Kosovo officially launched its new military, the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) to replace the civilian Kosovar Protection Service, which was made up chiefly of separatists from the 1998-99 war against the Serbian government. NATO will support the recruitment drive for the new force, which hopes to have 1,500 members by September.
The Serbian government which does not accept Kosovo’s claim to independence, slammed the move, condemning the KSF as “an illegal paramilitary group,” and “a direct threat to national security, peace and stability in the entire region.”
The 120,000 ethnic Serbs living in what was declared to be independent Kosovo are likewise concerned, seeing the KSF as a continuation of the anti-Serb Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). NATO denies that the new group is technically an army, and says it will oversee its operation.