Congo Unit Histories
(1960 - 1982)

The ONUC (Organisation des Nations Unies au Congo) mission was established in reaction to Belgium’s unilateral intervention to protect its citizens in the newly independent state and to assist in the secession of the mineral-rich Katangan province. The mission’s mandate was to facilitate the removal of Belgian troops, maintain law and order and help legitimise the post-colonial government. The Irish Defence Forces Unit Histories, July 1960 – May 1964, are particularly significant as they describe the first missions where a battalion-strength Irish contingent served with the United Nations. Eight battalions, two infantry groups and two armoured squadrons served in the Congo. Of the numerous operations undertaken, and the incidents that happened, on these missions, the most well-known would be the Niemba Ambush, the Battle of Jadotville and the Battle of the Tunnel.