Guard unit

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In recent decades, the increasing deployment of missions to non-permissive security environments has led the United Nations to consider the deployment of guard units to protect United Nations personnel and premises.

A United Nations guard unit is a formed unit deployed under a memorandum of understanding with a troop- or police-contributing country, which is reimbursed for its personnel and contingent-owned equipment as part of the standard frameworks established by the General Assembly.

The deployment of a guard unit is a possible security risk management option when other preferred security risk management options have been exhausted. The decision to deploy a guard unit begins with a needs assessment, followed by a request for authorization through an exchange of letters with either the Security Council or the General Assembly, based on which intergovernmental body established the mission in question.[1]

Guard units have been deployed in the following situations:

Mandate Mission Notes
Security Council resolution 2559 (2020) UNAMID Guard unit consisting of two FPUs with a total strength of 363 uniformed personnel retained as part of liquidation team as per S/2021/470
S/2004/764 and S/2014/765 UNAMI Authorized deployment of three formed guard units of 160 armed civilian police, paramilitary or military personnel
S/2013/636 and S/2013/637 BINUCA Authorized deployment of an initial 250 military personnel[2], which was planned to be expanded to a battalion-sized unit of 560 personnel
S/2013/704 and S/2013/705 UNSMIL Authorized deployment of a guard unit of up to 235 military personnel
S/2013/764 and S/2013/765;
S/2015/234 and S/2015/235;
S/2019/140 and S/2019/141
UNSOM (2013) Authorized guard unit consisting of a battalion, an extraction and reinforcement team and a logistics company, totaling 410 personnel[3]
(2015) Authorized increase in strength by 120 troops, to 530 personnel
(2019) Authorized increase in strength by 95 troops[4], to 625 personnel

See also


  1. UNDSS/SOP/1/2015 Deployment of United Nations Guard Units (SOP)
  2. In S/2013/696, the Security Council was informed that these would be provided by Morocco
  3. In S/2014/239, the Security Council was informed that these would be provided by Uganda
  4. in S/2019/372, the Security Council was informed that these would be provided by Uganda