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German Presence in Kosovo

Since the Kosovo conflict (1998/99) the German government has been involved in various ways in providing humanitarian relief and reconstruction assistance in Kosovo. German involvement has been concentrated on participation in KFOR and UNMIK as well as on additional measures in coordination with the international institutions and agencies working there on the ground.

KFOR (Kosovo Forces)

The multinational KFOR force is acting on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999 which contains a mandate for the establishment of an international military security presence (KFOR) as well as an international civilian presence (UNMIK).

The overall force is comprised of 41,350 men, including 4,870 soldiers from the German Army (figures as of mid-November 1999). A force of 7,900 soldiers, including 1,160 Germans, is stationed in Macedonia and Albania. Kosovo was divided into five sectors. The German sector lies in the southern part of the region around Prizren. Also stationed in the German sector are troops from the Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, Austria and Russia.

UNMIK (United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo)

The UN mission has assumed de facto responsibility for public life in Kosovo. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Bernard Kouchner of France as head of the mission. UNMIK is divided up into four pillars whose activities are coordinated by UNHCR, the UN, the OSCE and the EU Commission:

Pillar 1: Return of refugees (UNHCR):

The return of expellees and refugees from the crisis region (approximately 775,000 from neighbouring countries and around 52,000 from other host countries) has been completed to a large extent. Thus far around 12,000 refugees have returned to their home areas from Germany. Care for the needy in Kosovo is being provided for the most part by some 300 international relief organisations.

Pillar 2: General administration (UN):

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Tom Koenigs of Germany as head of the second pillar. This pillar deals for the most part with the process of developing a police force, a justice system, as well as structures of public administration. Out of the planned 3,100 members of the international police force, 210 are from Germany.

Pillar 3: Democracy and human rights (OSCE):

This pillar arranges courses for the training of local police officers, organises international media assistance, sets up administration schools and engages in the training of justice personnel. Out of the 380 persons making up the international staff, 13 are Germans.

Pillar 4: Reconstruction (EU Commission):

What is involved here is the development of the financial, budgetary and banking sectors, reconstruction of residential housing, roads, bridges, schools, health-care facilities, power and water supplies, as well as mine clearing activities. The medium-term costs are estimated at 2.5 billion euros.

Funding provided by Germany for reconstruction of Kosovo Province with support from various federal ministries (as of December 1999, not counting German shares of EU, World Bank, OSCE and UN funding):

Humanitarian relief: approx. 87.5 million euros
Peacekeeping measures and UNMIK support: approx. 15.9 million euros
Free State of Bavaria: approx. 5 million euros
Donations from the German public: approx. 150 million euros

For the coordination of German assistance in Kosovo the government established an office in Pristina under the supervision of the German Foreign Office with a branch office in Prizren. A working group on "Reconstruction in Southeastern Europe", established under the supervision of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to coordinate the initiatives of the Reconstruction Loan Corporation (RLC), the German Investment and Development Company (DEG) and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), has also established an office in Pristina.

The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government is providing planning, organisational, and financial assistance for the media in a number of projects with a view to promoting the development of a free and democratic media scene in Kosovo.

Further information, details on the kinds and amounts reconstruction assistance being provided, background reports and documents on the current status and situation of German involvement in Kosovo can be found in our archive at (German/English), in the "Archive" of the German Foreign Office website at (German/English) as well as under the heading "Pressemitteilungen" on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development at (German only). Information on the activities of the German Army in the KFOR context can be found under the heading "Sicherheitspolitik" on the website of the Federal Ministry of Defence at (German only).