Lebanon: Indonesian troops arrive to boost UN force numbers to almost 10,000

Lebanon: Indonesian troops arrive to boost UN force numbers to almost 10,000

Indonesian troops arrived today in Lebanon to boost the enhanced United Nations peacekeeping force there to almost 10,000, made up of soldiers from 21 different countries, the mission said.

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), expanded this summer to monitor the ceasefire between Hizbollah and Israel after their month-long conflict, now has around 9,700 troops following the arrival of 129 soldiers of the Indonesian Battalion.

Around 8,000 troops are deployed on the ground between the Litani River and the Blue Line separating the two countries, plus the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force with 1,700 naval personnel, the mission said.

On the humanitarian side, from 3 to 10 November, around 700 civilians received medical and dental treatment from the French, Indian, Italian and Spanish battalions, while the veterinarian from the Indian battalion treated 567 animals for various ailments.

UNIFIL engineers also conducted 58 controlled demolitions of pieces of unexploded ordnance. UN de-mining officials have expressed concern about up to 1 million pieces of such ordnance in southern Lebanon left over from the war. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also warned that children face “a terrible situation” from the munitions as they go across fields to and from school.