UN concerned by impact of KFOR troop cutsFeb 08, 2000
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The United Nations has told NATO that any reduction in the 44,000-strong Kosovo force (KFOR) would make it more difficult to police the territory, the UN spokesman said.
Spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters that KFOR "carried the burden" of police work since the UN civilian police force was still at less than half its authorised strength.
"We have had some concern about plans to reduce the size of KFOR and we have discussed them with NATO officials and with individual governments," he said.
On Wednesday, the UN police commissioner in Kosovo, Sven Frederiksen, said the seven-month-old force had 1,970 members drawn from 42 countries, compared to an authorised strength of 4,718.
"We need international police officers and need them desperately," he told a news conference here.
Frederiksen said KFOR had "done a fantastic job" in helping to cut the number of ethnic murders from as many as 70 a week in July to seven last week, but said military police were no substitute for civilian officers.
"You need troops to make the overall security," he said, "but when the military situation cools down, you need to bring in international civilian police."