ONUSAL was established on 20 May 1991 by Security Council resolution 693 (1991). It mandate was to verify the implementation of all agreements between the Government of El Salvador and the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional aimed at ending a decade-long civil war. The agreements involved a ceasefire and related measures, reform and reduction of the armed forces, creation of a new police force, reform of the judicial and electoral systems, human rights, land tenure and other economic and social issues. After the armed conflict had been formally brought to an end in December 1992, ONUSAL verified elections which were carried out successfully in March and April 1994.

By adopting resolution 693 (1991) of 20 May 1991, the Security Council decided to establish ONUSAL “to monitor all agreements between the two parties, whose initial mandate in its first phase as an integrated peacekeeping operation will be to verify the compliance by the parties with the Agreement on Human Rights signed at San JosJ on 26 July 1990”. At that stage, the tasks of the Mission included actively monitoring the human rights situation in El Salvador; investigating specific cases of alleged human rights violations; promoting human rights in the country; making recommendations for the elimination of violations; and reporting on these matters to the Secretary-General and, through him, to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

By its resolution 729 (1991) of 14 January 1992, the Security Council decided to enlarge the mandate of ONUSAL to include the verification and monitoring of the implementation of “all the agreements once these are signed” at Mexico City between the Government of El Salvador and FMLN, in particular the Agreement on the Cessation of the Armed Conflict and the Agreement on the Establishment of a National Civil Police.

By resolution 832 (1993) of 27 May 1993, the Security Council decided to enlarge ONUSAL's mandate to include observation of the electoral process, and requested the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to this effect.

After ONUSAL competed its mandate on 30 April 1995, a small group of United Nations civilian personnel -- known as the United Nations Mission in El Salvador (MINUSAL) -- remained in El Salvador to provide good offices to the parties, to verify implementation of the outstanding points of the agreements and to provide a continuing flow of accurate and reliable information.


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