REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS
DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE
(for the period 23 November 1993 to 22 May 1994)
1. The present report gives an account of the activities of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in pursuance of the mandate entrusted to it by the Security Council in resolution 350 (1974) and extended by subsequent resolutions, most recently by resolution 887 (1993) of 29 November 1993.
II. ORGANIZATION OF THE FORCE
2. As of May 1994, the composition of UNDOF was as follows:
United Nations military observers
(detailed from the United Nations
Truce Supervision Organization) (UNTSO))
In addition to the above, UNDOF was assisted by 82 UNTSO military observers assigned to the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission.
3. Major-General Roman Misztal of Poland continued as Force Commander.
4. A restructuring of the Force was put into effect following the decision by the Government of Finland to withdraw its battalion from UNDOF. The withdrawal took effect on 9 December 1993, at which date the operational responsibilities of the Finnish battalion were handed over to the Polish battalion. Some members of the Finnish contingent, who were assigned to UNDOF headquarters, remained until the end of their tour of duty. As a consequence of the restructuring, the authorized military strength was reduced by 88.
5. UNDOF is deployed within, and close to, the area of separation (see attached map) with base camps and logistic units located nearby. Camp Faouar houses the military headquarters of UNDOF as well as a majority of civilian staff employed in UNDOF. The offices of the Force Commander and other senior staff have been moved to the premises of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Damascus. This relocation will enable UNDOF to close its headquarters building in Damascus at the end of May 1994.
6. The Austrian battalion is deployed in the northern part of UNDOF's area of operation. At present, it maintains 16 positions and 9 outposts, and conducts 26 patrols daily. Its base camp is in Camp Faouar. The Polish battalion is deployed in the southern part of the area. At present, it maintains 14 positions and 8 outposts and conducts 19 patrols daily. Its base camp is in Camp Ziouani. With effect from 28 February 1994, the Polish contingent ceased mine-clearing activities. Since that date, mine-clearing has been conducted by the Austrian and Canadian battalions under the operational control of UNDOF headquarters.
7. The Canadian logistic unit is based in Camp Ziouani, with a detachment in Camp Faouar. This unit performs second-line general transport tasks, ration transport, control and management of goods received by UNDOF and maintenance of heavy equipment.
8. The Military Police has detachments at Camp Ziouani, Camp Faouar and Checkpoint Charlie.
9. First-line logistic support is internal to the contingents and includes transport of supplies to the positions. Second-line logistic support, as explained above, is provided by the Canadian logistic unit. Third-line support is provided through normal supply channels by the United Nations. Damascus international airport serves as UNDOF's airhead; Tel Aviv international airport is also used. The seaports of Latakia and Haifa are used for sea shipments. In-theatre air support is provided by UNTSO on request.
III. ACTIVITIES OF THE FORCE
10. The functions and guidelines of UNDOF, as well as its tasks, were outlined in the Secretary-General's report of 27 November 1974. 1/ UNDOF continued, with the cooperation of the parties, to fulfil the tasks entrusted to it. To this end, the Force Commander and his staff maintained close contact with the military liaison staffs of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic. Both sides continued to impose some restrictions on UNDOF's freedom of movement.
11. UNDOF continued to supervise the observance of the cease-fire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic. The cease-fire was maintained and the operational situation in UNDOF's area of operation remained calm.
12. UNDOF supervised the area of separation to ensure that no military forces were deployed in it. 2/ This was effected by means of permanently manned positions and observation posts, and by foot and mobile patrols operating at irregular intervals on predetermined routes by day and by night. In addition, temporary outposts were established and additional patrols were conducted from time to time as necessary.
13. UNDOF conducted fortnightly inspections of armament and force levels in the areas of limitation. Liaison officers from the party concerned accompanied the inspection teams. As in the past, both sides restricted the movement of inspection teams, denying access to some of their positions.
14. Mines and other explosive devices still pose a threat to the members of the Force and to the inhabitants in the area of separation. During the period under review, 9 artillery grenades, 1/ anti-tank mine, 26 anti-personnel mines and a quantity of small-arms ammunition were found and destroyed.
15. UNDOF assisted the International Committee of the Red Cross with facilities for mail and the passage of a total of 229 persons through the area of separation. Within the means available, medical treatment was provided to the local population on request.
IV. FINANCIAL ASPECTS
16. By its decisions 48/463 A of 23 December 1993 and 48/463 B of 5 April 1994, the General Assembly, inter alia, authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments in the amount of $16,080,000 gross ($15,594,000 net) for the period from 1 December 1993 to 31 May 1994, inclusive. In its report (A/48/812/Add.2), the Fifth Committee recommended to the General Assembly the adoption of a draft resolution that would, inter alia, authorize the Secretary-General to enter in to commitments for the Force at a rate not to exceed $2,680,000 gross ($2,599,000 net) per month for a period of six months from 1 June 1994, should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of the Force beyond the period of six months authorized under its resolution 887 (1993) of 29 November 1993. Appropriate financial provision will need to be made by the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session in respect of periods after 30 November 1994, should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of the Force beyond that date. Unpaid assessments to the UNDOF special account as at 27 April amounted to some $21 million.
V. IMPLEMENTATION OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 338 (1973)
17. In deciding in its resolution 830 (1993) of 26 May 1993 to renew the mandate of UNDOF for a further period of six months, the Security Council also called upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) and requested the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of the period, a report on the developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement that resolution.
18. The search for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East and, in particular, the efforts undertaken at various levels to implement Security Council resolution 338 (1973) were dealt with in my report on the situation in the Middle East, 3/ submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 47/63 A of 11 December 1992.
19. UNDOF, which was established in May 1974 to supervise the cease-fire called for by the Security Council and the Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces of 31 May 1974, has continued to perform its functions effectively, with the cooperation of the parties. During the period under review, the situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained generally quiet and there has been no serious incident.
20. Despite the present quiet in the Israel-Syria sector, the situation in the Middle East as a whole continues to be potentially dangerous and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached. I continue to hope that determined efforts will be made by all concerned to tackle the problem in all its aspects, with a view to arriving at a just and durable peace settlement, as called for by the Security Council in its resolution 338 (1973).
21. In the prevailing circumstances, I consider the continued presence of UNDOF in the area to be essential. I therefore recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of the Force for a further period of six months, until 30 November 1994. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic has given its assent to the proposed extension. The Government of Israel has also expressed its agreement.
22. In conclusion, I wish to express my appreciation to the Governments contributing troops to UNDOF and to those that provide UNTSO military observers assigned to the Force. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to Major-General Roman Misztal and to the men and women under his command. They have performed with efficiency and devotion to duty the important tasks assigned to them by the Security Council.
1/ Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-ninth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1974, document S/11563, paras. 8-10.
2/ Ibid., Supplement for April, May and June 1974, document S/11302 and Add.1 and 2.