Term Paper: Multinational Force and Its Mandate for Peacekeeping

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Multinational Force and Its Mandate for Peacekeeping

Reasons for creation of MFO

The origin of Multinational Force and Observers -- MFO is traced back to the Annex I to the Treaty of Peace captioned 'Protocol Concerning Israeli Withdrawal and Security Arrangements'. (History: Multinational Force and Observers) The geographical area demarcated under Annex I is split into four zones. The Zones A, B, and C. lie in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and Zone D. In Israel. C and D. Zones are coterminous with the International border. This Annex also involves the post-withdrawal levels of military personnel and equipment permitted in each Zone and in Article VI it is envisaged that both Parties would request the United Nations to entail a force and observers to coordinate the implementation of these provisions. At the time when the Treaty of Peace was signed it was realized by all concerned that it might prove difficult to attain the sanction of Security Council for basing a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Sinai. (History: Multinational Force and Observers)

Taking into consideration such facts on March 26, 1979, the very day on which the Treaty of Peace was concluded, President Carter intimated President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin about several specified U.S. commitments with regard to the Treaty of Peace. Such commitments involved a promise by President Carter that the U.S. would take essential measures for establishing and maintaining of an alternative multinational force in case the United Nations fails to fulfill this responsibility. In July 1979, the mandate of United Nations Emergency Force II or UNEF II terminated. A new mandate for the Sinai Peacekeeping was not considered by the United Nations. Since the Treaty of Peace entailed for a responsibility of United Nations forces in the process of phased retreat, it became essential to provide for an immediate alternative. (History: Multinational Force and Observers)

The Government of United States consented for the prevailing U.S. Sinai Field Mission -- SFM to take on a new mission performing several verification functions entailed in the Treaty of Peace. During the subsequent two years efforts were made to attain the United Nations Force and Observers agreed by the Treaty of Peace. However, on May 18, 1981, the President of the Security Council revealed the impossibility of providing such a peace keeping force. Taking assistance from United States, Egypt and Israel opened up negotiations in anticipations of arriving at an agreement that would lay the foundations for generating a peacekeeping organization which was outside the United Nations framework. (History: Multinational Force and Observers)

Thus, the formal Treaty of Peace between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel, concluded on March 26, 1979 is considered as one of the significant breakthrough in the still evolving Middle East peace process that is hopeful of a stable agreement through means of negotiation and confidence building measures over the last 15 years. Israel and Egypt have adhered to this Peace Agreement since the military and security arrangements and their verification regime have represented to be sufficient. It is true that the verification experience attained through Sinai II entailed a basis for the Egypt-Israel Peace Agreement. As per the military annex of the Egypt-Israel Peace Agreement, the Sinai was split into four zones each having a limitation on both personnel and weapon number and type. (Sensors in the Sinai: A Precedent for Regional Cooperative Monitoring)

In Zone A Egypt was allowed to station a strengthened mechanized infantry division in permanent facilities. In Zone -- A Egypt was allowed to station "22,000 troops, 230 tanks, 540 armored personnel carriers, 126 medium artillery pieces, 126 antiaircraft guns, and ground to air missiles." (Sensors in the Sinai: A Precedent for Regional Cooperative Monitoring) In Zone-B Egypt was confined to stationing of four battalions of light infantry 4000 troops with wheeled vehicles and light weapons. In Zone-C Egypt was allowed to station only civilian Police units. In Zone-D Israel was restricted to four infantry battalions consisting of 4000 men and around 200 armored personnel carriers. The artillery and antiaircraft missiles, other than man-portable version, in this zone were restricted. Such activities were to be monitored by a co-ordination of National Technical Means -- NTM and UN Peacekeeping grouped with Egypt and Israel. The UN made functional several checkpoints and observation posts and caused patrols along the border and lines of Zone-B and Zone-C. (Sensors in the Sinai: A Precedent for Regional Cooperative Monitoring)

It also made mandatory to conduct bimonthly on-site inspections also within zones. It has also made provisions for challenge inspections within the 48 hours of request on either side of the restricted zones. However, the monitoring system for the Egypt-Israel Peace Agreement broke down when the Soviet Union vetoed an expansion of the UNEF mandate in July of the year 1979. Such a veto led Egypt and Israel to approach United States for continuance of the Sinai Field Mission -- SFM and particularly its monitoring responsibility to replace the presently defunct UNEF. The responsibility of SFM extended to perform on-site inspection and low altitude aerial surveys. Both the nations monitored an interim buffer zone. Israel maintained four signal collection stations along ridges in the central Sinai. On the other hand Israel and Egypt was engaged in performance of reconnaissance flights till the midpoint of the buffer zone. The SFM, with about the same number of personnel, performed bimonthly inspections. There existed four inspection teams consisting of three inspectors. (Sensors in the Sinai: A Precedent for Regional Cooperative Monitoring) couple of days were required to supervise the facilities in Zone-A, and one day each for Zones B. And C. The SFM involved light aircraft and hand held cameras and viewing devices during such inspection. The Israeli withdrawal became possible very smoothly with only 29 minor infringements. The completion of the withdrawal process of Israeli in April 1982, led Israel, Egypt and the United States to agree for substitution of the SFM with a multinational force to become responsible for the purpose of implementing the assessing regime of the Egypt-Israel Peace Agreement. As a result of this the Multinational Force and Observers --MFO was instituted. The MFO still monitors the Sinai for the Egypt-Israel Peace Agreement. Such organization is independent of the UN and is funded by the parties to the Egypt-Israel Peace Agreement. Initially, the United States made available an infantry battalion and a logistic unit for the organization and with its persuasion, Israel, Egypt and ten other nations also made available some units to the MFO so as to make the total strength to 2500. The administrative headquarters of the MFO is presently instituted in Rome. (Sensors in the Sinai: A Precedent for Regional Cooperative Monitoring)

2. MFO mandate and agreement between both parties of Egypt and Israel

The Mandate of MFO was to "OBSERVE, VERIFY AND REPORT." (Multinational Force and Observers) Normally, four essential tasks have been conferred upon MFO. Firstly MFO is to fulfill the checkpoints, reconnaissance patrols and observation posts along the international boundary lines of B. Zone and within the area of the Zone C. Secondly it is the responsibility of the MFO to periodically verify the implementation of the provisions of the Annex to the Treaty of Peace, to be performed not less than twice a month unless otherwise, agreed to by the parities. MFO is to further very within 48 hours of after receipt of the request from either party. Fourthly, The MFO is to ensure freedom of navigation via the Strait of Tiran. (Multinational Force and Observers)

The United Nations concluded not to continue with a peace keeping mandate on the Sinai Peninsula with conclusion of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty during 1979. The provisions of the Treaty envisaged set up of international peacekeepers so as to make it certain that both Israel and Egypt adhere to the provisions of the military build up along the border. The negotiations by Egypt, Israel and the United States gave rise to the establishment of MFO as a peacekeeping organization outside the structure of United Nations with signature of the Protocol to the Treaty of Peace on August 3rd 1981. The MFO assumed its mandate on April 25th 1982, the very day on which Israel conferred the sovereignty of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. The main headquarters of the Multinational Force and Observers is located in Rome, and is led by the Director General. (Multinational Force and Observers: Wikipedia Encyclopedia)

Two regional offices of this also are located at Tel Aviv and Cairo and Force itself is based in the Zone C. On the Sinai Peninsula under the command of the force Commander. The Force Commander has been assigned the responsibility for the military elements of the MFO that consists of the "Headquarters, Three infantry battalions, Coastal Patrol Unit, Fixed Wing Aviation Unit, Transport Unit, Engineers Unit, Military Police Unit, Fight Following Air Traffic Control Unit. The Military personnel for the purpose are contributed by eleven countries. Australian contributed 25 personnel based at Force Headquarters. Canada contributed about 29… [END OF PREVIEW]

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