Swisscoy soldiers in Kosovo to be armed from October

Swiss soldiers in Kosovo will be armed from October and their numbers will be increased Keystone Archive

Swiss soldiers serving in Kosovo will carry arms from October of this year, according to a statement released on Thursday by the Defence Ministry. The ministry is also to ask parliament to extend the troops' mandate until 2003.

This content was published on September 13, 2001 - 14:03

The number of Swisscoy troops stationed in the region will also increase from 160 to 220. In addition, the ministry is sending five tanks and a Super Puma helicopter to assist Swiss soldiers in Kosovo.

The government has also announced that the Swiss mission in Kosovo will be extended beyond its existing mandate, which runs until the end of the year. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Swisscoy contingent will now stay in the region until 2003.

Unarmed Swiss soldiers have been in Kosovo since autumn 1999, supporting German and Austrian troops serving with Nato's KFor unit.

They are mainly providing logistical support in and around the camp at Suva Reka in Kosovo's Prizren province.

The Swiss people voted in a national referendum last June to allow the arming of Swiss peacekeepers abroad and permit joint military exercises with other countries.

swissinfo with agencies

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?