Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Operation Trojan

  1.  Operation TROJAN was launched in March 2000 to improve the quality of life and conditions of safety of Serbs living in central Kosovo. It was originally conceived and executed by the British-led sector of KFOR. It has been carried out with the increasing support of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and international organisations and non-Governmental organisations. Operation TROJAN 2, launched in October 2000, provided basic services for the Serb community, focusing on communications, healthcare, education and employment opportunities. Operation TROJAN 3, addressing economic regeneration, was launched on 8 February 2001.

  2.  Operation TROJAN has been welcomed by Kosovo Serbs as an effort to meet their concerns. Operation TROJAN 1 3. Increased security and reassurance: Measures carried out or continuing include: fixed vehicle check points supplemented by random stopping and examination of vehicles, watchtowers overseeing farmland and villages, protection of religious sites and monuments, search operations (hundreds of weapons have been confiscated during the last six months), assistance to mine clearing operations and the arrest of several people suspected of being involved in intimidation. Operation TROJAN 2

  4.  Improved Communications: new roads between previously isolated Serb villages, security escorts for Serb journalists, improved train and bus services, additional troops allocated to areas chosen for initial returnee schemes, delivery of winterisation packs (stoves, hygiene equipment, food, electricity and mobile telephone coverage), independent radio station, increased Serb-language television coverage, creation of a Serb-language newspaper, regular security briefings by KFOR through its own newspaper in English and Serbian, Serb minority workers recruited for all UNMIK offices and legislation to enable for the Housing and Property Directorate to resolve the issue of illegally occupied property. Health: provision of medical aid to Serb community in Kosovo Polje one day a week by Russian field hospital, veterinary support and introduction of modern management techniques and equipment to public refuse sites. Education: repairs to many schools in Serb minority areas. Operation TROJAN 3

  5.  Encouraging economic regeneration: Assistance includes: small business networking seminars and training events, start-up grants and micro-lending, improvements to transport and distribution networks, wholesale warehousing, additional security for Serb workers in factories, funding to improve market places in rural villages, ring-fencing of UNMIK housing rehabilitation funds to minority housing, support to bakeries from UN and KFOR contracts, access to petrol stations, free distribution of livestock to re-stock farms, KFOR assistance to maintain farm vehicles, rural transport schemes and reconnection of telephone lines. Unemployment: In the short term, the focus will be on employment in community projects or "not for profit" enterprises. In the medium term, projects will concentrate on small business assistance and increased minority employment in service industries including the public utility companies.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

20 February 2001

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