LAF’s CIMIC chief visits UNIFIL headquarters
The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) official in charge of the activities on civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) visited UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura Tuesday to discuss with the UNIFIL leadership the areas of enhanced cooperation in south Lebanon.
During his meeting with the visiting LAF CIMIC chief, Brigadier General Elie Abi Rached, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary said support to the LAF is one of the main aspects of the UN Security Council resolution 1701, which forms the core of UNIFIL’s mandate.
“I personally believe that having an accessible, functioning and mobile LAF CIMIC in the south will be of great importance in maintaining the safe and stable environment,” the UNIFIL head told Brigadier General Abi Rached. “I also hope that our partnership in CIMIC will be of great benefit for UNIFIL civil interaction on the ground.”
UNIFIL’s engagement with LAF in the area of civil-military coordination dates back to 2008/2009, when the Mission launched a project to build the LAF capacities in civil military coordination and community outreach. Since then, a close dialogue with the CIMIC Directorate of LAF has been maintained and UNIFIL has provided technical advice and various training courses when requested.
“That LAF has since taken on the mission of developing its own civil military cooperation structure and organization in other parts of Lebanon is rewarding for the efforts, which UNIFIL has invested in the initiative early on,” said Major General Beary.
During today’s meeting, Major General Beary also committed UNIFIL’s support “within our means and capabilities” to LAF CIMIC’s plan to establish a regional CIMIC centre in south Lebanon.