Security Council extends UN force in southern Lebanon for another year
The Security Council today extended until the end of August 2009 the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), stating that the deployment of the mission together with the country’s armed forces has helped to establish “a new strategic environment in southern Lebanon.”
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council called on all parties concerned to respect the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah following their 2006 war as well as the entirety of the Blue Line along their border.
UNIFIL is tasked with ensuring that the area between the Blue Line and the Litani River is free of unauthorized weapons, personnel and assets, and it also cooperates with the Lebanese armed forces so they can fulfil their security responsibilities.
Today’s resolution also welcomed “the expansion of coordinated activities between UNIFIL and the Lebanese armed forces,” encouraging them to enhance this cooperation further.
In addition, all parties concerned were called on to “abide scrupulously” by their obligation to respect the safety of UNIFIL and other UN personnel, including by ensuring the force full freedom of movement within its area of operation.
Addressing the Council today were the representatives of Israel and Lebanon, who welcomed the extension of UNIFIL’s mandate, noting the important role it plays in southern Lebanon.