Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation PRUDENCE

CF Overseas Operations have most often operated within the construct of an international mandate. As such, the International Information is presented first in order to provide the context of the Canadian Operation (displayed second). Eventually, all rotations associated with the particular Canadian operation will also be displayed.

PRUDENCE
On our picture, Master Warrant Officer Léo Losier
chief radio operator for MINURCA is proceeding
to the installation of radios at the Gabon contingent
Headquarters.

International Information

International Operation Name: United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic

International Mission Name: United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA)

Mandating Organization: United Nations

Region Name: Africa

Location: Central African Republic

Mission Date: 15 April 1998 - 22 October 1999

Mission Mandate:

Security Council Resolution 1159 (1998) of March 1998; terminated with UNSCR 1271 on 22 Oct 1999.

In 1996, the Central African Republic was shaken by a politico-military crisis, punctuated by three successive mutinies by elements of the Armed Forces. The crisis stemmed to a large extent from widespread public discontent over social and economic problems exacerbated by non-payment of salaries by the Government. Concerned by the situation and its implications for the region, and in view of the request of President Ange-Felix Patasse, the Nineteenth Summit Meeting of Heads of State and Government of France and Africa, held in December 1996, asked the Presidents of Gabon, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mali to visit Bangui and mediate a truce between the forces loyal to Present Patasse and the rebels. After prolonged intensive negotiations, the parties signed the Bangui Agreements on 25 January 1997, which contained the necessary elements for a comprehensive settlement including an inter-African force in the Central African Republic (MISAB). Formed on 31 January 1997, MISAB’s mandate was aimed at restoring peace and security by monitoring the implementation of the Bangui Agreements and conducting operations to disarm the former rebels, the militia and all other unlawfully armed individuals.

On 8 February 1997, MISAB was deployed in Bangui, comprising a total of some 800 troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon and Mali, and later from Senegal and Togo, under the military command of Gabon and with the logistical and financial support of France. Acting under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter, members of the MISAB and those providing logistical support were authorized to ensure the security and freedom of movement of their personnel.

In November 1997, the Secretary-General made recommendations on further international support after the mandate of MISAB was due to expire. Although the Member States participating in MISAB were willing to continue to assist the Central African Republic in consolidating the peace, they did not have the capacity to do so alone, as France was preparing to withdraw all its troops, and consequently its logistical support from the mission by mid-April 1998. The Secretary-General subsequently recommended the establishment and deployment of another peacekeeping operation authorized by the international community. Under UNSCR 1159 (1998) the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA) came into effect from 15 April 1998.

On 22 October 1999, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1271 by which it decided to terminate the mandate of MINURCA. In the same resolution it was decided to explore the possibility of maintaining a United Nations political presence after the withdrawal of MINURCA. On 15 February 2000, MINURCA was superseded by the United Nations Peace-building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA).

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Canadian Forces (CF) Information (PRUDENCE)

Name: PRUDENCE

Date: 15 April 1998 - 21 December 1999

Canadian Task Force Name Mission Statement:

To assist the government of the Central African Republic to maintain peace, security, freedom of movement and to assist in protecting key installations in the capital city of Bangui; to supervise, control storage, and monitor a disarmament program; to ensure freedom of movement for United Nations (UN) personnel and protect UN property; to assist with the training of a national police force, and to support future national elections.

CF Mission/Operation Notes:

The initial Canadian contribution to MINURCA was forty-five personnel under the designation Operation PRUDENCE. Deploying on 15 April 1998, the main role for the Canadians was to support the mission’s communications system and the Canadian contingent incorporated a communications detachment, as well as support personnel and staff officers. The Canadian contingent was expanded in October 1998 to provide extra signals personnel to support national elections planned for the end of 1998. Four rotations of personnel were provided by 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, out of CFB Valcartier, Quebec, and one rotation by 1 Canadian Division Headquarters and Signals Regiment, out of CFB Kingston, Ontario. By late 1999 MINURCA was deemed to have been successful and the UN peacekeeping contingents began planning their departures from the mission. The Canadian mission was closed out in December 1999.