Security Council extends UN Interim Force in Lebanon through January 2002

Security Council extends UN Interim Force in Lebanon through January 2002

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) through the end of January, 2002, while calling for a continued reconfiguration of the Force in response to prevailing conditions.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council requested Secretary-General Kofi Annan to continue taking the necessary measures to implement the reconfiguration and redeployment of the Force "in the light of developments on the ground and in consultation with the Government of Lebanon and the troop-contributing countries."

The Council called on the parties to respect fully the withdrawal line, to exercise utmost restraint and to cooperate fully with the UN. Condemning all acts of violence, the Council expressed great concern about the serious breaches and the air, sea and land violations of the withdrawal line, and urged the parties to put an end to them and to respect the safety of the UNIFIL personnel. The parties were also called on to ensure that UNIFIL is accorded full freedom of movement throughout its area of operation.

Looking to the broader quest for an end to the violence in the region, the text stressed the need to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all of the Council's relevant resolutions.

By other provisions, the Council called on the Lebanese Government to ensure the return of its effective authority throughout the south, including through the deployment of the country's armed forces there. The Government was also encouraged to ensure a calm environment in the area.

Concerning the problem of landmines, the Council welcomed UNIFIL's efforts to cope with the problem and encouraged the UN to provide Lebanon with further assistance in mine action. The Council also stressed "the necessity to provide the Government of Lebanon and UNIFIL with any additional maps and records on the location of mines."