Operation DAGGER – United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR)
International Operation Name: United Nations Protection Force
International Operation Dates: 1992/02/12 – 1995/03/31
Mandating Organization: United Nations
Region Name: Europe
Canadian Operation Name: Operation DAGGER
Canadian Operation Dates: 1992/09/24 – 1992/09/28
The United Nations Security Council approved the expansion of the United Nations Protection Force into Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to provide armed escorts to humanitarian aid convoys and, if required, support the International Commission of the Red Cross in moving released detainees.
As a result of increasing violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina (the former Yugoslavia) during 1992, civilians experienced significant difficulty while trying to get basic necessities such as food and medical supplies. The United Nations Secretary General reported these issues to the Security Council which, in a series of resolutions, attempted to halt the violence and allow aid to be delivered to civilians. United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 770 of 13 August 1992 was the latest resolution to call for a stop to the fighting and for civilians to be protected; however, it had little effect.
The United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) had been operating in Croatia since March 1992 and was tasked to provide support for supply convoys, especially to Sarajevo. In July 1992, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees initiated an airlift of aid to Sarajevo from Italy (Canada participated in this operation through Operation AIRBRIDGE). These flights, however, were also being hindered.
With UNPROFOR stretched thin, the United Nations Security Council approved the expansion of the United Nations Protection Force into Bosnia-Herzegovina. UNSCR 776, of 14 September 1992, allowed UNPROFOR to increase in size and also protect aid convoys and support the Red Cross.
Canada began looking at what it could provide and how a larger contribution could be organized. As a result, the Canadian Armed Forces recommended, and the government approved, the provision of an infantry battalion group for the operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
On 24 September, National Defence Headquarters issued a warning order to prepare formations for the deployment of this battalion and the reorganization of Canadian military personnel in the former Yugoslavia. The infantry battalion group would function under the name Operation DAGGER.
On 28 September, it was changed to Operation CAVALIER although some units continued to use the name Operation DAGGER in some records. Further details on Canada’s contributions in UNPROFOR can be found under the narrative for Operation CAVALIER.
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