UNIFIL troops and ISF officers share experience on policing techniques
A workshop organized last week by UNIFIL’s Civil Affairs Office offered a platform for the UN Mission’s various military assets and officers from the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) in sharing experiences and best practices on policing techniques.
The five-day workshop, from 27 to 31 March, involved both practical and theoretical sessions on self-defence techniques, crime scene investigation, first aid, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD).
A total of 20 ISF officers working in Tyre and Bint Jbeil within UNIFIL’s area of operation in south Lebanon attended the workshop.
The exercise brought together facilitators and trainers from the Italian Carabinieri of UNIFIL Headquarters, peacekeepers from the Mission’s Spanish and French contingents.
UNIFIL’s Chief Force Provost Marshal, Lt. Col. Michele de Pasqua, said this is the first time peacekeepers from the UN Mission’s both sector headquarters were brought to the Force Headquarters for such a workshop. He added the Carabinieri are “truly happy” to be a part of the initiative and are willing to conduct similar joint activities in the future.
Lt. Col. Emmanuel Bouquot from the French-led Force Commander’s Reserve (FCR) said the workshop provided “a real opportunity” for an exchange of experiences between the Lebanese ISF and UNIFIL.
“Differences in techniques are easily explained by the local specificities and the environmental aspects; but the common point remains the safety of the personnel performing these operations,” said Lt. Col. Bouquot.
Colonel Abdo Khalil of ISF said the importance of such exchanges between UNIFIL troops and ISF personnel are “well acknowledged.”
“These expert interventions are the living proof of the closeness that the local community and UNIFIL enjoy with each another,” said Col. Khalil, speaking on behalf of the Director General of the Internal Security Forces, General Imad Othman. “The ISF leadership is supportive of such needed exchanges that have proven effectiveness in reinforcing law and safety in the south.”
An ISF officer, Sergeant Mohamed Fneich, said the training was “very rewarding.” “The proper use of weapons, which is extremely delicate, is crucial to be able to protect yourself through your physical abilities,” said Sgt. Fneich.
From 2015 to date, UNIFIL Civil Affairs Office has initiated, facilitated and coordinated conduct of joint drills between the UNIFIL troops and ISF personnel. Specific training modules targeting personnel from ISF in a wide range of sectors have taken place, covering multiple areas of expertise in gendarmerie and policing.
Head of UNIFIL Civil Affairs, Albagir Adam, said security and safety are “priceless” and UNIFIL partners with the local security apparatus in ensuring it, as the UN Mission is mandated to conduct various activities in support of extension of state authority in its area of operation in south Lebanon.
Article: Iman Ismail and Tilak Pokharel
Stills: Iman Ismail, Pascual Goriz