News 01 Apr 14

Kosovo Court Backs Creation of Regular Army

Kosovo's Constitutional Court on Monday approved the government’s request to change the current lightly armed Security Force into a proper army.

Edona Peci
BIRN
Pristina

Kosovo's Constitutional Court on Monday declared that the government's request to change the constitution in order to transform the current Kosovo Security Force into a regular army was “acceptable”.

The proposed amendments to the constitution do not reduce any of the rights and freedoms guaranteed in Chapter II of the constitution, the court ruled.

Apart from the name of the force, the main change approved by the court refers to the duties and powers of the proposed Kosovo Armed Forces.

The main job of the Security Force is “to protect the people and communities of the Republic of Kosovo”.

Once amendments to the constitution are done, the new military force will “protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, the people, property and the interests of the Republic of Kosovo and contribute to establishing and protecting regional and global peace and stability”.

The government’s plan to transform the current lightly armed Security Force into a regular armed force was announced earlier this month.

The new force “will change its mission, duties and structure, while the Ministry of the Security Forces will be transformed into the Ministry of Defence", the government said.

The decision has angered Serbia, which said the proposed establishment of such a force was not part of the EU-led agreement between Serbia and Kosovo signed last April.

Serbia's outgoing Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, said if the armed force was established, Belgrade would seek guarantees from NATO and from KFOR peacekeepers in Kosovo that it should not be allowed to enter mainly Serbian northern Kosovo.

The current Kosovo Security Force has 2,500 lightly armed active soldiers and 800 reservists. The new Kosovo Armed Forces will comprise 5,000 active soldiers and 3,000 reservists once transformation is completed in 2019.

 

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