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        Security Council
16 January 1991

Original: ENGLISH


I have the honour to inform you that the Lebanese Government has decided to request the Security Council to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which expires on 31 January 1991, for a further period of six months, on the basis of the provisions of Security Council resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 501 (1982), 508 (1982), 509 (1982) and of all other relevant resolutions and decisions of the Security Council.

Some major constructive developments have taken place since the last renewal of the mandate of UNIFIL. A Government of national unity has been formed, representing all of the country's broad political movements, and the army has assumed complete control of the Greater Beirut area. The Council of Ministers has taken the decision to further deploy the Lebanese Army in certain regions in the south and the west Bekaa adjacent to the area occupied by Israel. This will serve as a prelude to the full implementation of resolution 425 (1978), when the Lebanese Government and army, with the help of UNIFIL, will extend its authority over the entire south up to the internationally recognized boundaries.

Israel's brutal and well-documented policy of occupation has remained consistent for close to 13 years. Indiscriminate bombings, shelling and air raids against Lebanese villages have extracted a heavy toll in the form of innocent human lives, while last year Israel carried out over 22 air raids in Lebanon. Anther feature of Israeli occupation has been the violation of human rights: arbitrary arrests, unlimited detention and physical punishments including torture, along with the denial of the basic right of detainees to be visited by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Harassment and confiscation of land and homes is also part of the everyday scenario, along with the deportation of their occupants. Large sections of farmland in the Arkoub region have been fenced off to build military roads and create a parallel civilian administration to undermine the Lebanese legal authority.

In view of these developments and in light of the new world order recently demonstrated by the United Nations, it is now Lebanon's expectation that the time has come for the Security Council not to tolerate any more the continuous occupation by Israel of Lebanese land and to demand the prompt implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which Israel consistently flouts under the fallacious pretext of its security and in violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

In this context, the presence of UNIFIL continues to remain of utmost necessity to provide much needed assistance and support for the civilian population faced with the violence and arbitrariness of Israeli occupation; but this assistance cannot be a substitute for the fulfilment of its original mandate a! set forth in Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which is to confirm the withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon and to assist the Government of Lebanon, through its now ready armed forces, in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.

The Lebanese Government takes this opportunity to pay tribute to the UNIFIL command, troops and administrators, and to the troop-contributing countries for their efforts and sacrifices in serving the cause of peace. It also expresses its deep appreciation for the tireless endeavours of the Secretary-General and his aides, which are instrumental in the valuable presence and work of UNIFIL in southern Lebanon.

I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Mr. Khalil MAKKAWI
Permanent Representative

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