Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation NOBLE

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.

NOBLE

International Information

International Operation Name: United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovenia

International Mission Name: United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovenia (UNMIBH)

Mandating Organization: United Nations

Region Name: Europe

Location: Bosnia and Herzegovena

Mission Date: 21 December 1995 - 31 December 2002

Mission Mandate:

To assist with local policing efforts, the mission also incorporated various humanitarian activities involving refugees, human rights, de-mining, rehabilitation of the economic infrastructure, and elections.

Mission/Operation Notes:

Following the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord in December 1995, and the ending of the UNPROFOR mandate in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1031(1995) to deal with military matters in the country under the auspices of the Implementation Force (IFOR) under NATO direction. To deal with civilian matters, the United Nations passed resolution 1035(1995) established the United Nations Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (UNMIBH).

UNMIBH was formed mostly by international civilian police but also included military and civilian staff fulfilling various humanitarian functions. The United Nations responsibilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina fell into three main areas. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was responsible, in addition to its humanitarian activities, for the return of refugees and replaced persons. Second, an International Police Task Force (IPTF) was established for a one-year period in order to assist the parties in carrying out their law enforcement responsibilities as stipulated in the Peace Agreement. And third, the Bosnia-Herzegovina Mine Action Center (UNMACBiH) was created to assist in mine clearance. All those activities were placed under the authority of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and the UN Coordinator of UN operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

UNMIBH completed its mandate on 31 December 2002.

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Canadian Forces (CF) Information (NOBLE)

Name: NOBLE

Date: 7 April 1997 - 28 February 2000

CF Mission/Operation Notes:

Canada's contribution to the mission began with the posting of a senior officer to the position of military staff liaison officer in the office of UNMIBH.

As part of the establishment of the Mine Action Center, the UN had requested experts in the field of mine detection to conduct a survey of existing systems within the country. The Canadian government responded to this request by sending two scientists, one major and one civilian on temporary duty from 12 to 28 January 1997 to help conduct the survey.

Canada also participated directly in UNMIBH by sending six CF de-mining staff and instructors to the United Nations Mine Action Center Bosnia-Herzegovina (UNMACBiH) for a six-month mission. Originally designated Op ROULETTE, the name was changed to Op NOBLE prior to deployment, with the troops being given the designation Experts on Mission (EOM). Their mandate was to train civilians to work on removing some of the estimated 1,000,000 mines from more than 30,000 known mine fields located throughout the country. Arriving in theatre on 7 April 1997, the team operated from the UNMACBiH HQ in Sarajevo. Six regional offices were subsequently established, and part way through the mission, two instructors were dispatched to both the Tuzla and Banja Luka regions. The mission was considered successful in that the staff created common lesson plans, training syllabus, and established standard operating procedures (SOPs) between all the contributing nations.

With the onset of winter the focus shifted from mine clearance to mine awareness, refresher training of deminers, and institutional development. At the end of the tour in September, four of the team members were repatriated to Canada, while the remaining two members of Op NOBLE, the head of mission and one NCO, were extended until mid-December to close out the mission and help with the hand over process. At the end of December 1997 the Bosnia-Herzegovina government agreed to assume responsibility for clearing mines within the country by creating the Bosnia-Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) transferring responsibility from the UNMAC parent organization. This organization worked in coordination with UNMIBH.

Canada continued to supply experts to the BHMAC up until February 2000. While the initial deployment was for six people - three NCOs and three officers, by rotation four this was reduced to 2 officers - one quality assurance advisor working from the BHMAC in Sarajevo, and one financial advisor working from the Republic Srbska in Banja Luka.