UN FORCES 1948-94

Text by ROBERT PITTA Colour plates by SIMON McCOUAIG

First published in Great Britain in 1994

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Acknowledgements and Author’s Note The author would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their assistance: US National Archives; Bob Waller, DoD Still Media Records Center; United Nations Information Office, Washington, DC; Ms. Joyce Rosenblum, United Nations, New York; Lt.Col. Juhani Loikaanen, Per- manent Mission of Finland to the United Nations; Ms. Sonya Lundquist, Swedish Armed Forces International Centre; Paratus Magazine; Jeff Pannell; Richard McAroy; Chuck Melson; George Peterson; and W torey. The end of the Cold War and_ the superpower confrontation have brought an era of co- operation and the hope of a ‘New World Order’ that has thrust the United Nations, whether ready or not, into the forefront of world conflict resolution. The number of on-

going operations is steadily growing, as are the cost and the violence involved, The UN role is also in transition, moving -e-making, with humanitarian his book is limited, however,

from peace-keeping to pea efforts seen on a large scale.

to a discussion of the background, establishment, and activities of the more visible, largest, and most recent pea keeping force and military observer missions. Special emphasis is placed on recent missions. ‘The UN role in the Korean and Gulf Wars, the distinctive uniforms of the UN participants, and specific insignia developed for these forces are also described.

Publisher’s note Readers may wish to study this title in conjunction with the following Osprey publications: MAA 127 The Israeli Army in the Middle East Wars 1948-73 MAA 128 Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars 1948: 73 MAA 142 Partisan Warfare 1941-45 MAA 165 Armies in Lebanon 1982-1984 MAA 174 The Korean War 1950-53 MAA 194 Arab Armies of the Middle East Wars (2) MAA 209 The War in Cambodia 1970-75 MAA 221 Central American Wars 1959-89 MAA 242 Modern African Wars 3 Desert Storm Special 1 Land Power and Iraqi Armies Desert Storm Special 2 Air Power The Coalition and Iraqi Air Forces

The Coalition

Desert Storm Special 3 Sea Power The Coalition

and Iraqi Navies

demise of



‘The Charter of the United Nations Organization (UNO) lists the UN’s main purpose as the maintenance of international peace and security, the taking of effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace, the suppression of acts of aggression, and the peaceful settlement of international disputes or situations that might lead to a breach of peace. The principal bodies of the UN involved in peace-making and peace-keeping are the General Assembly and_ the Security Council.

The General Assembly, made up of representatives of 162 nation states each entrusted with one vote, is the world’s forum for discussing matters that affect world peace and security and for making recommendations concerning them. On questions regarding international peace and security a two-thirds majority of members must be present and voting. The Assembly can make recommendations to member nations and to the Security Council. The Assembly also participates in international

Major Crute (centre) of the Australian contingent to TSO confers with Jordan Police Corporal Khalil (left) and SO Security Officer Anderson (right) at the Tulkarm out- station on the Jordanian side of the Jordan-Isracli border, May 1959. OF interest is Major Crute’s use of the blue beret with both UN metal insignia and Royal Australian Artillery insignia. (United Nations)

programmes concerning economic, social, cultural, edu- cational, health, and human rights issues.

The Security Council is the main body vested with responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security. Its functions are outlined in Chapters 6 and 7 of the UN Charter as: to prevent war by settling disputes between nations, to recommend ap- propriate methods or procedures to reach a settlement, and to recommend actual terms of a settlement. The Council has five permanent members (United States, Soviet Union/Russia, Great Britain, France, and China), and ten temporary members each elected by the Assembly for two-year terms. A nine-vote majority is needed to carry a proposal, Under the UN Charter the Council is permit- ted to call for economic sanctions (under Article 41) or, in extreme cases, to dispatch a military force to stop aggres- sion (under Article 42).

All member nations have armed forces, facilities, and other forms of assistance ready and available to the Council to maintain peace. UN peace-keeping operations are divided into two broad categories: observer missions, consisting of unarmed military officers; and peace-

keeping forces, consisting of lightly armed infantry and armoured units with support elements. For specific purposes observer missions can be reinforced by infan- try/support units, while peace-keeping forces can be assisted by unarmed military observers. Analysis of peace-keeping operations reveals that certain factors are fundamental to the success, or failure, of such UN involvement. Firstly, it is necessary for all factions, and all countries involved in the UN effort, to agree to the establishment of the peace-keeping operation. Secondly, the peace-keeping operation must not interfere with either the impartiality of the UN forces, or the internal affairs of the host country. Finally, the conflicting factions must co-operate with the UN forces and allow them freedom of movement. The UN rules of engage- ment state that force should only be used in self-defence or as a last resort (the first peace-keeping mission mandated under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, allowing the use of offensive force to achieve the objectives of UN resolutions, was put into effect in Somali/UNOSOM in 1992).


The first peace-keeping operation in the Middle East was conducted by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) formed during the 1948 Arab- Israeli War. UNTSO’s first task was to supervise the Palestine truce. At that time Palestine administered by the United Kingdom under a League of Nations mandate, had a population of 1.5 million Arabs and 500,000 Jews. The United Nations General Assembly proposed a plan, which was quickly rejected, to partition the territory into separate Arab and Jewish states, with the city of Jerusalem placed under international control. On 14 May 1948 the United Kingdom relinquished its mandate over Palestine, and the state of Israel was

proclaimed. On 15 May the Palestinian Arabs, assisted by the armies of other Arab states, attacked the newly formed republic.

The UN Security Council, in Resolution 50 (29 May 1948), called for a cessation of hostilities in Palestine. The truce was to be supervised by the UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), this con- sisted of a UN mediator and military observers. At this time UNTSO had an authorized strength of 572. With the agreement of both parties the first UNTSO observers arrived in the area on 11 June 1948.

The UNTSO observers were initially used to supervise the original truce of 1948, but after numerous General Armistice Agreements were signed between Isracl and Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria the supervision of these new agreements became paramount. Around this time UNTSO Headquarters were estab- lished at Government House in Jerusalem. Following the 1967 war UN’'TSO was involved in cease-fire observation in the Israeli-Syria sector and along the Suez Canal. Similar operations were established in southern Lebanon in 1973, in the Sinai in 1973, the Golan Heights in 1974, and in southern Lebanon in 1978.

The UNTSO Observer Group Golan (OGG) detach- ment is assigned to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in the Israeli-Syria sector. The OGG occupy eleven observation posts and conduct area inspections every two weeks. The Observer Detachment Damascus (ODD), also assigned to UNTSO, performs support functions for the OGG in Syria. In the Israel-Lebanon sector the UNTSO Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) operates along with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), maintain- ing five observation posts on the Lebanese side of the agreed demarcation line. The OGL also maintains five mobile observer teams in the area under Israeli control. The UNTSO Observer Group Egypt (OGE) maintains forces in the Egypt-Israeli sector, headquartered in Ismailia, with outposts in the Sinai.

UNTSO personnel have contributed to the organi-

United Nations shoulder sleeve insignia, from left to right: silver bullion embroidered on light blue wool (7cm diameter); white thread hand- embroidered on light blue wool (7cm diameter); and machine-embroidered white thread on medium blue wool (8cm diameter). (Author’s photo)

Lt.Col. Bore (seated) of France and Capt. Swartling of Sweden, both members of ‘SO, observing activity along the west side of the Suez

Canal from position ‘Op Yellow’ on the eastern bank in Israeli-occupied Sinai, April 1973. (United Nations/Y. Nagata)

zation and establishment of UN peace-keeping and observer missions unconnected to the Arab-Israeli problem. In 1960 experienced UNTSO military obsery- ers assisted in the UN Operation in the Congo (ONUC), in 1963 with the UN Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM), in 1988 with the UN Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan (OUNGOMAP) and the UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG), in 1991 with the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), and in 1992 with the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) and the UN Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ).

A/M Sherry of the South African Air Force painting the distinctive flying cheetah emblem of 2 Squadron SAAF on an F- 51D Mustang, while US

Army Corporal Schneider, sporting the emblem on his field jacket, watches; Korea, 1951. (Paratus Magazine)

Korea 1950-53

The UN Security Council met on 25 June 1950 to consider the invasion of South Korea by the North, and passed a resolution calling upon the North to cease hostilities and withdraw. A second resolution was passed on 27 June requesting member assistance to South Korea. The Soviet Union had boycotted the Council since January in protest at Nationalist China’s occupation of a seat on the Council despite their eviction from the Chinese mainland by the communists, and thus missed an opportunity to veto the resolutions made against their client state North Korea. The Soviets subsequently claimed that the Korean conflict was an internal one, and that UN decisions were illegal since neither the Soviet Union nor Communist China were present at the Council meeting. The US held that the UN was morally committed to helping South Korea, though not a member state, since the UN had created the state by supervising the 1948 Korean elections. While the UN debate raged President Truman committed troops to the area to cover the evacuation of US citizens on 26 June. As the situation deteriorated, General Douglas MacArthur was authorized to commit US ground forces on 30 June, while Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom placed naval forces at the disposal of UN command. A resolution passed on 7 July recom- mended placing all UN forces under a unified command with the US requested to nominate a commander. The UN Command was formally established on 14 July under the command of General MacArthur, with 42 out of 59 member states providing some sort of assistance. Fifteen countries provided troops, and five countries medical units.

All UN forces, except for British Commonwealth ground troops, were put under US command. A major UN requirement was to rebuild the South Korean (ROK) forces, which lacked equipment and training. Not until 1951, when the front lines stabilized, could efforts

Mariner, 1950. ( Corps)

Canadian troops arrive in Yokohama, Japan, ¢ route to the fighti.

Korea, July 1951. (US

Belgian and British officers ride an armoured vehicle to reach the front lines at Hill 88 north of the Imjin River, Korea, June 1951. (US Army)

be made to re-equip the ROK forces, which totalled 600,000 men by the end of the war.

The contributions of UN members, other than the US, totalled 40,000 ground personnel, 1,100 airmen, 2,168 medical staff, and 30,000 naval personnel. By the end of the war the US had committed 302,483 ground troops (the total forces under UN command totalled 932,539, including ROK forces). US casualties totalled 142,091 (33,000 deaths); the South Koreans suffered 300,000, and other UN members 17,260 casualties.

An armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, thereby fulfilling the Security Council resolutions calling upon member assistance to South Korea to force the North to cease hostilities and withdraw from the South. The UN Command in Korea still exists, consisting of a token force from each nation that committed troops to the fighting, to carry out the armistice terms. Some of these nations maintained troop commitments in South Korea for decades, with the Royal Thai Army the last to leave in June 1972 (the US still maintains a large presence in the country). Periodically North Korean allies attempt to dissolve the UN Command, which meets regularly at Panmunjom to discuss numerous cease-fire violations. Though there has never been a formal peace treaty the UN resolutions were fulfilled. The Korean War cannot be considered a UN peace-keeping operation since the actions were not carried out by the UN itself, the consent of both belligerents to UN involvement was not granted, and force was used to fulfil the UN mandate.

First United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I) In 1955, despite the efforts of the UNTSO Chief of Staff and the Secretary General, relations between Egypt and Israel deteriorated. This was the result of frequent raids by Palestinian fedayeen who were supported by Egypt, into Israel, and the increasingly violent reprisal attacks by the Israeli Defense Forces. At this time both Egypt and Israel were engaged in a massive arms build-up brought on by the heightening of tensions caused by Egypt’s restric- tion of Israeli traffic through the Suez Canal.

In July 1956 the United States withdrew support for the Aswan Dam project on the Nile, prompting President Nasser to announce the nationalization of the Suez Canal Company with the intention of using Canal dues to finance the dam project. The Security Council was asked to consider the issue, and adopted a resolution allowing free and open transit through the Canal. Before further discussion could commence Israel attacked Egypt in October 1956. France and the United Kingdom, in a joint ultimatum to both parties, requested a cessation of hostilities and the stationing of Anglo-French forces along the Canal to separate the belligerents and ensure the safety of shipping. When Egypt rejected the ultima- tum Anglo-French forces launched air assaults against Egyptian targets and landed troops at the northern end of the Canal. Numerous resolutions, proposed by both the United States and the Soviet Union, to end the fighting were submitted to the Security Council and


voted down by France and the United Kingdom. An emergency session of the General Assembly proposed by the United States called for an immediate cease-fire, the re-opening of the Canal, the withdrawal of all forces, and the creation of a United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF, later to be known as UNEF I) to secure and supervise the armistice with an authorized strength of 6,073.

The cease-fire was established on 7 November 1956, and UNEF took up positions in a buffer zone between the Anglo-French and the Egyptian forces, and in Port Said; when the Anglo-French forces withdrew on 22 December UNEF took over their positions. UNEF maintained the cease-fire and arranged Israel’s with- drawal, carried out prisoner exchanges, repaired dam- aged roads, and cleared mines from the Sinai. On 16 May 1967 the Egyptian government requested the withdrawal of UNEF from Egypt’s borders and the Gaza Strip. Israel rejected a UN request for UNEF mainte- nance of the Buffer Zone from Israeli territory. UNEF was then withdrawn from the area. The ten-year mission was successful, but cost the lives of 90 peace-keepers.

Second United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF ID) In a surprise co-ordinated move, on 6 October 1973 Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal and advanced through the observation points of UNTSO, while Syrian

troops simultaneously attacked Israeli positions on the Golan Heights. By 9 October all UN observation posts in the area were closed and UN forces withdrawn. On 23 October the Security Council called for a cease-fire. A

request by Egypt for a joint US-Soviet peace-keeping force was not granted due to US-Soviet differences. To stabilize this volatile situation, on 27 October the Security Council approved plans for the establishment of a new United Nations Emergency Force (later known as UNEF ID, with an authorized strength of approximately 7,000. On 27 October, with the assistance of UNTSO observers, UNEF established posts and checkpoints in the area, thereby stabilizing the situation and observing the cease-fire agreed at a UN-sponsored meeting held at kilometre marker 109 on the Cairo-Suez road.

During this time Dr. Henry Kissinger, the United States representative, engaged in ‘shuttle diplomacy’ between the two countries. Kissinger attempted to work out agreements as to troop positioning, prisoners of war, and the UN separation and observation of each side. Additional mediation efforts took place, including a peace conference in Geneva. It was not until 18 January 1974, at a meeting held at kilometre 101 on the Cairo- Suez road and presided over by Dr. Kissinger, that an agreement was reached for the deployment of Egyptian and Israeli forces, the establishment of a UNEF- controlled buffer zone and demilitarized zones along the Canal. This agreement was put into effect on 25. January and completed without major incident on 5 March. Further negotiations in September 1975 resulted in a redeployment of forces, the re-establishment of buffer zones, a UN-sponsored joint commission to resolve problems that might arise, and a United States- established and manned early warning system in the Gida and Mitla Passes. A final peace treaty was signed in March 1979 between Egypt and Israel under the Camp

The first group of Finnish

peace-keepers to deploy to the Sinai as part of UNEF in 1956. (Finnish Ministry

of Defence)

A Finnish Battalion member of UNEF manning a position at a former Egyptian missile site destroyed by withdrawing Israeli forces on the southern boundary of the second-phase buffer zone, February 1974. (United Nations/Y. Nagata)

Below: A typical observation post, FOXTROT, located on the West side of the Suez Canal. Observing movement on the East side are Commander E. Nunes of Chile (left) and Major A, Proud of Argentina (right), April 1973, (United Nations/Y Nags

David Accords. Strong opposition to the Accords from the PLO, Arab states, and the Soviet Union, coupled with the Israeli withdrawal from the northern Sinai under the peace treaty, prompted the Security Council to allow the mandate of UNEF to lapse on 24 July 1979. UNEF personnel withdrew from the northern part of the buffer zone and Egyptian forces took control in the area.


The Congo (now Zaire), the third largest country in Africa with almost a million square miles of territory, holds vast mineral deposits. King Leopold II of Belgium obtained title to the territory in 1885 and took over administration of the colony. The sweeping changes affecting other African colonies after the Second World War had little effect on the Congo. The Belgian colonial administration was lax in providing political and educational advancement. In 1959, in reponse to numerous disturbances, the Belgian govern- ment announced a plan for the independence of their colony; municipal council ¢lections held in December, with full independence promised by 30 June 1960. A treaty of friendship between Belgium and the Congo was signed, allowing administrative and technical personnel of the colonial regime to stay on to ensure a smooth transition to


communications in Luluabourg, September 1960. (United Nations)

Radio Operator Sgt. Ali, of the Tunisian contingent to the Force in the Congo (ONUC), monitors radio

the government led by President Joseph Kasavubu and Premier Patrice Lumumba. Two military bases were ceded to the Belgians so that their troops could, at the request of the Congolese government, assist in the mainte- nance of law and order. A 25,000-man Congolese security force, the Force Publique, led by Belgian officers under Lt.Gen. Emile Janssens, was expected to maintain order as it had done during colonial times. UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, after a January 1960 visit to the area, saw the need for additional assistance and, through Under Secretary Ralph Bunch, the details were worked out for a UN assistance programme.

Shortly after independence the Force Publique Congolese troops petitioned for higher pay and benefits. On 5 July 1960 this petition was denied by Gen. Janssens, causing the Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) garrison to mutiny. Fighting quickly spread to other areas; looting and increasingly violent attacks against Belgians and other Europeans caused large numbers of Belgian administrators to flee the country, and essential services collapsed country-wide. President Lumumba refused to request the assistance of the locally stationed Belgian troops, and agreed to meet the demands of the


Force Publique. He renamed the Force the Armée Nationale Congolese (ANC), dismissed Gen. Janssens, and attempted to nationalize the force with the appoint- ment of both a Congolese commander, Maj.Gen. Victor Lundula, and a Chief of Staff, Col. Joseph Mobutu, while giving all ranks a one grade promotion. In spite of these concessions, disorder spread and increased. On 10 July, due to the negotiations of Ralph Bunch, the Congolese government agreed to a plan where UN military personnel, acting as technical advisers, would be deployed to the country to help control and strengthen the Congolese Army. It was hoped that this would enable the army to maintain law and order. On 11 July, without the agreement of the Congolese government, Belgium ordered its troops into the country to restore law and order and protect Belgian nationals. Belgian troops landed at Leopoldville, Lulabourg (now Kananga), Elisabethville (now Lubumbashi), and Matadi, where heavy fighting with Congolese troops increased the widespread chaos. On the same day Moise ‘Tshombe, Premier of the mineral-rich Katanga Province (which provided the country with over half its revenues), seceded from the republic; the province of South Kasai soon followed ‘T'shombe’s lead. .

On 12 July the Congolese government officially re- quested UN military assistance to protect the territory of the Congo against the external threat represented by Belgian intervention. On 14 July the Security Council adopted Resolution 143 (1960) which called for the estab- lishment of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC); the withdrawal of Belgian troops; and military assistance to the government of the Republic of the Congo. The UN force was to be regarded as temporary and impartial, deployed with the consent of the government until local forces could restore order. It aimed to establish freedom of movement throughout the country; using force only in self-defence; and was to be built around a core of contingents from African nations. The first contingents comprised seven battalions totalling 4,000 men from Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, and Tunisia. The Swedish battalion of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEP) in Gaza was temporarily transferred to ONUC with light aircraft, communications, and logistic support provided by non-African nations.

Attempted restoration of law and order

The Belgian government stated that they had no designs on the Congo and would withdraw from the area when ONUC had restored law and order. When the first UN troops were deployed in Leopoldville, at the power and radio stations and along the major roads, on the evening of 15 July a sense of calm returned to the city. In

response to the UN deployment, Belgian troops were withdrawn to their barracks. Though the ONUC deployment was carried out quickly, the Congolese government issued an ultimatum on 17 July stating that if the Belgian forces were not completely withdrawn in 48 hours they would request troops from the Soviet Union. The deployment continued with all Belgian troops withdrawn from Leopoldville by 23 July and from the entire Congo, except Katanga, by August without additional posturing by the Congolese government.

The problem in Katanga worsened, and President Lumumba requested ONUC assistance in quelling the rebellion; the UN mandate did not allow for this assistance and the request was refused. The Katangese opposed ONUC entry into their territory while the Belgians, citing this opposition, would not withdraw their forces from the area. Secretary-General Ham- marskjéld made a second trip to Leopoldville on 4 August 1960 in preparation for the entry of UN troops into Katanga. This entry was postponed due to the violent opposition of the Katangese, forcing the Secre- tary General to seek a Security Council resolution. Resolution 146 (1960) was passed on 9 August, calling for the immediate withdrawal of Belgian troops and the entry of ONUC troops into Katanga (without interven- ing in the internal conflict). On 12 August the Secretary General returned to the Congo and personally led the ONUC forces into Katanga, the Belgian forces peacefully withdrawing in response.

In August the internal situation worsened; long- standing rivalries between Baluba and Lulua tribesmen flared up, and the Baluba declared the secession of South Kasai Province. In Equator and Leopoldville Provinces

A Swedish member of ONUC on duty ata maintained refugee camp studies Swahili with camp children, Elisabethville, Congo; September 1961. As a result of the fighting in Katanga Province over 35,000 Congolese were made refugees and sought UN assistance. (United Nations)

opposition to the government gained strength. The Congolese government arrested opposition leaders, closed down newspapers, and sent ANC troops into the area who subsequently killed many civilians, including women and children. These ANC actions led ONUC to try to protect the threatened people of the region but without using force, as mandated, even when UN personnel were attacked. ‘The atrocities which accompa- nied much of the chaotic fighting in the Congo continued to cause widespread concern in the Western world, adding to the pressure on the UN to solve problems for which it was not organized or equipped.

Constitutional Crisis

On 5 September 1960 President Kasavubu dismissed Prime Minister Lumumba; Lumumba refused to leave his post and dismissed Kasavubu as Chief of State. The parliament supported Lumumba, though would not endorse the dismissal of Kasavubu. Kasavubu_ then dismissed parliament. Col. Mobutu instigated a coup to install an army-backed regime in support of Kasavubu on 14 September. In response ONUC closed down Leopoldville airport to prevent the arrival of additional Congolese faction troops; temporarily closed the radio station to quell broadcasts inciting numerous violent riots; and honoured requests by all factions for ONUC protection of faction leaders. In South Ka ONUC arranged a cease fire between the ANC and secessionists, blished a neutral zone under UN control, and convinced the ANC to withdraw from the Katanga border. In Katanga ONUC established neutral zones to separate the warring factions, and protected and evacu- ated numerous Europeans who were threatened by the


violence. On 8 November an ONUC Irish contingent was ambushed in northern Katanga, leaving eight dead. On 24 November ANC troops attacked the Ghanaian embassy, injuring many and killing one ONUC Tunisian contingent member. Despite ONUC’s efforts the country was turned into an armed camp with four opposing factions.

On the night of 27/28 November Lumumba attempted to flee his ONUC-guarded residence to Stanleyville, his stronghold; arrested by Mobutu-backed ANC troops near Port Fracqui, he was transferred to Elisabethville in Katanga on 17 January 1961, and subsequently killed. Lumumba’s death triggered a series of reprisals and counter-reprisals, causing the civil war to widen. The Security Council met on 15 February 1961 and adopted Resolution 16 authorizing the use of force, as a last resort, to prevent the civil war from spreading; the evacuation of all foreign nationals not under UN command; and the withdrawal of mercenary forces. ONUC was deployed throughout the country, but was unable to fulfil its mandate due to the withdrawal of 5,000 ONUC troops by their governments and the increasing hostility of the Congolese factions.

In April 1961 the civil war in northern Katanga province flared up, when the Katangese gendarmerie, led by foreign mercenaries, launched an offensive to destroy the anti-Tshombe forces. After a UN warning on 27 March to cease hostilities was ignored, ONUC inter- vened militarily, checked Katangese operations and established control in the area. Further ONUC casualties were incurred, including the ambush and massacre of 44 Ghanaian members at Port Fracqui in late April, and the killing of 13 Italian aircrew at Kindu on 11 November.

After numerous failed conferences on 22 July 1961


ONUC troops at a bridge over the Lufira River constructing a provisional bridge using empty oil drums to enable troops to continue operations; Katanga, January 1963. (United Nations)

Kasavubu reconvened parliament, with ONUC assis- tance and protection; 200 out of 221 members attended. A government of national unity was constituted on 2 August under Prime Minister Cyrille Adoula.

Termination of Katangese Secession

ONUC’s efforts to eliminate foreign interference in Katanga province were largely successful. Nevertheless the withdrawl of the Belgians, enabled Tshombe’s regime to consolidate power in southern Katanga, but not without the assistance of foreign mercenaries, powerful forcign financial and political interests, and large quantities of weapons purchased from foreign governments. T'shombe launched an ethnic cleansing campaign against his political and tribal enemies. In April 1961, after ONUC’s rein- forcement, ‘'shombe’s representatives accepted Resolu- tion 161 (21 February 1961), and large numbers of foreign soldiers of fortune were repatriated out of the country, beginning in June 1961. A group of mercenaries re- infiltrated into Katanga, organized and armed gendarmerie forces, and persuaded Tshombe to attack ONUC. On 13 September these forces attacked the Bel- gian consulate in Elisabethville, the UN base at Kamina, and the UN garrison in Albertville. The fighting grew more intense, and a mercenary-piloted jet fighter wreaked havoc on ONUC ground forces and disabled ONUC light transport aircraft; the UN did not deploy offensive weap- ons such as fighter aircraft or tanks since they were incompatible with the UN mandate. During this period Secretary-General Hammarskjoéld travelled to Leopold- ville to bring about a reconciliation between the warring parties, and flew to Northern Rhodesia to meet Tshombe on 17 September; the UN aircraft crashed en route killing the Secretary General, the Swedish flight crew, and seven

An ONUC Swedish armoured personnel carrier crosses the Bukama Railroad Bridge, still under repair by the Swedish 20th Battalion and Congolese National Army; Bukama, Congo, September 1963. After two years of interruption the rail line was re-opened between the Province of Katanga and the rest of the country. (United Nations)

UN staff members. Other UN representatives took up Hammarskjold’s mission and a military ceasefire was signed on 20 September.

At first, in accordance with the agreement, numer- ous prisoners were exchanged and troops withdrawn to various positions. However ‘Tshombe’s regime soon broke with the agreement, demanding independence, and launching mercenary-led land and air raids which ONUC was unable to counter. Resolution 169 (24 November 1961) authorized the use of force to remove the estimated 237 mercenaries from Katanga. In response ‘Tshombe launched a propaganda campaign against the UN resulting in the abduction and murder of numerous UN personnel. On 5 December 1961 the Katangese gendarmerie established road blocks hindering ONUC freedom of movement, and attempted to isolate and destroy the UN forces in Elisabethville. By 15 December

ONUC had received reinforcements, seizing control of

the road blocks and other positions within three days. By 19 December, having consolidated its positions, ONUC declared a truce and relative calm returned to the area. The UN forces then assisted the local police in their effort to stop looting and restore law and order.

A meeting in Kitona between Tshombe and Prime Minister Adoula on 20 December culminated in the sign- ing of an eight-point declaration, under this Tshombe agreed to recognize the central government in Leopoldville, to end the secession of Katanga, and to respect UN resolutions. This declaration was only ac- cepted by the Katanga Assembly as a basis for discussions with the central government; further attempts at a resolu- tion through discussion failed and the talks were sus- pended in June 1962. In response to the breakdown of talks Secretary-General U Thant proposed, with member na-

tion approval, a plan for reconciliation in the Congo which was eventually accepted by both Tshombe and Adoula. This provided for a federalist-type government, a division of revenues between the central and provincial govern- ments, unification of all military and paramilitary forces into a national army, a central currency, a general amnesty, a reconstruction of the central government, and freedom of movement for UN forces country-wide. After accep- tance of the plan the Katangese made no effort to imple- ment it and, before economic sanctions could be imposed on the province, attacked ONUC forces on 11 December.

The ONUC forces did not return fire for six days, but, when negotiation had no effect, they launched counter-operations against the Katangese. By 30 Dec- ember 1962 ONUC Ethiopian, Indian, and Irish troops had gained control of a 20-mile radius around Elisabethville while Ghanaian and Swedish troops occupied Kamina. On 31 December ONUC Indian troops moved toward Jadotville (now Likasi), crossing the Lufira River to reach their destination by 3 January 1963. By 4 January ONUC troops had established their presence in Elisabethville, Kamina, Jadotville, and Kipushi, where basic services were restored to the local populations. Tshombe fled to Kolwezi, where he announced on 14 January his intent to end the secession movement and to accept implementation of the national reconciliation plan, requesting amnesty as provided for under the plan. On 21 January, after agreement by all parties, ONUC entered Katanga. The Katangese attempt at secession was ended.

Consolidation of the Congolese Government

The end of Katangese secession brought added responsi- bilities for the UN civilian programmes that had been in


operation since 1960. Essential public services were restored; loans guaranteed to the government; refugee relief efforts expanded; training in agriculture, labour, and public services restored; and a rebuilding of the infrastructure re-initiated. On 4 February 1963 the Secretary General reported that the territorial integrity and _ political independence of the Congo had been maintained, law and order restored, and a reduction in ONUC personnel was proceeding. On 27 July 1963 Resolution 1876 established the last day of 1963 as the termination date for the ONUC military forces. A Congolese government request for the force to remain until 20 June 1964 was agreed (Resolution 1885) on 18 October 1963. The United Nations Operation in the Congo withdrew from the country on 20 June. A small programme of UN technical assistance continued under the Office of the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program.

ONUC was, at the time, the largest mission established by the UN, comprising a military force and civilian component of 20,000 personnel. Originally mandated to provide military and administrative services following the Belgian intervention, ONUC_ became involved in a confused and violent civil war. The UN involyement conflicted with the priorities of the Soviet Union and other powers, led to the death of Secretary- General Dag Hammarskjéld, created a political and financial crisis for the UN, and cost the lives of 234 ONUC personnel.


The Republic of Cyprus became independent on 16 August 1960 with a constitution based on agreements reached on 11 February 1959 by Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and agreed upon by the island’s Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. The 1959 settlement recognized the ethnic composition of the island (80% Greek and 18% Turkish); sought to maintain a balance between the two communities’ rights and interests, with Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom as guarantors of the articles of the constitution; established the right of each guarantor to take action to maintain the settlement; forbade the union of Cyprus with any other state, or the partitioning of the island; and permitted United King- dom sovereignty of two areas to be maintained as military bases. The application of the constitutional provisions proved difficult and led to rising tension between the leaders of the two Cypriot communities.

Following the rejection of a number of proposals to modify the constitution made by the Greek Cypriot leader, President Archbishop Makarios, mutual accus- ations abounded, leading to violence on the island on 21 December 1963. On 24 December the Turkish military contingent stationed in Cyprus under the terms of the agreement left camp, and established a presence in northern Nicosia, where disturbances had erupted. Reports of Turkish military over-flights of the city, military concentrations along the ‘Turkish southern coast, and naval movements added to the tension on the island. On 27 December the Security Council met to consider a complaint by Cyprus charging aggression and interven- tion in Cypriot internal affairs by Turkey. Turkey maintained that Greek Cypriot leaders were attempting to nullify Turkish Cypriot rights and denied any aggression. The situation degenerated rapidly, with scattered intercommunal fighting, heavy casualties, hos- tage-taking and kidnappings, irregular force ambushes, the break-down of government, and the rising threat of military intervention by either Greece or Turkey.

After all attempts to restore peace had failed, the Security Council adopted Resolution 186 on 4 March 1964, recommending the establishment of the United

Since 1964 the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have been separated by a 180- kilometre-long buffer zone controlled by

UNFICYP. Here Danish contingent members patrol the buffer zone ina Ferret armoured car, November 1990. (United Nations/J. Isaac)

Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) with a mandate to prevent the recurrence of fighting, to maintain law and order, and to promote a return to normal conditions. UNFICYP had an authorized strength of 6411, and was established for a period of three months with a review and re-authorization by the Security Council at the end of that period. The UN contingents were deployed throughout the island in areas of responsibility that matched the island’s established administrative boundaries, ensuring close working rela- tionships between the UN and Cypriot government officials. In Nicosia UN troops took up observation posts along a so-called ‘green line’, while other UN troops established patrol and observation routines in areas of tension. Despite the deployment of UN troops sporadic violence continued, with occasional periods of heavy fighting.

In March 1970 the underlying tension within the Greek community increased with an attempt on the life of President Makarios and the killing of the former Minister of the Interior, Clandestine activity by factions supporting the union of Cyprus with Greece continued into 1971. On 15 July 1974 the Cypriot National Guard, under the direct orders of mainland Greek officers, staged a coup d’état against the government of President Makarios. On 20 July the Turkish government, citing the 1960 treaty, launched a major military operation against northern Cyprus, occupying the main Turkish Cypriot enclave and surrounding areas. Despite UNFICYP attempts to promote a cease-fire, intensive fighting broke out in the vicinity of Nicosia International Airport. The National Guard reacted to the Turkish landings with attacks on Turkish Cypriot areas throughout the island. UNFICYP attempted to arrange local cease-fire agree- ments, and was heavily involved in the 21 July evacuation of foreign nationals, while maintaining obser- vation over the battle zones.

On 30 July, in response to Security Council Resolution 353 (1974), the representatives of Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom agreed upon a 16 August de facto cease-fire that included UN inspection of the warring forces, an establishment of cease-fire lines, establishment of a buffer zone between the warring factions, and adherence to the military status quo in the buffer zone. The buffer zone eventually extended 180 miles across the island, varying in width from 20 metres to seven kilometres, and it is under constant UNIFCYP surveillance from 150 observation posts and air, vehicu- lar, and foot patrols. Each year hundreds of incidents are reported, the most serious in areas where the cease-fire lines are close, as in Nicosia.

Growing international impatience with the lack of


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An Austrian member of UNDOF patrolling on Mt.Hermon, December

1975. (United Nations/Y. Nagata)

progress in re-uniting the Greek and Turkish Cypriot factions was a major factor in the June 1993 decision by the Canadian Government to withdraw their forces, less than one year after the Danish contingent left the island, thus ending 29 years of Canadian participation in UNFICYP. These withdrawals reduced the UNFICYP force by over one-third.

United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF)

On 6 October 1973 war broke out between the Egyptian and Israeli forces in the Suez Canal area and the Sinai Peninsula, and between Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights. At the height of the fighting in mid- October the Security Council established a second United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF II) which was moved into the Suez Canal area, separating the Israeli and Egyptian forces. In March 1974 the situation became destabilized to the point that the United States under- took a bold diplomatic initiative; this resulted in a formal agreement of disengagement between the Israeli and Syrian forces, providing two equal zones of separation each containing limited military forces and armaments. UN Security Council Resolution 350 established the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights to monitor the situation