United Nations Congo ( ONUC )
The United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC; French: Opération des Nations Unies au Congo) was a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) that was established after United Nations Security Council Resolution 143 of 14 July 1960. The mission was launched to help restore stability to the Congo after it fell into conflict and disorder following independence. ONUC was the UN's first peacekeeping mission with a significant military force. It was withdrawn in 1964.
Following Security Council actions, the United Nations Organisation in the Congo was established. To carry out these tasks, the Secretary-General set up a United Nations Force—at its peak strength numbering nearly 20,000. The UN Force stayed in the Congo between 1960 and 1964, and underwent a transition from a peacekeeping presence to a military force.
ONUC's main goals stayed consistent from the first to fifth resolution. It aimed to both have Belgian military personnel (later expanding to mercenaries) withdrawn and to provide military assistance to ensure internal stability. The successive Security Council resolutions added to and elaborated on the initial mandate but did not fundamentally change the operation's objectives. These were especially significant because Belgium's invasion violated the norm of sovereignty, and the second objective was set to prevent the country from becoming a Cold War client state.
The medal is a circular medal of bronze alloy. The obverse depicts the ‘World-in-a Wreath’ emblem of the UN and the reverse has the inscription: ‘FOR SERVICE IN DEFENCE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS’.