In spring 1992, the conflict between the Transdniestrian authorities and the central government in Chisinau escalated. Violent clashes resulted in several hundred casualties and more than 100,000 refugees. A ceasefire was agreed in July 1992 and the parties committed themselves to negotiate a settlement to the conflict.
In 1993, the OSCE (then the CSCE) established a Mission in Moldova to support efforts to find a peaceful solution to this conflict. The Mission started work in Moldova's capital Chisinau in April of the same year. It opened a branch office in the Transdniestrian administrative centre Tiraspol in February 1995 and an Office in Bender in May 2003.
The main objectives of the Mission are to assist in negotiating a lasting political settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, to consolidate the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova, and to reach an understanding on a special status for the Transdniestrian region.
The Mission also covers a broad spectrum of human dimension issues, including human and minority rights, democratization, media freedom and combating human trafficking. Since 1999, the Mission has been mandated to facilitate the removal and destruction of Russian ammunition and armament from the region and to ensure the transparency of this process.
Further information on mandates, staffing levels and budgets can be found in the annual Survey of OSCE Field Operations.