Following the escalation of violence in the peaceful village of Banjska, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that NATO is considering a permanent increase in the number of troops in Kosovo to keep tensions under control. The decision comes after NATO sent hundreds of extra troops from Britain and Romania to Kosovo as a response to the clash between police and armed Serbs on September 24.
Stoltenberg stated that NATO is now considering whether there is a need for a permanent increase in troops to ensure that the unrest does not escalate further and create a new violent conflict in Kosovo or the wider region. The recent developments have raised international concerns about the stability of Kosovo, which has an ethnic Albanian majority and declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after a guerrilla insurgency and NATO intervention in 1999.
KFOR, NATO’s peacekeeping mission that has been operating since 1999, consists of more than 4,500 soldiers from 27 countries. The potential permanent increase in troops is aimed at preventing future conflicts and maintaining stability in Kosovo and the wider region.