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UNIFIL: UNSC renews peacekeepers’ mandate for another year

NEW YORK, AUGUST 30 – The UN Security Council today extended for another year the mandate of UNIFIL, the Italian led United Nations peacekeeping force in Southern Lebanon.

Reaffirming UNIFIL’s mandate, as set out in Resolution 1701 (2006) and confirmed in subsequent resolutions, Resolution 2591 for the first time requests UNIFIL to take “temporary and special measures” to support the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) with non-lethal material (such as food, fuel, and medicine) and logistical support for a period of six months. This would be done within existing resources, and in compliance with the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. The Council also strongly urges further and increased international support for the LAF, while reiterating the necessity of an effective and durable LAF deployment in south Lebanon. The Security Council urged the parties to make constructive and expanded use of UNIFIL’s Tripartite mechanisms, including the sub-committee on the marking of the Blue Line, and called for all appropriate measures to enhance the safety and security of UN personnel and equipment.

“I look forward to supporting the LAF to increase our joint activities. I welcome the Council’s call for the parties to cooperate with UNIFIL on Tripartite mechanisms, peacekeeper safety and security and other important matters to maintain stability in south Lebanon”, General Stefano del Col, Head of mission and Force Commander, said after the adoption of the resolution.

The Council also called for the rapid finalization of investigations launched by Lebanon into all attacks against UNIFIL in order to swiftly bring to justice the perpetrators, while condemning all violations of the Blue Line by air and ground.

UNIFIL has around 10,000 peacekeepers from 46 troop-contributing countries with a mandate to monitor the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel. Italy contributes with about 1,000 troops. The mission is also mandated to assist and support the Lebanese Armed Forces in keeping the area south of the Litani River free of unauthorized armed personnel, weapons, or other assets. Further, it assists the Government of Lebanon (at its request) in securing borders and other points of entry to prevent the unauthorized entry of arms or related materiel. (@OnuItalia)

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