Since the 8th of October, daily exchanges of fire across the Blue Line have drastically changed the situation in south Lebanon. Lieutenant General Aroldo Lázaro, Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force in the south, has of course been following developments closely, as the mission works to de-escalate tensions and restore stability to the region. We were able to sit down with him recently to find out what has been happening, the challenges peacekeepers face, and the ways the mission has adapted to continue to implement its mandated tasks under Resolution 1701.
265 - Salam from the South - Question Time with Lt. General Aroldo Lázaro
264 - Salam from the South - Question Time with Andrea Tenenti
In this episode, UNIFIL Spokesperson Andrea Tenenti sits down with Salam from the South to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in south Lebanon and what the mission is doing to address the current challenges.
263 - Salam from the South – Patrolling to Restore Stability (Part 2)
The sounds of the explosions increase as we get closer to the Italian base in Al Mansouri one January morning. The firefights along the Blue Line have grown more intense. When the exchanges of fire are close like this, all UNIFIL personnel, military and civilian, must stay inside UN bases. So, the scheduled patrol by Italian peacekeepers this morning has to wait until the situation gets calmer. After two hours, the patrol gets the permission to start and we accompany them on a patrol in their area of operations, the southernmost area along the Lebanese coast.
262- Salam from the South – Patrolling to Restore Stability (Part 1)
Since the exchanges of fire began along the Blue Line on October 8th, UNIFIL peacekeepers have been operating within very different conditions than before. But still, they are performing the mission’s operational activities under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 to restore stability along the Blue Line and prevent the outbreak of a wider and more devastating conflict. Patrolling is a critical part of these operational activities.
261 - Salam from the South – Liaison and Coordination Mechanism
On 11 December 2006, in a Tripartite meeting, a Liaison and Coordination Arrangement was agreed by UNIFIL, the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces. Lebanon and Israel don’t talk to each other directly, so UNIFIL acts as a mediator. Since October 8th, this mechanism became central to the mission’s work. The two conflicting parties have been communicating with UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander, Lt. General Aroldo Lazaro, and the Liaison Branch, to deliver messages to each other. Some of these messages have been of paramount importance, not only to deescalate tensions but also to prevent misunderstandings which could have led to much wider conflict.
260 - Salam from the South - In Support of Women and Community Farming
UNIFIL is in south Lebanon upon the request of the Lebanese Government and has been working to maintain relative stability and security along the Blue Line and throughout its area of operations since 2006. However, over these 16-plus years, the mission has also actively been helping and supporting the local communities amongst whom they live and work. Recently, as part of this ongoing support to communities, UNIFIL implemented two projects hand in hand with stakeholders in the Hasbaya and Marjayoun districts. The projects aim to improve people’s livelihood, especially amid the stifling economic and social crisis afflicting the country.
259 - Salam from the South - Returning Lands Free of Deadly Mines
The farmers in Meiss Al Jabal village in south Lebanon received 10 plots of land cleared of the deadly threat of mines and other explosive ordinances after two years of humanitarian demining works done in the village. This came as a result of joint efforts by the UN Mine Action Service, UNIFIL deminers, and the Lebanon Mine Action Center.
258 - Salam from the South - The International Civilian Staff of UNIFIL
What many people may not realize is that alongside the roughly 10,000 peacekeeping troops currently serving with UNIFIL, there are also about 800 civilian staff that work hard to keep the peacekeeping mission going. In our previous Radio episode, we talked about the Lebanese civilian staff members working in UNIFIL. Today, we will introduce you to the international civilian staff members serving with their Lebanese colleagues to support the mission. Three of the international staff we will talk to today will share with us a little bit of their journey with the United Nations around the world and with UNIFIL, serving for peace in south Lebanon.
257 - Salam from the South - The Lebanese Civilian Staff of UNIFIL
Since the mission arrived in south Lebanon in 1978, hundreds of thousands of UN peacekeepers have served with UNIFIL, including the roughly 10,000 peacekeeping troops currently present. What people may not realize is that UNIFIL also has civilian staff members that work to support the mission and its complex operations. There are currently about 800 civilian peacekeepers working in UNIFIL, most of whom are Lebanese. In our episode today we will introduce you to three of UNIFIL’s Lebanese civilian peacekeepers. They will share with us their experience and insights into serving for peace in their own home country.
256 - Salam from the South - UNIFIL and ISF Exchange Expertise
“Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Scene” training was organized in in UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura. The training course brought together members of the Internal Security Forces Investigative Unit and UNIFIL Carabinieri or Italian military police operating within UNIFIL. This training offered a good platform to exchange expertise between peacekeepers and ISF personnel.