UNITED NATIONS MEDALS
Awarded (usually) for 90 days service in the relevant mission
Australians took part in many of these. For a list go to Peacekeepers
United Nations Medal: Somalia 1992-95
UNOSOM I & UNOSOM II-Awarded for two separate campaigns, United Nations
Operations in Somalia from April 1992 to April 1993 (First Mission) and May
1993 to March 1995 (Second Mission).
In 1991 when the 21 year rule of General Muhammad Siad Barre came to an end
the country of Somalia erupted in civil war between the various rival tribes.
By the following year there were 300,000 casualties and 4 1/2 million people
In April 1992, the first of two United Nations missions to Somalia (UNOSOM I)
was created to monitor a tentative cease-fire and provide protection and
security for the UN's humanitarian efforts to provide the people with supplies
and assistance. When the distribution of supplies became threatened by armed
gangs a more heavily armed Unified Task Force (UNITAF) was provided composed
mostly of US troops.
This mission was officially ended in April 1993 and the second UN mission took
The goals of the second mission (UNOSOM II) were to take over and expand the
enforcement measures of UNITAF, to provide a secure environment for
humanitarian aid, restore law and order and assist the Somali people in
rebuilding their economy and their country's infrastructure. These United
Nations missions failed and when UN troops withdrew in March 1995, no
democratic government was in place and armed rebel groups still ruled most of
United Nations Medal: Kosovo Mission 1999
UNMIK-United Nations Interim Administration In Kosovo
UNMIK was created in June 1999 by the Security Council of the United Nations
to establish an interim civilian administration in this war-ravaged province
under which its people could work towards self-government.
The mandate of UNMIK specifically includes performing basic civilian
administrative functions, coordinating disaster and humanitarian relief,
supporting the reconstruction of key infrastructure, maintaining law and order,
assuring the safe and speedy return of all displaced persons to their homes in
Kosovo and promoting human rights.
United Nations Medal: Bosnia Herzegovina 1995
UNMIBH - United Nations Mission In Bosnia And Herzegovina/International Police
Originally established in December 1995 as the United Nations International
Police Task Force (IPTF) in accordance with the Peace Agreement signed by
Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, this
operation has since become known as the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and
It is the mandate of UNMIBH to aid in the restructuring and reformation of the
local police and judicial systems, assist in the investigation of human rights
abuses including the surrender of persons under indictment by the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, oversee
humanitarian relief and relocation, aid in the restoration of the country's
infrastructure and prepare for general elections. This mandate was extended to
run through 21 June 2002.
United Nations Mission Sierra Leone Medal
UNOMSIL - United Nations Observer Mission In Sierra Leone
UNAMSIL - United Nations Mission In Sierra Leone
The civil war in Sierra Leone dates from March 1991 when rebel fighters of the
Revolutionary United Front (RUF) attempted to overthrow the government. The
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent a Military Observer
Group (ECOMOG) to support the government, but as the control of the country
fluctuated between the RUF, the army and the elected government, the UN
deployed the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) in June
The unarmed UNOMSIL teams operated under the protection of ECOMOG and sought
to establish stability to the country by disarming the combatants, monitoring
the treatment of the civilian population and helping to train and establish a
police force. When it was determined that a much large UN presence was
required, UNOMSIL was terminated in October 1999 and a new mission created.
The United Nations Mission In Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) was formed with a maximum
of 6,000 military personnel and 260 military advisors to expand and continue
the work begun by UNOMSIL.
United Nations Medal: Central Africa Mission
MINURCA - United Nations Verification Mission in the Central African Republic.
In 1996, the Central African Republic was disrupted by a military crisis when
units of the Armed Forces mutinied and a socio-economic crisis was made worse
by prolonged non-payment of salary arrears. Over the concern for these
problems and the implications to the region, an agreement was signed on 25
January 1997 in Bangui to establish an inter-African force (MISAB) to restore
peace and security in the Central African Republic.
Although the MISAB force was willing to continue it's operations, when France
withdrew its supporting troops in mid-April 1998, the United Nations deployed
MINURCA to continue the mandate. MINURCA was successful in re-launching the
economy, staging new presidential elections and continuing the security and
stability needed to enact the many reforms. The MINURCA mission was terminated
on 15 February 2000.
United Nations Medal: Southern Lebanon 1978
UNIFIL - United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
In March 1978, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) carried out a
commando raid into Israel, near the city of Tel Aviv, resulting in many
civilian casualties. Israel retaliated by invading Southern Lebanon.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was formed to supervise
the Israeli withdrawal between April and June 1978.
Then in April 1982 after repeated terrorist acts, the Israelis invaded
Southern Lebanon again. In spite of resistance by UNIFIL personnel, the
Israeli forces pushed the PLO defenders back to the capital city of Beirut. As
a result of negotiations and pressure from the UN, the Israelis once again
withdrew their troops.
United Nations Medal: Jammu & Kashmir 1949
UNMOGIP - United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan.
In January 1949, the United Nations Military Observer Group in India &
Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was formed to negotiate and then supervise a cease fire
between these two countries over the disputed area of Jammu & Kashmir. A
fourteen month long war ended in a truce which held until 1965. Fifteen
countries participated as observers and this mission is still active today.
This medal is awarded to personnel for six months of service during this
United Nations Medal: Golan Heights Since 74
UNDOF - United Nations Disengagement Observer Force.
On 31 May 1974, a cease-fire agreement between Syria and Israel was signed
thereby ending the Yom Kippur War of 1973. To supervise this end of
hostilities, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was moved
into the Golan Heights area to establish a buffer zone. UNDOF operations
continue to this day.
United Nations Medal: Angola Mission Since 89
UNAVEM I, UNAVEM II, UNAVEM III - United Nations Angola Verification Mission.
This medal was awarded to participants of three separate United Nations
missions to Angola for ninety days of service.
The first deployment (UNAVEMI) was from January 1989 to May 1991, and oversaw
the withdrawal of Cuban troops who had moved in to support a Soviet sponsored
political party during the Angolan civil war.
The second mission (UNAVEMII), June 1991 to February 1995, was established to
monitor the cease fire between the various political factions vying for
control of the struggling country and to verify free and fair elections.
The third mission (UNAVEMIII), February 1995 to present, was established to
expand the work of the previous UN forces and assist the Government of Angola
in maintaining peace.
United Nations Medal: Truce Supervision Israel
UNTSO - United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.
This medal was created in 1948 to recognize participation in the first UN
observer mission, which has since become the longest running. After declaring
it's independence, the new State of Israel was attacked on all sides by the
Arab States. Upon pushing the Arabs back to the gates of Jerusalem, both sides
finally agreed to a cease-fire.
The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was formed to
supervise a truce between the new State of Israel and the Arab States of Egypt,
Jordan, Lebanon and Syria which brought to an end the first Arab-Israeli
conflict in Palestine.
This medal is awarded for six months of service anytime from June 1948 to
United Nations Medal: Iraq-Kuwait Observation
UNIKOM - United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission.
On August 2, 1990 Iraq launched a full scale invasion of the Emirate of
Kuwait, totally occupying it in a few days. The United Nations Security
Council condemned the attack and set 15 January 1991 as a deadline for Iraqi's
complete withdrawal. With the passing of the deadline and no response from
Saddam Hussein , a coalition army, in a lightning attack, decimated the
invading Iraqi army in a 100 hour war.
Monitoring the resulting cease-fire has been the task of the United Nations
Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM).
Iran & Iraq 1988-91
UNIIMOG - United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group.
The conflict between Iran and Iraq which began in 1980 continued until 1988
when the UN finally was able to bring about a cease-fire and peace talks. The
United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG) was formed in
August 1988 and ended activities in February 1991 without all the UN's goals
having been resolved. Minor incidents have occurred since then up to the time
of the Gulf War.
United Nations Medal: Sinai Peninsula 1956-67
UNEF I - First United Nations Emergency Force.
Created by the UN as the First United Nations Emergency Force and awarded to
participating UN soldiers from ten countries who secured and supervised the
end of hostilities on the Sinai Peninsula for six months of service between
November 1956 and June 1967.
United Nations Medal: Congo 1960-64
ONUC - United Nations Operations in the Congo (2nd. Medal).
In 1959, after increasing colonial pressure, the former Belgian Congo (now
Zaire) was granted independence from Belgium leaving a strong 25,000 man
military police force under the command of an all-Belgian officer corps to
maintain order. As discontent rose among the ranks due to the lack of
promotions, a mutiny erupted in the Leopoldville garrison in July 1960 which
spread to other cities as atrocities against the Belgian administrators
resulted in a collapse of essential services.
In response, the Belgian Government sent troops to restore order. The
Congolese Government appealed to the United Nations for help. The ONUC mission
was established and soon became the largest operation ever sent by the UN
involving a force of nearly 20,000 men. The mission having succeeded in
restoring internal order and a stable government was withdrawn in June 1964.
This medal was awarded for service from July 1960 to June 1964 after three
months of service in the Congo.
United Nations Medal: Cyprus Since 1964
UNFICYP - United Nations Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus.
This medal is awarded from March 1964 to present for 90 days service in Cyprus
with UN forces maintaining a buffer zone between the Greek and Turkish forces
on the partitioned Island.
Great Britain had governed the Island of Cypress since the Ottoman Empire
surrendered it in 1878, but as the ethnic make-up of the island changed
following World War II, the Greek population began a guerilla war against the
British until Cyprus gained full independence in 1959.
In 1963 fierce fighting broke out between the Turkish minority and the Greek
populace which threatened to escalate into a full-scale war between Turkey and
Greece. UNFICYP was created and by 1967, a reasonably successful cease-fire
was established until 1974.
It was then that Greek Army officers seized the government and Turkish Forces
invaded in retaliation occupying almost half of the island, thereby
effectively partitioning Cyprus into two separate sectors. This UN mission
continues to this day.
United Nations Medal: Namibia 1989-90
UNTAG-United Nations Transition Assistance Group.
This medal was awarded from April 1989 to March 1990 for sixty days of service
In 1890, Germany annexed the territory known as South West Africa and it
remained under German control until the League of Nations mandated the country
to South Africa in 1920 as spoils of World War I.
After years of efforts by South Africa to annex the region, independence
finally came to Namibia when the United States mediated a peace between South
Africa, Cuba and Angola in 1988. UNTAG was formed to monitor the removal of
Cuban troops from the country and to ensure this independence through free and
fair elections under UN supervision.
United Nations Medal: Western Sahara Since 91
MINURSO-United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.
This medal was awarded for 90 days of service between September 1991 and the
present day serving with UN forces in the Western Sahara monitoring a
cease-fire between Moroccan troops and the Frente POLISARIO rebels over the
control of the region formerly known as the Spanish.
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