- 1969 - 1994 (Creation)
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Extent and medium
No. of Boxes: 61
Name of creator
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
S-1938 encompasses an integration of records that document UNOMSA’s peace promotion activities under Security Council Resolution 772 (1992) and UNOMSA’s expanded mandate under Security Council Resolution 894 (1994). The function of S-1938 is derived from PKO.POL of the Peacekeeping and Political Operations Retention Schedule (PORS) through the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support, dated 1 August 2011. The records in S-1938 run primarily from 1992 to 1994, with reference to documents from as early as 1970. Records are arranged by location and subject.
Under the establishment of UNOMSA through Security Council Resolution 772 (1992), Chief of Mission (COM) Angela King oversaw the United Nations Mission Observers (UNMOs) that were deployed in all eleven regions of South Africa, with headquarters in Johannesburg and a regional office in Durban. S-1938 documents the responsibilities of UNMOs under this mandate such as observing demonstrations, marches, and other forms of mass action; investigating instances of intimidation, violence and related complaints; noting the conduct of all parties and obtaining information indicating the degree to which the parties’ actions were consistent with the principles of the National Peace Accord (NPA) and the Goldstone Commission guidelines. Observers supplemented their field observations by establishing and maintaining informal contacts at all levels with existing government structures, political parties, and organizations, as well as with civic associations.
S-1938 records regarding UNMOs’ observations include: situation reports covering special or significant events and meetings, real or potential flashpoints, and important breakthroughs in the NPA structures or objectives; weekly operational statistics focusing on regional activities for monitoring trends; weekly chronologies providing essential facts such as event, venue, date, parties involved, and significant outcome (if any). In addition, there are monthly trend analysis reports focusing on the functions of NPA structures; progress in dispute resolution and peace-building; progress of Social and Economic Reconstruction and Development (SERD) projects; and UNOMSA’s working relationship with other international observers.
The NPA built consensus by creating peace structures that were divided at the national, regional, and local levels. These structures included the National Peace Committee (NPC) and the National Peace Secretariat (NPS). The NPC established and administered regional and local structures including the Regional Peace Committees (RPCs) and the Local Peace Committees (LPCs). The RPCs and LPCs acted as mediators and were tasked with recording and monitoring violence and breaches of the NPA. UNMOs attended LPC and RPC meetings as neutral observers providing mediation when necessary. S-1938 records contain correspondence, meeting summaries and meeting minutes. Separated primarily by location, these records also document the interaction of UNOMSA with the NPS including attendance at the NPS chairpersons meeting; UNOMSA proposals supporting the NPA; and reports about the activities of the regional peace secretariats.
Security Council Resolution 894 (1994) expanded the mandate and size of UNOMSA, creating the Peace Promotion Division (PPD) and the Electoral Division. One significant change with Security Council Resolution 894 was the geographical organization, abandoning the recognition of the eleven regions and adhering to a stipulation from the Interim Constitution that there will be nine provinces. In addition, the PPD and its UNMO teams expanded its network of contacts to include the monitoring branch of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and continued to respond to the provisions of Security Council Resolution 772.
Prior to the expanded mandate, Ismat A. Steiner was the Deputy Chief of Mission and head of the regional office in Durban. He was named Director of the PPD as a result of the new mandate and directed all facets and areas, relating to peace promotion and violence monitoring, falling within the competence and mandate of UNOMSA, including the preparation of weekly, quarterly, and other reports which are submitted to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. Steiner was assisted by four Area Coordinators who were based respectively in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pietersburg. The four Area Coordinators were supported by nine Provincial Coordinators. The Provincial Coordinators were based respectively in one of the nine Provincial Headquarters located in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vaal (later known as Gauteng), KwaZulu/Natal, Northern Transvaal (later known as Limpopo), Eastern Transvaal (later known as Mpumalanga), North West, and Orange Free State (later known as Free State). The nine Provincial Headquarters were staffed by teams of UNMOs. As a result of the new mandate, observers’ activities expanded to include observing and reporting on voter education, issuance of temporary voter’s cards and following IEC attempts to select sites for and establish voting and counting stations.
Steiner’s records in S-1938 include chronological files, correspondence with the Commission of Inquiry Regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation (The Goldstone Commission), coordination with the anniversaries of the assassination of Chris Hani. There are correspondence between the PPD and the Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, addressing United Nations Volunteers issues, statements to the UN Security Council, IEC, letters from the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, invitations to gatherings and events, letters from the Electoral division, Electronic Data Processing (EDP) equipment requests, and a Human Rights International report. Executive summaries of UNOMSA contain weekly summaries of significant issues facing UNOMSA such as: major political developments, activities of senior officials, rallies and meetings attended, operational activities of the Electoral Division and the Public Information/Media Analysis Section. Daily and weekly reports on election updates concerning ballot papers, lights, ink, illegal voting stations, temporary voters’ cards, the activities of political parties, encounters with police, deployment of international observers, specific reports of events such as a Nelson Mandela speech, an Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) rally and security coordination meeting. Minutes and notes document meetings between the PPD and the following organizations: Coordinating Committee, Local Peace Committees, Security Coordination Committee, National Peace Secretariat (NPS) and International Observers.
Records also include briefing materials covering a variety of UNOMSA activities including: election information; voter education; voting stations; temporary voter cards; voting observation forms; deployment of IEOs; incidents of violence; observer issues; historical backgrounds of South Africa covering social, economic, and political issues; and weekly press analyses. The materials were delivered as memoranda, newspaper clippings, and reports through faxes and cables.
S-1938 contains records showing the issue of security within UNOMSA. These records include evacuation plans; safety instructions; police issues; reports on security issues and incidents with observers being attacked or carjacked; and discussions about guidelines for observers. There is also correspondence with South African Police (SAP), notes and minutes of meetings, reports, directives and guidance for UNOMSA staff operating within South Africa. Examples of reports found in the security files of UNOMSA are, “Coming to Grips with Covert Operations: Who Does What and Where?” by the Coalition Against Sate Murder and Corruption (CASMAC), and “Regional Unrest and Crime Related Statistics,” produced by the Wits/Vaal Regional Dispute Resolution Committee Monitoring Workshop Programme.
S-1938 contains runs of incoming faxes from the different regions/provinces in South Africa which cover all aspects of the operation of UNOMSA and the PPD and are directed to or received from: Angela King, COM and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General; Leona Forman, Chief Public Information and Analysis Section; Kevin Kennedy from Public Information and Media Analysis; Timour Dmitrichev, Area Coordinator of Western Cape, Northern Cape and North West; Reginald H.F. Austin Director Electoral Division; Hamish Cameron Deputy Mission Security Coordinator; John Mullen Chief, Procurement Officer; Charles Wyse, Special Advisor; G Zuliani Mission Security Coordinator; UNOMSA observers. These records include an example of a “very good” observer report dispersed to all observers, and a “Statement by Ms. Angela King, (COM) at the UNOMSA Press Reception in Johannesburg, 11 July 1993.”
Though the PPD was separate from the Electoral Division, the mandate highlights that “violence-monitoring activities of the PPD are indistinguishable from the campaign observation activities,” and this holds true with sections of S-1938 concerning election information. S-1938 contains records on election information such as memoranda and reports about the role of observers, restrictions on political campaigning, strategies for monitoring voter education, explanation of acronyms, election statistics of South Africa, newspaper clippings, election observer training, and the European Community Observer Mission in South Africa (ECOMSA) handbook for observers of elections.
In addition, S-1938 also contains records concerning voter education which identify who can vote, what does a voter need to vote, where is the voting, when is the voting, possible extension of voting days, moving of ballot boxes, updates on electoral readiness, notes on polling stations, voting station summary with provisional map, Temporary Voter Cards (TVC) reports, and voter education report forms. The voter education report forms detail the observations from voter education events which were a standard form that lists nineteen questions ranging from date, demographics, subject of the presentations, and descriptions of the teaching methods. There are additional records of vote counting and the setup of voting stations which cover coding of polling stations; reports of counting directives which are guidelines and instructions on counting votes; lists of voting stations; and a summary of polling stations. There were a number of organizations that were conducting voter education in South Africa including The Malta Trust, the Institute for a Democratic Alternative in South Africa (IDASA), and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).
Processing Archivsits: Matthew Aull, Corinne O'Connor
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
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Chronological and geographical
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Language of material
- Afrikaans, English, German