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NATO has been leading a peacekeeping operation in Kosovo since June 1999 in support of wider international efforts to build peace and stability in Kosovo. The NATO-led Kosovo Force, or KFOR, deployed in the wake of a 78-day air campaign launched by the Alliance in March 1999 to halt and reverse the humanitarian catastrophe that was then unfolding. NATO decided to launch the operation after the country had been dealing with conflicts for over a year and all international efforts to settle the conflict by way of diplomacy had failed.
The NATO mandate in Kosovo is derived from UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and a Military-Technical Agreement between NATO and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia.
NATO’s initial mandate was to deter renewed hostility and threats against Kosovo by Yugoslav and Serb forces; to establish a secure environment and ensure public safety and order; to support the international humanitarian effort; and support the international civil presence.
Today, KFOR continues to contribute towards maintaining a safe and secure environment in Kosovo for the benefit of all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origins.
The first deployment of Slovenian Armed Forces members to Kosovo was in January 2000. Until 2007, Slovenian troops in Kosovo operated as part of other armed forces. However, in February 2007, it was the first time in history that the Slovenian Armed Forces deployed a battalion-level unit to a multinational operation and mission. The battalion took over its own area of responsibility for the first time and was in command of troops of another NATO country. During the same period, the Slovenian Armed Forces also deployed to Kosovo experts in civil-military cooperation who carried out several high-profile projects regarding assistance for the local population.
The tasks of Slovenian troops in Kosovo include the maintaining of a secure and stable environment, the ensuring of conditions for the transfer of authority to civilian authorities, control of communications and check points, protection of facilities of special importance and conduct of CIMIC projects.