Operation KOBOLD

Operation KOBOLD is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contribution to the NATO-led peace-support operation in Kosovo, the Kosovo Force (KFOR).

Task Force Pristina

There are currently five CAF members deployed to Pristina, Kosovo, who are performing logistics and headquarters support functions. The Task Force Commander also serves as the chief of the NATO Joint Logistics Operation Center.

Mission context

Kosovo Force

As of June 2016, Kosovo Force comprises approximately 4,500 troops from 31 nations, of which 21 are members of NATO. It is organized as two multinational battle groups supported by a reserve battalion, a specialist unit, a joint logistics group and a headquarters. KFOR works closely with the European Union (E.U.) — especially the E.U. Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), the United Nations, and many non-governmental organizations.

KFOR’s current mandate is to maintain a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and freedom of movement for all.

Over time, as the security situation has improved, NATO has been gradually adjusting KFOR’s force posture towards a smaller and more flexible force with fewer static tasks. All adjustments to the KFOR force posture are decided by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) as the security situation on the ground evolves. KFOR is also cooperating and coordinating with the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and other international actors to support the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo.

KFOR’s other tasks include:

  • assistance with the return or relocation of displaced persons and refugees;
  • reconstruction and mine clearance;
  • medical assistance;
  • security and public order;
  • security of ethnic minorities;
  • protection of heritage sites;
  • border security;
  • interdiction of weapons smuggling;
  • implementation of a Kosovo-wide amnesty program to collect and destroy weapons, ammunition and explosives; and
  • support for the establishment of civilian institutions, law and order, the judicial and penal systems, the electoral process and other aspects of the political, economic and social life of Kosovo.

Protection of minorities is a high priority. This task includes regular patrols near minority enclaves, checkpoints, escorts for minority groups, protection of heritage sites such as monasteries, and distribution of humanitarian supplies such as food, clothes and school supplies..

Operation ALLIED FORCE

The establishment of KFOR followed Operation ALLIED FORCE, the NATO air campaign conducted from March 23 to June 10, 1999 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, especially the Republic of Serbia. The primary objective of Operation ALLIED FORCE was to compel Serbia to cease its military operations against the Kosovo Liberation Army (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës), which had produced a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo. Canada took part in the air campaign under Operation KINETIC.

Origins of Kosovo Force

KFOR was established as an international security force by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999 with a mandate to:

  • establish and maintain a secure environment in Kosovo, including public safety and order;
  • monitor, verify and, when necessary, enforce compliance with the conditions of the Military Technical Agreement of June 9, 1999 and the UÇK Demilitarization Undertaking concluded on June 20, 1999; and
  • provide assistance to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

 KFOR in independent Kosovo

On February 17, 2008, when Kosovo declared independence from the Republic of Serbia, NATO confirmed that KFOR would remain in Kosovo on the basis of U.N. Security Resolution of June 10, 1999, as agreed in December 2007 by the Foreign Ministers of NATO’s member nations.

Links

Government of Canada

Government of Kosovo

International missions

Pertinent documents

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