On Tuesday night, peacekeepers serving to maintain security and stability in south Lebanon were attacked by unknown perpetrators. Their UN vehicles were vandalized and official items were stolen.
The denial of UNIFIL’s freedom of movement and any aggression against those serving the cause of peace is unacceptable and violates the Status of Forces Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Lebanon. As required under Security Council Resolution 1701, UNIFIL must have full and unimpeded access throughout its area of operations.
Contrary to some subsequent media disinformation, the peacekeepers were not taking photos and were not on private property. They were on their way to meet Lebanese Armed Forces colleagues for a routine patrol.
We call on all concerned parties to respect peacekeepers’ freedom of movement, which is critical to fulfilling UNIFIL’s mandate under Resolution 1701. We call on the Lebanese authorities to investigate quickly and thoroughly, and prosecute all those responsible for these crimes.