United Nations Peace Forces - Headquarters (UNPF-HQ)

International Information

International Operation Name: United Nations Peace Forces – Headquarters(UNPF-HQ)

International Mission Name: United Nations Peace Forces – Headquarters(UNPF-HQ)

Mandating Organization: United Nations

Region Name: Europe

Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Mission Date: 31 March 1995 - 31 January 1996

Canadian Operation: 

Op SPEAKER - 31 March 1995 to 29 December 1995 

Op ROUNDUP - 15 December 1995 to 29 December 1995

Mandate: To act as an “umbrella” headquarters organization for all the United Nations Peace Forces (UNPF) in the Balkans region. Commanders from the three newly created missions were headquartered in Zagreb, Croatia. 

Supported by United Nations Security Council Resolutions 981, 982, 983, 1035, and 1036.

Mission Notes/Backgrounder: In early 1995, toward the end of UNPROFOR’s mission in Yugoslavia, the governments of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia each expressed the wish that the United Nations forces in their countries should be separated from UNPROFOR. In order to respond to those wishes, the Secretary-General proposed that UNPROFOR be replaced by three separate but interlinked peacekeeping operations. Each of the three operations would be headed by a civilian Chief of Mission and would have its own military commander. In view of the interlinked nature of the problems in the area, and in order to avoid the expense of duplicating existing structures, overall command and control of the three operations would be exercised by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and a Theatre Force Commander commanding the military elements of the Force under his authority. 

On 31 March 1995, the Security Council adopted three resolutions to restructure UNPROFOR, replacing it with operations in Croatia (UNCRO), Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNPROFOR), and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (UNPREDEP), with mandates extending initially until 30 Nov 1995. 

Known collectively as United Nations Peacekeeping Forces (UNPF), the headquarters were located in Zagreb, Croatia. The headquarters group then became known as United Nations Peacekeeping Forces Headquarters (UNPF-HQ).

Operation SPEAKER

Canada’s contribution to the UNPF-HQ was called Operation SPEAKER, and consisted of some 60 personnel who took over from the National Support Element (NSE) element that had supported the Canadian Contingent in Yugoslavia up to the end of UNPROFOR’s mandate. 

In December of 1995 UNPF’s mandate came to a close with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord. The United Nations subsequently created five separate missions to continue the work begun under UNPF’s mandate. In Bosnia, Implementation Force (IFOR) took over where UNPROFOR left off. The UN also created United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and the International Police Task Force (IPTF) to carry on the work for which IFOR would not be responsible. 

In Croatia the UN created the United Nations Military Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP) which was to continue monitoring the situation in the Prevlaka peninsula, and the United Nations Transition Authority in Eastern Slovenia (UNTAES) which had an initial deployment of 5000 troops, and was to carry on UNCRO’s work in Croatia. UNPREDEP continued on unchanged. 

Canada would go on to support IFOR with troops and UNMOP and UNPREDEP with observers, but would not actively participate in UNTAES or IPTF. However, Canadian Op SPEAKER staff - including two UNMOs employed in eastern Slovenia - supported the transition from UNPF-HQ to UNTAES until it was time for them to repatriate in March 1996. They were not replaced.

Operation ROUNDUP

In October 1995, orders for Operation ROUNDUP were issued to repatriate members of UNPF-HQ, CANLOGBAT, and Support Element personnel. Beginning on 15 December 1995, repatriation began and by the end of December most of the Op SPEAKER personnel were back in Canada.

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