Fast Facts: U.N. Peacekeeping Missions

Current U.N. Peacekeeping Operations:

United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) — Established in March 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. After the hostilities of 1974, the mission's responsibilities were expanded. UNFICYP remains on the island to supervise ceasefire lines, maintain a buffer zone and undertake humanitarian activities. As of Feb. 28, 2005, the staff was comprised of 937 total uniformed personnel, including 894 troops and 43 civilian police; supported by 42 international civilian personnel
and 110 local civilian staff.

The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) — Established in August 1993 to verify compliance with the ceasefire agreement between the government of Georgia and the Abkhaz authorities in Georgia. UNOMIG's mandate was expanded following the signing by the parties of the 1994 cease-fire agreement. As of Feb. 28, 2005, the staff was comprised of 130 total uniformed personnel, including 119 military observers and 11 civilian police supported by 101 international civilian personnel and 181 local civilian staff.

United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) — Established in 1974 following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights. War erupted in the Middle East between Egyptian and Israeli forces in the Suez Canal area and the Sinai, and between Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights on Oct. 6, 1973. U.N. forces moved into place but the situation became more unstable. The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was set up on May 31, 1974. Israeli and Syrian forces agreed to an area of separation as well as two equal zones of limited forces and armaments on both sides, and UNDOF's mission was to supervise this deal. UNDOF also helps the International Committee of the Red Cross with mail facilities, medical treatment and the passage of people through the area of separation. As of Feb. 28, 2005, the staff comprised of 1,030 troops, assisted by some 80 military observers of United Nations Truce Supervision Organization's Observer Group Golan; and supported by 35 international civilian personnel and 108 local civilian staff.

United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) — Established on June 10, 1999, to perform basic civilian administrative duties, promote self-governance, coordinate humanitarian and disaster relief, maintain law and order, promote human rights and assure the safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo. This came after the withdrawal of security forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from Kosovo. UNMIK encompassed the activities of three non-U.N. organizations under the U.N.'s overall jurisdiction and consists of four components: interim civil administration, humanitarian affairs, reconstruction and institution building. A NATO-led force provided an international security presence.

In January 2000, joint interim administrative departments were created; in October 2000, local elections took place in Kosovo's 30 municipalities; in May 2001, the new constitutional framework was adopted. Province-wide elections took place in November 2001.

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFL) — Established in 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore the international peace and security, and help the Lebanese government restore its effective authority in the area. The situation arose in the early 1970s, when tension along the Israel-Lebanon border increased, especially after the relocation of Palestinian armed elements from Jordan to Lebanon. Palestinian commando operations against Israel and Israeli reprisals against Palestinian bases in Lebanon intensified. The U.N. called upon Israel to cease military action and withdraw forces from all Lebanese territory. The first UNIFIL troops arrived in the area on March 23, 1978.

United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) — Established on May 20, 2002, for two years until it can hand over operational responsibilities to the East Timor authorities. On May 20, 2002, the new nation also changed its name to Timor-Leste. It became the 191st U.N. Member State on September 27, 2002. The U.N. was called in in late 1999 to guide the East Timorese toward statehood in the wake of violence that followed U.N.-led talks between Portugal and Indonesia on integration with Indonesia. The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) was to provide security, law and order while helping refugees return, developing civil and social services, ensuring humanitarian assistance and supporting self-governance efforts.

UNMISET now helps with administrative duties, develops police services and maintains security. The total authorized strength was 477 military personnel, including 42 military observers and 157 civilian police; an estimated 1,094 civilian staff of 336 international staff and 614 national staff; plus 144 U.N. volunteers. As of Feb. 28, 2005, the current strength is 608 total uniformed personnel, including 428 troops, 42 military observers and 138 civilian police supported by 268 international and 539 local civilians.

United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) — Established 1949, UNMOGIP was deployed in January of that year to supervise the cease-fire reached between India and Pakistan in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Since renewed hostilities in 1971, UNMOGIP monitors the cease-fire called for by the U.N. Security Council. In July 1972, India and Pakistan signed an agreement defining a line of control in Kashmir, but the two sides disagreed over UNMOGIP's mandate and functions. The military authorities of Pakistan have continued to lodge complaints with UNMOGIP about cease-fire violations. India's military authorities have lodged no complaints since January 1972 but have restricted the activities of the U.N. observers. They have, however, continued to provide accommodation, transport and other facilities to UNMOGIP. As of Feb 28, 2005, there are 44 military observers supported by 23 international civilian personnel and 47 local civilian staff at the mission.

United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) — In September 1993, the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) was set up but it couldn't be fully deployed because Haitian authorities were uncooperative. Later deployments took place from 1994 to 2001 but the continuing political crisis and lack of stability prevented serious reforms from taking hold. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his Fanmi Lavalas party claimed victory in 2000; the opposition and the international community accused the government of manipulating the results; dialogue broke down and calls rang out for Aristide's resignation. In early February 2004, armed conflict broke out in the city of Gonaives and fighting spread to other cities. Aristide left the country and the new president asked for the U.N. to send in troops. On April 30, 2004, the U.N. established MINUSTAH and it has since been extended until May 31, 2006. The mission is tasked with humanitarian and arms-control efforts, repairing roads and bridges and providing security, among other things.

Up to 6,700 military personnel, 1,622 civilian police, 548 international civilian personnel, 154 United Nations volunteers and 995 local civilian staff were authorized for the mission. As of Feb. 28, 2005, there are on staff 7,413 total uniformed personnel, including 6,012 troops and 1,401 civilian police, supported by 359 international civilian personnel and about 800 local civilian staff.

United Nations Office in Burundi (UNOB) — Established Oct. 25, 1993, UNOB's goal was to support peace and reconciliation for an internal conflict involving fighting largely between the nation's Tutsi army and Hutu rebels that ensued after a 1993 coup attempt in the African nation. Killings, lootings and destruction of property continued; some victims included U.N. relief workers. International facilitators were sent in to oversee the peace process as refugee numbers hit 500,000 and more than 800,000 were displaced. An estimated $70.6 billion was needed for the mission. UNOB was succeeded by broader U.N. operations on June 1, 2004. Authorized for this mission were 5,650 military personnel, including 200 military observers; 120 civilian police personnel, 434 international civilian personnel, 170 U.N. volunteers and 446 local civilian staff. As of Feb. 28, 2005. Current staff include 5,445 total uniformed personnel, including 5,174 troops, 186 military observers and 85 civilian police, supported by 313 international civilian personnel and 217 local civilian staff.

The United Nations Operations in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) — Established on Feb. 27, 2004, to collaborate with the French troops (Licorne) and the Economic Community for West African States to disarm and demobilize combatants. UNOCI provided security on both sides, particularly in Bouaké in the north, as well as protection for some government ministers. This came after the Sept. 19, 2002, attacks on military installations in the capital, Abidjan, and the second largest city, Bouaké, and in the northern town of Korhogo by some 800 soldiers, to protest against their planned demobilization early in 2003. More fighting ensued and political struggles continued to pose obstacles to peace agreements. The U.N. mission in Cote d’Ivoire (MINUCI) was established May 13, 2003 and on April 4, 2004, was replaced by UNOCI.

Total authorized strength for this mission include: 6,240 military personnel, including 200 military observers; 350 civilian police officers; some 435 international civilians and 529 local civilians; and 119 U.N. volunteers. As of Feb. 28, 2005, there were 6,237 total uniformed personnel, including 5,848 troops and 171 military observers; and 218 civilian police supported by 266 international civilian personnel and 225 local staff.

The United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) — Established in July 2000 to maintain a liaison with Ethiopia, Eritrea, Algeria and the Organization of African Unity and oversee a cease-fire. A border dispute had been raging for two years before a deal was signed, halting hostilities. Fighting erupted again on May 12, 2000; sanctions were placed on both countries as the U.N. warned that the humanitarian effects of the fighting could be devastating. The two sides signed a deal on June 18, 2000, ending hostilities once again. In September 2000, deployment was authorized for up to 4,200 military personnel, including 220 military observers, three infantry battalions and the necessary support units, for UNMEE. A peace agreement between the two countries was signed on Dec. 12, 2000. Authorized maximum strength for this mission is 4,200 troops, including 220 military observers. As of Feb. 28, 2005, staff includes 3,335 military personnel, including 3,121 troops and 214 military observers. UNMEE also includes 212 international civilians and 251 local civilians.

United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) — Established in September 1993 to support the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Liberian National Transitional Government to implement the Cotonou peace agreement that ended a civil war that began in late 1989. UNOMIL investigated alleged cease-fire violations, assisted in demobilizing combatants, supported humanitarian assistance, investigated human rights violations and helped observe and verify elections. Successful elections in July 1997 led to the establishment of a democratically elected government and the end of a war in which almost 150,000 people — mostly civilians — were killed and more than 850,000 became refugees. In November 1997, the U.N. established a post-conflict peace-building support office there.

Up to 15,000 military personnel, including up to 250 military observers and 160 staff officers, and up to 1,115 civilian police officers were authorized for this mission. As of Feb. 28, 2005, there are 16,017 total uniformed personnel, including 14,738 troops and 205 military observers, on hand; and 1,074 civilian police supported by 486 international civilian personnel and 668 local staff.

Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East (UNSCO) — Established Oct. 1, 1999, UNSCO is based in Gaza and serves as the focal point in the region for U.N. contributions to support the Middle East peace process and the implementation of peace agreements. UNTSO military observers remain in the Middle East to monitor cease-fires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other U.N. peacekeeping operations in the region.

The United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) — Established Oct. 22, 1999, to help end an 11-year civil war and move the country toward democracy. The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) launched an attack in March 1991 on the border with Liberia to overthrow the government.

In June 1998, the Security Council established the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) to document reports of atrocities and human rights abuses. UNOMSIL was later expanded to create UNAMSIL. Since the May 2002 elections, 75,000 combatants, including 7,000 children, have been disarmed and demobilized. Peacekeepers have reconstructed roads, renovated and built schools, houses of worship and clinics and initiated agricultural projects and welfare programs.

It has an authorized maximum strength of 17,500 military personnel, including 260 military observers and up to 170 civilian police personnel. Strength as of Feb. 28, 2005 was 3,622 total uniformed personnel, including 3,409 troops, 134 military observers and 79 civilian police supported by 243 international civilian personnel and 517 local civilian staff.

United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) — Established Nov. 30, 1999 to help carry out a July 1999 ceasefire deal between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe. On Aug. 6, 1999, the United Nations authorized deployment of up to 90 U.N. military personnel, along with civilian staff. More personnel were later deployed; on July 28, 2003, the Security Council instituted a 12-month arms embargo over the Ituri district and in North and South Kivu where armed conflict continued.

The U.N. also passed a resolution calling on MONUC to inspect aircraft cargo and other traffic to enforce the arms trading ban. MONUC also will see the Congo through its 2005 national elections and has an authorized strength of 10,800 troops.

Authorized maximum strength includes 16,700 military personnel and 475 civilian police personnel, which include specialists in human rights, humanitarian affairs, public information, child protection, political affairs, medical and administrative support. As of Feb. 28, 2005, there were 16,270 total uniformed personnel, including 15,532 troops, 563 military observers, 175 civilian police supported by 734 international civilian personnel and 1,154 local civilian staff on hand.

The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) — First deployed in September 1991, the mission of MINURSO is to monitor the ceasefire between the government of Morocco and the Frente POLISARIO. The territory known as Western Sahara was administered by Spain until 1976. Both Morocco and Mauritania claimed it as their own, which was opposed by the Frente Popular Para la Liberacion de Saguia el-Hamra y de Rio de Oro (Frente POLISARIO).

The United Nations has been seeking a settlement there since the withdrawal of Spain in 1976 and the fighting between Morocco, which had "reintegrated" the territory, and the Algeria-supported Frente POLISARIO. Mauritania renounced its claim to Western Sahara. In 1979, the Organization of African Unity also became active in resolving the conflict. Since the deployment of MINURSO, the ceasefire generally has held but the transitional period to effective self-governance has not yet begun.

As of Feb. 28, 2005, there were 237 total uniformed personnel, including 27 troops, 204 military observers and 6 civilian police at the mission, supported by some 125 international civilian personnel and 113 local civilian staff.

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) — Established to integrate all U.N. activities in Afghanistan, there are 16 U.N. agencies there working with their Afghan government counterparts and with NGOs. UNAMA’s mandate includes furthering human rights; knowledge about the rule of law and gender issues; organizing humanitarian, relief, recovery and reconstruction activities; and increasing employment and cash for work schemes that provide income to families.

In addition to its Kabul headquarters, the mission has regional offices in Bamiyan, Gardez, Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Kunduz and Mazar-i-Sharif. There are two liaison offices in Islamabad, Pakistan, and in Teheran, Iran. As of November 2002, there were 443 staff members at the mission, as well as 175 internationals and 268 Afghans. This mission is led and supported by the United Nations, but the world body has no troops there.


United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) — Established in 1995, this mission participated in functions related to the law enforcement activities and police reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also coordinated other U.N. activities in the country relating to humanitarian relief and refugees, demining, human rights, elections and rehabilitation of infrastructure and economic reconstruction.

Fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina came to an end on Oct. 11, 1995. From that date until Dec. 20, 1995, forces of the U.N. Protection Force monitored a ceasefire. A peace agreement signed on Dec. 14, 1995, by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and other parties agreed to abide by a U.N. charter to recognize each others' sovereignty.

A NATO-led multinational force also was deployed to handle military issues. UNMIBH ended operations in December 2002, and the mission had trained and accredited a 17,000-strong national police force. In addition to maintaining internal security, this force has made progress in curbing smuggling, the narcotics trade and human trafficking.

Authorized for the mission were 2,057 civilian police personnel and five military liaison officers. Strength as of Sept. 30, 2002, was 1,414 civilian police personnel, 395 international civilian personnel and 1,174 local staff.

United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTACT) — Established in February 1992, UNTACT oversaw a transition and cease-fire that led to the restoration of civil rule after years of civil war between Cambodia and Vietnam and foreign intervention. Deployment officially began on March 15, 1992, and by early May some 4,000 U.N. personnel, including about 3,600 troops, were in place.

UNTAC took control of key sectors of the country's administration, while repatriation and resettlement of some 360,000 refugees and displaced persons took place. More than 4.2 million people cast their ballots in the May 1993 elections. In September, a new government was inaugurated. After the withdrawal of UNTACT, several U.N. agencies remained in the country.

For this mission, 15,547 troops, 893 military observers and 3,500 civilian police were authorized; there also was provision for up to 1,149 international civilian staff, 465 U.N. volunteers and 4,830 local staff supplemented by international contractual staff and electoral personnel during the electoral period.

Maximum deployment at this mission was reached in June 1993 and was 15,991 military staff and 3,359 civilian police: During the electoral period, more than 50,000 Cambodians served as electoral staff and some 900 international polling station officers were offered by the government.

United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL) — ONUSAL was established in July 1991 to oversee agreements between the government of El Salvador and the Frente Farabundo Marti Para la Liberacion Nacional, which included a ceasefire, reform and reduction of the armed forces, creation of a police force, reform of the judicial and electoral systems, human rights and other issues.

The formal end of the 12-year conflict was proclaimed in December 1992, as FMLN troops completed their demobilization. This was followed by a 50 percent reduction in the Salvadoran army and the departure of officers allegedly responsible for human rights violations. ONUSAL observed the 1994 elections, won by the ruling party, the Republican National Alliance, with FMLN emerging as the main opposition party. ONUSAL's mandate ended in April 1995 but a small U.N. office remains.

For this mission, 380 military observers, eight medical officers and 631 police observers were authorized, as were 140 civilian international staff and 180 local staff. Maximum deployment was reached in February and March 1992, with 368 military observers and 315 civilian police, respectively, supported by international and local civilian staff.

United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) — Established in January 1997, MINUGUA's mission was to oversee a ceasefire between the government of Guatemala and the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG), which ended 36 years of internal conflict.

More than 250 human rights monitors, legal experts, indigenous specialists and police were posted throughout Guatemala, focusing on human rights and the declining trend in political violence. On March 3, 1997, an observer group was later sent to oversee the ceasefire deal.

With the help of the URNG, by April 18,1997, 378 mines and explosive devices had been lifted and destroyed. MINUGUA has continued its other verification and institution-building activities in support of the peace process in Guatemala, and its mandate regularly has been renewed by the U.N. General Assembly.

There were 155 military observers and requisite medical personnel authorized for this mission, and 132 military observers and 13 medical personnel were on hand at maximum deployment.

United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) — ONUMOZ was established in December 1992 to help implement a peace agreement signed by the Republic of Mozambique and the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana.

A few years after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, the country was plunged into a civil war between the government and the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), supported by South Africa's apartheid regime.

On Oct. 4, 1992, the two parties signed a peace agreement and ONUMOZ was born. ONUMOZ launched a humanitarian assistance program to help 3.7 million displaced people; repatriation of 1.3 million refugees began in 1993.

Demobilization started in 1994 and eventually involved more than 76,000 soldiers from both sides, 10,000 of whom ONUMOZ helped integrate into the new national army. ONUMOZ also recovered about 155,000 weapons. Multiparty elections were held in October 1994. The mandate of ONUMOZ formally came to an end at midnight on Dec. 9, but it continued to carry out some functions until January 1995.

For this mission, 6,625 troops and military support personnel, 354 military observers and 1,144 civilian police were authorized, as were 355 international staff and 506 local staff. During the polling, ONUMOZ deployed approximately 900 more electoral observers.

Maximum military strength was reached in November 1993 with 6,576 people; civilian police capacity was reached in October 1994 with 1,087 police observers. In November 2004 — the time of withdrawal — 3,941 troops and military support personnel, 204 military observers and 918 civilian police were in the country.

United Nations Peace-Building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) — Established Feb. 15, 2000, BONUCA was supposed to further peace efforts, aid in humanitarian projects and help with national reconstruction and economic recovery. A small number of military and civilian police officers were tasked with helping train national police and following up on security-related reforms.

BONUCA came after several previous efforts to disarm ex-rebels, militia and other unlawfully armed individuals after army rebellions broke out in 1996. It took over for the African Union Mission in Burundi (AMIB), the first AU peacekeeping mission, which included 2,870 troops from South Africa, Ethiopia and Mozambique.

BONUCA is helping to oversee the national Burundi elections, which will be held in April 2005. At this mission are 23 international civilians, five military advisers, six civilian police and 30 local civilians.

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) — Established Aug. 14, 2003, UNAMI includes 551 personnel, 184 of whom are international and 367 of whom are local members. Staff is based in Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait. Mission workers include 139 international civilians, 189 local civilians and three military advisers.

The United Nations assisted the political transition process to Iraqi self-governance. Following the formal restoration of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government on June 28, 2004, the United Nations helped prepare an August conference to include many Iraqi political parties and actors.

Elections to a constituent assembly were held on Jan. 30, 2005. Internationally staffed offices were opened in Basra and Erbil. The United Nations provided support to the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, advised the Iraqi government in the development of effective civil and social services, helped coordinate reconstruction, development and humanitarian assistance and promoted the protection of human rights, as well as aided in judicial and legal reform.


United Nations Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) — UNAMIS was established June 11, 2004, for an initial period of three months to prepare for a U.N. peace-support operation. The mandate eventually was extended until March 17, 2005.

The secretary-general proposed the creation of a peacekeeping force, comprised of at least 10,000 military personnel, in southern Sudan to help the region stabilize after the government and rebel forces signed a peace agreement in January ending their 21-year civil war.

The new mission, which would replace UNAMIS, is expected to cost more than $1 billion to establish and run for its first 12 months. The United Nations also is debating what to do about Darfur, where tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly 2 million others displaced since rebels took up arms against government forces and allied militias in early 2003.

Information compiled by Liza Porteus from the U.N. peacekeeping Web site.