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    • KSF is the most trusted security force in Kosovo

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    • Date: 26 February 2014
      KSF has the highest ranking in comparison to other security forces in terms of positive perceptions of citizens in Kosovo, and the main reason is that KSF acts in close proximity to citizens during relief efforts, said guest researcher Shpend Kursani during the presentation held in BCSP library.

      Opening the discussion held in front of 30 participants, Shpend Kursani, External Senior Researcher at Kosovar Center for Security Studies, said that establishment of KSF was facilitated by NATO who evaluated its full operational capability in 2013. He underlined the fact that KSF should not be perceived as a threat to anyone internally or externally.

      “KSF members are in uniform but they are not only a military, but also a civilian organization. Ministry for Kosovo Security Force is involved with civilians and uniformed members in policy planning and oversight. It is the only Ministry organized as such - mixture of civilians and uniformed personnel. KSF's main agenda item is to include the Serbs and stabilize relations with Serbia”, explained Kursani.

      BCSP guest researcher said than 91% of membership in KSF is Albanian, and only close to 2% of membership is Serb. As reasons for such low participation of Serbs he pointed out three assumptions:

      • that Serbs view KSF as a symbol of the Kosovar state
      • that Serbs view KSF as a successor of Kosovo Liberation Army
      • that Serbian government acts to control Serbs in Kosovo

      Kursani presented 3 possible scenarios where KSF might head.

      “KSF could remain in status quo which means it would stay lightly armed with no NATO membership. Second possibility is that it will become a defence force with potential NATO membership, increased budget and mandate determined by threats and resources. The third scenario could be a creation of “Kosovo Army” which will mean a significant increase in membership and increased fundings. Considering that NATO is the supreme military authority over Kosovo territory and borders, citizens of Kosovo are relaxed and there is not much pressure for the KSF to transform into a fully-fledged army. This means that the current status quo with the status of the KSF may continue for a while”, said Kursani.

      Speaking on public opinion findings, Kursani said that majority of people in Kosovo think that Serbia is the biggest threat for Kosovo, but despite of that almost half of respondents in Kosovo think that it is possible to live in peace with Serbia. Regarding security forces in Kosovo, the research of public opinion showed that Serbs and Albanians have more confidence in Kosovo police than with EULEX. Kursani said that majority of Serbs have no opinion on KSF and majority of Albanians have trust in KSF.

      Kursani’s engagement in BCSP is part of the project “Security Research Forum Belgrade-Pristina-Tirana”, which is realizing with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. The project is meant to foster balanced debate among think-tank community, academia, public policy and media in order to provide research-based alternative solutions to ongoing challenges of cooperation among Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. This is a joint project of three independent think tanks specialized in research of security issues - Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS) and Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM).
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