14 January 1997


Press Release
SC/6312



SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UNMOP UNTIL 15 JULY

19970114

Urging Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to implement fully their 1996 Agreement on Normalization of Relations, the Security Council this morning authorized the United Nations military observers to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula until 15 July.

Those military observers, a total of 28, form the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP). They monitor the demilitarization of the peninsula and patrol both sides of the border between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The Council took that action by adopting unanimously resolution 1093 (1997).

Stressing that the implementation of the Agreement between the parties and their mutual commitments were critical for establishing peace and security throughout the region, the Council called upon them to cease and refrain from all violations and from military or other activities that might increase tension, to cooperate fully with the military observers and to ensure their safety and freedom of movement, including through the removal of land-mines.

Established as an independent mission on 1 February 1996 and now commanded by Colonel Harold Mwakio Tangai (Kenya), UNMOP monitors the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula by carrying out daily patrols on both sides of the border between Croatia and the Federal Republic.

By other terms of the resolution, the Council called upon the parties to adopt the practical options proposed by the United Nations military observers for improving their safety and security. The Secretary-General was requested to report by 15 April on the progress made in implementing those options, in particular regarding the freedom of movement of the military observers. He was also asked to report by 5 July on the situation in the peninsula as well as on the progress towards a settlement which would peacefully resolve the differences between the parties.


In addition, the Council requested the United Nations military observers and the multinational Stabilization Force (SFOR), authorized by Council resolution 1088 (1996) of 12 December 1996, to cooperate fully with each other.

The meeting, called to order at 11:32 a.m., was adjourned at 11:37 a.m.

Resolution Adopted

The resolution adopted by the Council reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling its earlier relevant resolutions, and in particular its resolutions 779 (1992) of 6 October 1992, 981 (1995) of 31 March 1995, 1025 (1995) of 30 November 1995, 1038 (1996) of 15 January 1996, and 1066 (1996) of 15 July 1996.

"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 31 December 1996 (S/1996/1075),

"Reaffirming once again its commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia,

"Noting the Joint Declaration signed at Geneva on 30 September 1992 by the Presidents of the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which reaffirmed their agreement concerning the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula, emphasizing the contribution that this demilitarization has made to the decrease of tension in the region, and stressing the need for the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to agree on a settlement which would peacefully resolve their differences,

"Noting with concern the violations in the United Nations designated zones in the region and other activities, including restrictions on the freedom of movement of United Nations military observers, referred to in the report of the Secretary-General, which have dangerously increased tensions,

"Welcoming the mutual recognition among all the successor States to the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia within their internationally recognized borders, and stressing the importance of full normalization of relations among those States,


Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6312 3731st Meeting (AM) 14 January 1997

"Commending the Agreement on Normalization of Relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, signed in Belgrade on 23 August 1996, committing the parties to resolve peacefully the disputed issue of Prevlaka by negotiations in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and good neighbourly relations,

"Determining that the situation in Croatia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

"1. Authorizes the United Nations military observers to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula, in accordance with resolutions 779 (1992) and 981 (1995) and paragraphs 19 and 20 of the report of the Secretary-General of 13 December 1995 (S/1995/1028*), until 15 July 1997;

"2. Urges the parties to abide by their mutual commitments and to implement fully the Agreement on Normalization of Relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and stresses that these are critical for the establishment of peace and security throughout the region;

"3. Calls upon the parties to adopt the practical options proposed by the United Nations military observers for the improvement of safety and security in the area as referred to in the report of the Secretary-General of 31 December 1996, and requests that the Secretary-General report by 15 April 1997 on progress made in implementing these practical options, in particular regarding the freedom of movement of the military observers throughout the entire area and respect for the demilitarization regime;

"4. Calls upon the parties to cease and refrain from all violations and from military or other activities which may increase tension, to cooperate fully with the United Nations military observers and to ensure their safety and freedom of movement, including through the removal of landmines;

"5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council by 5 July 1997 a report for its early consideration on the situation in the Prevlaka peninsula as well as on progress made by the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia towards a settlement which would peacefully resolve their differences;

"6. Requests the United Nations military observers and the multinational stabilization force (SFOR) authorized by the Council in resolution 1088 (1996) of 12 December 1996 to cooperate fully with each other;

"7. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."


Security Council - 4 - Press Release SC/6312 3731st Meeting (AM) 14 January 1997

Report of Secretary-General

In his report to the Security Council (document S/1996/1075), the Secretary-General recommends that the mandate of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP) be extended until 15 July. The Mission consists of 28 United Nations Military Observers (UNMOs) who monitor the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula and patrol both sides of the border between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).

According to the report, which is submitted pursuant to Council resolution 1066 (1996), the signing of the Agreement on Normalization of Relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 23 August 1996 fulfils an essential precondition for the achievement of a peaceful settlement of the Prevlaka issue. By that Agreement, the parties are committed to resolve the issue by negotiations in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and good-neighbourly relations.

However, says the report, the two Governments hold different interpretations about what the Agreement defines as a "disputed issue", in addition to their different understandings of the security regime established by the United Nations. Croatia sees the Prevlaka issue as one of security and is of the view that respect for the security regime established by United Nations monitors does not necessarily require their continued presence. The Federal Republic considers the issue a question of territory and wants UNMOP to remain until a settlement is agreed. The Secretary-General states that despite divergent public announcements by the two parties, he is optimistic a peaceful settlement can be attained, given the comparative stability UNMOP has ensured in the area.

Although the Prevlaka peninsula remains a stable area, recent events have raised tensions and the prospect for military confrontation still exists, according to the Secretary-General. He describes the continued violations and the lack of real progress on adopting the options presented by UNMOP as a cause for concern. The UNMOP is seeking to demilitarize the area and eliminate existing violations. That should improve the climate for negotiations on a final settlement. Therefore, the presence of UNMOP is indispensable to realizing the full benefits of the Agreement, by which the parties committed to resolve the issue by negotiations, he concludes.

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