Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation CAULDRON

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:  United Nations Mission in Haiti

International Mission Name:  United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH)

Mandating Organization:  United Nations

Region Name:  Central America

Location:  Haiti

Mission Date:  9/23/1993 - 6/30/1996

Mission Mandate:  United Nations Security Council Resolution 867, 23 September 1993; United Nations Security Council Resolution 940, 31 July 1994 (Chapter VII)

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Canadian Forces (CF) Information (CAULDRON)

Name:  CAULDRON

Date:  10/1/1993 - 10/15/1993

Canadian Task Force Name Mission Statement:  In September 1993 the mandate was to assist in modernizing the armed forces of Haiti and establishing a new police force. However following the naval blockade and the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 940 on 31 July 1994, UNMIH's mandate was expanded to include assisting the legitimate Haitian Government in sustaining the secure and stable environment established during the multinational phase; professionalizing the Haitian armed forces and creating a separate professional police force; and assisting the constitutional authorities of Haiti in establishing an environment conducive to the organization of free and fair elections. UNMIH cooperated with the OAS in providing technical support to the Haitian electoral authorities. The Council later increased UNMIH's maximum authorized strength to 6,000 troops and 900 civilian police.

CF Mission/Operation Notes:

In December 1992, the Secretary-General appointed Mr. Dante Caputo of Argentina as his Special Envoy for Haiti to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis that witnessed a coup d’etat against the president and the imposing of oil and arms embargoes, because of the practices of the military regime.

With the successful signing of the Governors Island Agreement and the New York Pact the sanctions imposed in June 1993 were suspended. On 23 September the Security Council authorized the establishment and immediate dispatch of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) for a six-month period.

UNMIH included 567 civilian police monitors, and a military construction unit with 700 personnel, including 60 military trainers. Canada’s participation in UNMIH was called Operation CAULDRON and provided a predominantly engineering contingent as part of a multi-national UN force to assist in the restoration of Haitian infrastructure. A UNMIH advance team, which included the advance party for Op CAULDRON, of 53 military and 51 police personnel, was rapidly deployed in Port-au-Prince.

However, when the USS Harlan County carrying 220 United Nations military personnel arrived in Port-au-Prince on 11 October 1993, armed civilians ("attaches") prevented the ship from landing. Unable to fulfill its mandate, Op CAULDRON was subsequently stood down.

Faced with the refusal of Haiti's military regime to implement the Governors Island Agreement, the Security Council re-imposed its oil and arms embargoes on Haiti in October 1993. Under the international operation name FORWARD ACTION, warships from several nations came together to enforce this embargo. Canadian participation in this operation was under the same operational name of FORWARD ACTION.

In May 1994, the United Nations Security Council adopted an expanded and more comprehensive set of sanctions against Haiti. And, on 31 July 1994, the Council adopted resolution 940 (1994). Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the resolution authorized Member States to form a multinational force (MNF) under unified command and to use "all necessary means" to bring about an end to the illegal regime in Haiti and to facilitate the return of the legitimate President.

The political situation continued to deteriorate, however, and in September 1994 in concert with the US military, the CF put together a contingency plan for the quick removal of Canadian and US nationals. The CF deployed a task group consisting of HMCS Preserver, HMCS Fraser and HMCS Gatineau, and placed on alert 1st Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment for deployment to Haiti. Designated Op DIALOGUE, the Canadian task group remained on station outside Haitian territorial waters on “exercise” fully prepared to intervene and extract Canadian personnel if necessary.

On 19 September 1994, the lead elements of the 28-nation multinational force landed in Haiti unopposed. Among other operations, the MNF searched for and seized weapons caches to protect public safety. On 15 October 1994, after the departure of the Haitian coup leaders, President Aristide returned to Haiti and resumed his functions as President, after three years in exile.

UNSCR 940 (1994) also expanded UNMIH's mandate to include assisting the legitimate Haitian Government in sustaining the secure and stable environment established during the multinational phase; professionalizing the Haitian armed forces and creating a separate police force; and assisting the constitutional authorities of Haiti in establishing an environment conducive to the organization of free and fair elections. UNMIH cooperated with the Organization of American States in providing technical support to the Haitian electoral authorities. The Council later increased UNMIH's maximum authorized strength to 6,000 troops and 900 civilian police.

On 30 January 1995, the Security Council determined that a secure and stable environment, appropriate to the deployment of UNMIH, existed in Haiti. Subsequently on 31 March 1995, the MNF handed over full responsibility to UNMIH.

Canadians joined the other UNMIH troops (sometimes referred to as UNMIH II) in March 1995 when approximately 500 Canadian Forces personnel were deployed to Haiti under the task force name Canadian Contingent United Nations Mission in Haiti (CCUNMIH) Operation PIVOT. The Canadian contingent included aviation, engineering, transportation and administrative support personnel from across the country, primarily from a mixture of Air Command units and formations. They were tasked with the provision of logistical and construction support to overall UNMIH operations.

 The Canadian contribution to UNMIH was expanded in March 1996 when UNMIH’s mandate was extended for a final four-month period. Replacing most of the Canadian air force personnel during this period were 750 ground personnel under the new contingent name Canadian Contingent in Haiti (CCIH), Operation STANDARD. Units based at Canadian Forces Bases Valcartier, Gagetown and Edmonton provided the Canadian troops. These included reconnaissance elements of an infantry battalion (1er Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment) for patrols and other operations; an engineer squadron (4 Engineer Support Regiment) to carry out various support duties; a utility tactical transport helicopter squadron (408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron) flying CH-135 Twin Huey helicopters for transport, reconnaissance and evacuation duties; a contingent logistics group (5e Bataillon des services du Canada); a military police platoon to provide police support for the contingent; a transportation platoon for ground movement; a military information support team to distribute information to the civilian population; and approximately three dozen staff officers serving in various positions at UNMIH Headquarters. Brigadier-General Pierre Daigle served as the Force Commander of UNMIH from March to June 1996.

By June 1996 the situation in Haiti had been stabilized, presidential elections held and a new president elected. Having begun in 1994 with more than 6,000 UN troops, by mid-1996 UNMIH numbered just 1,200 soldiers and 300 civilian police officers. The mission closed out at the end of June and a new mission; the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti began in July 1996.