Peacekeepers from UNIFIL’s French-led Force Commander’s Reserve (FCR) installed a new water tank in the public school of the village of Ash Sh’Aytiah (Kneiseh School) in south Lebanon last week.
The 60 cubic metre tank will allow 300 school children, aged between 4 and 17 years, access to pure drinking water.
The French peacekeepers partnered with a local firm in order to accelerate the execution of the one-month long project.
First Sergeant Etikasari, a UNIFIL Indonesian peacekeeper, is visiting the public school in Aytarun, a village close to the Blue Line in south Lebanon. She stands at the front of the class and begins a discussion with the ten-year olds. She is animated and fun, and the children respond to her bright smile. They raise their hands to participate in the discussion about UNIFIL and the Blue Line.
In a military command post tucked in the hill of Kafr Dunin, about 670 metres from the sea level in south Lebanon, Brigadier General Ramez al-Khamis watches as dozens of his troops get ready for a drill. A military commander signals “start” and the soldiers set out for a simulated mission.
These soldiers are members of the recently deployed rapid intervention regiment of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in the UNIFIL area of operation between the Litani River and the Blue Line.
On UN Day, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today highlighted the importance of working together to achieve a lasting peace in south Lebanon.
Speaking at an event marking the 72nd United Nations Day at the UN Mission’s headquarters in Naqoura, Major General Beary said UNIFIL looks forward to a time when it can hand over authority for the area south of the Litani River to the sovereign Government of Lebanon.
In 2006, under Security Council Resolution 1701, UNIFIL witnessed a substantial increase in its troops and responsibilities across its area of operations between the Litani River and the Blue Line. Monitoring the cessation of hostilities and supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces constitute the core of UNIFIL’s work and so each day, UNIFIL peacekeepers, drawn from 41 countries, patrol the south in vehicles, on foot and from the air.
UNIFIL peacekeepers and local officials jointly inaugurated a new water filtration plant, constructed with funding from Spanish peacekeepers, in Meiss Ej Jebel, south-eastern Lebanon, last week.
The plant consists of a water filter system with the capacity of generating 30,000 litres of drinking water every day in addition to the installation of two 4,000-litre tanks. The water system will directly benefit about 5,000 residents of the area with clean drinking water.
Along the Blue Line near Blida fields, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Blue Line team holds their surveying and mapping instrument steady to take GIS coordinates. As a LAF officer calls out the coordinates, his colleagues write them down and they confirm the position. Then they hammer a large steel picket into the ground. The picket they are hammering is near two others, one is sprayed blue, indicating UNIFIL’s measurement, and the other is sprayed yellow, indicating the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) measurement.
UNIFIL’s Sector West Headquarters and the Mission’s Italian Contingent organized a mine awareness campaign at As Samaiyah Intermediate Public School in Tyre district, in collaboration with various UNIFIL units, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
The event drew in a large number of audience that also included UNIFIL Sector West Commander Brigadier General Francesco Olla, LAF officers and soldiers, municipal and education officials, and a large number of young children from National Educational Scout.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, today chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura.
Discussions focused on issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), air and ground violations, the situation along the Blue Line and its ongoing visible marking, as well as the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.
On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, a detachment of UNIFIL’s Force Commander Reserve participated in the “Tyre By Bike” event on 8 April 2017.
Some 400 children participated in the event that was jointly organized by UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service) and LMAC (Lebanon Mine Action Center).
The purpose of the event was to raise awareness among Lebanese children on the dangers of unexploded ordnances (UXOs) and explosive remnants of war (ERWs) in order to reduce accidents.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today met separately with the Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut.
In both meetings, the UNIFIL head thanked the Lebanese leaders for their continued support to UNIFIL in the fulfilment of its mandate in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), while noting that Lebanon’s continued commitment to the UN resolution is critical.
Challenges and progress in clearing explosive remnants of war (ERW) and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) in south Lebanon were the highlights of an event organized today to observe the International Day for Mine Awareness.
Addressing the event at the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, the UN Mission’s head and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, said mines are of concern in the UNIFIL Area of Operations (AO) and along the Blue Line, which account for approximately 1,000 minefields.
The Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC), with the support of UNIFIL’s Sector East (SECEAST) Headquarters and the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), today conducted an educational program on landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) safety and awareness for students at Blat Public School.
More than 140 students, aged between 3 and 15 years attended the event, which strived to raise awareness among students about UXOs and the threats they pose.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today paid his first visit to the newly appointed Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), General Joseph Aoun, in Beirut.
During the meeting, the two Commanders discussed a wide range of issues concerning the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate along the Blue Line and in south Lebanon, while underscoring an enhanced UNIFIL-LAF cooperation.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today donated a number of UN assets, including vehicles and information technology equipment, to the General Directorate of the General Security of Lebanon.
The donation is in line with the existing cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Government’s military and other security institutions, as mandated by the UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which forms the core of UNIFIL’s mandate.
A Lebanese Civil Defense (LCD) delegation led by its General Director, Brigadier General Raymond Khattar, visited UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura on 13 February to discuss areas of further cooperation between LCD and UNIFIL on emergency response and preparedness in south Lebanon.
The crunch of snow under foot is a distinct sound. The team of UNIFIL Indian peacekeepers hike their way through the rugged terrain on a patrol near Shab’a. The recent cold snap has left blankets of deep snow, so the patrol had to park their vehicles at a lower position and proceed to the UN position on foot. The hike up the mountain is difficult but the peacekeepers proceed without complaint.
UNIFIL’s Spanish Battalion (SPANBATT) Commander Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Salas, inaugurated a SPANBATT-funded water pump project in Dibbine, south-eastern Lebanon, today.
UNIFIL’s Spanish Battalion provided US$ 19,000 for the project, which includes a 30 HP water pump, along with distribution system. The water pump system will directly benefit more than 220 families in Dibbine, Blate and Marjayoun with clean drinking water.
In his remarks, Lt. Col. Salas said that the project was an epitome of the good ties that exists between local residents and UNIFIL peacekeepers.
This morning, two UNIFIL patrols in the general area of Al Mansouri-Majda Zun (Sector West) were obstructed by groups of aggressive men who attempted to cause physical harm to the peacekeepers and UN assets.
In separate incidents, civilians attempted to block the way of UNIFIL patrols and attacked the peacekeepers. While exercising utmost restraint, UNIFIL patrol vehicles had to push aside some civilian vehicles used as roadblocks in order to safely pull out from the locations. There were no injuries to UN peacekeepers, but severe damages were caused to UNIFIL vehicles.
A UN delegation is currently visiting Lebanon to conduct a Strategic Review of UNIFIL. This is pursuant to a request made by the UN Security Council in its resolution 2305 of August 2016 in order to ensure that the Mission is configured most appropriately to fulfill its mandated tasks.