‘Federal government has decided to expand its military engagement in KFOR as of April 2024, regardless of the recent events in Kosovo,’ says Defense Ministry spokesman.
Germany will send more soldiers to Kosovo as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping force KFOR, a Defense Ministry spokesman announced on Friday.
“I can confirm that the federal (German) government has decided to expand its military engagement in KFOR as of April 2024, regardless of the recent events in Kosovo,” Mitko Mueller said at a routine press briefing in Berlin.
He was referring to heightened tensions in northern Kosovo after a Kosovar policeman and three local Serbian gunmen were killed during a clash in the village of Banjska in northern Kosovo on Sept. 24.
A large number of security forces were dispatched to the region, and the Brnjak border crossing between Kosovo and Serbia was closed.
The area has been the scene of unrest since April, when local ethnic Serbs boycotted elections in northern Kosovo, followed by protests against the election of ethnic Albanian mayors.
According to Mueller, the new contingent of soldiers will replace Austrian KFOR forces and be trained to deal with riots.
The ministry spokesperson spoke of 155 additional soldiers while pointing out that there are currently 71 German troops based in Kosovo.
The German mandate for the KFOR mission has a maximum of 400 soldiers.