United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA)

4 June 1993 - 6 December 1993
Military personnel

In August 1989, the South African president, F.W. de Klerk, plunged his country into a process of change that was to culminate in the abolition of apartheid, the democratisation of the political system and the election of the first black president of South Africa, ANC leader Nelson Mandela.

The National Peace Accord of September 1991 formulated the broad desire for the normalisation of political relations in South Africa. On the basis of this accord, regional and local Peace Committees were set up in the main conflict areas.

Observer mission

The UN Security Council showed its support for the National Peace Accord by establishing the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) on 17 August 1992. The 50 UN observers were stationed in areas in which the peace committees were active. The observers attended the meetings of these committees and maintained contacts with political parties and local authorities. They were also prominently present at important political meetings.