A United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrol was attacked yesterday and its members robbed in the country’s southern village of Ramyah.
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said one UNIFIL soldier was wounded and two vehicles were destroyed in the attack, adding that the Lebanese Armed Forces at the scene calmed the situation.
Tenenti stressed that “the peacekeepers were not on private property, but on a public road where they were doing their duty of implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and maintaining stability in southern Lebanon.”
Under Resolution 1701, UNIFIL enjoys full freedom of movement within its area of operations, he said.
Tenenti called on the Lebanese authorities to investigate the attack and prosecute the perpetrators.
Relations between civilians and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNFIL) have remained tense and clashes are not uncommon in the southern region of the country after the peacekeeping force’s mandate and budget was greatly expanded in response to the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. The number of personnel stationed in the region now stands at around 10,000.
Patrols by UNIFIL have intensified over the past 12 months, likely adding to existing tensions between locals and peacekeepers.