Question of Palestine home
13 November 1987
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS
DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE
(for the period 18 May-13 November 1987)
COMPOSITION AND DEPLOYMENT OF THE FORCE
2 - 9
Composition and command
2 - 4
5 - 7
ACTIVITIES OF THE FORCE
11 - 19
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
11 - 12
15 - 17
IMPLEMENTATION OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 338 (1973)
21 - 22
23 - 26
UNDOF deployment as of November 1987
1. This report describes the activities of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for the period 18 May to 13 November 1987. 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
of 31 May 1974 and extended by subsequent resolutions, most recently by resolution
of 29 November 1987.
I. COMPOSITION AND DEPLOYMENT OF THE FORCE
Composition and command
2. The composition of UNDOF as of 5 November 1987 was as follows:
United Nations military observers (detailed from the
United Nations Truce Supervision Organization)
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 the Force continues to be exercised by Major-General Gustaf Welin.
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 at Damascus. The UNDOF deployment as of November 1987 is shown on the attached map.
6. At present, the Austrian battalion mans 19 positions and 7 outposts and conducts 28 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 16 positions and 7 outposts and conducts 27 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 2 and 11 June and on 3 and 10 September 1987. The Finnish contingent rotated partially on 19 August 1987. The Polish logistic unit rotated on 1 and 10 June 1987. The Canadian logistic unit, which rotated partially on 15 and 22 June and on 15 and 22 September 1987.
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. 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 at 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
11. The functions and guidelines of UNDOF as well as its tasks remain as outlined in the Secretary-General's report of 27 November 1974.
12. 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
13. The Protocol to the Agreement on Disengagement provides for all contingents to operate with the freedom of movement that is necessary for their mission; 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
14. UNDOF continues to supervise the observance of the cease-fire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic. The cease-fire has been maintained and there have been no serious incidents during the period under review.
Supervision of the Agreement on Disengagement with
regard to the areas of separation and limitation
15. 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 (see
, para. 17), civilians have continued to return to the area of separation. UNDOF has adjusted its operations accordingly so as to carry out effectively its supervisory tasks under the Agreement on Disengagement.
16. 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 continues to seek the lifting of these remaining restrictions so as to guarantee its freedom of access to all locations on both sides.
17. The safety of Syrian shepherds who graze their flocks close to and west of the A-line (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 reducing the number of incidents. New patrol paths along the A-line are under construction in the area of separation.
18. 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 under review, four Polish mine-clearing teams cleared a total area of 39,325 square metres. They found and destroyed 11 anti-tank mines, 4 anti-personnel mines, 18 artillery shells, 10 hand-grenade, 78 mortar rounds and 2 anti-tank rounds, as well as large quantities of small-arms ammunition and fuses. Another 6,500 square metres of patrol tracks were rechecked.
19. During the reporting period, UNDOF has assisted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with facilities for handing over parcels and mail and for the passage of persons and personal effects across the area of separation.
IV. FINANCIAL ASPECTS
20. As indicated in paragraph 9 of
the Secretary-General's report to the General Assembly of 13 October 1987,
the costs of UNDOF beyond 30 November 1987 are estimated at $2,944,000 gross ($2,893,000 net) per month, should the Security Council renew its mandate beyond that date and assuming continuance of its existing strength and responsibilities.
V. IMPLEMENTATION OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION
21. In deciding, in its resolution 596 (1987), 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.
22. 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
/, submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 41/162 A of 4 December 1986. The Secretary-General has continued to maintain contacts on the matter with the parties and interested Governments.
23. 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.
24. 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) .
25. 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 31 May 1988. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic has given its assent to the proposed extension. The Government of Israel has also expressed its agreement.
26. In concluding the present report, I wish to express my appreciation 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 Gustaf Welin, 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.
Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-ninth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1974
, document S/11563, paras. 8-10.