EUFOR - Operation CONCORDIA
International Operation Name: Operation CONCORDIA
International Mission Name: European Union Peacekeeping Mission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Mandating Organization: European Union
Region Name: Europe
Mission Date: 31 March 2003 - 15 December 2003
Mission Mandate: To provide the necessary stable security environment to successfully implement the Ohrid Framework Agreement.
Mission/Operation Notes: In the ten years following the 1991 break up of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, tensions between the ethnic Albanian population and the Former Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) government lead to open warfare in the summer of 2001. International pressure brought to bear on the situation lead to the signing of the peace plan, entitled the Ohrid Framework Agreement, between the two parties.
Following the signing of the agreement, the President of FYROM, President Trajkovski, approached NATO with a request for aid to ensure stability in the region. NATO responded with Operation ESSENTIAL HARVEST (Canadian name - Op FORAGE), a 30-day operation to collect weapons from the National Liberation Army (NLA). Following its completion, Operation AMBER FOX was launched to provide protection for international monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), who were overseeing the implementation of the peace plan.
In early December 2002, in response to a further request from President Trajkovski, the North Atlantic Council agreed to continue supporting the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with a new mission following the successful completion of Operation AMBER FOX. From 16 December 2002 until 30 March 2003 NATO mounted Operation ALLIED HARMONY, a significantly smaller operation that was designed to carry on the peacekeeping mandate of the previous two operations, and assist the government of FYROM in taking ownership of security throughout the country.
On 31 March 2003, this operation formally handed responsibility over to the European Union who launched Operation CONCORDIA, the first military mission launched under the EU’s European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), to carry on the work started by the previous NATO missions.
On the 15th of December 2003 at a ceremony in Skopje, Operation CONCORDIA came to a close, signaling the successful completion of its mandate. The operation was considered a success in that the EU force, which was made up of 26 nations, observed and eventually closed out the Weapons Collection Program started under Operation ESSENTIAL HARVEST, and directly assisted the international community’s policy of confidence building through their visible presence in the former crisis areas.
Canadian Forces (CF) Information (FUSION)
Date: 26 March 2003 - 13 May 2003
CF Mission/Operation Notes: Prior to its start up, the EU approached Canada in March to participate in the operation. To this end, Canada approved Operation FUSION, the deployment of a lieutenant-colonel as an attached posting to Skopje FYROM to act as executive officer to the force commander. On 1 April 2003, he assumed his duties and remained on post until 12 May 2003. Though short in duration, the deployment provided Canada with valuable insight into how the EU worked in Macedonia both at the political and military level.
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