Partial rotations of UNIFIL troops resume

15 Jun 2020

Partial rotations of UNIFIL troops resume

Following suspension with some exceptions by Secretary-General António Guterres in April 2020 of all rotations, repatriations and deployments of uniformed personnel to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 Coronavirus, UNIFIL today started partial resumption of its troops rotations while following all established national and international protocols.

The UNIFIL rotations follow the temporary and extraordinary transitional measures announced by Secretary-General Guterres through a letter to Member States on 5 June 2020. These temporary measures with a rigorous and effective quarantine regime last for six months, with the next review due in October 2020.

The rotations are based on a rigorous quarantine regime and in accordance with WHO guidelines and Lebanese Government policies.

These transitional measures will continue to be guided by four central objectives: to protect UN personnel and their capacity to perform critical operations; to help contain and mitigate the spread of the virus within Lebanon and globally, ensuring that UN personnel are not a contagion vector; to support national authorities in their response to COVID-19, as requested and possible; and to help protect vulnerable communities and continue to deliver on our mandates.

“I would like to reiterate that UNIFIL personnel will continue to strictly follow the robust precautionary measures that have been in place since the very beginning of the virus outbreak in order to prevent its spread,” said UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col. “Such measures will apply to all of our personnel: those living in UN positions and communities, those returning home, newly incoming personnel and those returning from leave.”

All the precautionary measures and decisions on this issue have been coordinated in close consultation with the Lebanese authorities.

Consistent with the precautionary measures required by WHO health guidelines, during the rotation period all uniformed personnel shall be required to undergo a quarantine period in their home country before deploying to Lebanon, and also in the mission area, upon their arrival in Lebanon.

UNIFIL is making all the appropriate arrangements for the secure transportation of the incoming units and personnel to their designated quarantine facility inside our UNIFIL bases in south Lebanon

UNIFIL will ensure that the quarantine measures are effective and strictly observed by all personnel.

UNIFIL personnel continue to carry out operational activities in support of the Mission’s mandate in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1701.