Belgian KFOR mission extended

26th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 November 2007, BRUSSELS - Belgium's participation in the KFOR peace-keeping force is to be extended until December 2008. Originally the Belgian military presence in Kosovo was to have come to an end in March 2008. However, the Federal Government has now committed Belgian troops to the KFOR peace-keeping force until the end of next year.

26 November 2007

BRUSSELS - Belgium's participation in the KFOR peace-keeping force is to be extended until December 2008. Originally the Belgian military presence in Kosovo was to have come to an end in March 2008. However, the Federal Government has now committed Belgian troops to the KFOR peace-keeping force until the end of next year.

Meanwhile, Belgian military personnel are returning home from Kosovo after a four-month tour of duty. They have been replaced by 160 fresh troops, mainly from the First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment based at Diest in Flemish Brabant.

They have started to be deployed around the town of Kovoska Mitrovica in the north of Kosovo.

The changing of the guard in Kosovo started last Tuesday and should be completed by 27 November.

The Belgian Government's decision to prolong our country's commitment to the KFOR peace-keeping operation has come as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the province.

Earlier this week, talks on the future of Kosovo ended in stalemate.

KFOR
The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international peace-keeping force responsible for establishing a safe and secure environment in Kosovo, a province of Serbia which has been under UN administration since 1999.

KFOR entered Kosovo on June 12 1999 under a United Nations mandate. At the time of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo was facing a grave humanitarian crisis, with military and paramilitary forces from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in daily engagement.

Ethnic tensions were at their highest and the death toll had reached a historic high. Nearly one million people had fled Kosovo as refugees.

As of 2007, KFOR consisted of approximately 16,000 troops. KFOR's presence remains crucial to guarantee security and stability in Kosovo as the diplomatic process led by the United Nations to define its future status moves forward.

[Copyright Flanders news 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

0 Comments To This Article