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United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia (UNOROFOR)


Initially established in Croatia to ensure demilitarization of designated areas.The mandate was later extended to Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the delivery of humanitarian relief, monitor "no fly zones" and "safe areas". The mandate was later extended to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for preventive monitoring in border areas.







Recognizing the commendable performance of the Pakistan Army Contingents as United Nations Peace Keepers in Somalia and Campuchia, the United Nations requested the Government of Pakistan to contribute troops to the United Nations Protection Force (UNF'ROFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A 3000 strong contingent consisting of two Battalion Groups and a National Support (NS) Headquarters left for Bosnia and Croatia in May 1994.

The two battalion groups PAKBAT 1 and PAKBAT 2 were deployed in the towns of ‘dares and Durdevik (near the city of Tuzla ) in Bosnia while the National Support Headquarters remained based at Split , Croatia . They were tasked to stabilize the military situation with a view to encouraging return of normalcy, improving freedom of movement by maintaining existing routes, providing protection and supporting various United Nations agencies and NGOs engaged in their relief activities and coordinate humanitarian assistance.

The Pakistani troops (PAKBATs) established conditions favourable to cessation of hostilities through maintenance of local ceasefire agreements, liaison with warring factions, implementation of Troops Exclusive Zone (TEZ), manning of observation posts, and monitoring activity on confrontation line. Pakistani troops helped in restoring confidence of people through frequent meetings with leaders of warring factions/local agencies, by establishing liaison with military/civil authorities and through utility repairs.

The PAKBATs performed their military duties with total commitment. Two officers, one junior commissioned officer and three non commissioned officers laid down their lives for the noble cause of bringing peace to a war ravaged territory. Their sacrifices were duly acknowledged by United Nations Force Commander and the local population.

The Pakistani contingent did exceptionally well in identifying, monitoring and protecting all ethnic and minority groups, refugees and displaced persons. They coordinated the relief work of a number of United Nations agencies, international and Pakistani NGOs on their own. Besides this PAKBATs themselves provided immense humanitarian assistance by providing food stuff, medical care, clothing, and helped in the maintenance of infrastructure/community services, orphanages and provision of financial aid.

It was once again the Pakistani Peace Keepers who were the first to respond and assist over 50,000 refugees who came over after the Serbs had over-run the United Nations declared Safe Heavens of Srebrenica and Zepa in July 95. As it was an event which had not been foreseen by the Bosnian government and the United Nations authorities, it was Pakistani Peace Keepers who bore the brunt of the crisis for 36 hours single handedly. Food, clothing, medical treatment and shelter to these war-ravaged people was provided by the PAKBAT from their own resources before help arrived. Even after the arrival of assistance, it were the Pakistani troops who managed and coordinated the relief activities. It was duly acknowledged in an impressive ceremony organized by Tuzia Red Cross to award certificates of merit to all those who contributed in relief operations.

Specialist doctors complimented with some of the latest medical equipment and medicines set about the task of treating the innocent civilians victimized by unfortunate ethnic cleansing with zeal and enthusiasm. In order to facilitate the patients, mobile teams were regularly dispatched to far flung areas to treat the civilians. Notably Pakistani Government and the NGOs contributed generously and over 1.7 tones of medicines were donated and handed over to the Mayor of Tuzla by Pakistan 's Ambassador. After completion of its duties, the first Pakistani Contingent was replaced by the second, bringing our contribution of forces in this United Nations Peace Keeping effort to over 6000 troops in two phases. With the downsizing of UNPROFOR in mid 1995, the Pak Contingent became the third largest force after France and England . The Pakistani peace-keepers were also retained by the United Nations in the highly sensitive period during the change over from UNPROFOR to the NATO led implementation Force (IFOR) and finally returned home in February 1996.

Pakistani troops have been worthy ambassadors of their country. The Bosnians as well as the international community once again praised the professionalism, devotion to duty and above all the impartiality of the Pakistan Army contingent. They were trusted and respected by all the warring factions, i.e. Bosnians, Croats, and the Serbs for their strict neutrality in their dealings. This perhaps, is the reason that Pakistan was once again requested by the United Nations to contribute a Battalion group supported by a squadron of Armour to the Untied Nations Transitional Administrative set up in Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES).

Observer Mission in Bosnia
  • Duration March 1992 to February 1996
  • Participation  Two Infantry Battalion Groups. 4x Infantry units served in the mission.
  • Contribution 30x Military Observer