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NATO MUltimedia

KFOR – Keeping the peace in Kosovo

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The situation in Kosovo is now a lot calmer than it once was, but sometimes tensions still occur. That’s why the NATO-led Kosovo Force is still key to providing stability in the region. Find out more.

Synopsis

A dispute in northern Kosovo in autumn 2021, which occurred as result of a directive by local authorities to use temporary number plates for vehicles coming from Serbia, has highlighted the important stabilising role that the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) continues to play in Kosovo and across the Western Balkans region.

NATO’s multimedia team went to Kosovo to talk with KFOR personnel who helped to implement an arrangement on de-escalation reached between Belgrade and Pristina with support from the EU. This video looks at those developments and the role of KFOR to ensure lasting security.

KFOR’s mandate under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999 is to provide a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities living in Kosovo.

Footage includes various shots of NATO video producer Jake Tupman visiting sites in Kosovo such as the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) and the northern town of Mitrovica/Mitrovice, to look at how the NATO-led mission in Kosovo has helped de-escalate recent tensions.

During filming all covid precautions were observed, including social distancing and wearing of masks.

Transcript

--PIECE TO CAMERA (ENGLISH)--
Jake Tupman, video producer for NATO
“This is Priština/Prishtinë, in Kosovo. Alongside me here are Italian representatives of NATO’s Kosovo Force, also known as KFOR. They’re here to provide safety and security in Kosovo. But to understand why they’re needed, we must first understand a little bit more about Kosovo’s history.”

TEXT ON SCREEN – Jake Tupman, Video producer for NATO

--VOICEOVER—
Kosovo was once part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 90s, sparked separatist tensions in Kosovo. In 1998, open conflict between Serbian military and police forces and Kosovo Albanian forces broke out. This led to terrible human rights abuses. Many were forced to evacuate their homes and thousands were killed on both sides before NATO intervened and ended the conflict. Nowadays Kosovo is home to diverse ethnic groups, including Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbians.


--PTC (ENGLISH)--
Jake Tupman, video producer for NATO
“So right now we are in the northernmost point of Kosovo. In fact those hills over there that you can see behind me, that’s actually Serbia and about 300-400 metres ahead of us is the Administrative Boundary Line between Serbia and Kosovo. Here we’ve got Polish KFOR troops, they’re doing patrols down this road and the reason for that is, although things in Kosovo are a lot calmer today than they have been in the past, flashpoints do occur, and right here in this location was one of those flashpoints.”

TEXT ON SCREEN – SEPTEMBER, 2021

--VOICEOVER—

A few days before our arrival, this stretch of road was blockaded with vehicles by Kosovo Serbians from the local area after a dispute between Belgrade and Priština/Prishtinë over car number plates. With special units of the Kosovo Police at the scene, tensions rose and KFOR played a key role to help de-escalate those tensions. Major Gene Enriquez was one of those who helped, on the ground, with the de-escalation.

--UPSOT—
Jake Tupman and Major Gene Enriquez

MGE – “Hey, how are you?”
JT – “Very good, thank you very much. Thank you for having us here today.”
MGE – “Yeah, Major Gene Enriquez. Welcome to Camp Novo Selo.”


--SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)—
Major Gene Enriquez, NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR)
“Going in with an open mind and a bit of compassion for all sides of disputes lends to a better outcome. You have to approach these situations with compassion on both sides. It’s not our job to choose who’s right and who’s wrong but to help maintain the peace here.”

TEXT ON SCREEN – Maj Gene Enriquez, NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR)

-VOICEOVER—

The dispute was resolved after EU- facilitated talks between Belgrade and Priština/Prishtinë took place, and a resolution was agreed.

When a civil dispute like this one occurs,
KFOR is the third responder, after the Kosovo police and the European Union Rule of Law Mission, or EULEX, so when they’re called out, it generally means that the situation is serious. KFOR’s role, under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999, is to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all Kosovo’s communities.


--PTC (ENGLISH)--
Jake Tupman, video producer for NATO
“We are driving up north to a town called Mitrovica/Mitrovicë.”


--VOICEOVER—

KFOR isn’t just comprised of soldiers. The Italian Carabinieri helps maintain peace, on a daily basis, in one of Kosovo’s most volatile towns. Colonel Stefano Fedele has been a Carabinieri officer for 35 years and commanded KFOR’s Multinational Specialised Unit, or MSU.



--WALK AND TALK—
Jake Tupman and Colonel Stefano Fedele, Commander, KFOR Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU

Jake Tupman – “We are in Mitrovica/Mitrovicë now, right?”

Col Fedele – “Yes, we are on the bridge on the Ibar river. This is a symbol of interethnic division in Kosovo because in the past and in the very recent events, the last one yesterday, it has been a recurrent scenario of interethnic clashes.

TEXT ON SCREEN – Col Stefano Fedele, Commander, KFOR Multinational Specialised Unit (MSU)

TEXT ON SCREEN - 2011

--VOICEOVER—
The bridge where I met the Colonel joins the city’s two sides which are split by the river Ibar. The southern side is almost exclusively ethnic Albanian while the northern side is mostly ethnic Serbian. At points in history, the bridge was a focal point for interethnic tension and so the Carabinieri maintains a presence at both ends, 24/7. Colonel Fedele agreed to take us into northern Mitrovica/Mitrovicë, the Serbian side, where the previous day saw clashes between the Serbian population and the Kosovo police.



--SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)—
Colonel Stefano Fedele, Commander, KFOR Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU)
“Here yesterday there were gun shots and throwing stones against the vehicles of the Kosovo police. The situation now is calm but very fragile and what happened at the Administrative Boundary Line or what happened yesterday here in Mitrovica/ Mitrovicë, it’s the evidence of the necessity of the presence of KFOR here in Kosovo.”

TEXT ON SCREEN – OCTOBER, 2021

--PTC (ENGLISH)--
Jake Tupman, video producer for NATO
“So right now we are in Camp Film City, which is the KFOR headquarters here in Priština/Prishtinë. As you can see behind me, there’s a number of different troops from different NATO nations and partner nations and they’re preparing for a change of command. Tomorrow, the Italians will be handing over to the Hungarians.”

TEXT ON SCREEN – OCTOBER, 2021

TEXT ON SCREEN - Col Peter Nagelstrasser, NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR)

--SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)—
Colonel Peter Nagelstrasser, NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR)
“Handover/ takeover is a professional procedure and all are mindsetted in the same way. What is important is that stability and a safe and secure environment will be ensured in the future and this will not change for sure.”


--VOICEOVER—
KFOR has been helping support peace in Kosovo for more than 20 years, and while its numbers have decreased over that time, its presence has remained a cornerstone of stability in Kosovo. And its continued presence remains vital to prevent any confrontations from escalating.”

TEXT ON SCREEN – This video includes Thomson Reuters copyrighted library material licensed to NATO, which cannot be used as part of a new production without consent of the copyright holder. Please contact Thomson Reuters to clear this material.
Music
Purple Bliss by Juozapavicius and Williams Winning Season by Eaglin and tootle Red Bright by Markus Run Out of Time by Hart, Heineman and Sands Nothing but the Top by Lewallen, Sands and Torre
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This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is restricted for use for other purposes. This video includes Thomson Reuters copyrighted library material licensed by NATO, which cannot be used as part of a new production without consent of the copyright holder.
Reference
NATO858773
ID
1870