Operation KOBOLD is the deployment of up to 5 Canadian Forces members to Pristina, Kosovo, to serve with the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). Launched in August 2008 with an initial mandate of one year, Operation KOBOLD was most recently extended to 31 December 2014.
Task Force Pristina
Task Force Commander: Lieutenant-Colonel Annick Chantal
Task Force Pristina comprises up to 5 Canadian Forces members deployed in a mentorship capacity:
- Four officers in various fields serving with the Military-Civil Advisory Division of KFOR, which co-ordinates efforts to support the new Kosovo Security Force (KSF).
- One serving with the NATO Advisory Team, which assists the civilian officials of the KSF Ministry.
Operation ALLIED FORCE
The establishment of KFOR followed Operation ALLIED FORCE, the NATO air campaign conducted from 23 March to 10 June 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 10 June 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 9 June 1999 and the UÇK Demilitarization Undertaking concluded on 20 June 1999; and
- provide assistance to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
KFOR in independent Kosovo
On 17 February 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 10 June 1999, as agreed in December 2007 by the Foreign Ministers of NATOs member nations.
As of June 2012, KFOR comprises approximately 5,500 troops from 29 nations, of which 22 are full 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.
Mandate and tasks
KFORs current mandate is to support the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo.
KFOR is focused on the establishment and development of the Kosovo Security Force, authorized by Article 125 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo. Successor to the officially civilian Kosovo Protection Corps, the KSF is expected to reach initial operational capability with 2,500 active members and 800 reservists trained for crisis response, explosive ordnance disposal and civil protection. KFOR is providing logistics, administration and training support.
KFORs 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. KFOR continues to contribute to the maintenance of a safe and secure environment in Kosovo for the benefit of all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origins.
Government of Canada
Government of Kosovo
NATO / NATO's role in relation to the conflict in Kosovo
NATO / Kosovo Force
EULEX Kosovo (Home page)
United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (U.N. site)
United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (Mission site)
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