Posted on June 24, 2019
The announcement by Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster comes 20 years after the NATO-led peacekeeping force arrived in Kosovo to help end conflict in the region. The UK was a key contributor to the UN-mandated force, known as KFOR, which entered Kosovo to bring peace and stability following the conflict of the 1990s.
Mr Lancaster himself was a serving soldier in the operation as a member of the Royal Engineers. Mr Lancaster said: “I can still remember the warm welcome I received from the local population when serving in Kosovo two decades ago as a Royal Engineer. Those friendships have not been forgotten by either country and so we will be extending our decades-long commitment to securing the long-term stability of the region.”
The defence minister also announced that the UK would be continuing its support to the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of its commitment to supporting stability and security in the Western Balkans.
Since their deployment UK troops have enhanced KFOR’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability, significantly increasing its situational awareness. KFOR began as a peacekeeping force in the late 1990s and now acts as one of the main security providers in Kosovo. Around 30 other nations also contribute to providing security in the country including, Italy, Turkey, Poland, and the US, as well as the UK.