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UNIFIL comes to Beirut to assist in Port reconstruction

Source: Annahar
TK Maloy
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary shows LAF Deputy Chief of Staff Brigadier General Janbay some of the 62 vehicles UNIFIL is donating to the LAF and the LAF Intelligence. (UNIFIL)
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary shows LAF Deputy Chief of Staff Brigadier General Janbay some of the 62 vehicles UNIFIL is donating to the LAF and the LAF Intelligence. (UNIFIL)
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BEIRUT: There's a new military group in Lebanon’s capital to assist further reopening the Port -  it’s the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) which deployed an engineering battalion on Saturday.

So Beirut citizens should soon start seeing the international peacekeeping force’s signature white trucks and SUVs zooming around town.

Following a request from the Lebanese Armed Forces, UNIFIL deployed a detachment of the multinational force to Beirut in order to assist Lebanese authorities with their efforts to deal with the aftermath of the destructive August 4 explosion which leveled the port and destroyed a large percentage of East Beirut.

The deployment early Saturday morning follows the authorization by the UN Security Council for the Mission to take "temporary and special measures" to provide support to Lebanon and its people in the aftermath of the explosions. UNIFIL peacekeepers deployed to the Lebanese capital with heavy machinery and other equipment.

According to UNIFIL, the offered assistance, which will be executed in three phases, is operational at the port as well as in the city center with an engineer-centered task force.

The main areas of support will be: clearing of debris and construction work in order to facilitate the rapid resumption of operations in the Beirut harbor, the force said in a statement.

Since the explosion happened, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col has stated that the Mission stood ready to provide any assistance at its disposal.

Major General Del Col said following the deployment : "It's a special moment for all of us in UNIFIL to be able to offer some tangible support to the population in need. It is important for a Mission like UNIFIL with over 10,000 troops to help the country that has hosted us for more than 42 years. “

The Major General added, “This support is also in line with the recent call of the Security Council for a strengthened UNIFIL-LAF cooperation."
 
The UN’s peacekeeping force has been present in southern Lebanon since 1978 and after the 2000 withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Force from Lebanon, UNIFIL began its present mission of patrolling the “blue line” border demarcation between the two countries.
 
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