The Status of the Peacekeeping Operations in the Transnistrian Conflict

By Bejan, Ana-Maria | Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, July 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

The Status of the Peacekeeping Operations in the Transnistrian Conflict


Bejan, Ana-Maria, Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice


1. Introduction

On December 6, 1991 the Government addressed the international community and United Nations Security Council, protesting against the occupation of its territory. Moldova claimed that the 14th Army had provided military equipment to the Transnistrian separatists and supported them in terrorizing the civilian population. The armed conflict between the Transnistrian separatist forces and the police and security forces in Moldova began in March 1992 and lasted five months, killing several hundred people. President Mircea Snegur, addressed on 23 June of the same year, UN Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali, asking them to inform the Security Council about the attack the Russian forces and separatist forces on Tighina (Bender).

On 10 July 1992 Summit CSCE (now OSCE) in Helsinki, Chisinau asked to examine the possibility of CSCE peacekeeping mechanisms involvement in the situation of Moldova. During the debate on conflict's resolution, it was agreed the outset and what forces should be designated as peacekeepers in the conflict. CIS and some East European countries opted for the deployment of their own peacekeepers. Their initiative failed, however, when the participating states - Belarus, Romania and Bulgaria - have refused to participate and suggested involvement of the OSCE peacekeeping mechanisms. Thus, at the OSCE Summit in Helsinki, the Moldovan government application to deploy in the eastern districts of Moldova OSCE peacekeepers was rejected.

Halting hostilities in armed conflict in the eastern districts of the country occurred under "Agreement on principles of peaceful settlement of the military conflict in the Transnistrian region of Moldova" signed on July 21, 1992 in Moscow by Mircea Snegur and Boris Yeltsin, which contains 8 articles. The text urged parties of the conflict to take all necessary measures to cease-fire.

2. Peacekeeping Operations in Transnistria

One of the contradictory elements, in terms of legal and political consequences, was to create an institutional mechanism (department) performing the tasks provided in the document. According to art. 2, to ensure control of its obligations, but also to ensure the regime's safety security zone between conflicting parties, constituted a Joint Control Commission (JCC), composed of representatives of the three parties to the regulation, falling surveillance tasks of maintaining peace and security in the region. The agreement contains rather incomplete descriptions on the structure, status and place of JCC within the created mechanism, it stated only that it will consist of "representatives of the three parties involved in the regulation." Thus, the agreement puts the JCC creation out of the chosen model mechanism for achieving understandings and possibly out the frame of explanations regarding the non-compliance with mechanisms of international standards and practices. On the other hand, the Agreement specifies quite clearly the passage under the JCC "umbrella" of the created security zones of various military components: some old, which already have been created.

In fact, JCC includes three delegations (constitutional bodies of Moldova, the Russian Federation and the Tiraspol administration) and Ukrainian representative in the committee. The JCC activity was attended by the representatives of the OSCE mission in Moldova along with the nominated committee. The Security Zone was established along the Dniester River, consisting of three sectors (North-Ribnita, center-Dubasari and South-Bender) with a length of 225 km and a width of 12-20 km, out which had to be withdrawn the military and militarized forces - an objective assumed by the authorities in Chisinau and ignored by the Tiraspol administration, which maintains military forces in the security zone up to present. JCC created and introduced the Security Zone, Mixed Peacekeeping Forces (MPF), consisting of three contingents: the Russian Armed Forces, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova and the Transnistrian administration. …

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