- 31 March 2003 - 15 December 2003
- Military personnel
The population of Macedonia is made up mainly of Slav Macedonians and ethnic Albanians. By tradition, the Slav Macedonians held the key positions in society.
Although ethnic Albanian parties participated in virtually all successive governments, until 2001 there was little progress in terms of concessions to their demands – political and socio-economic equality as a constitutional entity within Macedonia.
In that year, the Albanians tried to press home their demands by force. The parties signed a ceasefire on 6 July 2001. On 13 August, the Slav Macedonian and ethnic Albanian leaders signed what was known as the Ohrid agreement, which recognised the territorial integrity as well as the multi-ethnic character of Macedonian society.
The Macedonian government was then faced with the task of restoring its authority in the whole of Macedonia. It opted for the deployment of multi-ethnic police teams, which would deploy gradually in the former conflict areas. Observers from the European Union (European Union Monitoring Mission) and from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE Spillover Mission) were to monitor the return.
The Macedonian authorities were responsible for the safety of the observers. President Trajkovski therefore asked NATO to station a small force (Task Force Fox: TFF) in Macedonia as a supplementary security measure for the observers. Operation Amber Fox thus became a reality. TFF’s mandate expired with the transition to a new, smaller operation - Allied Harmony - on 15 December 2002.