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Spanish army
Ministry of Defence
Spanish army

Ejército de Tierra

ONUCA (United Nations Observer Group in Central America)

Attending the request of the five presidents of the Central American states, who were endeavouring to achieve peace in the region, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 644 and launched the UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA) on 2 December 1989.

Following the wishes expressed by several Central American states to the UN Secretary General, the commander in charge of the mission was a Spaniard divisional general. It was the first time Spain led a peacekeeping mission.

Spain contributed the largest force to the mission, although ten more countries sent military observers. Fifty-seven Spanish officers took part in the first phase of ONUCA, which ran until December 1991.

The initial mandate consisted of monitoring the termination of aid to irregular forces and insurrectionist movements and the non-use of the territory of one state to attack other parties to the conflict.

Once the Nicaraguan resistance was demobilised ONUCA returned to its original mandate, which involved reducing the number of personnel and temporarily appointing a Canadian general as commander in charge. A Spanish brigadier general was later put in charge.

The Spanish force was deployed throughout the Verification Centres and Observer Groups set up in the five Central American countries and at ONUCA HQ in Tegucigalpa (Honduras).