Operation DIALOGUE

International Information

International Operation Name: DIALOGUE

International Mission Name: DIALOGUE

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name: Central America

Location: Haiti

Mission Date: 1 September 1994 - 12 October 1994

Mission Mandate: To evacuate Canadian nationals from Haiti, in the event the political situation deteriorates.

Mission/Operation Notes: With the successful signing of the Governors Island Agreement and the New York Pact, the sanctions imposed on Haiti by the United Nations in June 1993 were suspended. On 23 September the Security Council authorized the establishment and immediate dispatch of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) for a six-month period.

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (DIALOGUE)

CF Mission/Operation Notes: Canada’s participation in UNMIH was called Operation CAULDRON and provided a predominantly engineering contingent as part of a multi-national UN force to assist in the restoration of Haitian infrastructure. 

However, faced with the refusal of Haiti's military regime to implement the Governors Island Agreement, the Security Council re-imposed its oil and arms embargoes on Haiti in October 1993. Under the international operation name FORWARD ACTION, warships from several nations came together to enforce this embargo. 

The situation in Haiti continued to deteriorate and by April of 1994 Canada, under the designation Operation DIALOGUE, issued a warning order to begin planning a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) of Canadian personnel should the political situation continue to worsen. 

In September, a Canadian team was dispatched to the USS WASP off the coast of Puerto Rico, to coordinate efforts with the Americans. Talks focused on coordinating the force structure, the tactical planning and laying the groundwork for cooperation should the operation need to be executed. 

The plan called for a night operation with one company of US Marines landing and securing the Port-Au-Prince airport, a second amphibious company securing a sugar refinery beach and pier, and a third company mounted in 15 LAVs coming ashore and securing the area centered around the airport. A fourth company would remain in reserve off shore. Once all areas were secure, personnel wishing to leave Haiti were to marshal at four locations around Port-au-Prince from which they would be transported to the airport where they would be evacuated. According to American embassy estimates, only 2000 of the estimated 9000 potential evacuees would actually want to leave. Based on those numbers the operation was estimated to take roughly three to four days. 

To support the operation, in September Canada deployed a task group consisting of the HMC Ships Preserver, Fraser and Gatineau, and placed on alert 1st Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment for deployment. 

The task group remained on station outside Haitian territorial waters on “exercise” fully prepared to intervene and support the extraction of Canadian personnel if necessary. 

With the passing of UNSCR 940(1994) and the deployment in September of the Multinational Force (MNF), the need for Operation DIALOGUE was removed. Thus on 12 October 1994 Operation DIALOGUE ceased operations, and was redesignated a contingency operation.

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