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UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
Distr.
GENERAL
S/15357
13 August 1982

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS INTERIM FORCE IN LEBANON

Introduction


In its resolution 511 (1982) of 18 June 1982 the Security Council decided, as an interim measure, to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for a period of two -months, until 19 August 1982, and authorized the Force during that period to carry out, in addition, the interim tasks referred to in paragraph 17 of the Secretary-General's report (S/15194/Add.2). That paragraph reads as follows: The present report contains an account of developments relating to UNIFIL since the adoption of the above-mentioned resolution.

Organization of the Force

2. In view of the exceptional circumstances, an effort has been made to keep changes in the organization of UNIFIL to a minimum. While essential rotations of contingents have been carried out, continuity has been maintained in the staffing of key posts at UNIFIL headquarters. Command of the Force continues to be exercised by Lieutenant-General William Callaghan.

3. As of 11 August 1982, the composition .of UNIFIL was as follows:

Infantry battalions

Fiji 628

France 595

Ghana 557

Ireland 671

Nepal 462

Netherlands 810

Nigeria 696

Norway 660

Senegal 561

Headquarters camp command

Ghana 140

Ireland 51

Logistics units

France 775

Italy 34

Norway 191

Sweden 144

In addition to the above personnel, UNIFIL has been assisted by 87 military observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO). These officers are under the operational command of the Force Commander of UNIFIL.

4. Since 18 June 1982, two members of the Force lost their lives and six were wounded. Of the fatalities, one died from wounds sustained in the explosion of a bomb and one as a result of an accident. Since UNIFIL was established, 78 members of the Force have died, 35 of them as a result of firing and mine explosions, 33 in accidents and 10 from natural causes. Some 116 have been wounded in armed clashes, shellings and mine explosions.

5. The conditions prevailing in Lebanon have complicated the logistic support of the Force. Further difficulties have been created by restrictions on the freedom of movement of UNIFIL which have been imposed by the Israeli forces. While some of the restrictions relating to movement between UNIFIL headquarters at Naqoura and the battalion areas were lifted at the end of July, UNIFIL has limited use of the coastal road north of Naqoura up to the Tyre barracks and is denied access to the city of Tyre. Similarly, UNIFIL helicopter flights have been severely restricted and important logistic support activities of the UNIFIL helicopter wing have therefore had to cease. Efforts to have these restrictions lifted have so far had only limited results.

6. An important function of UNIFIL has been the demolition or defusing of unexploded mines and bombs. This work was carried out by the French engineer company. One of its members was fatally wounded when defusing a cluster bomb.


Activities of the Force

7. The deployment of UNIFIL has remained essentially as last reported (S/15194, paras. 9-14). A few positions, which were considered non-essential in the changed circumstances, were closed down, while others were reinforced. UNTSO military observers have continued to man the five observation posts along the armistice demarcation line. They have also continued to maintain teams at Tyre, Metulla and Chateau de Beaufort as well as five mobile teams. Given the dangers inherent in the situation, and following consultations with the Government of Lebanon, the Lebanese army units attached to the UNIFIL battalions have been concentrated at various battalion headquarters. The headquarters of the Lebanese army detachment is still at Arzun, where additional security is being provided by the Nigerian battalion of UNIFIL.

8. In the days immediately following the Israeli invasion, the Israeli forces searched houses, confiscated weapons and detained persons in the UNIFIL area. There were also incidents, in which Israeli military personnel forced entry into UNIFIL installations, destroyed UNIFIL checkpoints, fired close to UNIFIL positions or blocked roads in the UNIFIL area of deployment. These actions were strongly protested to the Israeli authorities.

9. At the end of June, a new armed group, equipped and controlled by the Israeli forces, appeared in parts of the UNIFIL area. These armed persons, recruited from the local population and variously referred to by the Israeli forces as "national guard" or "civil guard", attempted to establish checkpoints and patrol the villages. In some locations, the ill-disciplined behaviour of these irregulars, who are not recognized by the Lebanese Government, led to friction with the other inhabitants. With a view to protecting the civilian population, UNIFIL has taken action to contain the activities of these armed persons.

10. The Force has continued to resist attempts by the de facto forces to operate in the UNIFIL area of deployment, although in some instances they were able to enter that area with the assistance of the Israeli forces.

11. During the latter part of the reporting period the UNIFIL area has been generally quiet and no armed clashes have been observed.

12. Until 16 June, UNIFIL humanitarian teams were able to assist the population of Tyre through the distribution of food and water and the dispensing of medical aid. Basic food-stuffs and milk for children were distributed to the local population and Palestinian refugees. Water supply was organized in many places, especially in and around the Palestinian refugee camps. These efforts of UNIFIL in Tyre were halted by the Israeli authorities on 16 June. Despite a request by the Lebanese Government that UNIFIL should continue to assist in Tyre, this decision has not yet been changed. In the second half of June the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other relief organizations were able to commence relief work in the Tyre pocket. UNIFIL continues to co-operate with these organizations by providing transport, storage facilities and procurement support.

13. Inside the UNIFIL area of operation, there has been a significant increase of the population. UNIFIL, in co-operation with UNICEF, has been providing food and potable water and has rendered important medical assistance through the Swedish medical company and medical teams of the battalions.

14. In the UNIFIL hospital there was a significant increase in the number of surgical operations. Most of the operations were performed on Lebanese civilians. Compared to the figures from the beginning of 1982, the number of hospitalized patients has doubled. Many of the patients treated had received injuries from shell fragments or mines.


Observations

15. In my last report on UNIFIL (S/15194/Add.2), I referred to the fundamentally altered situation in which the Force found itself after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The Council then decided, in its resolution 511 (1982), to extend, as an interim measure, the mandate of UNIFIL for a period of two months.

16. It will be seen from my present report that, despite the difficulties it has faced, the Force has been deeply engaged in extending protection and humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in its area. It has also extended the fullest co-operation possible to the humanitarian efforts of various United Nations programmes and ICRC. There is no doubt in my mind that the presence of UNIFIL has provided an important stabilizing and moderating influence in south Lebanon during these difficult weeks.

17. The over-all situation in the area, however, remains uncertain and fraught with danger. I have been in constant touch with the Government of Lebanon, which has indicated that, in the existing circumstances, UNIFIL should continue to be stationed in the area for an additional interim period of two months, pending further consideration of the situation in the light of Security Council resolutions 508 (1982), 509 (1982), 511 (1982), 512 (1982), 513 (1982), 515 (1982), 516 (1982) and 517 (1982). In this connexion, the Permanent Representative of Lebanon, referring to his letter to me of 26 July 1982 (S/15309), has reiterated his Government's request that UNIFIL assist the Lebanese authorities in discharging their responsibilities. Taking all factors into account, and bearing in mind the position of the Government of Lebanon, I recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of UNIFIL for a further interim period.

18. I should like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to the troop-contributing countries for their steadfast support to the Force during this critical period. I also wish to pay tribute to the Commander of UNIPIL, Lieutenant-General William Callaghan, and his staff, civilian and military, and to the officers and men of UNIFIL, as well as to the UNTSO military observers assigned to the area. They have performed their tasks with exemplary dedication and courage in extremely difficult circumstances. Finally, I should like to pay special tribute to the memory of those soldiers of UNIFIL who have given their lives in the cause of peace.


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