Deteriorating economic and social conditions accelerated in Albania and led to a series of riots and civil disobedience, centred on the capital, Tirana in Mar 1997.
The British Government ordered the Royal Navy to undertake a Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) and assist in evacuating Brits from the country. Type 42 destroyer HMS Birmingham (already in the Adriatic, operating in support of SFOR
) was ordered to stand off Durrës - the nearest port on the coast to Tirana.
Other countries took parallel action to support their nationals, principally the Americans (Operation Silver Wake
), Germans (Operation Libelle
) and the Italians. The contributions of those nations are summarised here.