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German command of Kosovo force renewed

The Local · 7 Sep 2012, 17:00

Published: 07 Sep 2012 17:00 GMT+02:00

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Just hours before the hand over ceremony in Pristina unknown attackers in northern Kosovo opened fire at vehicles of the EU-mission EULEX and Kosovo police, wounding a police officer.

This was the latest in a series of attacks on Kosovo police and international troops since Serb protesters violently clashed with KFOR troops in a border dispute last year.

Germany is a major contributor to KFOR and Halbauer is the fourth German general in row to lead the NATO-led troops in Kosovo.

Top NATO official US Admiral Bruce Clingan, a commander of the alliance's joint command in Naples, praised the KFOR troops as "enablers of progress here in Kosovo" adding that they reacted with "proportionality and restraint" to the risks and sometimes lethal threats in the tense north.

Also saluting the contribution of international peacekeepers to Kosovo, president Atifete Jahjaga said they gave to the citizens "the opportunity to shape our future in safe and secure environment".

Thanks to KFOR's presence in Kosovo "our country was able to overcome most of the consequences of war within a short period of time," Jahjaga said.

NATO launched its mission in Kosovo after the 1998-1999 war between the forces of then Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic and ethnic Albanian guerrillas. The conflict ended NATO planes ousted the Belgrade forces out of the territory.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008. It has been recognised by around 90 countries, including the US and all but five members of the EU. However, Serbia opposes the move, considering the territory as its southern province.

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Kosovo Serbs, who make up the majority of the population in the north also refuse to recognise the ethnic Albanian authorities in Pristina.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

06:32 September 8, 2012 by Hell low Kitty
With the attitude and mindset of the typical the local reader,I would now ask what cost us the Germans the Balkan and Afghanistan.
07:34 September 8, 2012 by tercel
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:24 September 8, 2012 by Arch Stanton
Why are we still in Kosovo? NATO should never have gone there in the first place. As The Local pointed out, Albanian guerrillas and separatists were trying to take away a part of Serbia - yes, Kosovo is part of Serbia, not part of Albania. The Serbs objected to this, and their military was fighting the Albanian guerrillas. Because NATO felt guilty about not going into Bosnia sooner, they went into Kosovo.

I was there as part of the NATO forces in 1999. The rumoured "mass graves" of Kosovo "civilians" who were"murdered" by the Serbs turned out to be no more than graves of the Albanian guerrillas who had been killed while fighting the Serbian military. And guess what? As soon as the Serbian Army left (driven out by NATO), the Albanians started murdering Serbian civilians and burning Serbian churches, so the NATO mission became one of protecting the Serbs who stayed in Kosovo (part of Serbia - their rightful home). What a mess NATO made!
08:37 September 9, 2012 by henry1544
How a European sovereign nation can loose a huge part of it's territory to a minority is beyond belief. What's next, give North-Rhine Whestphalia to the Turks? Supported by Nato war planes and ground troops? Maybe bomb the Brandenburg Gate and the Old library in Berlin to "soften" up the German government, and show who's the boss, the German people, or the new world order!

Kosovo just shows aggressive minorities that if they become many enough, hey, they can get their own country! Even supported by Nato bombers! Yay democracy!

Kosovo IS Serbia!
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