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UNIFIL Extends its Mandate in Southern Lebanon for One Year

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday decided on renewing the UNIFIL’s mandate in southern Lebanon for one year based on the newly adopted Resolution 2650 (2022). 

Resolution 2650 is an extension of Resolution 2591 (2021), where UNIFIL was requested to take “temporary and special measures” to aid the Lebanese Army with “food, fuel, medicine, and logistical support.” 

The resolution requests a plan for “effective and durable deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces in southern Lebanon and the country’s territorial waters.”

According to the Security Council press release, the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon can move and navigate freely and complete their tasks without any authorization from the Lebanese government. 

The new resolution also stressed the complete marking of the Blue Line, “the line of withdrawal between Lebanon and Israel,” which is only marked halfway. 

Initially, Lebanon tried to remove some pages from the Resolution 2650 draft that France submitted, but several countries opposed the new edits, and the changes were eventually rejected, Arab News reported. 

The United States and United Arab Emirates representatives both welcomed the resolution

On Thursday, Michel Oun, Lebanon’s president, expressed that the renewal of the mandate showed the commitment of the international community to maintain peace and security on the country’s southern borders.

He also added that “The Lebanese army and UNIFIL were working together to properly implement Resolution 1701 in all its aspects, especially the cessation of hostilities committed by Israel,” 

Prime Minister Najib Mikati said, “This will consolidate the stability that southern Lebanon enjoys thanks to the close cooperation between the army and UNIFIL.”

Arab News also reported that a source  close to UNIFIL said that “despite the strongly worded resolution, UNIFIL cannot be above Lebanese law.” 

The source also added that “The Lebanese security services cannot enter private properties before obtaining security or judicial permission. Consequently, UNIFIL’s freedom of movement cannot give it the right to enter private properties. Otherwise, UNIFIL will thus become an occupation force in a sense.”

The Israeli Occupation has been violating Lebanese sovereignty for as long as the Lebanese people can remember. From flying, drones offer the capital Beirut and the country's south to breaking and crossing maritime borders. 

In 1978, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was established. After the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, Resolution 1701 (2006) was the first to reaffirm the mandate of the interim administration. Its mandate is extended annually upon the request of the government of Lebanon.



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