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Australian military involvement in peacekeeping operations has been diverse, and

included participation in both United Nations sponsored missions, as well as those


as part of ad hoc coalitions. Indeed, Australians have been involved in more
conflicts as peacekeepers than as belligerents; however, according to Peter Londey
"in comparative international terms, Australia has only been a moderately energetic
peacekeeper."[1] To be sure even though Australia has had peacekeepers in the field
continuously for 60 years � the first occasion being in Indonesia in 1947, when
Australians were among the very first group of UN military observers � its
commitments have generally been limited, consisting of small numbers of high-level
and technical support troops (e.g. signals, engineers or medical units) or
observers and police. David Horner has noted that the pattern changed with the
deployment of 600 engineers to Namibia in 1989�90 as the Australian contribution to
UNTAG.[2] From the mid-1990s, Australia has been involved in a series of high-
profile operations, deploying significantly large units of combat troops in support
of a number of missions including those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Somalia and later in
East Timor. Australia has been involved in close to 100 separate missions,
involving more than 30,000 personnel and 10 Australians have died during these
operations.[3]

Contents [hide]
1 Overview
2 List of peacekeeping operations
3 See also
4 Notes
5 References
6 Further reading
Overview[edit]

Australian soldiers in a M-113 armoured personnel carrier during a peacekeeping


deployment to East Timor in 2002
Australian involvement in international peacekeeping began in 1947 when a small
contingent, consisting of just four officers�two Army, one Navy and one Air
Force�were deployed to the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia) in September
of that year, being deployed as military observers under the auspicies of the
United Nations Good Offices Commission, during the Indonesian National Revolution.
A total of 45 Australians were eventually deployed as part of this commitment,
which ended in 1951.[4] After that first operation, Australia's involvement in
peacekeeping expanded slowly. Between 1950 and 1989, these commitments, while
numerous remained small-scale, consisting of the deployment of small numbers of
troops in support roles. In 1989, however, this changed when Australia committed a
sizeable engineer force to Namibia; after this, throughout the 1990s Australia made
further contributions to peacekeeping operations in various places around the world
including the Middle East, Cambodia, Somalia and Rwanda, and in many cases�for
example in Somalia where an infantry battalion group was deployed�these deployments
have consisted of sizeable numbers of combat troops. Between 1997 and 2003,
military observers were sent to Bougainville as part of a peace monitoring mission.
In 1999, Australia's involvement in peacekeeping reached a new level when it took
the lead in deploying a force that peaked at around 6,000 personnel, to East Timor
during that country's emergence as an independent nation, before handing over to a
UN-led mission in 2000; further commitments to East Timor were also made throughout
the following decade as episodes of unrest occurred.[5] Between 2003 and 2013, a
total of 7,270 Australian personnel rotated through the Solomon Islands as part of
Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.[6] The early years of the 21st
century also saw the deployment of thousands of personnel to operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan in warfighting roles.[7] In addition, smaller scale commitments were
made to missions in Africa, including to places like Sierra Leone, Ethiopia,
Eritrea, Sudan and Darfur.[8]

List of peacekeeping operations[edit]


Australians have been involved in the following peacekeeping operations:

Indonesia (1947�51)
Kashmir (1950�85)
Korea (1953�Present)
Israel � under Operation Paladin (1956�Present)
Congo (1960�61)
West New Guinea (1962�63)
Yemen (1963)
Cyprus (1964�Present)
India/Pakistan Border (1965�66)
Sinai � under Operation Mazurka (1976�79) (1982�86) (1993�Present)
Israel/Syria Border (1974)
Lebanon (1978)
Zimbabwe (1979�80)
Uganda (1982�84)
Iran (1988�90)
Thailand/Cambodia Border (1989�93)
Namibia � under UNTAG (1989�90)
Afghanistan (1989�93)
Iraqi Kurdistan � under Operation Habitat (1991)
Iraq (1991�99)
Western Sahara (1991�94)
Cambodia � under UNTAC (1991�93)
Somalia � under Operation Solace (1992�95)
Yugoslavia (1992)
Rwanda (1994�95)
Mozambique (1994)
Bougainville (1994)(1997�2003)
Haiti (1994�95)
Guatemala (1997)
Yugoslavia (1997�Present)
Kosovo (1999�Present)
East Timor � under INTERFET, UNTAET, UNMISET, Operation Tower and Operation Astute
(1999�2013)
Solomon Islands � under RAMSI (2000�13)
Ethiopia/Eritrea (2000�Present)
Sierra Leone (2000�03)
Sudan � under Operation Azure (2005�Present)
Darfur � under Operation Hedgerow (2007�Present)
Seven multinational operations have been commanded by Australians:

Lieutenant General Robert Harold Nimmo was Chief Military Observer in Kashmir with
the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, from 1950 to 1966
Lieutenant General John Sanderson was Force Commander with the UN Transitional
Authority in Cambodia, 1992 to 1993
Brigadier David Ferguson was Force Commander with the Multinational Force and
Observers (in the Sinai) from 1994 to 1997
Richard Butler led the UN Special Commission (in Iraq) from 1997 to 1999
Major General Timothy Ford was Chief of Staff with the UN Truce Supervision
Organisation from 1998 to 2000
Major General Peter Cosgrove commanded the International Force for East Timor
(INTERFET) from 1999 to 2000
Major General Simon Stuart took command of the Multinational Force and Observers
(MFO) in the Sinai in 2017.[9][10]