Mob seizes UN peacekeeper equipment in south Lebanon

Mob seizes UN peacekeeper equipment in south Lebanon
A mob seized equipment from a UNIFIL convoy in south Lebanon after blocking its route, the UN peacekeeping force said Saturday. (File/AFP)
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Updated 05 December 2020

Mob seizes UN peacekeeper equipment in south Lebanon

Mob seizes UN peacekeeper equipment in south Lebanon
  • “A large group of civilians... dispossessed the UNIFIL patrol of items and equipment,” a statement said
  • The area where the equipment was seized is a bastion of the Shiite movement Hezbollah

BEIRUT: A mob seized equipment from a UNIFIL convoy in south Lebanon after blocking its route, the UN peacekeeping force said Saturday of its latest run-in with the local population.
The incident, which required the intervention of the Lebanese army, took place on Friday as the UNIFIL convoy passed through the village of Kaouthariyet Al-Saiyad on the way back to base, according to the statement.
“A large group of civilians... dispossessed the UNIFIL patrol of items and equipment,” the statement said, without specifying what was taken.
Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war, and the United Nations force patrols the border between the two.
The convoy was able to leave the village after the army intervened, “although the equipment was not returned to the peacekeepers,” the statement added.
The seizure of UNIFIL equipment by civilians is rare, but sporadic incidents take place between the force and members of the local population, who sometimes block patrol routes.
The area is a bastion of the Shiite movement Hezbollah, which is a heavyweight in Lebanese politics and sworn enemy of neighboring Israel.
Set up in 1978, UNIFIL was beefed up after a month-long devastating war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah.
The 10,500-strong force, in coordination with the Lebanese army, is tasked with monitoring a cease-fire and Israeli pullout from a demilitarised zone on the border.
In August, the Security Council extended UNIFIL’s mandate by one year.


UN chief hails progress in Libya talks

UN chief hails progress in Libya talks
Updated 1 min 59 sec ago

UN chief hails progress in Libya talks

UN chief hails progress in Libya talks
  • Breakthrough over selection of executive authority that will shepherd country to elections

NEW YORK: The advisory committee of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) has agreed on a mechanism for selecting the new executive authority, whose formation has been the subject of sparring among the various factions in the war-ravaged country.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres commended the participants at the UN-brokered talks in Geneva for their “constructive discussions” during their four-day meeting.

The 18-member committee is part of a larger forum that represents all three main regions of Libya.

It has proposed that each region’s electoral body nominate a representative to a three-member presidential council. A prime minister would be chosen by the 75-member forum.

Guterres mentioned in particular “the decisive role played by women representatives and the southern members” in reaching a consensus on a mechanism for the selection of the executive authority, which will shepherd the country to national elections in December, in line with the Tunis Roadmap adopted last November. 

Calling on the members of the LPDF to “participate constructively” in the vote on the selection mechanism, Guterres reiterated the UN’s support for the Libyan people “in their efforts to advance peace and stability.”

Acting Special Representative for Libya Stephanie Williams also hailed the breakthrough at the Geneva talks, at the conclusion of which she told the press that the advisory committee members “had risen to the occasion.”

She added: “They met their responsibility with a constructive spirit, cooperative efforts and a great deal of patriotism. They have taken a decisive step towards meeting the goals that were set in Tunis.”  

Guterres said he was grateful to “the commitment and outstanding leadership” of Williams in moving the political process forward in Libya.

Last week, the Security Council approved Guterres’s nomination of Jan Kubis of Slovakia as his special envoy on Libya and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Kubis had held a similar position in Lebanon and Iraq.

Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Kubis “brings with him many years of experience in diplomacy, foreign security policy and international economic relations, both internationally and in at home in Slovakia.”

Kubis will take up his function in early February. Until then, Williams will continue as acting special representative through January “to ensure a smooth transition.”