The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today donated a number of UN-owned vehicles and other assets worth US$ 658,000 to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the LAF Intelligence at a ceremony held at the UN Mission’s headquarters in south Lebanon, like reported by unmissions.org.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary, UNIFIL Director of Mission Support Wolfgang Weiszegger, Lebanese Government Coordinator to UNIFIL and LAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Brigadier General Mohammed Janbay and LAF Intelligence Chief (Southern region) Brigadier General Khodor Hammoud signed the respective handover documents.
Today’s donation, which is the largest one-time UNIFIL contribution to LAF so far, took place under the framework of the Strategic Dialogue, the mechanism by which UNIFIL seeks donor support to ensure LAF capability development in south Lebanon.
“Donations such as this are a clear and important demonstration of how UNIFIL is striving to increase the capacity of both the LAF and LAF Intel here in south Lebanon,” said Major General Beary. “I sincerely hope that this equipment will facilitate an increase in the number of joint operations that both UNIFIL and the LAF already take part in, as we strive together as partners and friends, to maintain the cessation of hostilities and provide an environment that will allow the civilian population of south Lebanon to continue to live a normal life.”
Today’s handover ceremony was also attended by UNIFIL Deputy Force Commander Brigadier General Sandeep Singh Bajaj, LAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning Brigadier General Claude Al Hayek and LAF South Litany Sector Commander Brigadier General Khalil Al Gemayel, and other senior LAF and UNIFIL officials.
Among the vehicles and equipment donated to the LAF and the LAF Intelligence today included 62 vehicles, 18 engineering assets and 757 information technology assets. The support is in line with the UN Security Council resolutions 1701 (2006) and 2305 (2016), which urged international support for the LAF for its capabilities development.
Since the beginning of the Strategic Dialogue process in 2010, UNIFIL has donated various resources to LAF including vehicles, prefabricated buildings, generators, sea containers and computer equipment worth more than US$ 2.5 million. This is in addition to the assistance provided by UNIFIL’s Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) on a bilateral basis.