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UNITED
NATIONS

        Security Council
Distr.
GENERAL
S/1994/856
20 July 1994

Original: ENGLISH

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


(for the period 21 January-20 July 1994)



I. INTRODUCTION


1. By its resolution 895 (1994) of 28 January 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 July 1994. 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, 1/ approved by the Council in its resolution 426 (1978) and 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), 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 thereon.

II. ORGANIZATION OF THE FORCE


2. As of July 1994, the composition of UNIFIL was as follows:


Military personnel

FijiHQ UNIFIL
11
Infantry battalion
Force Mobile Reserve
Military police
598
34
8
651
FinlandHQ UNIFIL
13
Infantry battalion
Force Mobile Reserve
Military police
482
20
9
524
FranceHQ UNIFIL
14
Composite battalion (maintenance company, defence, company, armoured escort company)
416
Military police
Camp command
10
1
441
GhanaHQ UNIFIL
22
Infantry battalion (including engineer company
721
Force Mobile Reserve
Military police
Camp command
36
7
2
788
IrelandHQ UNIFIL
Infantry battalion
Camp Command
Force Mobile Reserve
Military police
33
585
30
17
12
677
ItalyHQ UNIFIL
Helicopter unit
5
37
42
NepalHQ UNIFIL
Infantry battalion
Force Mobile Reserve
Military police
11
678
29
5
723
NorwayHQ UNIFIL
Infantry battalion
Maintenance company
Force Mobile Reserve
Military police
23
594
166
32
16
831
PolandHQ UNIFIL
Logistic battalion
Engineer company
Medical unit
Force Mobile Reserve
Military police
17
334
131
71
4
10
567
Total UNIFIL
5 244



The deployment of UNIFIL is shown on the map attached to this 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 (OGL) 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. Logistic support for UNIFIL was provided by the Polish logistic battalion, which replaced the Swedish logistic battalion with effect from 6 April, as well as elements of the French composite battalion, the Norwegian maintenance company, the Polish engineer company, the Ghanaian engineer company, the Polish medical unit, the Italian helicopter unit and by some sections of the civilian staff, especially in the areas of communications and vehicle maintenance. Currently, UNIFIL employs 528 civilian staff, of whom 142 are recruited internationally and 386 locally.

6. The Force Mobile Reserve, a composite mechanized company, currently consisting of elements from seven contingents (Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Ireland, Nepal, Norway and Poland), reinforced UNIFIL's battalions when serious incidents occurred and during rotations. The French armoured company also reinforced the battalions as required and conducted patrols within the UNIFIL area.

7. I regret to report that two Fijian soldiers died as a result of hostile firing and that one Nepalese officer died as a result of a vehicle accident. In addition, a Fijian soldier and a Polish officer died of natural causes. Eight others suffered injuries as a result of firing or explosions. Since the establishment of UNIFIL, 200 military members of the Force have died, 76 as a result of firing or mine or bomb explosions, 82 in accidents and 42 from other causes. There have been 307 military members wounded by firing or by mine or bomb explosions.

8. UNIFIL continued to have difficulties in meeting its requirements of land and premises for its checkpoints, observation posts and other installations. The main reason for this is that, since 1987, the Government of Lebanon has failed to reimburse the owners of the properties being used by UNIFIL. In August 1993, the Lebanese authorities completed a survey of the properties used by UNIFIL, with a view to determining the level of reimbursement. However, to date no payments have been made to the owners.

9. 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. Liaison and communications with the Lebanese army were further improved. Lebanese army liaison officers have been particularly helpful in defusing confrontations with armed elements. In February, the Lebanese army established two permanent checkpoints inside the UNIFIL area of deployment for the purpose of controlling the influx of goods into the country. One checkpoint was established on the coastal road near Al Mansuri in the Fijian battalion sector, and the second south of Tibnin in the Irish battalion sector. The gendarmerie and customs authorities from time to time set up temporary checkpoints within UNIFIL's area of deployment for the same purpose. The Force continued to cooperate with the Lebanese gendarmerie on matters pertaining to the maintenance of law and order.

III. SITUATION IN THE UNIFIL AREA OF OPERATION


10. Israel continued to control in southern Lebanon an area manned by the Israeli 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 and DFF maintained 67 military positions, as shown on the attached map. The map also indicates where ICA extends beyond the limits of UNIFIL's area of operation.

11. UNIFIL observed 55 operations against IDF/DFF by armed elements who have proclaimed their resistance against Israeli occupation (2 in the latter part of January, 12 in February, 6 in March, 9 in April, 4 in May, 14 in June and 8 in the first half of July). 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. There were six reported incidents of rocket firing into northern Israel.

12. IDF/DFF continued their own attacks and retaliatory firing against armed elements employing artillery, mortars, tanks and aircraft. There were a number of cases of firing at towns and villages, causing casualties among the inhabitants. UNIFIL recorded some 10,500 artillery, mortar and tank rounds fired by IDF/DFF.

13. During the period under review, there were 166 instances of firing by IDF/DFF at or close to UNIFIL positions and personnel. Such firing has been the subject of repeated protests to the Israeli authorities.

14. 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.

15. A serious incident occurred on 3 June 1994, when a UNIFIL patrol encountered armed members of Hezbollah in the Fijian battalion sector. An exchange of fire ensued in which one Fijian soldier was seriously injured; he died two days later. It is believed that one of the armed elements was killed in that incident. Following that clash, a number of Fijian positions and the camp of the Force Mobile Reserve came under intense fire from armed elements, resulting in injuries to two other Fijian soldiers. In the evening of the same day, two Fijian soldiers manning a checkpoint came under fire from a passing vehicle; one was killed and the other injured. The Lebanese authorities have placed in custody one individual suspected of having been involved in that attack and are continuing their investigations. The situation in the Fijian battalion sector was contained with the assistance of the Lebanese army, both locally and in Beirut.

16. On 23 June, armed elements in the vicinity of Kafra in the Nepalese battalion sector fired a rocket-propelled grenade and three machine-gun bursts close to a UNIFIL helicopter.

17. 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 111 controlled explosions were carried out.

18. Within ICA, Israel maintained, in addition to the de facto forces, a civil administration and a security service. Movement between ICA and the rest of Lebanon was strictly controlled and ICA remained economically dependent on Israel. An estimated 3,000 jobs in Israel were held by Lebanese from ICA. Access to such jobs was controlled by DFF and the security services.

19. A serious incident took place in ICA on 11/12 March when a group of Palestinian armed elements were discovered in the Norwegian battalion sector by members of the security service of DFF. In the ensuing confrontation one member of the group was shot and killed after he had surrendered.

20. UNIFIL again received reports of forced recruitment to DFF, including the recruitment of persons under the age of 18 years. In March, Lebanese civilians made representations to UNIFIL concerning the expulsion of three men from their village in ICA, on the grounds that their sons had refused to serve in DFF. The expulsions were protested to the Israeli authorities. The three expellees have recently returned to their homes.

21. UNIFIL continued to extend humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in its area, to the extent possible within available resources. UNIFIL cooperated closely on these matters with the Lebanese authorities, the Coordinator of the United Nations Programme of Assistance for the Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon, the United Nations Development Programme and other United Nations agencies and programmes operating in Lebanon, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations. UNIFIL also continued its cooperation with the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) in their activities to repair schools, community halls and other public buildings destroyed or damaged during the Israeli bombardment of July 1993. UNIFIL provided assistance to the local population in the form of medical supplies, water, clothes, blankets, food, fuel, electricity, engineering work and repairs to buildings damaged as a result of firing. It also escorted farmers to enable them to work fields 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 3,000 civilian patients per month. A field dental programme was also provided, treating approximately 500 patients a month. On their own initiative UNIFIL personnel contributed $6,400 towards humanitarian work.

IV. FINANCIAL ASPECTS


22. By its resolution 48/254 of 26 May 1994, the General Assembly authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments for the operation of UNIFIL at a rate not to exceed $11,857,000 gross ($11,474,500 net) per month for a period of up to six months beginning 1 August 1994, should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of the Force beyond the period of six months authorized under its resolution 895 (1994). In that event, the costs to the United Nations of maintaining the Force would be within the commitment authorized by the Assembly in its resolution 48/254, assuming continuation of the Force's current strength and responsibilities.

23. As of 30 June 1994, unpaid assessed contributions to the UNIFIL Special Account for the mandate periods up to 31 July 1994 amounted to $254.2 million.

V. OBSERVATIONS

24. During the last six months, the situation in southern Lebanon continued to be tense and volatile. Attacks by armed elements against Israeli and associated military forces on Lebanese territory continued. There were also a few incidents of rockets being fired into northern Israel. For their part, IDF/DFF responded to attacks with heavy shelling, on a number of occasions causing casualties among the civilian population. In recent weeks, the Israeli forces have increasingly taken the initiative in the fighting, including air raids against targets deep inside Lebanese territory.

25. UNIFIL continued, to the best of its ability, to limit the conflict to the extent possible and to protect the inhabitants from the effects of the violence. The Force stepped up its patrols throughout its area of deployment in order to provide protection both within the villages and to farmers working in the fields. On a few occasions, UNIFIL was itself the target of violence. I must stress once again to all concerned their obligation to respect UNIFIL's international and impartial status.

26. Notwithstanding the Security Council's repeated calls for its withdrawal,Israel has maintained its occupation of parts of southern Lebanon and its general attitude to the situation in the area and to UNIFIL's mandate remains as described in previous reports (see S/1994/62, para. 26).

27. For its part, the Government of Lebanon contrasts the progress made in reconstruction and rehabilitation elsewhere in the country with Israel's continuing occupation in the south. It considers this to be the major obstacle to national recovery and emphasizes that the implementation of resolution 425 (1978) is the only way to stop the violence in southern Lebanon. Lebanon's position is described in detail in a letter that the Charge d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to me on 13 July 1994 (S/1994/826), in which he informed me of his Government's decision to request the Security Council to extend UNIFIL's mandate for a further period of six months.

28. As is evident from the present report, the situation in southern Lebanon has remained essentially unchanged and UNIFIL continues to be prevented from fulfilling its mandate. Nevertheless, within the limits imposed on it by the circumstances, the Force's contribution to stability and the protection it is able to afford the population in the area where it is deployed 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 January 1995.

29. In my last report (S/1994/62) I expressed the hope that at the end of the present mandate period the ongoing peace talks would have made sufficient progress to justify a further reduction in UNIFIL's strength. Regrettably, there has been no visible progress in the talks. Nevertheless, I am compelled for other reasons to give the most serious consideration to the possibility of a reduction. Despite all appeals to Member States to pay their assessments promptly and to clear their arrears, the funds available in the Force's accounts are barely sufficient to cover three weeks' expenses and the accumulated shortfall in assessed contributions in respect of UNIFIL has now reached a total of $254.2 million. The shortfall in assessed contributions is a long-term problem and, since most of the Force's expenditures are directly or indirectly related to personnel, it can be ameliorated only by a reduction in strength which would, in turn, affect the activities of the Force. I have accordingly initiated a study to determine how UNIFIL could perform its essential functions in such circumstances.

30. 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. I also pay tribute to the memory of those members of the Force who have given their lives in the cause of peace.


Notes

1/ Official Records of the Security Council, Thirty-third Year, Supplement for January, February and March 1978, document S/12611.


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