to deter renewed hostility and threats against Kosovo by Yugoslav and Serb forces;
to establish and maintain a secure environment in Kosovo, including public safety and civil order;
to demilitarise the Kosovo Liberation Army;
to support the international humanitarian effort;
to coordinate with and support the international civil presence.
Today, KFOR focuses on building a secure environment in which all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origins, can live in peace and, with international aid, democracy and civil society are gradually gaining strength. KFOR tasks have included:
assistance with the return or relocation of displaced persons and refugees;
reconstruction and demining;
security and public order;
security of ethnic minorities;
protection of patrimonial sites;
interdiction of cross-border weapons smuggling;
implementation of a Kosovo-wide weapons, ammunition and explosives amnesty programme;
support for the establishment of civilian institutions, law and order, the judicial and penal system, the electoral process and other aspects of the political, economic and social life of the province.
The Contact Group countries have said publicly that KFOR will remain in Kosovo to provide the security necessary to support the provisions of a final settlement of Kosovo's status.
KFOR Task Forces, 2006
KFOR contingents were originally grouped into 4 regionally based multinational brigades. The brigades were responsible for a specific area of operations, but under a single chain of command under the authority of Commander KFOR. In August 2005, the North Atlantic Council decided to restructure KFOR, replacing the four existing multinational brigades with five task forces, to allow for greater flexibility with, for instance, the removal of restrictions on the cross-boundary movement of units based in different sectors of Kosovo. Then in February 2010, the Multinational Task Forces became Multinational Battle Groups and in March 2011, KFOR was restructured again, into just two multinational battlegroups; one based at Camp Bondsteel, and one based at Peć.
German KFOR soldiers patrol southern Kosovo in 1999
At its height, KFOR troops numbered 50,000 and came from 39 different NATO and non-NATO nations. The official KFOR website indicated that in 2008 a total 14,000 soldiers from 34 countries were participating in KFOR.
The following is a list of the total number of troops which have participated in the KFOR mission. Much of the force has been scaled down since 2008, and so current numbers are reflected here as well:
Since the KFOR entered Kosovo in June 1999, 168 NATO soldiers have been killed, mostly in accidents.
On October 19, 2004, it was confirmed that 115 NATO soldiers had been killed during the operation. After that 50 more NATO soldiers were confirmed to have died, including 42 Slovak soldiers in a military plane crash in Hungary.
The fatalities by country are: 42 Slovak, 26 German, 34 Unidentified, 18 American, 12 Russian, 8 British, 3 Swedish, 6 Italian, 5 French, 5 Polish, 4 Spanish, 3 Ukrainian, 2 Turkish, 1 Austrian, 1 Danish, 1 Dutch, 1 Greek, 1 Hungarian, 1 Norwegian, 1 Romanian, 1 Slovenian, 1 Swiss, 1 United Arab Emirates and 1 Portuguese.[original research?]
Eight UNMIK police officers have been killed in Kosovo since 1999, in addition to the KFOR fatalities. The fatalities by country are: 3 American, 1 Indian, 1 Jordanian, 1 Nigerian, 1 Ghanaian and 1 Ukrainian police officer.[original research?]
After the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence the commander of NATO forces in Kosovo said on 20 February 2008 that he did not plan to step up security in the tense north despite Kosovo Serbs forcing the temporary closure of two boundary crossings between Kosovo and uncontested Serbia.
In July 2011, following the Kosovo Police's attempts to seize two border outposts and consequent clashes that followed, KFOR troops intervened.
In 2013, KFOR was involved in a rescue operation of the last restaurant bears in Kosovo. The bears are now kept at the Bear Sanctuary Prishtina.
^"NATO's role in Kosovo". Nato.int. 10 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. Retrieved 13 June 2010. "Today, just under 10,000 troops from the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), provided by 31 countries (24 NATO and 7 non-NATO), are still deployed in Kosovo to help maintain a safe and secure environment."