Unifil Status Of Forces Agreement

In 1999, Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a „Bulletin on Respect for International Humanitarian Law by UN Forces” (HVR), following considerable support from the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC). This bulletin, an internal UN document that binds all UN forces, has essentially established a set of minimum standards for the HVR, which apply without prejudice to the broader situation of international law. Although there were difficult problems to solve during the preparation of the Bulletin, its conclusion was an important success. The Bulletin provided certainty about the standards that the United Nations and its peacekeepers had to meet, thus helping to clarify the situation for those affected by United Nations peacekeeping. In a letter addressed to the Secretary-General on 11 July on 27 July, the Permanent Representative of Lebanon requested his Government to extend the mandate of UNIFIL for a further transitional period of six months, until 31 January 2001. In his report of 20 July, the Secretary-General recommended that the Council respond to that request, considering that UNFICYP would be able to be fully deployed and operational throughout its area of intervention and that the Lebanese authorities would strengthen their own presence in the region by deploying additional troops and internal security forces. The UNIFIL operation must be closely coordinated with that of the Lebanese Armed Forces. In 2010, a series of stalemates and clashes broke out between UNIFIL troops and Lebanese villagers in the border region. Villagers accused French peacekeepers of making provocative and intrusive patrols and taking pictures of people in their homes. Residents of the town of Aitaroun, Marjayoun, have accused French regiments of driving their heavy vehicles into their two-month-old tobacco fields, which support many families.

UNIFIL has also been accused of stepping up patrols and failing to coordinate with the Lebanese army. In July 2010, the most serious incident occurred when French regiments decided to unilaterally conduct exercises without Lebanese units or other regiments. Walking through narrow alleys of Lebanese villages, some residents first tried to divert them from their private sectors. The French shot at civilians, arrested a teenager riding a motorcycle and destroyed the vehicle. When other civilians saw it, they surrounded and attacked the unarmed French UNIFIL troops. The windows of the vehicles were smashed with stones by dozens of civilians of all ages and the French commander was injured. The French troops were forcibly disarmed by the villagers and the weapons were handed over to the Lebanese army. French unity could not explain why it behaved unilaterally. Its ambassador to the UN said the civilian attack was „not spontaneous.” Many troops, including Finns, Irish, Kataris and Indonesians, withdrew from UNIFIL in 2007-2008. A reason given because some had been there for more than 30 years (Irish and Finnish), for fear of a change in the rules of engagement through the accession of NATO forces after August 2006 and through high-level German and French statements expressing unlimited support for the Israeli side.

[Citation required] At the request of the UN, an additional 7,000 Lebanese troops have been deployed in southern Lebanon, in accordance with the authorization of the Lebanese cabinet. On 16 June, the Secretary-General informed the Security Council that Israel had withdrawn its troops from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425 (1978) and had complied with the requirements set out in his report of 22 May 2000, namely, that Israel had completed the withdrawal in accordance with the line defined by the United Nations, that DFF/SLA had been dissolved and that all prisoners had been dismantled, Detained in Al-Khiam prison, they had been released. The Secretary-General said that the Lebanese government would act quickly to restore its effective authority in the region through the deployment of its security forces and informed the UN that it would send a force composed of military and internal security personnel to Marjayoun. . . .


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