The dissolution of Yugoslavia created a volatile situation in the Balkans. As different ethnic groups within the former Yugoslav state attempted to form independent states and control territory, open hostilities resulted. Attempts to establish ceasefires in the region took place, but the various ethnic forces seldom observed them. As a result, the European Community (western European nations) organized the European Community Monitor Mission (ECCM) to oversee ceasefire agreements. The 300-man force included 15 Canadian military observers.