UNMOs' humor



With the following collection of pictures I've started a gallery of UNMOs' humor. That was the most powerful remedy in any stress situations we had in the Mission.

I'm planning to present at this page UNMOs' jokes, anecdotes and extraordinary stories happened in the mission area.



The collection you see bellow is a part of works by Capt. Michael Antis (UK) UNMO Team Velika Kladusha in Oct.-Dec. 94 during the Bihac pocket blockade. In that dramatic period 13 UNMOs were the most active and capable UN force in the field providing up to 80 % information to UN HQ on the developments in and around Pocket. UNMO team BV (Velika Kladusha) was in the most complicated situation their AOR (the northern part of the pocket) several times passed from one Muslim faction (5-th Corp) to another (Abdich forces). Eventually they were cut off from the main Sector and operated on the Abdich side practically independently.



The usual view of the UNMO Observation Post in Bihac pocket - top hill without any engineering fortifications regularly shoot at by BSA.

Many times we found ourselves in difficult situations like this.



Big binos is a very useful observation device at the permanent OP. But it is a very funny device for an open observation close to CL. Several times we had to leave them on the top hills escaping from under the fire (they are too heavy to run with them).

Those international mediators making sound statements from their "heavens" should first try real ground in the field. It would help them to understand negotiation techniques better.



That was a real way from Velicka Kladusha (BV location) to Cazin (Bihac Sector HQ location) crossing confrontation line

BV team rented a nice house in VK with the restaurant "Dallas" on the first floor. It was a usual place for UNMOs weekly meetings. Unfortunately it was completely destroyed when Abdich forces enter the town.



For three months it was the only dream for 13 UNMOs stuck in the Sector. We were split in three parts: Bihac refugees - UNMOs who were on leave (CTO) at the moment of the beginning of the Blockade and had to stay in Sector North waiting for permission to cross into; Bihac hostages separated in two parts: one - in Velika Kladusha (3 UNMOs) and the rest 10 in the main part of the Sector. Those days made us one close team.

BV team had two dogs in the house (BuBuGa and Puff). During street combats in VK UNMOs had to leave the house for Bangladesh coy compound. When in two weeks time they returned to ruins Puff absolutely mad attacked them and was killed in a self defense. BV team informed us in Cazin on the Puff's tragic death via CapSat message (the only comms at that moment). We were very surprised later receiving condolences from other Sectors HQs on that occasion. BV team sending that message by chance did not change address group used for daily Sitreps.



That period of war between Muslims and Serbs was marked with intensive air/missile activity from Serb side. Above you can see a kind of Bihac pocket "missile calendar" of the end of 1994. It does not take into account artillery shelling and ground attacks, those we had daily.

Our relations with local authorities sometimes were tested through small incidents like that happened on 6 Dec. 94. When Bihac Area Commander Col. Lemieux (Can) was detained by BiH police and held for three hours in Cazin Police station. Local securities tried to make a "drug case" from it because they did not like some statements made by Col. Lemieux in his interview to the local TV. UNMOs' good relations with local police helped to calm down the situation and minimize consequences.