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UN urges Lebanon to ensure safety, security of peacekeepers

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Beirut, Dec 6 (IANS) The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has called upon the Lebanese authorities to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of its peacekeepers.

The remarks made by UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti on Saturday came after a large group of civilians stopped a convoy in Kawthariat Al-Sayad village in southern Lebanon, while it was returning to its base inside the mission’s area of operation, reports Xinhua news agency.

He added that civilians confiscated the equipment of the UNIFIL’s patrol, prompting the Lebanese army to rush to the area and take control of the situation.

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Tenenti noted that the UNIFIL’s convoy was able to leave the village, but the equipment was not returned to peacekeepers.

Originally, the UNIFIL was created by the Security Council in March 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Beirut government in restoring its effective authority in the area.

The deployed number of personnel as of October stands at 11,165.

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The top contributor of personnel is Indonesia (1,254), followed by Italy (1,070), Ghana (877), Nepal (871) and Malaysia (827).

–IANS

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