New batch of Spanish peacekeepers join UNIFIL
A new batch of Spanish peacekeepers, including the commander of UNIFIL’s Sector East, joined the UN Mission yesterday following a transfer of authority in the Sector East Headquarters in Marjayoun, south-eastern Lebanon.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col oversaw the transfer of authority from Brig. Gen. Antonio Romero Losada of the “GALICIA VII (SEPTIMA)” Brigade to Brig. Gen. Rafael Colomer Martínez Del Peral of the “Guadarrama” Brigade of the Spanish Armed Forces.
Maj. Gen. Del Col praised the “great commitment” and “exceptional professionalism” of the outgoing peacekeepers during their six months with UNIFIL, which also included some “difficult situations.”
“In doing so, you contributed to our mandate within the framework of Security Council Resolution 1701, working towards UNIFIL’s goal to support strong and capable Lebanese state institutions, an essential element for lasting political solutions as well as for sustainable peace,” he said.
The incoming “Guadarrama” Brigade is from the central part of Spain. This is the fifth time that this unit of the Spanish Army has taken part in a UN peace operation – all in UNIFIL. While in UNIFIL, this Brigade will be in the command of 650 troops including a few from Serbia, El Salvador and Brazil. During next six months, Brig. Gen. Rafael will be in charge of the whole of UNIFIL Sector East, which also has battalions from India, Indonesia and Nepal.
Spain’s contribution to UNIFIL since 2006, with nearly 23,000 peacekeepers having served in south Lebanon so far, is critical to implementing the Mission’s mandate.