UNIFIL maintains its increased level of patrolling
With the onset of winter and icy weather in much of UNIFIL’s 1,060-square kilometre area of operation in south Lebanon, there is the usual seasonal drop in outdoor activities and visits by tourists to the scenic Tyre coastline.
But one thing remains constant year-round: the visible presence of UNIFIL peacekeepers active on land and air – day and night – working towards maintaining the overall calm in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1701.
UNIFIL’s some 10,500 peacekeepers conduct an average of 14,500 operational activities each month, of which roughly 20 per cent are conducted with its strategic partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Of late, there has been a significant increase in the number of foot patrols. Reconnaissance flight hours per month has also gone up, with 63 such missions per month conducted between July and September 2018 – up from 36 hours per month in July-October 2017.
In a recent report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said continued commitment by all sides to resolution 1701 remains essential for the stability of Lebanon and the region.
“I urge both parties to redouble their efforts towards full adherence to the resolution, to consolidate the period of calm of the past years and move decisively towards a permanent ceasefire, as enshrined in the resolution,” he wrote in the report. “The continued relative calm that has prevailed along the Blue Line since 2006 is a welcome development. Citizens of both Lebanon and Israel have enjoyed its dividends.”