United Nations Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS)

International Information

International Operation Name: United Nations Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS), United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS)

International Mission Name: United Nations Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS), United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS)

Mandating Organization:

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1547, 11 June 2004

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1590, 24 March 2005

Region Name: Africa

Location: Sudan

Mission Date:

United Nations Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) - 11 June 2004 - 24 March 2005

United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) - 24 March 2005 - ongoing

Mission Mandate: Established as a political mission dedicated to prepare for the international monitoring called for by the 25 September 2003 Naivasha Agreement on Security Arrangements, to facilitate contacts with the parties concerned and to prepare for the introduction of a peace support operation following the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. 

UNSCR 1547

  • to support the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement and investigate violations;
  • to facilitate and coordinate the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons;
  • to assist the parties to the Comprehensive Peace agreement in cooperation with other international partners in the mine action sector, by providing humanitarian demining assistance, technical advice and coordination;
  • to contribute towards international efforts to protect and promote human rights in Sudan

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (SAFARI)


Mission Date: 22 July 2004 - present

CF Mission/Operation Notes: Sudan has been wracked by conflict between its northern and southern populations for more than fifty years. The United Nations first became involved in the country in April 1989, when Operation LIFELINE SUDAN was authorized to provide humanitarian assistance to drought-ravaged areas. Attempts at assisting in brokering a political settlement followed, and in January 2002 the conflicting parties agreed to a peace framework. An accord was signed in September 2003, and the next month the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to initiate preparatory work on how the UN could best fully support the implementation of a comprehensive peace agreement between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), which had been waging a civil war for over 20 years, in effect splitting Sudan into a northern and a southern area. The conflict pitted the Islamic north against the mainly Christian and pagan southern rebels, with issues such as oil and ethnicity complicating matters.

After studying the situation, in June 2004 the Secretary General recommended the creation of the United Nations Advanced Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS). The Security Council supported this recommendation and in September 2004 it passed Resolution 1547 (2004) authorizing the creation and deployment of UNAMIS. UMAMIS was tasked to prepare the way for a follow-on UN mission that would monitor the ceasefire and any follow-on agreements.

A Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed on 9 January 2005 between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A. A preliminary agreement was signed between the GOS and the National Democratic Alliance, another rebel group, on 17 January, bringing hope that peace was in sight . After the agreements and the work prepared by UNAMIS, the Security Council passed Resolution 1590 on 24 March 2005 and established the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS). The Resolution also transferred all functions performed by the special political mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) to UNMIS effectively terminating UNAMIS.

UNMIS was to consist of 10,000 military personnel plus a civilian component. The first UN troops, from Nepal, began arriving on 27 April 2005. They would be joined by contingents from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Kenya and Zambia, as well as smaller contingents from western countries. Their area of operations was throughout southern Sudan, but would not involve the Darfur region of western Sudan, which was being monitored by an African Union mission.

Canada’s participation in the recent efforts in Sudan began with UNAMIS, the participation being named Operation SAFARI. With the creation of UNMIS, Canada agreed to send both headquarters staff to support the UN mission and military observers to oversee the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and report on and investigate any violations. The headquarters staff were drawn from the Canadian contribution to the United Nations Standby High Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG), as a result of which they would only be deployed for six months. 

The commander of SHIRBRIG, Brigadier-General Greg Mitchell (Canada), was designated Deputy Force Commander of UNMIS. SHIRBRIG deployed form early April to Oct 2005 for a six month deployment. Canada also augmented the UNMIS Headquarters staff providing five Canadian Forces members for the leadership of the headquarters company, bringing its total Canadian contribution to 15 personnel. The commitment for a recurring six-month contribution of military observers was for 12 persons.

The headquarters component was increased to nine and the UN Military Observer (UNMO) component to 25. The headquarters staff operates out of Khartoum, with one person in El Obeid. The UNMOs can be deployed in any of the six UNMIS sectors, although an effort is made to keep Canadians in pairs at any location to which they are deployed.


Capt Jim Sheppard (squatting), a UN Military Observer with Operation SAFARI in the Sudan, uses his combat shirt as a blanket while providing first aid to one of six Zambian soldiers involved in an auto accident near the DIFFRA oil refinery in late October. Capt Sheppard, who was not involved in the accident, stayed with the injured soldiers until a UN helicopter carrying a doctor arrived and began medically evacuating them. 

The United Nations Mission in Sudan was established under UN Security Council Resolution 1590 of March 24, 2005, with a mandate to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and to perform functions relating to humanitarian assistance, and protection and promotion of human rights.

Capt Sheppard, a 27-year veteran of the CAF, is from CFB Halifax.

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