17:49 GMT16 January 2021
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    The parliament of the self-proclaimed Kosovo Republic has overwhelmingly adopted a draft resolution to transform the so-called Kosovo Security Forces into Kosovo Armed Forces. Serbian MPs boycotted the proceedings to prevent the draft’s passage.

    The draft resolution was initiated by Daut Haradinaj, the brother of ex-Premier Ramus Haradinaj, a former leader of the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army.

    He said that if the constitution cannot be changed, other ways to form the army have to be found to transform the KSF into a full-fledged army.

    Kosovo’s current constitution does not foresee the creation of an army and NATO peacekeepers currently serve in that role.

    Earlier, sources in Kosovo said that Pristina was looking for ways to buy additional firearms, tanks, artillery, mortars and even used warplanes and drones from the United States.

    In an interview with Sputnik Serbia, Pristina-based political analyst Beljulj Becaj said that the Kosovo authorities’ desire to buy additional arms was prompted by Belgrade’s current effort to boost its military and security forces.

    He warned against attempts to seek a military solution to the problem though.

    “The processes now going in Kosovo and Serbia are the direct opposite to what our politicians say. We are repeating our old mistakes and, instead of opening libraries and concert halls, we think how to get more and more arms,” Beljulj Becaj complained.

    He added that the proposed creation of a Kosovo Armed Forces does not violate provisions of UN Resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo military technical agreement, which stipulates that NATO (KFOR) peacekeepers are the only military force allowed in the province.

    “These agreements now remain on paper only,” he said.

    Milovan Drecun, the head of the Serbian parliament’s committee on Kosovo, argued that UN Resolution 1244 was still in effect.

    “KFOR is the only armed force allowed in Kosovo, and anyone who honors this resolution must prevent the creation of the Kosovo Armed Forces. Unfortunately, it is being violated by the very Western countries which are supposed to enforce it,” he noted.

    An elderly Kosovo Muslim prays on the street in front of a mosque during Friday Prayer on July 1, 2011 in Pristina
    © AFP 2020 / ARMEND NIMANI
    “First, they allowed the creation of the Kosovo Security Force, and now they want to transform it into a Kosovo Army. The Kumanovo agreement provided for disarming the Kosovo Liberation Army, but now they want it to stay on, though in a different form.”

    Milovan Drecun said that the KSF is fairly well-armed as it is, having helicopters and armored fighting vehicles.

    “The NATO instructors have been training the KSF for many years now preparing the groundwork of a future army, and they are now waiting for an official go-ahead from parliament. The Serbs are against this,” Milovan Drecun emphasized.

    The KSF’s approved budget for 2017 is € 35.5 million ($37.5 million). It has 4,000 uniformed active members, plus 2,500 reservists.

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    draft resolution, full-scale army, security forces, Kosovo Security Force, UN, KFOR, NATO, KLA, Kosovo parliament, Milovan Drecun, Beljulj Becaj, Daut Haradinaj, Kosovo
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