Statement on announced reduction of French troops in UNIFIL, 15 Mrach 2012
Responding to media queries on the subject, UNIFIL Spokesperson Neeraj Singh said:
French peacekeepers have been part of UNIFIL since the early years of the mission and have over three decades contributed significantly to the peacekeeping efforts in southern Lebanon.Considerable resources have been dedicated by France not just for operational purposes but also in the form of humanitarian assistance to the people of south Lebanon.
After the enhancement of UNIFIL under resolution 1701, for the last more than five years France has been one of the leading troop contributors of UNIFIL.
The announced reduction of French troops in UNIFIL must be understood in the right context:
First, even after the reduction, France will remain one of our leading troop contributors.
Second, this is part of our constant endeavour to ensure that UNIFIL's military component is configured most appropriately to fulfil its mandated tasks.
Third, this is not about troop numbers but about redeployment of certain military capabilities to correspond to the operational requirements on the ground under the current circumstances. These are very technical issues that are worked out after careful military capability study. All this is in conformity with the just concluded Strategic Review of UNIFIL.
Importantly, in this process UNIFIL maintains its operational capability on the ground to effectively perform its mandated tasks.