NATO deployed additional forces to Kosovo on Tuesday, a day after peacekeeping troops were injured in clashes with Serb protesters in the country.
11 Italian and 19 Hungarian soldiers belonging to the Kosovo Force (KFOR), a NATO-led peacekeeping mission, were injured in northern Kosovo as they worked to contain violent demonstrations. Three of the Hungarian soldiers were injured by the use of gunfire, according to KFOR.
NATO condemned the attacks and called « on all sides to refrain from actions that further inflame tensions and to engage in dialogue ».
In a tweets Allied Joint Force Command Naples said on Tuesday afternoon that NATO is sending Operational Reserve Forces (ORF) for the Western Balkans to Kosovo.
“JFC Naples is closely monitoring the situation in Kosovo and will continue to coordinate with KFOR to ensure they have all the capabilities and forces they need to impartially ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities « , he has declared. , noting that additional reserve forces have been ordered to increase readiness to strengthen KFOR if needed.
Admiral Stuart B. Munsch, commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, said in a statement that “the deployment of additional NATO forces in Kosovo is a prudent measure to ensure that KFOR has the necessary capabilities to maintain security in compliance with our United Nations security agenda.” Council mandate.
« I want to commend KFOR for taking swift, moderate and professional action to intervene to stop the unrest and save lives, » he said, adding, « The violence must stop and all sides must stop taking actions to undermine the peace in all communities of Kosovo”.
Tensions are running high in the region. On Friday, the United States, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement condemning Kosovo’s decision to force access to municipal buildings in northern Kosovo. The five countries also said they were « concerned about Serbia’s decision to increase the readiness level of its armed forces on the border with Kosovo and to call on all parties to maximum restraint, avoiding inflammatory rhetoric ».