Pristina, February 18, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Alba Skenderaj
Kosovo Security Forces held yesterday (17.02), on the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the Independence of Kosovo, a parade in the main square of Pristina. This is the last parade or the farewell parade of KSF (photo).
The weeks to come are expected to see the foundation of Kosovo’s Armed Forces, whose mission will be to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosovo.
The majority part of KSF forces have been part of the Kosovo’s Liberation Army.
The birth of Kosovo’s Armed Forces was officially confirmed by prime minister Hashim Thaci. Speaking on yesterday’s parade, Mr. Thaci said that “now it’s time to take full responsibility for the security of our state and this means important changes in the mandate, mission, size and structure of current KSF”.”This means a new name for Kosovo’s Security Force”, said the prime minister.
Thaci underlined that: “This is the last parade of honor of Independence Day, where we see the march of Kosovo Security Forces with the current name. We’re very close to the foundation of Kosovo’s Armed Forces. Thus, a very short time divides us from a new force which will have defense capacities and a new mandate, size and structure. Armed Forces of Kosovo will be developed in such way as to be ready and able to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosovo. Armed Forces of Kosovo will defend the interests of Kosovo, its citizens and their property”.
The prime minister warned that “Armed Forces of Kosovo will contribute for the construction and preservation of the regional and global stability”.
How does the army of Kosovo function
The Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces (MKSF) is responsible for the civil control over Kosovo’s Security Force (KSF), including the management and administration. This force has civilians and military men and reports to the Parliament of Kosovo through the prime minister.
Up until a few months ago, KSF’s name was Kosovo’s Defense Body. Now, the name of KSF will change once again, 5 years after it was given this name. The most supported suggestion that was made was to call it Army of Kosovo, but international partners suggest either to preserve the current name or to change it to Kosovo’s Protection Forces.
The official document which will be deliberated by parliament contains the following names: Kosovo’s Military Force and Kosovo’s Armed Forces. At the end, it was decided to call them Kosovo’s Armed Forces
According to the document in question, the first army of Kosovo will have 5 thousand active members and three thousand reserves, therefore 8 thousand members in total.
This force will be divided in land forces and operational forces.
The management of this Force includes the Ministry of Defense, the General Chief of Staff, the General Staff of the Republic’s Armed Forces. Part of this will also be the Operational Command, National Guard, Logistical Command and Command of Doctrine and Training.
The development of this force includes the period from 2014 until 2016, whereby there will be changes in the Constitution of Kosovo and laws that relate to the security sector.
The second phase includes the period from 2017 until 2019, which foresees “the procurement of weapons and different equipment for new missions”.
The finalization of this force is expected to be carried out on the Third Phase, (2020-2024), with the recruitment of the personnel, equipment and training of staff.
The financial costs are expected to be an extra 5 million Euros as opposed to the current budget for the army. After 2023, the budget for the army of Kosovo is expected to be around 65 million Euros. /ibna/