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20 January 1994
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS
INTERIM FORCE IN LEBANON
(for the period 21 July 1993-20 January 1994)
1. By its
resolution 852 (1993)
of 28 July 1993, the Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for a further interim period of six months, that is until 31 January 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,
/ approved by the Council in its
resolution 426 (1978)
; called upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully with the Force for the full implementation of its mandate; and reiterated that the Force should fully implement its mandate as defined in Council resolutions
, 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.
I. ORGANIZATION OF THE FORCE
2. As of January 1994, the composition of UNIFIL was as follows:
Force Mobile Reserve
Force Mobile Reserve
Composite battalion (maintenance company,
defence company, armoured escort company)
Infantry battalion (including engineer company)
Force Mobile Reserve
HQ Camp command
Force Mobile Reserve
Force Mobile Reserve
Force Mobile Reserve
Force Mobile Reserve
The deployment of UNIFIL is shown on the map attached 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 (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 Swedish logistic battalion, elements of the French composite battalion, the Norwegian maintenance company, the Swedish engineer company, the Ghanaian engineer company, the Polish medical unit and the Italian helicopter unit and by some sections of the civilian staff, especially in the areas of communications, vehicle maintenance and engineering. The Government of Sweden has decided to withdraw its personnel from UNIFIL, and I have accepted the offer of the Government of Poland to increase its contribution to the Force and replace the Swedish units. The handover will take place during rotations in March/April 1994. Currently, UNIFIL employs 539 civilian staff, of whom 148 were recruited internationally and 391 locally.
6. The Force Mobile Reserve, a composite mechanized company currently consisting of elements from seven contingents (Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Ireland, Nepal, Norway and Sweden), reinforced UNIFIL's battalions during rotations and when serious incidents occurred.
7. I regret to report that a Fijian soldier died as a result of a vehicle accident, an Irish soldier died as a result of an accidental discharge of his weapon and a Norwegian soldier was killed by a tank round. Five others suffered injuries as a result of firing or explosions. Since the establishment of UNIFIL, 195 military members of the Force have died, 74 as a result of firing or mine or bomb explosions, 81 in accidents and 40 from other causes. Two hundred and ninety-nine military members have been 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. UNIFIL has made repeated
with the Lebanese authorities on this matter.
9. UNIFIL maintained close contact with the Lebanese authorities on matters of mutual concern. Those authorities continued to render important assistance to UNIFIL in connection with the rotation of its troops through Beirut and other logistic activities. Liaison and communications between UNIFIL and the Lebanese army have been expanded through the assignment of Lebanese liaison officers to UNIFIL's infantry battalions, except for the Norwegian battalion, which is in the area controlled by Israel. The Force continued to cooperate closely with the Lebanese gendarmerie on matters pertaining to the maintenance of law and order.
II. SITUATION IN THE UNIFIL AREA OF OPERATION
10. Israel continued to control in southern Lebanon an area manned by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and the de facto forces (DFF), the so-called "South Lebanon Army" ("SLA"). 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 UNIFIL area of operation, IDF and DFF maintained 72 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. 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. UNIFIL again received reports of forced recruitment to DFF.
12. The period under review began with an escalation of hostilities which involved the shelling of civilian targets in southern Lebanon and northern Israel and culminated in an intense week-long bombardment, from 25 to 31 July 1993, by Israeli air force and artillery of villages south and north of the Litani River. Within its area of operation, UNIFIL counted some 28,000 rounds of artillery, tank and mortar fire and 800 bombs and missiles dropped from the air. In addition, tens of thousands of rounds were fired from machine-guns and rifles. The effects of the bombardment were severe: according to Lebanese reports at the time, a total of 130 persons were killed and more than 500 injured; within its area of operation, UNIFIL was able to confirm 15 killed and 27 wounded. A large number of houses were destroyed or damaged, including schools and medical facilities; an estimated 200,000 inhabitants were temporarily displaced from UNIFIL's area.
13. Following the establishment of a cease-fire on 31 July 1993 and after consultation with the United Nations, the Lebanese Government, on 9 August 1993, sent an army unit to UNIFIL's area of operation for the purpose of maintaining law and order. The unit, which comprises some 300 all ranks, has remained deployed in garrisons at Qana, Jwayya, Arzun and Bir as Sanasil.
14. UNIFIL continued to oppose attempts by armed elements to enter or operate within its area of deployment. 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. On 25 October 1993, position 5-4 came under intense small-arms fire, following a traffic accident in which a Lebanese motorcyclist died after collision with a UNIFIL water truck.
15. Since the beginning of August 1993, UNIFIL recorded 80 operations against IDF/DFF by armed elements that have proclaimed their resistance against Israeli occupation (8 in August, 20 in September, 8 in October, 18 in November, 22 in December and 4 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. Since 31 July 1993, no firing into northern Israel has been reported.
16. IDF/DFF continued their own attacks and retaliatory firing against armed elements, employing artillery, mortars, tanks and aircraft. There were very few cases of indiscriminate firing at civilian targets. In addition to the bombardment in July, UNIFIL recorded about 8,900 artillery, mortar and tank rounds fired by IDF/DFF, compared to a total of 7,900 during the previous six months.
17. As in the past, there were numerous instances of firing by IDF/DFF at or close to UNIFIL positions and personnel. During the bombardment in July, 303 such firings were recorded and 222 since then. The Finnish and Irish battalion sectors accounted for more than 70 per cent of the latter figure. The firing has been the subject of repeated protests to the Israeli authorities. During the reporting period, there were two particularly serious firing incidents: on 27 July 1993, the Nepalese battalion headquarters was bombed by Israeli aircraft, causing extensive damage but fortunately only minor injuries to three Nepalese soldiers; on 27 December 1993, Israeli troops directed tank fire at a UNIFIL patrol near Blat. A Norwegian soldier was killed and another seriously wounded. These incidents were strongly protested to the Israeli authorities, which have expressed their regret.
18. During the period under review, UNIFIL detonated mines, roadside bombs and a large number of unexploded artillery and mortar shells left from the IDF/DFF bombardment in July 1993. UNIFIL also dismantled ordnance of various types in the area of deployment. A total of 334 controlled explosions were carried out.
19. UNIFIL continued to extend humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in its area, to the extent possible within the available resources. Special efforts were made in this regard during and after the bombardment in July 1993. In August, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs travelled to the area to assess the situation and to coordinate the humanitarian assistance provided by the United Nations system. To start up urgent emergency work, advances of $5 million and $2 million from the Central Emergency Revolving Fund were made available to Habitat and the World Food Programme, respectively. A consolidated appeal for immediate assistance in the amount of $28.5 million was launched on 20 August 1993. In these efforts, UNIFIL provided support on the ground, clearing rubble to facilitate the repair of houses, schools, hospitals and other facilities. 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. UNIFIL also continued to provide assistance to the inhabitants in its area of operation in the form of medical supplies, water, clothes, blankets, food, fuel, electricity work, repairs to buildings damaged as a result of firing and escorts to farmers. 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 2,800 civilian patients per month and a field dental programme was also provided. UNIFIL personnel contributed $19,455 towards humanitarian work.
III. FINANCIAL ASPECTS
20. By its decision 48/464 of 23 December 1993, the General Assembly, on an exceptional basis, authorized the Secretary-General to enter into commitments for UNIFIL up to the amount of $24,000,000 gross ($23,500,000 net) for the period from 1 February to 31 March 1994, should the Security Council decide to continue the Force beyond 31 January 1994. In that event, the costs to the United Nations for maintaining the Force for two months would be within the commitment authorized by the General Assembly in its decision 48/464, assuming an average maximum force strength of 5,250 troops and continuance of the Force's existing responsibilities. With regard to the period after 31 March 1994, the costs to the United Nations for maintaining the Force is estimated at $11,857,000 gross ($11,474,500 net) per month, assuming the same strength and responsibilities as above.
21. As of 31 December 1993, unpaid assessed contributions to the UNIFIL Special Account for the mandate periods up to 31 January 1994, amounted to $207.7 million.
22. During the last six months, the situation in southern Lebanon continued to be tense and volatile. The exceptionally heavy Israeli bombardment at the end of July was followed by a lull, but in September hostilities returned to earlier levels. It is worth noting that from August onwards the shelling of civilian targets was much reduced, compared to previous mandate periods.
23. UNIFIL did its best to limit the conflict to the extent possible. It also did what it could to protect the inhabitants from the effects of the violence and to render assistance to them. In carrying out its tasks, the Force was again severely hampered by firing directed at its own positions and personnel. One member of the Force was killed by such firing. I must stress once again the obligation of all concerned to respect UNIFIL's international and impartial status.
24. Outside UNIFIL's area of operation, Lebanon continued on the path of normalization. Within UNIFIL's area, the deployment of a Lebanese army unit for maintaining law and order was a further step towards the restoration of government authority.
25. On the other hand, Israel maintained its occupation of parts of southern Lebanon, despite the Security Council's repeated calls for its withdrawal. Hostilities continued and UNIFIL remained unable to implement its mandate.
26. Israel's general attitude to the situation in southern Lebanon and to UNIFIL's mandate remains as described in previous reports. The Israeli authorities state that Israel has no territorial claims in Lebanon and that the "security zone" is a temporary arrangement. In their view, such an arrangement is needed for the purpose of ensuring the security of northern Israel so long as the Lebanese Government is not able to exercise effective authority and prevent its territory from being used to launch attacks against Israel. The Israeli authorities further consider that all issues between Israel and Lebanon should be dealt with in the bilateral talks within the framework of the peace talks, leading to a peace treaty between the two countries.
27. For its part, the Government of Lebanon remains fully engaged in the process of reconstruction of the country and national reconciliation. It considers that there can be no possible justification for the continuation of Israel's occupation of Lebanese territory, which it views as the root cause of the continuing hostilities in the southern part of the country. Lebanon's position is described in a letter that its Permanent Representative to the United Nations addressed to me on 13 January 1994 (
). In that letter, the Permanent Representative also 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. Although UNIFIL continues to be prevented from implementing its mandate, its contribution to stability and the protection it is able to afford the population of the area 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 1994. While I do not propose to reduce the strength of the Force at this time, it is my sincere hope that at the end of the next six months the ongoing peace talks will have made sufficient progress to justify a further reduction in UNIFIL's strength.
29. 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 $207.7 million. I appeal to all Member States to pay their assessments promptly and in full and to clear all remaining arrears, which represent money owed to the Member States contributing the troops who make up the Force. I take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to the Governments of those Member States for their steadfast support and I wish to thank the Government of Sweden, which is withdrawing its contingent, for the contribution it has made to UNIFIL over so many years.
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.
Official Records of the Security Council, Thirty-third Year
Supplement for January, February and March 1978
, document S/12611.