UNIFIL gifts vehicles to Lebanese security entities
As part of UNIFIL’s ongoing support to Lebanese State institutions, the peacekeeping mission this week handed over 32 vehicles and various pieces of IT equipment to the country’s three security entities: the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the LAF’s intelligence branch and the General Security.
The donated vehicles include SUVs, buses, trucks and trailers.
At separate gifting ceremonies in the UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura, south Lebanon, on 10 and 11 February, the mission’s head and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col handed over the vehicles to representatives of the respective security institutions.
Since November 2021 and as requested by the UN Security Council in the light of protracted socio-economic crisis plaguing the country, UNIFIL has ramped up support especially to its strategic partners, the LAF.
This follows a request by the Security Council in August 2021 to take “temporary and special measures” to support the LAF with items like food, fuel, and medicine, as well as other logistical support for six months. While the donation of vehicles and equipment to the LAF is routine, UNIFIL undertook significant maintenance and repairs this time under the auspices of this logistical support.
In his latest report on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701, which forms the core of UNIFIL’s mandate, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed concerns that the continued socioeconomic deterioration and inability of Lebanese State institutions to deliver basic services undermines implementation of the UN resolution.
“The diminished capacity of the LAF to maintain its operations in the UNIFIL area of operations is of particular concern,” he wrote in the report. “It is in this context that support to security institutions, especially the LAF as the only legitimate armed forces of Lebanon, is of paramount importance.”