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The History of UNIFIL

A Peacekeeper looking out from a hole in a wall.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was originally established by the UN Security Council in March 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area. Between 1978 and 2006, the concept of UNIFIL operations had to be adjusted twice: following the 1982 Israeli-Lebanese war when the UNIFIL positions were overrun and its functions were limited primarily to humanitarian assistance; and after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon to the Blue Line in 2000, enabling the Force to resume its military functions.

Following the July/August 2006 Israeli-Hizbullah war, the Security Council significantly enhanced UNIFIL and expanded its mandate. The first elements of the expanded force were deployed with record-breaking speed for any peacekeeping operation of such complexity, with battalions from France, Italy and Spain arriving to the area of operation by 15 September, and joining the contingents already in place from Ghana and India. The swift and effective deployment of the expanded UNIFIL and the activities that the Force undertakes on a daily basis have been critical in preventing a recurrence of hostilities across the Blue Line and has helped to establish a new strategic military and security environment in southern Lebanon.

This 11-minute documentary provides an overview of the UNIFIL activities throughout its history.

UNIFIL: One year since Security Council Resolution 1701

Profile of a Peacekeeper.

After the 34 day war and following the cessation of hostilities  brokered by the United Nations in August 2006, thousands of international troops began to arrive in Lebanon. UNIFIL, under UN Security Council resolution 1701, has been expanded from 2,000 to over 13,000 troops to maintain peace and the cessation of hostilities throughout the southern Lebanon, as well as extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian population and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.

This documentary provides an overview of UNIFIL’s activities and achievements over the one year period since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1701.

Journey Through UNIFIL with Rafic Ali Ahmad

Picture of Rafic Ali Ahmad.

A year after the expansion of UNIFIL under Security Council resolution 1701, UNIFIL’s Force Commander Major-General Claudio Graziano asked for an information campaign to communicate UNIFIL’s new mandate to the Lebanese people.

This 20 minute film version of “Journey through UNIFIL” is compiled of the original TV spots and addresses key points such as UNIFIL’s expanded mandate, the purpose of daily patrols, the Maritime Task Force, humanitarian activities and other isues.

The series is presented by a well-known, highly respected Lebanese actor, Mr. Rafic Ali Ahmad, who takes the audience on a journey, exploring UNIFIL’s mandate and activities as a representative of the Lebanese people, while adding his charm, character and sense of humour to the story.

All ten spots comprising the series were broadcast over a ten week period on the various Lebanese television stations from July to September of 2007.