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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


DH/2807
22 January 1999

Prepared by Central News


F R I D A Y H I G H L I G H T S


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*Secretary-General recommends six-month extension of the United Nations
Mission in Lebanon.

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United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended a six-month
extension of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) whose
mandate expires at the end of this month.

In his latest report to the Security Council, the SecretaryGeneral says
that during the past six months, fighting in south Lebanon continued at an
increased pace. Mr. Annan says that the situation in the area remains
volatile and dangerous with a heightened risk of escalation.

The Secretary-General says that there were hostilities between the
Israeli Defence Forces and its local Lebanese auxiliary on the one hand,
and armed elements who have proclaimed their resistance against Israeli
occupation, on the other. Regrettably, he adds, civilians were again
killed and injured. He says that as before, UNIFIL did its best to limit
the conflict and to protect the inhabitants.
According to Mr. Annan, no new developments emerged from his recent
contacts with the parties and others concerned regarding the implementation
of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). By that resolution, the Council
set up UNIFIL after Israeli forces invaded southern Lebanon following a
Palestinian commando raid in Israel. The Council called on Israel to cease
its military action against Lebanon's territorial integrity and mandated
UNIFIL to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restore international
peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in re-establishing
its authority in the area.

In the report, the Secretary-General also draws attention to the
"serious" shortfall in the funding of the Force. At present, he says,
unpaid assessments amount to $112.9 million which represents money owed to
the Member States contributing the troops that make up the Force. He
appeals to all Member States to pay their assessments promptly and in full
and to clear all remaining arrears.



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