| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

UNIFIL’s Kandice Ardiel: Security Council requested that UNIFIL take “temporary measures” to support Lebanese Army

Deputy Chief of UNIFIL’s Strategic Communication and Public Information Office, Kandice Ardiel answered the following questions.

What is the assistance that the UN will provide to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF)? Did UNIFIL overstep the government by announcing that it would provide assistance to the LAF and not to Lebanon?

With the adoption of Resolution 2591 (2021), the Security Council requested that UNIFIL take “temporary and special measures” to support the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). The Security Council appreciates that the current situation has been challenging for the LAF, which is why it has asked UNIFIL to provide support to it.

This support is important because the LAF are our strategic partners, with whom we work closely daily, and it is in the framework of our joint activities together.

The support we have been asked by the Security Council to provide will be in the form of things like food, fuel, and medicine, as well as logistical support. It will last for a period of six months.

What is the position of UNIFIL regarding the entry of Iranian ships into Lebanon, taking into consideration the sanctions imposed on Iran, and how will you deal with these ships in accordance with UNSCR 1701?

Lebanon is a sovereign state, and UNIFIL’s role is a support and assistance role. Under Security Council Resolution 1701 and following a request made by the Government of Lebanon to the UN after the adoption of that resolution, UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force supports the Lebanese Navy with very specific tasks to prevent the entry of illegal arms or related materiel into Lebanon by sea.

UNIFIL does not board or conduct physical inspections of ships, nor is it responsible for authorizing entry into Lebanese ports. These responsibilities belong to Lebanese authorities.

UNIFIL’s role is to hail ships approaching Lebanon and refer to Lebanese authorities for inspection any ships where there are inconsistencies or where clarification is required. UNIFIL has no involvement after ships are referred to Lebanese authorities.

The Lebanese authorities are ultimately responsible for allowing – or not allowing – any ship to enter Lebanese territorial waters, and its cargo to be unloaded on Lebanese shores.

  • NNA