Question of Palestine home
13 May 1985
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS
DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE
(for the period 17 November 1984 to 13 May 1985)
COMPOSITION AND DEPLOYMENT OF THE FORCE
2 - 10
Composition and command
2 - 4
5 - 7
ACCOMMODATION AND LOGISTICS
11 - 12
ACTIVITIES OF THE FORCE
13 - 21
Functions and guidelines
Freedom of movement
Maintenance of the cease-fire
Supervision of the Agreement on Disengagement with regard to the
areas of separation and limitation
13 - 14
17 - 19
IMPLEMENTATION OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 338 (1973)
23 - 24
25 - 28
UNDOF deployment as of May 1985
1. This report describes the activities of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for the period 17 November 1984 to 13 May 1985. Its purpose is to provide the Security Council with an account of the activities of UNDOF in pursuance of the mandate entrusted to it by the Council in resolution 350 (1974) of 31 May 1974 and extended by resolutions 363 (1974) of 29 November 1974, 369 (1975) of 28 May 1975, 381 (1975) of 30 November 1975, 390 (1976) of 28 May 1976, 398 (1976) of 30 November 1976, 408 (1977) of 26 May 1977, 420 (1977) of 30 November 1977, 429 (1978) of 31 May 1978, 441 (1978) of 30 November 1978, 449 (1979) of 30 May 1979, 456 (1979) of 30 November 1979, 470 (1980) of 30 May 1980, 481 (1980) of 26 November 1980, 485 (1981) of 22 May 1981, 493 (1981) of 23 November 1981, 506 (1982) of 26 May 1982, 524 (1982) of 29 November 1982, 531 (1983) of 26 May 1983, 543 (1983) of 29 November 1983, 551 (1984) of 30 May 1984 and 557 (1984) of 28 November 1984.
I. COMPOSITION AND DEPLOYMENT OF THE FORCE
Composition and command
2. The composition of UNDOF as of 13 May 1985 was as follows:
United Nations military observers
(detailed from UNTSO)
3. In addition to the above, observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) assigned to the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission assist UNDOF as occasion requires.
4.Command of UNDOF continues to be exercised by Major-General Carl-Gustaf Stahl, who will terminate his appointment on 31 May 1985. Subject to the extension of the mandate of UNDOF by the Security Council, Major-General Gustav Hägglund of Finland will assume command of the Force with effect from 1 June 1985 (S/17147 and S/17148).
5. UNDOF personnel remain deployed within and close to the area of separation, with base camps and logistic units located nearby; UNDOF Headquarters is located in Damascus. The UNDOF deployment as of May 1985 is shown on the attached map.
6. At present, the Austrian battalion mans 19 positions and 7 outposts and conducts 26 patrols daily at irregular intervals on predetermined routes in the area of separation north and inclusive of the Damascus-Quneitra road. The Finnish battalion mans 15 positions and 8 outposts and conducts 25 patrols daily at irregular intervals in the area of separation south of the Damascus-Quneitra road. In the area of separation or in its close vicinity, 11 observation posts are manned by UNTSO military observers under the operational control of UNDOF.
7. The Austrian battalion base camp is located near Wadi Faouar, 8 kilometres east of the area of separation. The Finnish battalion base camp is located near the village of Ziouani, west of the area of separation. The Austrian battalion continues to share its base camp with the Polish logistic unit, and the Finnish battalion shares Camp Ziouani with the Canadian logistic company. The Canadian signal unit has detachments at Camps Ziouani and Faouar as well as at Damascus and Quneitra. Military police detachments are located in Damascus, Tiberias and Camp Ziouani.
8. The Austrian contingent carried out partial rotations on 5 December 1984 and 1 and 11 March 1985. The Finnish contingent rotated partially on 19 December 1984 and 30 April 1985. The Polish logistic unit rotated on 12 December 1984. The Canadian logistic unit rotates in small groups on a weekly basis.
9. The discipline, steadfastness and understanding of all members of the Force have been of a high order, reflecting credit on the soldiers and their commanders as well as on the countries contributing contingents to the Force.
10. There were no casualties during the period covered by the present report.
II. ACCOMMODATION AND LOGISTICS
11. Nine new buildings have been completed and two more are under construction. Contracts for paving the roads at both Camp Faouar and Camp Ziouani, and a contract for the construction of the new maintenance garage at CANLOG, are about to be awarded.
12. Second and third-line logistic support continues to be provided by the Canadian and Polish logistic units. The Damascus international airport continues to serve as the UNDOF airhead for rotation. The ports of Latakia and Tartous are used for sea shipments. An air movement control organization operates in Damascus, and sea shipments are handled by local agents. In-theatre air support is provided by UNTSO on special request.
III. ACTIVITIES OF THE FORCE
Functions and guidelines
13. The functions and guidelines of UNDOF as well as its tasks remain as outlined in the Secretary-General's report of 27 November 1974 (S/11563, paras. 8-10).
14. UNDOF has continued, with the co-operation of the parties, to fulfil the tasks entrusted to it. This has been facilitated by the close contact maintained by the Force Commander and his staff with the military liaison staffs of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Freedom of movement
15. The Protocol to the Agreement on Disengagement provides for all contingents to operate with full freedom of movement. However, the problem of restrictions on the freedom of movement still exists. The Secretary-General will continue to exert all possible efforts to correct this situation.
Maintenance of the cease-fire
16. UNDOF continues to supervise the observance of the cease-fire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic. The cease-fire has been maintained during the period under review. No complaints concerning the UNDOF area of operation have been lodged by either party in this respect.
Supervision of the Agreement on Disengagement with
regard to the areas of separation and limitation
17. UNDOF continues to supervise the area of separation to ensure, in accordance with its mandate, that there are no military forces within it. This is carried out by means of static positions and observation posts, which are manned 24 hours a day, and by foot and mobile patrols operating at irregular intervals on predetermined routes by day and night. In addition, temporary outposts are established, and patrols are conducted from time to time to perform specific tasks. Under a programme undertaken by the Syrian authorities, civilians have been returning to the area of separation and UNDOF has adjusted its operations accordingly so as to carry out effectively its supervisory tasks under the Agreement on Disengagement.
18. In accordance with the terms of the Agreement on Disengagement, UNDOF continues to conduct fortnightly inspections of armament and forces in the area of limitation. These inspections are carried out with the assistance of liaison officers from the parties, who accompany the inspection teams. UNDOF also lends its assistance and good offices on request from the parties. In carrying out its tasks, UNDOF has continued to receive the co-operation of both parties, although restrictions on movement and inspection are placed on its teams in certain areas by both sides. UNDOF has continued to seek the lifting of these restrictions so as to guarantee its freedom of access to all locations on both sides.
19. The safety of Syrian shepherds who graze their flocks close to and west of line A (see map) continues to be of concern to UNDOF. The intensified patrolling of new mine-cleared patrol paths and, from time to time, the establishment of standing patrols in these areas have helped to prevent incidents. The grazing security fence in the southern part of the area of separation has continued to be effective in preventing incidents.
20. Mines continue to pose a threat to members of the Force and to the growing population in the area of separation. The Force is continuing its efforts, in consultation with the parties, to make the area of operation safe from mines. During the period, four Polish mine-clearing teams cleared 11,170 square metres of patrol tracks and other roads, and 14,818 square metres at positions and construction sites. They found and destroyed four anti-tank mines, eight artillery shells, three mortar rounds, seven cluster bombs and 2,300 other pieces of ordnance.
21. During the reporting period, UNDOF has assisted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with facilities for handing over prisoners of war and mail.
IV. FINANCIAL ASPECTS
22. By its resolution 39/28 A of 30 November 1984, the General Assembly, among other things, authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments for UNDOF at a rate not to exceed $2,975,416 gross ($2,932,000 net) per month for the period from 1 June to 30 November 1985, inclusive, should the Security Council decide to continue the Force beyond the period of six months authorized under its resolution 557 (1984) of 28 November 1984. Accordingly, should the Security Council renew the UNDOF mandate beyond 31 May 1985, the costs to the United Nations of maintaining UNDOF up to 30 November 1985 will be within the commitment authority provided by the General Assembly in its resolution 39/28 A, assuming continuance of the Force's existing strength and responsibilities. Appropriate financial provision will need to he made by the Assembly at its fortieth session in respect of periods after 30 November 1985, should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of the force beyond that date.
V. IMPLEMENTATION OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 338 (1973)
23. In deciding, in its resolution 557 (1984), 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.
24. 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) have been dealt with in the Secretary-General's report on the situation in the Middle East (A/39/600-S/16792), submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 38/180 D of 19 December 1983. The Secretary-General has continued to maintain contacts on the matter with the parties and interested Governments.
25. The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, 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 co-operation of the parties. During the period under review, the situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained quiet and there have been no serious incidents.
26. 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) .
27. 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 1985. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic has given its assent to the proposed extension. The Government of Israel has also expressed its agreement.
28. In concluding the present report, I wish to express my gratitude to the Governments contributing troops to UNDOF and to those which provide UNTSO military observers assigned to the Force. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to Major-General Carl-Gustaf Stahl, Commander of the Force, to the officers and men of the Force, to its civilian staff and to the UNTSO military observers assigned to UNDOF. They have performed with exemplary efficiency and devotion to duty the important tasks assigned to them by the Security Council.