The Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for another year, while strongly condemning attempts to threaten the country’s security and stability.
In unanimously extending the mission’s mandate until 31 August 2015, the Council commended UNIFIL for helping to establish a “new strategic environment in southern Lebanon” and called for further cooperation between the force and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
The peacekeeping force, which was first established in 1978, is tasked with ensuring that the area between the so-called Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon and the Litani River is free of unauthorized weapons, personnel and assets. It also cooperates with the LAF so they can fulfil their security responsibilities.
UNIFIL also remains engaged with the parties on the outstanding issue of northern Ghajar and continues to monitor and report on ground and air violations of resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah.
The 15-member Council strongly called on all parties concerned to respect the cessation of hostilities, to prevent any violation of the Blue Line and to respect it in its entirety and to cooperate fully with the UN and the peacekeeping force.
In a letter sent to the Security Council last month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that UNIFIL continues to play “a crucial role” in ensuring peace and stability in southern Lebanon, as well as full respect for the Blue Line by both Lebanon and Israel.
“Recent incidents of rockets fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel and of retaliation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) across the Blue Line are cause for concern,” he added.