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Kosovo's new army parades, Serbs disapprove

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Kosovo's new army parades, Serbs disapprove

Kosovo's new army parades, Serbs disapprove

Members of the Kosovo Security Force marched as an army for the first time in the country's 11th independence day parade on Sunday (February 17).

In December last year, Kosovo's parliament voted to create a 5,000-strong standing army, a week after Serbia's premier suggested the move could provoke military intervention by Belgrade.

Saskia O'Donoghue reports


Kosovo's new army parades, Serbs disapprove

A day for celebration on Kosovo's 11th anniversary of its independence.

This parade is the first time members of the Kosovo Security Force, or KSF, have marched as an army.

It used to be a lightly armed unit mostly used for civil defense, natural disasters and the like.

Now they're militarizing and this man says he's overjoyed, but not everyone is happy: Especially Serbia.

They don't recognise Kosovo as a sovereign state, dating back to the wars and ethnic violence of the 1990s from which Kosovo emerged.

And NATO has previously criticized the force as unhelpful, and only likely to provoke tensions.

Its position is that if Kosovo wanted an army they should have done it with the approval of the Serb minority that still lives in Kosovo.

BUT, in December last year, Kosovo's parliament voted to militarize anyway.

It came 20 years after Kosovo Albanians' uprising against Serbian rule and a decade after independence -- a moment lauded as "historic" by the United States even as its NATO allies disapproved.

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