Kosovo's parliament is set to pass legislation Friday that would turn an existing 4,000-strong Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into an expanded, lightly armed army. This is considered as the most important step of Kosovo’s statehood since the country declared Independence in 2008.
Kosovo lawmakers will convene today at 10:00hrs to convert the KSF into a full-fledged army. The move has received support from all political parties of ruling and opposition in Kosovo, but Serbian MPs who are expected to boycott parliament session today. The United States, Germany and Great Britain have backed Kosovo's move, but warned Pristina authorities that the future army of Kosovo should be inclusive. The U.S. ambassador to Pristina, Philip Kosnett, said that "it is only natural for Kosovo as a sovereign, independent country to have a self-defense capability." Also British and German ambassadors expressed support for the transition process of the KSF. Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, wearing a military uniform, visited on Thursday the KSF barracks near Pristina and stated that future army of Kosovo will serve to all communities regardless of their ethnicity.
Kosovo authorities plan to move ahead with plans on transformation of the KSF into an army has angered Belgrade and local Serbs who say that the future army of Kosovo might be used against local Serbs who mainly live in the northern part of Kosovo. The KFOR increased its presence in the north saying that their units are conducting a regular training activity to keep ready to be rapidly deployed all over Kosovo in accordance with UNSCR1244. “Convoys moved yesterday towards Prizren and today towards North of Kosovo,” KFOR announced on Thursday.