United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR)

International Information

International Operation Name: United Nations Protection Force(UNPROFOR)

International Mission Name: United Nations Protection Force(UNPROFOR)

Mandating Organization: 
United Nations Security Council Resolution 743, 21 February 1992,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 749, 7 April 1992,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 758, 8 June 1992,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 761, 29 June 1992,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 762, 30 June 1992,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 764, 13 July 1992,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 769, 7 August 1992,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 770, 13 August 1992, Chapter VII
United Nations Security Council Resolution 776, 14 September 1992, Chapter VII
United Nations Security Council Resolution 779, 6 October 1992, Chapter VIII
United Nations Security Council Resolution 781, 9 October 1992, 
United Nations Security Council Resolution 786, 10 November 1992, 
United Nations Security Council Resolution 807, 19 February 1993, Chapter VII
United Nations Security Council Resolution 819, 16 April 1993,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 824, 3 May 1993,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 842, 18 June 1993,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 844, 18 June 1993, Chapter VII
United Nations Security Council Resolution 847, 30 June 1993, Chapter VII
United Nations Security Council Resolution 871, 4 October 1993,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 914, 27 April 1994,
United Nations Security Council Resolution 982, 31 March 1995, Chapter VII

Region Name: Europe

Location: Former Yugoslavia

Mission Date: 21 February 1992 - 31 March 1995

Canadian Operations:

CANENGBAT - April 1992 to March 1993

Op MANDARIN (CANLOGBAT) - September 1992 to March 1995

Op HARMONY (CANBAT I) - April 1992 to March 1995

Op CAVALIER (CANBAT II) - September 1992 to March 1995

Op MEDUSA - unknown date to March 1995

Op PANORAMA - July 1993 to November 1993

Expanding Mandate:

Over its three-year mandate, the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was supported by a total of 29 separate United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs), which expanded and strengthened the role of the UN in the Former Yugoslavia. Initially, UNPROFOR was established in Croatia as an interim arrangement to create the conditions of peace and security required for the negotiation of an overall settlement of crisis following Slovenia’s and Croatia’s declarations of independence from the Yugoslav federation. Its mandate was to ensure that the three "United Nations Protected Areas" (UNPAs) in Croatia were demilitarized and that all persons residing in them were protected from fear of armed attack. 

Over the course of 1992, UNPROFOR's mandate was enlarged to include monitoring functions in certain other areas of Croatia ("pink zones"); to enable the Force to control the entry of civilians into the UNPAs and to perform immigration and customs functions at the UNPA borders at international frontiers; and to include monitoring of the demilitarization of the Prevlaka Peninsula and to ensure control of the Peruca dam, situated in one of the "pink zones". 

In June 1992, as the conflict intensified and extended to Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNPROFOR's mandate and strength were enlarged in order to ensure the security and functioning of the airport at Sarajevo, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to that city and its environs. 

In September 1992, UNPROFOR's mandate was further enlarged to enable it to support efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to deliver humanitarian relief throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to protect convoys of released civilian detainees if the International Committee of the Red Cross so requested. The Force also monitored the "no-fly" zone, banning all military flights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the United Nations "safe areas" established by the Security Council around five Bosnian towns and the city of Sarajevo. 

UNPROFOR was authorized to use force in self-defence in reply to attacks against these areas, and to coordinate with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) the use of air power in support of its activities. Similar arrangements were subsequently extended to the territory of Croatia.

In December 1992, UNPROFOR was deployed to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to monitor and report any developments in its border areas, which could undermine confidence and stability in that Republic and threaten its territory.

In March 1994, UNPROFOR began monitoring the implementation of a cease-fire agreement signed by the Croatian Government and local Serb authorities following the flare-up of fighting in January and again in September 1993.

On the 1st of January 1995, UNPROFOR began monitoring a cease-fire agreement that had been negotiated between the Bosnian Government and Bosnian Serb forces, and in February it began the implementation of a cease-fire agreement signed by the Bosnian Government and Bosnian Croat forces.

On 31 March 1995, the Security Council decided to restructure UNPROFOR, replacing it with three separate but interlinked peacekeeping operations.

Supported by United Nations Security Council Resolutions 743, 749, 758, 761, 762, 764, 769, 776, 779, 781, 786, 795, 807, 815, 819, 824, 836, 838 842, 844, 847, 869, 870, 871, 900, 908, 914, 947, and 982

Mission Notes:

Initial attempts to monitor the deteriorating situation in Yugoslavia in 1991 by the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM) were soon joined by the United Nations in December 1991. The Security Council, in passing Resolution 724 (1991), approved the Secretary General’s report, which contained a plan for a possible peacekeeping operation. A small group (UN Military Liaison Mission - UNMLOY), containing six Canadian and other military officers, civilian police and members of the United Nations Secretariat, travelled to Yugoslavia to prepare for the implementation of this plan.

On 21 February 1992, the United Nations Security Council authorized Resolution 743, to create the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). Its mandate was to support the cease-fire while the Yugoslav crisis was being resolved by international diplomacy. As part of the new peacekeeping mission, Canadian Brigadier-General Lewis MacKenzie was appointed Chief of Staff in UNPROFOR Headquarters. Initially UNPROFOR peacekeepers were to be deployed into United Nations Protected Areas (UNPAs), where the majority of Croatian Serbs lived and where most of the fighting had taken place. Each UNPA was to be demilitarized and made safe and secure for all of its residents. The areas were spread across four sectors: Sectors West and East in Slavonia, and Sectors North and South in the Krajina.


Sappers from 4 Combat Engineer Regiment (4 CER), 17 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 22 Field Engineer Squadron and 41 Field Engineer Squadron collectively made up what became known as 4 CER under the designation CANENGBAT (Canadian Engineering Battalion). CANENGBAT served directly under UNPROFOR Headquarters working throughout all of the protected areas on all types of engineering duties.

Operation PANORAMA

Canada’s next commitment to UNPROFOR was Operation PANORAMA, which comprised 12 Forward Air Controllers (FAC). Like CANBAT and CANENGBAT, it worked directly under the BH command, so members of the team could be dispatched to any battalion under the UNPROFOR command that required them. Though it was supported by the Canadian national support element, due to logistical problems, the group was dispatched in three teams from Canada during July, and by the end of the month were in place and ready to assume their responsibilities. 

In an effort to standardize procedures throughout UNPROFOR, members of Op PANORAMA frequently spent several weeks working with British, French, Spanish and later Danish FAC teams. Yet after completing the first rotation in November 1993, the FAC function, like the engineering function, was absorbed into the Canadian battalions to broaden their capabilities.

Operation MANDARIN

The Canadian Logistics Battalion (CANLOGBAT) under the designation Operation MANDARIN fulfilled Canada’s logistics and supply needs in the Balkans. This formation originated in September 1992 from the National Support Element (NSE) personnel assigned to the first Canadian formations brought into Croatia. From then until January 1996 CANLOGBAT, which was also known as the Canadian Contingent Support Group, fulfilled the supply requirements of Canada’s troops in the field. The composition of the battalion included personnel from Canadian support units in Germany, as well as 5e Bataillon des services du Canada, 1st Service Battalion and 2nd Service Battalion. 

CANLOGBAT personnel were originally based at Camp Polom, near Daruvar, Croatia. From this location, and a relay location in Ploce, Croatia, the logisticians supplied the Canadian formations in Visoko, Gracac and Srebrenica. This work was difficult and often dangerous because of the intermittent fighting and road conditions. After the redeployment of CANBAT 1 to Sector South CANLOGBAT took the opportunity to move to a more central location for its work. In the spring of 1994 it moved from Camp Polom and Ploce to an area near Primosten, on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.


Description: Operation HARMONY. Sv Roc, Croatia. 2 Canadian D6 dozers pile fill which is to be used to level a swampy areas inside a French camp in South sector. Engineers from 1 CER in Chilliwack attached to CanEngBat assisted all UN contingents located in Croatia with heavy equipment tasks.

Operation HARMONY

The infantry component, which was comprised of soldiers from 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (1 R22eR), 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, (3RCR), and other Canadian units based in Europe, operated under the name 1 R 22eR Battle Group, and was known to the UN as CANBAT (Canadian Battalion). In April 1992, this unit began to man checkpoints, conducted patrols and monitored the activities of Serb and Croat military forces. 

Canada began by providing a “Battle Group” to UNPROFOR. Under the designation Operation HARMONY the battle group was divided into an Infantry component and an Engineering component.

During the next infantry battalion group deployment, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, to Operation HARMONY in September 1993, the Canadian area of responsibility was moved to Sector South. Their arrival was greeted with another Croatian offensive in early September that resulted in open warfare between the Croats and Serbs in the Medak region. Pressure from UN officials and UNPROFOR peacekeepers led to a cease-fire after four days of fighting. UNPROFOR's implementation of the cease-fire in the Medak area was strongly and violently resisted by Croat forces. 

The next three deployments of the Canadian infantry battalion group, 1er Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment; 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry; and, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, from October 1993 to March 1995, were tense but relatively quiet. Field engineers from 4 Engineer Support Regiment were also deployed briefly to UNPROFOR to help clear mines in Sector South in 1994.


Operation Harmony. M113 APC moving through Metkovic.

Operation CAVALIER

In April 1992 the Yugoslav civil war spread from Croatia to the neighbouring republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Fighting throughout the republic, but especially the siege of the capital city of Sarajevo, led to the decision to temporarily transfer some of UNPROFOR's peacekeepers from Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina to assist with the delivery of humanitarian relief supplies. Most prominent in this initial effort were the attempts in the summer of 1992 to open the Sarajevo airport to relief flights. Canadian peacekeepers, members of the Canadian infantry battalion group serving in Sector West, spent the month of July under gunfire at the Sarajevo airport until they were replaced by French, Ukrainian and Egyptian troops. 

UNPROFOR's mandate was expanded in June 1992 to incorporate the "pink zones", areas outside of the UNPAs with substantial numbers of ethnic Serb residents. After adjusting to this additional territory, the first Canadian deployment finished its tour in early October and was replaced by engineers from 1 Combat Engineer Regiment and an infantry battalion group formed by 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. The engineers continued the work begun by their predecessors until March 1993 when UNPROFOR’s engineering requirements were assumed by non-Canadian engineering units. Similarly, the soldiers of the infantry battalion group continued the peacekeeping duties previously undertaken in Sector West throughout a tense and dangerous six-month rotation. In September 1992 UNPROFOR was permanently expanded into Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of humanitarian relief operations throughout the country. This led to the Canadian government’s offer of another infantry battalion group under the designation Operation CAVALIER and became known to the UN as CANBAT 2. The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, provided the first six-month deployment and faced numerous difficulties attempting to fulfill their duties. Their primary task was to assist the UN in delivering humanitarian supplies by protecting and escorting humanitarian convoys around Sarajevo and throughout eastern and central Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition, in January 1993 Canadian soldiers were sent to Macedonia to serve as observers along its borders with Serbia and Albania. This was an early example of UN “preventive peacekeeping” that was intended to keep local tensions from escalating to war. The Canadians were replaced in Macedonia by Scandinavian troops in March 1993. 

In April 1993 Operation CAVALIER was expanded when 300 soldiers were redeployed to the eastern Bosnian city of Srebrenica to protect the city’s refugee population (mostly Bosnian Muslim). The next two battalion groups, provided by the 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment, and 12 e Régiment Blindé du Canada, continued to fulfill escort and protection duties while facing increased tension and instability in the region. In March 1994 a Dutch unit replaced the Canadian peacekeepers in Srebrenica. Three more Canadian infantry battalion groups, provided by the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), The Royal Canadian Dragoons and the 3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment, served in Bosnia-Herzegovina while the situation continued to worsen between the spring of 1994 and late 1995.

Operation MEDUSA

Electronic warfare support was supplied to the Canadian Battle Groups in UNPROFOR through Canadian Operation MEDUSA. This operation provided two direction finding detachments mounted in Bison vehicles. Each detachment included two linguists and provided search, interception, and Line of Bearing direction finding capabilities. 

In March 1995 the structure of UNPROFOR underwent major changes after the Croatian government announced it would no longer support extensions to UNPROFOR’s mandate in Croatia. This resulted in the transformation of UNPROFOR into three separate but interdependent missions under the umbrella title of the United Nations Peace Forces (UNPF). In Croatia, the United Nations established the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia (UNCRO). The peacekeeping mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina maintained its UNPROFOR title, and the UN peacekeeping operation in Macedonia was renamed the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP). All of these missions took effect on 31 March 1995.


Description: Pakrac, Croatia - Cpl Wayne Tripp and MCpl Chris Atkinson of 4 Combat Engineer Regiment prepare charges to destroy an anti-tank rocket. They were deployed with 4 CER in April from Lahr, Germany, as part of the Canadian Contingent of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslav Republic.

Page details

Date modified: