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UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
Distr.
GENERAL
S/1995/398
17 May 1995

Original: English

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS
DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE

(for the period from 22 November 1994 to 22 May 1995)

I. INTRODUCTION

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) of 31 May 1974 and extended by subsequent resolutions, most recently by resolution 962 (1994) of 29 November 1994.

II. ORGANIZATION OF THE FORCE

2. As of May 1995, the composition of UNDOF was as follows:

Austria
Canada
Poland
466
216
1037
United Nations military observers
(detailed from the United Nations
Truce Supervision Organization)
___4
1 041

In addition to the above, UNDOF was assisted by 82 military observers of the Observer Group Golan of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) assigned to the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission.

3. Major-General Johannes C. Kosters of the Netherlands assumed command of UNDOF on 17 January 1995. He took over from Colonel Jan Kempara of Poland, who had been acting Force Commander since the departure of Major-General Roman Misztal, also of Poland, on 23 November 1994.

4. UNDOF is deployed within, and close to, the area of separation with base camps and a logistic unit. The headquarters of UNDOF is located at Camp Faouar. UNDOF also maintains an office at Damascus. A map showing UNDOF's area of operations and deployment is attached.

5. The Austrian battalion is deployed in the northern part of the area of separation. At present, it maintains 16 positions and 9 outposts. The Polish battalion is deployed in the southern part of the area. At present, it maintains 14 positions and 8 outposts. Its base camp is Camp Ziouani. Mine-clearing is conducted by both battalions under the operational control of UNDOF headquarters.

6. The Canadian logistic unit is based in Camp Ziouani, with a detachment in Camp Faouar. It performs the second-line general transport tasks, rotation transport, control and management of goods received by UNDOF and maintenance of heavy equipment.

7. 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

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. UNDOF assisted the International Committee of the Red Cross with facilities for mail and the passage of persons through the area of separation. Within the means available, medical treatment was provided to the local population on request.

IV. FINANCIAL ASPECTS

13. By its resolution 49/225 of 23 December 1994, the General Assembly, inter alia, authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments for UNDOF at a rate not to exceed $2,677,583 gross ($2,594,000 net) per month for the period of six months from 1 June 1995, should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of the Force beyond 31 May 1995. This authorization is based on an average maximum force strength of 1,036 troops and continuation of the Force's existing responsibilities.

14. Unpaid assessments to the UNDOF special account as at 30 April 1995 amounted to $61.8 million. Total unpaid assessed contributions for all peace-keeping operations amounted to $1.9 billion.

V. IMPLEMENTATION OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 338 (1973)

15. In deciding in its resolution 962 (1994) 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) of 22 October 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.

16. 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 48/59 A and 48/59 B of 14 December 1993.

VI. OBSERVATIONS

17. 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, 4/ 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 quiet and there has been no serious incident.

18. Despite the present quiet in the Israel-Syria sector, the situation in the Middle East 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 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).

19. 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 1995. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic has given its assent to the proposed extension. The Government of Israel has also expressed its agreement.

20. In conclusion, I wish to pay tribute to Major-General Johannes C. Kosters 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. I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Governments contributing troops to UNDOF and to those that provide UNTSO military observers assigned to the Force.

Notes

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.

3/ A/49/556.

4/ See Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-ninth Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1974, document S/11302/Add.1, annex I.


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