Kosovo has begun inducting members of its own army, to be called the Kosovo Security Force, and which will be largely made up of former Kosovo Liberation Army veterans. However Serbia is furious and says the force is “illegal.” Serbia does not recognise Kosovan independence, self-declared in February last year.
Recruits arrived at barracks across Kosovo to pick up new uniforms and equipment, although the handover will take several weeks to complete. Numbering some 2,500 civilians and soldiers with a reserve of 800 others, the lightly-armed force is destined for crisis response, bomb disposal and civil protection duties. It will be trained and overseen by NATO. It replaces the slightly bigger Kosovo Protection force, itself formed from veteran KLF guerrillas.