Major General Del Col’s official statement

29 Oct 2021

Major General Del Col’s official statement

I warmly welcome His Excellency Minister Sleem to Naqoura today, where he will see the work we are doing jointly with LAF and visit the Blue Line. I have reiterated to the Minister that the Lebanese Armed Forces are UNIFIL’s strategic partners. The key word there is “partnership.” We work closely with them each and every day and night, conducting our joint activities, to accomplish our mandate and work to secure peace and stability here in South Lebanon.

The current economic situation has created hardship, and the LAF has not been spared. We know that the armed forces as an institution, and individual soldiers themselves, are not immune to the challenges facing the country. The United Nations Security Council, when it adopted Resolution 2591 in August and renewed UNIFIL’s mandate, appreciated this. That’s why the Council, with Resolution 2591, requested UNIFIL to take “temporary and special measures” to support the LAF with essential items like medicine, fuel, food, and logistics. We are pleased to support the LAF, just as the LAF supports us, standing side by side, in our work here in south Lebanon.

Today, I’m very glad to announce that the LAF will have access to vital medical supplies from UNIFIL, including antibiotics, pain relievers, and other essential medications. These medications have been identified as the most needed, and we are grateful that they will be used to provide medical care for LAF soldiers, as well as their families.

UNIFIL is pleased to provide 500 kg of medicines to the LAF in line with operative paragraph 11 of Resolution 2591. 

As partners, UNIFIL and the LAF are both stronger together. This is why our support is so important, and why we are happy to provide it. In doing so, we aim to reinforce LAF’s critical capabilities required for the high pace of joint activities with UNIFIL. I sincerely hope that together we can find other areas where UNIFIL can provide support to the LAF in the very near future. A strong LAF means we can continue our work and even intensify our efforts to maintain stability along the Blue Line and throughout our area of operations. A strong LAF means we can create the space needed towards political and diplomatic solutions, and one day, inshallah, a permanent ceasefire.