3. Establishment of UNASOG
4. Operations


1. Background

Ownership of the Aouzou Strip - an area between the Republic of Chad and the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya - was contested by the two countries beginning in 1973. Following the resumption of diplomatic relations between them on 3 October 1988, both States proclaimed their willingness to resolve the dispute over the Strip by peaceful means. On 31 August 1989, the two Governments signed, in Algiers, a Framework Agreement on the Peaceful Settlement of the Territorial Dispute. In September 1990, after several rounds of inconclusive talks, Chad and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya referred the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In its Judgment, delivered on 3 February 1994, the ICJ found that the boundary between Chad and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had been defined by the Treaty of Friendship and Good-Neighbourliness. In March 1994, both Governments pledged to abide by the ICJ Judgment and noted that it had brought a definite solution to the territorial dispute. After further talks, an agreement was signed on 4 April 1994 establishing the practical modalities for the implementation of the Judgment. Among other things, the agreement provided for the withdrawal of the Libyan administration and forces from the Aouzou Strip, removal of mines, crossing points for persons and property, study of the question of monitoring the frontier, maintenance of good-neighbourliness, demarcation of the boundary, further cooperation and notification of the agreement to the United Nations.

2. United Nations Reconnaissance Mission

According to the agreement, the withdrawal operation of the Libyan administration and forces was to commence on 15 April 1994, under the supervision of a mixed team composed of 25 Libyan and 25 Chadian military officers, and to end on 30 May 1994. United Nations observers would be present during the withdrawal operations and would establish that the withdrawal was actually effected.

Both Governments agreed that a United Nations reconnaissance team composed of civilian and military personnel would visit the area to conduct a brief survey of conditions on the ground. The reconnaissance mission was endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 910 (1994) of 14 April 1994. The team arrived in Tripoli on 15 April and proceeded to the Aouzou Strip on 17 April. On the basis of the discussions with the Chadian and Libyan authorities and of the preliminary assessment of conditions on the ground, the team reported that it would be possible to deploy United Nations observers to perform the functions envisaged in the 4 April 1994 agreement.

3. Establishment of UNASOG

On 27 April 1994, the Secretary-General recommended to the Security Council the deployment of the United Nations Aouzou Strip Observer Group (UNASOG) for a period of approximately 40 days from the date of adoption of the relevant decision of the Council. The reconnaissance team, with five military observers already in the area, would become the advance party of the operation. On 4 May 1994, the Security Council, by its resolution 915 (1994), established UNASOG in accordance with the recommendations of the Secretary-General. It called upon the parties to cooperate fully with the Secretary-General in verifying implementation of the 4 April agreement and, in particular, to grant UNASOG freedom of movement and all the services it required in order to fulfil its functions.

With the adoption of resolution 915, the reconnaissance team became the advance party of UNASOG. Four other observers joined the mission on 12 May 1994. The authorized strength of UNASOG was 9 military observers and 6 international civilian staff. The military observers as well as most of the civilian staff were drawn from the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara .

3. Operations

The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad mixed team, after consultations with the reconnaissance team, established a list of locations from which the withdrawals of the Libyan forces were to be effected. The mixed team also agreed on a schedule for withdrawal and evacuation of the Libyan forces. These operations were carried out according to the established schedule. Each time a withdrawal was effected, it was certified by a member of the Libyan team and of the Chadian team. UNASOG was present for each withdrawal and witnessed the certification by the teams. The parties agreed that all outstanding issues would be settled within the framework of the 4 April agreement.

On 30 May 1994, the Governments of Chad and of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, signed a Joint Declaration. According to the Declaration, the withdrawal of the Libyan administration and forces from the Aouzou Strip had been effected to the satisfaction of both parties and monitored by UNASOG. The Chief Military Observer of UNASOG signed the Declaration as a witness.

The Secretary-General reported to the Security Council on 6 June 1994 that UNASOG had successfully completed its task and that the mission could therefore be considered as terminated. In his view, the accomplishment of UNASOG's mandate demonstrated the useful role which the United Nations could play in the peaceful settlement of disputes. He thanked the two Governments for the cooperation they had extended to UNASOG and for the spirit of friendship they had exhibited towards each other during the operation. By its resolution 926 (1994) of 13 June 1994, the Security Council commended the work of the members of UNASOG and noted with appreciation the cooperation extended by the two Governments.


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