent, effective cooperation and transparent dialogue between KFOR Units, Kosovo Police, Serbian Public Safety and Law Enforcement Officials, we were able to achieve a successful outcome that legitimized credibility and rule of law. Collectively we were able to maintain and guarantee a safe and secure environment for the benefit of all people living in Kosovo.
KFOR regularly conducts exercises, designed to test our capabilities and maintain the necessary level of operational readiness necessary to continue fulfilling the force’s duties.
The most recent exercise held on 19 December 2022 started in Novo Selo Camp and was conducted to train and test the capabilities of KFOR units to guarantee freedom of movement using available assets (heavy logistic vehicles and engineering assets). Due to the complexity of the current operating environment, it is paramount these systems and capabilities are tested as they mitigate collective risk if future political agreements cannot be met. There are many actors on the ground committed to making progress, but KFOR remains vigilant and ready to react. We are prepared to intervene, if necessary, to but we prevent escalation, in accordance with our UN mandate.
We are currently analyzing the Government of Serbia’s recent request. We will continue providing a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement that encourages productive dialogue, giving leaders the ability to create long-term, sustainable solutions, for the benefit of all communities living in Kosovo.
The NATO-led KFOR mission consists of more than 3,700 personnel from 27 countries – including NATO Allies and partners committed to providing a safe, secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities in Kosovo, in accordance with the mandate based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999. As such, KFOR’s role continues to be fundamental towards lasting security across Kosovo and stability in the Western Balkans region.
Story by KFOR Public Affairs Office