Andrea Tenenti, spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), called on the Lebanese authorities to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of UNIFIL forces after a column of forces attacked a civilian group.
International forces are subject to organized pressure from Hezbollah supporters whenever they see it as a “deviation from their mandate”, especially when they cross major roads or are filmed in villages.
“In the fourth part of this month, a large group of civilians stopped a UNIFIL column in the village of Kawthariya Al-Siyad in southern Lebanon until the column returned to its base in the UNIFIL area,” Tenante said, noting that civilians had taken patrol equipment.
The tenants indicated that Lebanese forces had arrived in the area and took over the situation so that the UNIFIL convoy could leave the village, although the peacekeeping equipment had not been returned.
Tenente noted that the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Security Council have always strongly condemned such incidents, considering that UNIFIL’s full freedom of movement and the safety and security of its personnel are an integral part of the effective implementation of its mission.
He considered that the Lebanese authorities should ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of UNIFIL, noting that UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces were investigating the circumstances of the incident.