Republic of Kosovo
The Republic of Kosovo (Republika e Kosovës or Република Косово) is an independent state in what was once a province of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Prior to a declaration of independence, ethnic Albanian Kosovans waged an insurgency against the SFRY between 1998 and 1999. Yugoslavian forces withdrew from the province following an extended bombing campaign led by NATO.
The main proponent of Kosovan independence was the Kosovo Liberation Army ( Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës -- UÇK), formed in 1992 by nationalist Albanians living in Macedonia, later migratring into Kosovo. In addition to emigres from other parts of Europe, the UCK included some ex-JNA military personnel with experience in the Croatian War of Independence. As well, five Islamic groups served in the UCK, bringing experienced fighters from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Sudan. Needless to say they were outfitted in a multitude of different types of uniforms, including surplus camouflage from the JNA, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA.
Interestingly, the Kosovo Defense Force (Trupat e Mbrojtjes se Kosoves - TMK) did not wear camouflage uniforms initially, but rather plain olive green. Only recently (2012) have they adopted a camouflage design.
Camouflage Patterns of Kosovo
- The Yugoslavian Nationa Army (JNA) "mountain" camouflage pattern was available in considerable numbers.
- Also commonly worn was the JNA m89 oakleaf pattern uniform (as well as the m93 uniform in the same pattern).
- Large numbers of ex-German Army flecktarn camouflage uniforms were obtained for the UCK.
- Also worn in considerable numbers were ex-Swiss TASS 83 alpenflage pattern camouflage uniforms.
- Circa 2012, the Trupat e Mbrojtjes se Kosoves or TMK have adopted a pixelated camouflage design incorporating the national coat of arms. The colors appear to be similar to those currently worn by Turkey, although current data indicates the uniforms are being produced in Croatia.
- N Thomas & K Mikulan: The Yugoslav Wars 2 (Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2006), p 46