By Lieutenant-Commander Philip Anido, KFOR Spokesman
Exercise Dynamic Response 2000
Yesterday evening, several convoys of US Marines arrived at their staging base near the Skopje airport in preparation for Exercise Dynamic Response 2000. During the next few days they will prepare for their move on 23 March to the forward assembly area near Prizren. The other troops, which make up the Strategic Reserve Forces (SRF) nations, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Argentina, will arrive in theatre by road, rail and air during the days ahead.
The majority of the troops will rendezvous in their staging areas in the vicinity of Prizren, ready to start the maneuvers on 27 March.
Some1,500 soldiers and 220 vehicles are involved in the joint exercise. They will practice rapid deployment, interoperability, command and control coordination, and combat tactics.
The purpose of Dynamic Response is to show NATO's and the international communities readiness and resolve to reinforce the KFOR troops on peacekeeping duty in Kosovo, should the need arise. Media will receive an update and a formal briefing about media opportunities in the course of the exercise on Wednesday, 22 March.
KFOR soldiers have established the first stage of the confidence area in Mitrovica in the vicinity of the Eastern Bridge. The zone will be expanded in the days and weeks ahead in a step-by-step process. Any people who are determined to threaten the public peace will be removed and prevented from entering the area. KFOR and UNMIK police will maintain a very visible presence in the confidence area in order to provide the peaceful environment that will allow citizens of all ethnic groups who live and work in the neighbourhood to move freely and rebuild normal lives.
Arrest made for Unrest in Mitrovica on 7 March On Saturday evening, an Albanian man was arrested by KFOR troops and UNMIK police in connection with the violent unrest that occurred in Mitrovica on 7 March. He is in UNMIK police custody for questioning.
Yesterday, KFOR US troops confiscated a significant cash of weapons during the search of an Albanian house in Cernica. One sub-machine gun, two magazines, a quantity of ammunition, UCK uniforms and maps were confiscated.
In Donja Livoc, KFOR US troops searched three Albanian houses. One AK-47, three machine guns, seven full magazines with 30 round each, and a large quantity of ammunition were confiscated.
Events and Incidents During the Past 24 Hours
Yesterday, KFOR military Police found the body of a dead Albanian man in a car in Gnjilane (MNB East). The case is in UNMIK police hands.
Yesterday afternoon in Koretin (MNB East), approximately 40 Albanians stoned two Serb cars. When KFOR Military Police arrived to quell the incident the crowd grew to some 120 people. The crowd dispersed when additional KFOR troops arrived.
On Saturday afternoon, the local fire brigade and KFOR troops extinguished a fire in an unoccupied Serb house in Prizren (MNB South). UNMIK police are investigating. Five fires in Serbian owned homes were reported in Obilic and Kosovo Polje yesterday (both MNB Centre). Arson is suspected in each case. The local fire service was called by UNMIK police to extinguish the fires.
KFOR and UNMIK will increase their day and nighttime patrols in order to crack down of the culprits.
Searches and Weapons Confiscations
KFOR Russian troops confiscated a pistol and ammunition from a Serb man near Kamenica (MNB East). A search of his truck revealed no additional weapons.