30 August 2010 The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for another year, saying its presence there, as well as that of the Lebanese armed forces, is helping to promote stability in the south of the Middle Eastern country.
In a unanimous resolution, the Council said it had determined that “the situation in Lebanon continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security” and had therefore decided to extend UNIFIL’s mandate until 31 August 2011.
The Council strongly urged all parties concerned to respect the cessation of hostilities, to prevent any violation of the so-called Blue Line separating Lebanon and Israel, and to cooperate fully with the UN and UNIFIL.
It also urged the Israeli Government to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar, a village that straddles the Blue Line, without further delay in coordination with UNIFIL, which, the Council said, has actively engaged Israel and Lebanon to facilitate the withdrawal.
The Council also reaffirmed its call for the establishment, between the Blue Line and the Litani River, of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons except those of the Lebanese Government and UNIFIL.
It strongly deplored the recent incidents involving UN peacekeepers, emphasized the importance of not impairing the ability of the mission to fulfil its mandate, and called on all parties to abide by their obligation to respect the safety of UNIFIL and other UN personnel.
UNIFIL was originally created by the Security Council in March 1978 to confirm Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in re-establishing effective authority in the area. The mandate had to be adjusted twice due to developments in 1982 and 2000.
Following the 2006 conflict, the Council enhanced UNIFIL and decided that in addition to the original mandate, it would, among other matters, monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilians and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.
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