Operation Allied Harbour

14 April 1999 - 12 August 1999
Military personnel

In the spring of 1999, the Kosovo War caused an unprecedented flow of refugees as tens of thousands of Kosovo Albanians sought safety in neighbouring Albania and Macedonia. A humanitarian disaster was unfolding before the eyes of the world. Extemporaneously established refugee camps lacked shelter, water, food and basic care services.

On 11 April 1999, at the request of the Albanian government and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), NATO created Albania Force (AFOR) to conduct relief operations on Albanian territory. The mission was codenamed Allied Harbour.

NATO force

NATO troops also assisted refugees in Macedonia. The province was placed under international protection after Yugoslavia, under NATO pressure, withdrew its police and military units from Kosovo in June (see Operation Allied Force). NATO deployed a force in the area (see Kosovo Force). As a result, tens of thousands of Kosovar refugees returned home. By the beginning of July, the reception camps in Macedonia and Albania were virtually empty. The AFOR mission in Albania was ended on 12 August 1999.