United Nations Confidence Restoration Organization (UNCRO) - HARMONY
International Operation Name: United Nations Confidence Restoration Organization
International Mission Name: United Nations Confidence Restoration Organization (UNCRO)
Mandating Organization: European Union
Region Name: Europe
Mission Date: 31 March 1995 - 15 January 1996
Mission Mandate: To demilitarize and disarm UN Protected Areas (UNPAs); restore normal civil authority to UNPAs; return displaced persons their homes in UNPAs; and monitor border crossing points in the Krajina Region.
Mission/Operation Notes: In March 1995 the structure of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Republic of Yugoslavia underwent major changes. At the beginning of the year the Croatian government announced that it would no longer support extensions to UNPROFOR's mandate inside 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). The United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation (UNCRO) in Croatia was created as a smaller, less powerful peacekeeping mission to replace UNPROFOR inside Croatia. In accordance with the functions envisaged in the cease-fire agreement of 29 March 1994, UNCRO would: monitor the area between the forward troop deployment lines, verify that all weapons systems were deployed in accordance with the agreement, occupy checkpoints at all crossing-points specified in the agreement, and conduct liaison activities to ensure implementation of the agreement.
To perform those functions fully UNCRO would have exclusive control of the area between forward troop deployment lines. It would establish static posts as well as carry out patrols on foot, by vehicle and by helicopter. UNCRO would also have full freedom of movement to monitor the deployment of troops and weapons systems.
With Croatia's reclaiming by force of Western Slavonia and the Krajina region, the need for UN peacekeeping forces was clearly diminished. However, in Eastern Slavonia - the last Serb-controlled territory in Croatia - the mandate of UNCRO remained essentially unchanged, and with the aid of UN-sponsored talks, the government of Croatia and the Croatian Serb leadership agreed to resolve the issue through negotiation. On 12 November 1995, the two sides signed the Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Barania and Western Sirmiun. With the signing of the Agreement, and passage of UNSCR 1037(1996) and 1038(1996), the mandate of UNCRO was allowed to terminate on 15 January 1996, being replaced by the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES), and United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP).
Canadian Forces (CF) Information (HARMONY)
Date: 31 March 1995 - 17 October 1995
CF Mission/Operation Notes: Only one Canadian infantry battalion group served with UNCRO under the Canadian designation Operation HARMONY, Roto 6. (Operation HARMONY's previous 5 rotations and initial deployment were under the original UNPROFOR mandate). By mid-April 1995 the 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment, completed the handover from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.
The Krajina region the R22eR BG had inherited was quiet in early April; however the Croats believed the presence of UN troops in Croatia only made the incorporation of the Serb Krajina region into the Croatian state more difficult to achieve. Following the Croatian government's announcement earlier in the year to terminate UNPROFOR's mandate, tensions between the Croatian government and the Krajina Serbs began to increase rapidly, and in May 1995 the Croatian Army launched an offensive against the Serb forces in Western Slavonia (UNCRO's Sector West). The Croats easily defeated the Serbs and reclaimed Croatian territory, which eventually led to the end of the UNCRO presence in the area.
Throughout the early part of their rotation, the soldiers of 2 R22eR BG watched the tensions between the Serbs and Croats rise Sector South. Local units of the Krajina Serb military began to mobilize and the Canadians soon found themselves between two increasingly belligerent groups. However, open warfare did not immediately break out and by July the Canadians were involved in adjusting the boundaries of the territory they were responsible for patrolling and observing.
In early August the Croatian Army attacked in the Krajina region and quickly defeated the Serbs. 2 R22eR BG was placed on the highest level of alert, but there was little they could do. Having been told to leave by the Croatian government, whose permission UNCRO troops required to remain in the country, the Canadians prepared to depart.
The electronic warfare (EW) support being supplied to the Canadian Battle Group through Operation MEDUSA continued to provide two direction-finding detachments mounted in Bison vehicles. Each detachment included two linguists and provided search, interception, and Line of Bearing direction finding capabilities and remained active until the end of the tour.
To support the repatriation of Op HARMONY personnel, Operation WALLEYE was mounted and began moving soldiers home in mid September. Flying out of Split Croatia, the flights continued until 17 October 1995, when the last of the Op HARMONY personnel were repatriated.
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