Series Military Component - S-1050

Identity area

Reference code

S-1050

Title

Military Component

Date(s)

  • 1988 - 1990 (Creation)

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No. of Boxes: 85

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S-1050 contains the records of the military component of United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG), which consisted of: the Military Monitor/Observer Group; three infantry battalions from Finland, Kenya and Malaysia; and specialist branches, including the Military Police Company, the Air Unit and the Logistics Branch. The military component was commanded by the Force Commander, who advised the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on military matters and reported through him to the Secretary-General.

Deployed throughout Namibia and numbering 4,500 personnel, the military component oversaw the fulfillment of the military aspects of Security Council Resolution 435 (1978). These included: monitoring the ceasefire and the confinement of the parties’ armed forces to base; monitoring the dismantling of the South African military presence in Namibia; maintaining surveillance over Namibia’s borders; and monitoring the cessation of hostile acts by all parties.

Deployment of the military component began on 1 April 1989, the date of the implementation of Security Council Resolution 435 (1978). On 31 March fighting broke out between the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) forces and South African troops at the northern border of Namibia. PLAN troops moved into Namibia from Angola in violation of the ceasefire agreement, and the conflict resulted in the deaths of more than 300 combatants.

Force Commander
Records of the Force Commander and Deputy Force Commander consist of: correspondence with United Nations headquarters; documents concerning the arrival and deployment of all the major military components of UNTAG; the Force Commander’s directives; timetables and monthly summaries of military component operations; summaries of Operations Conferences; intelligence reports and analyses; and daily morning briefings. Also contained are documents concerning Operation “Safe Passage”, which facilitated the withdrawal of the PLAN combatants and their return to Angola; and Operation “Fade Away”, which was enacted toward the end of the UNTAG mission to scale down the military component.

Military Police Company
The Military Police Company was commanded by the Force Provost Marshall and consisted of 7 detachments throughout Namibia. The Military Police Company was responsible for ensuring that members of the Force comply with local laws and regulations of Namibia. Records consist of: investigation reports on theft, assault, willful damage and other crimes; crime ledgers; and daily occurrence books of Military Police detachments stationed in Swakopmund, Grootfontein, and other locations.

Air Unit
The UNTAG air element was comprised of the Spanish and Italian Air Contingents, which provided aircraft for UNTAG and carried out over 1300 missions. The Air Unit managed the infrastructure, aircraft and equipment essential to the safe and efficient operation of the air transportation system during the UNTAG mission. Records include: correspondence of the Chief Air Staff Officer; air operations procedures; air intelligence and security briefs; and aeronautical information.

Logistics Branch
Records of the Supplies Section of the Logistics Branch include: correspondence of the Chief Logistics Officer; logistics directives; and Letters of Assist. Records of the Movement Control Section pertain to the movement of personnel and material within the UNTAG area of operations on ground, in air and at sea ports.

Military Monitors/Observer Group
The Military Monitor/Observer Group was commanded by the Chief Monitor/Observer (CMONO) and was comprised of 300 officers from 14 countries. Records consist of: correspondence; operations instructions; arms and ammunition storage reports; documents concerning the activities of the South African Defence Force (SADF); and reports concerning demobilization.

Military Monitor/Observers were deployed in five sectors: North West Sector (Oshakati), North East Sector (Rundu), Central Sector (Okahandja), Western Sector (Swakopmund), and the Southern Sector (Keetmanshoop). Sector records consist of: situation reports (SITREP); summaries of meetings and visits to the sector; intelligence reports; reports to the CMONO; road patrol reports; and reports about the local population.

Also contained are records of the UNTAG presence in Angola from its Liaison Office in Luanda and the UNTAG base at Lubango. UNTAG representatives liaised with the Angolan authorities, who agreed to confine SWAPO/PLAN fighters to camps north of the 16th parallel by D-Day (1 April 1989). These records consist of: correspondence and weekly reports exchanged between the Chief Logistics Officer in Angola and the Force Commander; situation reports (SITREP); and documents pertaining to general UNTAG operations in Angola.

Chief of Staff
The Chief of Staff was responsible for the efficient functioning and supervision of the UNTAG Military Headquarters, which was located at Suiderhof base in Windhoek. Records of the Chief of Staff contain: plans of operations; monthly reports from various elements of the military component; and briefing notes. Also included are records of the Operations Branch and the Administration and Personnel Branch.

Records of the Operations Branch consist of: correspondence of the Finnish Battalion, Kenyan Battalion and the Malaysian Battalion; and documents relating to the plans, policies and directives for operationally carrying out the command responsibilities of UNTAG. The Administration and Personnel Branch records pertain to: military personnel strength, humanitarian activities, and welfare activities.

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Alternative identifier(s)

Previous number(s)

DAG-13/ 1.8.2.0 - 1.8.2.1.1, 1990/0226

Previous numbers

1.8.2.0 - 1.8.2.1.1, 1990/0226

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