Saturday, August 12, 2006

UNIFIL finally gets to do its' job?

Security Council Resolution 1701 section 12:
Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes Unifil to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilised for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;
What a pity it has taken several invasions of Lebanon to get these words which most people probably thought a UN force would have had before. Now to see (a) if they mean it and (b) which countries will provide the 15,000 troops.

Note to the UN - (a) does not mean "promise protection but deliver ineffectual rules of engagement and insufficient manpower and equipment". Another Srebrenica or Rwanda will be the sunset of UN peacekeeping.

Section 8 subpoint 6 is pretty important too:
Provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession;
Update: I may have spoken too soon - the magic words "Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter" are missing, reflecting a Hezbollah veto. This would have empowered UNIFIL to have a peace-enforcement role. Even an intention to enter a future Chapter VII resolution (section 10 of the US-French Draft Resolution) has been excised and disarmament of Hezbollah is reserved to the Lebanese Government. Essentially UNIFIL will act as bodyguard to UN personnel and as aid to the Lebanese civil and military power if requested.

The danger remains the same as after the 2000 agreement - that the Lebanese State remains too weak to do what the international community expects of it, because of lack of resource but also because of the presence of Hezbollah representation within the executive.
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