UNIFIL Head attends Town Hall meeting in Marjayoun, south Lebanon
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary attended a Town Hall meeting today with local authorities, including the Qaymaqam of Marjayoun, Wissam El Hayek, Lebanese Army and other security representatives based in the eastern sector of the UNIFIL area of operations in south Lebanon.
During the gathering at the Marjayoun Municipality, Major General Beary expressed his gratitude to the local authorities for their unwavering support, which has contributed in maintaining stability in UNIFIL’s area of operations.
The Major General emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership and the joint activities between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and UNIFIL. In this regard, he welcomed the deployment of additional LAF troops to the south of Lebanon, which will allow more joint patrolling and strengthen the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1701.
He also welcomed the presence of LAF’s Head of Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) Directorate, Brigadier General, Elie Abi Rached. “It is a strong sign that UNIFIL's partnership with the Lebanese Army goes beyond the cooperation and coordination of military operations,” said Major General Beary. “Having an accessible, functioning and mobile LAF CIMIC centre will be of great support to our shared mission and intent of building a conducive environment for the lasting peace and stability in the South.”
Major General Beary also stressed the importance of working together with local leaders. “This gathering gives me the opportunity to hear your ideas and concerns as well as share my thoughts,” he added. “UNIFIL and the Lebanese people share a common goal: promoting stability and security in southern Lebanon. We can only achieve this goal together, through mutual respect, support and understanding."
During the meeting, the UNIFIL Force Commander heard from dignitaries, including the Qaymaqam of Marjayoun and several mayors from the country’s southeastern municipalities.
Earlier in the day, the UNIFIL head inaugurated a newly refurbished UN hospital complex in Marjayoun located inside the UNIFIL Sector East Headquarters and operated by UNIFIL’s Chinese medical team. The Chinese hospital facility has 30 medical and support personnel. The hospital has provided medical services to both UNIFIL personnel and the local population since 2007.
On the occasion, Major General Beary hailed China’s significant contribution to global peace and security, in particular to UNIFIL and south Lebanon. UNIFIL boasts more than 400 Chinese peacekeepers, who carry out construction, anti-landmine and medical activities.
UNIFIL currently has around 10,500 peacekeepers coming from 41 troop contributing countries. The Mission maintains an intensive level of some 13,500 operational activities monthly, by day and night, in the area of operations. It is complemented by a seven-vessel Maritime Task Force.