UNIFIL Commander urges "effective investigation" into incidents

14 Dec 2011

UNIFIL Commander urges "effective investigation" into incidents

(UNIFIL Force Commander meets Lebanese leaders)

Beirut, 14 December 2011- UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas paid a visit to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati to discuss the situation in UNIFIL Area of Operation in view of the recent incidents involving serious security breaches in southern Lebanon.

The Force Commander shared with the Lebanese leaders the strong condemnation and serious concern over the explosive attack against UNIFIL and the rocket firing from Lebanese territory.

"Recent violent actions were aimed at undermining the stability and peace that has prevailed in the last five years in southern Lebanon. Such acts not only aim to cause harm to the peacekeepers but also endanger the safety of the local population and the security of the south. Those who carried out these attacks must not be allowed to achieve their goals."

Major-General Asarta urged "an effective investigation into these incidents, so that the perpetrators of those attacks against the Mission and the security and stability of the south are identified and brought to justice."

UNIFIL remains focused on its mission to fulfill the mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701, together with the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Force Commander said. In addition to its tasks, UNIFIL has the safety and well being of the population as a top priority.

The Force Commander discussed in his separate meetings with PM Mikati today and Speaker Berri on Tuesday the way forward in preventing any further escalation in the south, praising the Lebanese Armed Forces for their excellent cooperation in that regard.

"As the host country, the Lebanese government has the primary responsibility for ensuring security of UNIFIL and we work closely with the Lebanese authorities in this regard There is clearly a need for further enhancing security control in the area to prevent further attempts at undermining peace and security in the south." Major-General Asarta stressed.

"The recent incidents showed that despite all the efforts made by UNIFIL and LAF there continue to be weapons and hostile armed elements in the area of operations in violation of one of the most important provisions of UN Security Council resolution 1701," he said.