Magazine article UN Chronicle

Lebanon Force Mandate Extended for Another Six Months

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Lebanon Force Mandate Extended for Another Six Months

Article excerpt

In reiterating strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon within internationally recognized boundaries, the Security Council on 30 January extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for another six months, until 31 July. By unanimously adopting resolution 974 (1995), the Council also called upon all parties concerned to "cooperate fully with the Force for the full implementation of its mandate".

Established in March 1978, UNIFIL's mandate is to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, restore international peace and security, and assist the Lebanese Government in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.

In a statement by its President Emilio J. Cardenas of Argentina, the Council asserted that "any State shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations".

The Council also reiterated full support for the October 1989 Taif Agreement and commended the Lebanese Government for its "successful effort to extend its authority to the south of the country in full coordination with UNIFIL".

On 1 April, Major-General Stanislaw Franciszek Wozniak of Poland replaced Major-General Trond Furuhovde of Norway as UNIFIL Force Commander.

The Secretary-General on 31 March, expressed his deep concern about the recent escalation of hostilities along the Israeli-Lebanese border and urged all parties to cease hostilities and "refrain from attacking civilian targets".

On 23 January, he reported (S/1995/66) that Israel had "maintained its occupation of parts of south Lebanon", where its forces, as well as their Lebanese auxiliary, were "targets of attacks by armed groups" which resisted the occupation.

Although the situation was "tense and volatile" and UNIFIL was still prevented from fulfilling its mandate, the Force's "contribution to stability in the area" and the protection it was able to afford the inhabitants remained important, the Secretary-General stated.

The "process of building confidence between Palestinians and Israelis is not only arduous but painful", Mr. …

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