Kosovo declared independence in 2008, almost a decade after the international community got involved in the region to halt a bloody ethnic conflict that broke out between Serbs and Albanians in the late 1990s. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) entered Kosovo in March 1999 to stop the violence and maintain stability. Since then, Kosovo has counted on the support of the international community and the presence of international peacekeepers.
The United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) still has around 4,700 police and military personnel in Kosovo. NATO’s mission to Kosovo (KFOR) has an active presence there with troops from 28 countries, including the U.S. The European Union also has a mission called EULEX to ensure the rule of law is respected in Kosovo, and its judges and prosecutors now play an oversight role.