Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation FORWARD ACTION

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.

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International Information

International Operation Name:  Multinational Force

International Mission Name:  Multinational Force (MNF)

Mandating Organization:  United Nations

Region Name:  Central America

Location:  Haiti

Mission Date:  10/16/1993 - 9/29/1994

Mission Mandate:  United Nations Security Council Resolution 841, 16 June 1993 (Chapter VII); United Nations Security Council Resolution 873, 13 October 1993 (Chapter VII); United Nations Security Council Resolution 875, 16 October 1993 (Chapter VII and VIII) United Nations Security Council Resolution 940, 31 July 1994 (Chapter VII)

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Canadian Forces (CF) Information (FORWARD ACTION)

Name:  FORWARD ACTION

Date:  10/18/1993 - 9/29/1994

Canadian Task Force Name Mission Statement:  To conduct multi-national operations in support of sanctions against Haiti in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 841, 16 June 1993.

CF Mission/Operation Notes:

In September 1991, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti was overthrown in a military coup. In December 1992, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed Mr. Dante Caputo of Argentina as his Special Envoy for Haiti to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis that had witnessed the coup d’etat of the president and the imposing of an embargo against Haiti by the Organization of American States. The UN Security Council, in Resolution 841 (16 June 1993) decided it would impose additional sanctions if the negotiations were not successful. Mr. Caputo successfully negotiated the Governors Island Agreement and the New York Pact, and sanctions were suspended on 23 September 1993. The Security Council authorized the establishment and immediate dispatch of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) for a period of six months.

A UNMIH advance team was rapidly deployed in Port-au-Prince and managed to land unobstructed. However, when the USS Harlan County (carrying United Nations military personnel) arrived in Port-au-Prince on 11 October 1993, armed civilians ("attaches") prevented the ship from landing. Faced with the refusal of Haiti's military regime to implement the Governors Island Agreement, the Security Council acted upon Resolution 841 and imposed an oil and arms embargo on Haiti in October 1993. Resolution 873 (13 October 1993) re-imposed the embargo and froze Haiti’s foreign funds, while Resolution 875, (16 October 1993) authorized member states to act through regional agencies (Chapter VIII).

Warships from several nations, including Argentina, Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United States, went to the area to enforce the embargo in a Multinational Force under the leadership of the United States. The United States Navy provided the bulk of the forces, with six warships operating under the name Operation SUPPORT DEMOCRACY. These ships included: 2 Ticonderoga class cruisers, one Belknap class cruiser, one Spruance class destroyer, and two Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates. When the situation in Haiti did not improve, the Security Council, under Resolution 940 (31 July 1994) authorized the Multinational Force to take whatever measures were necessary to bring about the return of President Aristide and to create an environment in which the UNMIH could take over the role of returning to Haiti to democracy.

On 19 September 1994, acting under Resolution 940, the lead elements of the 28-nation Multinational Force landed in Haiti unopposed. President Aristide later returned to Haiti and resumed his functions as President, after three years in exile. At 0730Z on 29 September 1994, all ships involved in the embargo received the order “MIO operations are suspended until further notice. Do not conduct queries or boardings.” All operations were subsequently stood down.

Canadian participation in this operation was under the name Operation FORWARD ACTION and lasted the duration of the embargo. HMCS Gatineau, HMCS Fraser and HMCS Preserver were initially dispatched and commenced operations at midnight on 18 October 1993. These ships were replaced by the ships HMCS Provider (17 Dec 93 – 14 Jan 94); HMCS Fraser (14 Jan 94 – 25 Mar 94); HMCS Annapolis (25 Mar – 21 April 94); HMCS Ville de Quebec (22 April – 28 April 94); HMCS Terra Nova (28 April – 13 July 94); HMCS Kootenay (13 July – 13 Sept 94) and HMCS Terra Nova (13 Sept – 29 Sept 94).

Operating in the area of Jeremie off the south-western peninsula of the island of Hispaniola, Canadian ships made a total of 9,424 hailings, 1,388 armed boardings and diverted 119 ships from making deliveries to Haiti.