UN Extends Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission by One Year
The UN Security Council extended UNIFIL’s peacekeeping mission in Lebanon for another year on Tuesday.
The Associated Press reported that the Security Council said the situation in Lebanon remains a threat to international peace and security, thus requiring the extension.
The council praised the role of the UN peacekeeping force, which is deployed with the Lebanese Armed Forces, but condemned “in the strongest terms” terrorist attacks against peacekeepers and called on all sides to respect the safety of UN personnel.
UN peacekeepers have been charged with monitoring Lebanon’s southern border with Israel since 1978. After the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, UNIFIL expanded to almost 12,000 troops. The expansion was called for under UN Security Council resolution 1701 which brought the war to an end.
UNIFIL operates alongside 15,000 Lebanese army troops who are deployed in the south to keep peace near the frontier with Israel and prevent weapon transfers in an area that is a stronghold of the Hizbullah terror group.
In July, UNIFIL was targeted by a roadside bomb which blew up a UN vehicle near the port city of Sidon. At least three French peacekeepers were wounded in that incident. A similar attack near Sidon in May wounded six Italian peacekeepers, prompting Italy to look into reducing its peacekeeping contingent in Lebanon.