UNIFIL head pays tribute to Spain’s contribution to south Lebanon
The Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL, Major-General Michael Beary, today paid tribute to the sacrifices made by Spanish peacekeepers while serving with the UN Mission in south Lebanon.
In his remarks at a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary since the deployment of Spanish troops to UNIFIL, Maj-Gen Beary said the Spanish contribution to UNIFIL – including the leadership of UNIFIL in the south-eastern Lebanon, an infantry battalion, support units and staff officers – has been “a key component of the progress that the Mission has made in the last decade.”
“The situation in South Lebanon has changed significantly since those dark days of 2006 when you first deployed to the Mission Area and you all can be proud of the role you have played in helping implement UN Resolution 1701 and in improving the lives of the civilian population of South Lebanon,” the UNIFIL head said, while addressing Spanish troops and the visiting Spanish Defence Minister, Pedro Morenés Eulate, and other Lebanese and Spanish dignitaries at the ceremony in Ibl el-Saqi.
Spain is one of the largest troops contributors to UNIFIL with 615 peacekeepers serving under the blue flag. A total of 13 Spanish soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice serving with UNIFIL since 2006.
“There is an onus on all of us therefore to ensure that through our actions the sacrifice of your fallen comrades has not been in vain,” said Maj-Gen Beary at the ceremony, while noting Spain’s “unwavering support to UNIFIL.”
The UNIFIL head noted that UNIFIL’s area of operations is “arguably the most stable part of the entire (Middle Eastern) region” due to the commitment of peacekeepers like those from Spain.
Established in March 1978, UNIFIL currently has more than 10,000 troops from 40 countries.