United Nations Guards Contingent in Iraq

October 1991 - November 2003

320 Czech and Slovak Soldiers participated


This mission was based on UN resolutions 706/1991 and 712/1991, aimed at the safe flow of international humanitarian support for the people of Iraq following the liberation of Kuwait, and during the period of the trade embargo imposed against the Saddam Husain regime.

The international military and police forces provided secure work environments for civil elements of the programme, and during the distribution of food and medical supplies by humanitarian organisations.

An agreement on establishing the United Nations Guards Contingent in Iraq (UNGCI) was concluded in May 1991, and soon thereafter the first "guards" were on their way to Iraq to share in the security of engaged organisations.

During the summer of 1991, the UNGCI mission reached a level of 500 personnel that were delegated from the UN HQ in New York, UN Geneva, UN Vienna, and the UN Kenya. National contingents of about 50 personnel originated from the following countries: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Fiji, Ghana, Greece, Nepal, The Philippines, Poland, and Thailand.

After a short training period in Baghdad, the guards moved to Dohuk (northern part of Iraq) and were assigned to serve mostly in Kurdistan (Dohuk, Erbil, Suleymania), though some service was performed in the south of the country, in the area of Basra city.

The first group of 50 Czechoslovak soldiers was composed of career soldiers and 17 soldiers of the active reserve. They arrived in Iraq at the beginning of July 1991.

From 1996, the mission continued under the auspices of the "Oil for Food" programme. Thereafter the Czech Republic deployed ten-soldier contingents to the mission.

The UNGCI mission was terminated in 2003. More than 300 Czech and Slovak soldiers participated in it.

Posted: October 3, 2005