In order to carry out its mandate, UNDOF maintains an area of separation, which is over 75 kilometres (46.6 miles) long and varies in width between approximately 10 kilometres (6.21 miles) in the centre to 200 meters (0.12 miles) in the extreme south. The terrain is hilly and is dominated in the north by Mount Hermon, which is the location of the globe’s highest permanently manned United Nations position at an altitude of 2,814 meters (1,75 miles).
On each side of the Area of Separation (AOS) there is an Area of Limitation (AOL) with three zones; a zone of 0 to 10 kilometres (6.21 miles) from the area of separation, a zone of 10 (6.21 miles) to 20 kilometres (12.43 miles) from the area of separation, and a zone of 20 (12.43 miles) to 25 kilometres (15.53 miles) from the AOS. UNDOF with the support of UNTSO’s Observer group Golan (OGG) continuously inspects and monitors these AOLs in order to ascertain that the agreed limitations in armaments and forces are being observed.
The responsibility for governance and policing in the area of separation remains with the Host Nation notwithstanding the presence of various armed groups within the area. In September 2014, due to the evolving Syrian conflict, UNDOF was required to reconfigure and consequently implement its mandate in a modified manner weighted on the A-Side. In 2016, UNDOF commenced a gradual re-establishment of its presence in Camp Faouar on the B-Side and in 2018, as the security situation improved, UNDOF commenced limited patrolling of the Area of Operations (AO) and has since continued to increase its operations.
As of 2020, UNDOF’s deployment consists of a total of 14 positions – ten of which are in the AOS and four in the AOL. The Nepalese contingent (NEPCON) occupies the Northern sector, while the Nepalese Mechanised Company (NMC) is deployed in the Central Sector. The Uruguayan Mechanised Infantry Company (UMIC) is deployed to the Southern Sector. The Mission’s Force Reserve Company (FRC) is Irish and is based in Camp Faouar. The Fijian Battalion (Fiji Batt) is based on the A-Side in Camp Ziouani.
Mine clearance operations are conducted by the force reserve explosives element under the operational control of UNDOF Headquarters. UNDOF is also assisted in its Mission by the military observers of UNTSO’s Observer Group Golan (OGG) who are under the operational command of the Force Commander.
Currently UNDOF Headquarters is located at Camp Faouar. Logistics support to UNDOF is provided by the Indian Contingent (INDCON) based primarily in Camp Faouar. They perform the second-line general transport tasks, rotation transport, control and management of goods received by UNDOF and maintenance of heavy equipment. First-line logistics support is internal to the contingents and includes transport of supplies to the positions.
UNDOF continues to carry out its mandate supervising the AOS and intervening where possible whenever military personnel enter or try to operate therein. This intervention is done through the formulation and submission of a violation reports per the UNDOF disengagement agreement.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, UNDOF continues to fulfil its mandate and monitor the AOS and AOL. While all possible measures will be taken to minimise the risk of transmission of the disease, the Force Commander’s intent remains to be one that fully realises UNDOF’s mandate, including the re-occupation of UN positions within the AOS.