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23 January 1995
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS
INTERIM FORCE IN LEBANON
(for the period 21 July 1994 to 20 January 1995)
1. By its resolution 938 (1994) of 28 July 1994, the Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for a further period of six months, until 31 January 1995. The Council also reiterated its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries; re-emphasized the terms of reference and general guidelines of the Force as stated in the report of the Secretary-General of 19 March 1978,
/ approved by the Council in its resolution 426 (1978) of the same date; called upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully with the Force for the full implementation of its mandate; and reiterated that UNIFIL should fully implement its mandate as defined in Council resolutions 425 (1978) also of 19 March 1978, 426 (1978) and all other relevant resolutions. The Council requested the Secretary-General to continue consultations with the Government of Lebanon and other parties directly concerned with the implementation of the resolution and to report to the Council.
2. As of January 1995, the composition of UNIFIL was as follows:
Fiji HQ UNIFIL 21
Infantry battalion 588
Force Mobile Reserve 34
Finland HQ UNIFIL 14
Infantry battalion 480
Force Mobile Reserve 20
France HQ UNIFIL 12
Composite unit (maintenance
element and defence company) 249
Ghana HQ UNIFIL 23
Infantry battalion (including
engineer company) 717
Force Mobile Reserve 36
Military police 7
Ireland HQ UNIFIL 33
Infantry battalion 572
HQ Camp command 27
Force Mobile Reserve 17
Italy HQ UNIFIL 5
Helicopter unit 37
Nepal HQ UNIFIL 17
Infantry battalion 617
Force Mobile Reserve 29
Norway HQ UNIFIL 29
Infantry battalion 604
Maintenance company 162
Force Mobile Reserve 32
Poland HQ UNIFIL 17
Logistic battalion 333
Engineer company 130
Medical unit 71
Force Mobile Reserve 4
In addition to the above, UNIFIL employed 521 civilian staff, of whom 136 were recruited internationally and 385 locally. The deployment of UNIFIL is shown on the map annexed to the present report.
3. Major-General Trond Furuhovde of Norway continued as Force Commander.
4. Fifty-nine military observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) assisted UNIFIL in the performance of its tasks. These unarmed officers are organized as Observer Group Lebanon and are under the operational control of the Force Commander of UNIFIL. They man the five observation posts along the Lebanese side of the Israel-Lebanon armistice demarcation line. They also operate five mobile teams in that part of the area of operation which is controlled by Israel.
5. The overall strength of UNIFIL decreased slightly as a result of the reduction of the Nepalese battalion by 50 in September 1994 and the withdrawal of 180 all ranks by the French Government in December 1994. The latter performed maintenance functions that have been taken over by the Norwegian maintenance company and the civilian transport section.
6. In my last report (S/1994/856, para. 29), I reported that I had initiated a study on how UNIFIL could perform its essential functions at a reduced strength. The study, which was prepared by the Force Commander and his staff, offers no alternative to the present concept of operations and deployment and contains no recommendations for a reduction in UNIFIL's operational capacity. However, it identifies possibilities for streamlining and achieving economies in the areas of maintenance and logistic support. I intend to pursue these and report thereon to the Security Council.
7. I regret to report that two Ghanaian soldiers died of natural causes. Since the establishment of UNIFIL, 202 military members of the Force have died, 76 as a result of firing or mine or bomb explosions, 82 in accidents and 44 from other causes. Three hundred and twelve have been wounded by firing or by mine or bomb explosions.
8. UNIFIL maintained close contact and cooperation with the Lebanese authorities on all matters of mutual concern. Those authorities rendered assistance to UNIFIL in connection with the rotation of troops through Beirut and other logistic activities. Lebanese army officers were particularly helpful in defusing confrontations with armed elements. The Force continued to cooperate with the Lebanese gendarmerie on matters pertaining to the maintenance of law and order.
9. Despite numerous representations at the highest level of government, the Lebanese authorities have failed since 1987 to reimburse the owners of the land and premises being used by UNIFIL. The situation has created increasing difficulties for the Force and has adversely affected its ability to function.
10. By its resolution 49/226 of 23 December 1994, the General Assembly appropriated to the Special Account for UNIFIL a total amount of $67,407,000 gross ($65,225,000 net) for the period from 1 February to 31 July 1995, subject to the Security Council's decision regarding the extension of the Force's mandate beyond 31 January 1995. Should the Council decide to extend the mandate beyond that date, the costs to the United Nations of maintaining the Force during the extension period would be within the appropriation provided by the Assembly in its resolution 49/226, assuming an average strength of 5,015 and continuation of existing responsibilities.
11. As of 31 December 1994, unpaid assessed contributions to the UNIFIL Special Account amounted to $203.5 million. The total unpaid assessed contributions for all peace-keeping operations at that date amounted to $1,286.4 million.
Situation in the area of operation
12. Israel continued to control in southern Lebanon an area manned by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and the de facto forces (DFF), the so-called "South Lebanon Army". The boundaries of the Israeli-controlled area (ICA) have not been clearly defined but are determined de facto by the forward positions of IDF/DFF. It includes territory adjacent to the armistice demarcation line, parts of the Fijian, Nepalese, Irish, Ghanaian and Finnish battalion sectors and the entire Norwegian battalion sector, as well as sizeable areas to the north of UNIFIL's area of operation. Within the area of operation, IDF/DFF manned 69 military positions, as shown on the annexed map. The map also indicates where ICA extends beyond the limits of UNIFIL's area of operation.
13. Within the ICA, Israel maintained, in addition to DDF, a civil administration and a security service. Movement between the ICA and the rest of Lebanon was strictly controlled; crossings were closed frequently. The ICA remained economically dependent on Israel. An estimated 3,000 jobs in Israel were held by Lebanese from the ICA. Access to such jobs was controlled by DFF and the security services. There were again reports of forced recruitment to DFF, including the recruitment of persons under the age of 18.
14. UNIFIL observed 87 operations against IDF/DFF by armed elements who have proclaimed their resistance against Israel's occupation (6 in the latter part of July, 18 in August, 9 in September, 8 in October, 8 in November, 24 in December and 14 in the first half of January). There were also numerous reports of attacks against IDF/DFF positions north of the Litani River. In their operations, the armed elements employed roadside bombs, rockets, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles.
15. IDF/DFF continued their own attacks and retaliatory firing against armed elements employing artillery, mortars, tanks and aircraft. UNIFIL recorded over 16,000 artillery, mortar and tanks rounds fired by IDF/DFF, compared to a total of 10,500 during the previous six months.
16. In some cases, IDF/DFF fire was directed at villages, causing damage and casualties among the inhabitants. There were two reported incidents in which armed elements responded by firing rockets into northern Israel. On 4 October, an Israeli aircraft bombed the village of Deir az Zahrani, near Nabatiyeh, killing and injuring several civilians. The bombing, which Israeli authorities said was a mistake, was followed by the firing of several rockets into northern Israel, causing injuries to three civilians. On 20 October, IDF/DFF artillery and tank fire killed seven civilians and wounded six others in villages near the town of Nabatiyeh, to the north of UNIFIL's area of deployment. Several of these casualties were caused by
anti-personnel shells. This shelling was strongly protested to Israeli authorities. Several rockets were fired into northern Israel in response to the shelling.
17. During the period under review, there were 197 instances of firing by IDF/DFF at or close to UNIFIL positions and personnel. All such firings were routinely protested to the Israeli authorities.
18. UNIFIL continued to oppose attempts by armed elements to use its area for hostile purposes. At times, this led to friction at UNIFIL's checkpoints, followed by harassment and threats directed at the members of the Force. Such cases were generally resolved through negotiations.
19. In the evening of 22 September, three soldiers of the Fijian battalion were wounded and their vehicle was seriously damaged by a roadside bomb explosion. The bomb appeared to have been aimed at the Fijian battalion as it was placed at a road that was used mainly for patrolling by that battalion. In a similar incident on 7 November, which took place south of the village of Al Hinniyah in the Nepalese battalion sector, two soldiers of the Polish engineer company were lightly wounded and their vehicle seriously damaged.
20. There were 17 instances of firing at or close to UNIFIL positions and personnel by Lebanese armed elements; such firings were protested through the Lebanese Army.
21. As in the past, UNIFIL detonated mines, roadside bombs and unexploded remnants of war and dismantled ordnance of various types in the area of deployment. A total of 412 controlled explosions were carried out.
22. UNIFIL continued to extend humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in its area, to the extent possible within available resources. Assistance was in the form of medical supplies, water, clothes, blankets, food, fuel, electricity and engineering work and repairs to buildings damaged as a result of firing. UNIFIL personnel also escorted farmers to enable them to work their fields which are within range of IDF/DFF positions. In addition, water projects, equipment or services for schools and gifts of supplies to social services and needy people were provided from resources made available by troop-contributing Governments. UNIFIL medical centres and mobile teams provided care to an average of almost 2,500 civilian patients per month. A field dental programme was also provided, treating approximately 500 patients a month. UNIFIL cooperated closely on these matters with the Lebanese authorities, United Nations agencies and programmes operating in Lebanon, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations.
23. The situation in southern Lebanon, which continues to be tense and volatile, has remained essentially unchanged and the decisions of the Security Council contained in resolution 425 (1978) and subsequent resolutions, including most recently resolution 938 (1994), remain unfulfilled. Israel has maintained its occupation of parts of south Lebanon, where the Israeli forces and their Lebanese auxiliary continued to be the targets of attacks by armed groups that have proclaimed their resistance against the occupation.
24. UNIFIL continued, to the best of its ability, to limit the conflict and to protect the inhabitants from the effects of the violence, in particular with regard to firing from or at towns and villages. The Force continued its patrols throughout its area of deployment in order to provide greater protection both within the villages and to farmers working in the fields. However, as is evident from the present report, UNIFIL continued to be prevented from fulfilling its mandate.
25. Israel's position with regard to the situation in southern Lebanon is outlined in a letter that the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations addressed to me on 1 August 1994 (S/1994/915) and confirmed in his letter of 18 January 1995 (S/1995/58).
26. Lebanon's position is described in a letter that the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to me on 16 January 1995 (S/1995/45). In the same letter, the Permanent Representative informed me of his Government's decision to request the Security Council to extend UNIFIL's mandate for a further period of six months.
27. Although there has been no progress toward the implementation of UNIFIL's mandate, the Force's contribution to stability in the area and the protection it is able to afford the inhabitants remain important. I therefore recommend that the Security Council accept the Lebanese Government's request and extend UNIFIL's mandate for another period of six months, that is, until 31 July 1995.
28. In making this recommendation, I must again draw attention to the serious shortfall in the funding of the Force. At present, unpaid assessments amount to some $203.5 million. This represents money owed to Member States that contribute the troops who make up the Force. I appeal to all Member States to pay their assessments promptly and in full and to clear all remaining arrears.
29. In conclusion, I wish to pay tribute to Major-General Trond Furuhovde, the Force Commander, and to all the men and women under his command for the manner in which they have carried out their difficult and often dangerous task. Their discipline and bearing have been of a high order, reflecting credit on themselves, on their countries and on the United Nations.
Official Records of the Security Council, Thirty-third Year
Supplement for January, February and March 1978
, document S/12611.