BEIRUT: A day after a peacekeeping patrol was assaulted by civilians in a Tyre town, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Sunday underscored the good relationship it has with the residents of south Lebanon.
A UNIFIL patrol was stopped and blocked Saturday morning in Majdal Zoun by a group of civilians, according to a UNIFIL statement. It added the peacekeepers’ vehicles and equipment inflicted some damage but no one was injured in the incident.
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti told The Daily Star Sunday that the circumstances behind the incident were being investigated and that the Lebanese Army was sent to the scene. “The situation is calm,” Tenenti said.
This was not the first incident of its kind, however, Tenenti stressed that their number remains very low.
“We had incidents in the past ... we’ve been having sporadic incidents overall, but if you think over the 400-450 activities we undertake per day in the area of operations, around 14,000 activities a month in the south of Lebanon, the number of incidents has really been a very small number in proportion,” Tenenti said.
“I will still continue to say that the relation in general with the people of south Lebanon has been good. Sporadic incidents have happened, sometimes we have incidents for misunderstandings, [but] things have always been sorted out immediately after.”
UNIFIL was established by the U.N. Security Council in south Lebanon in 1978 and is currently comprised of 10,500 peacekeepers from 42 countries. In August, the Security Council is expected to renew UNIFIL’s mandate, which expires on 31 August.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 06, 2018, on page 2.