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UNIFIL deploys to Beirut to assist LAF in the aftermath of port explosions

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In coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today deployed a detachment of multinational force to Beirut in order to assist Lebanese authorities with their efforts to deal with the aftermath of the tragic 4 August explosions.

The deployment early this 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.

The UNIFIL assistance, which will be executed in three phases in about three weeks, is operational at the port as well as in the city centre 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 harbour.

Since the explosions 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.

Following today’s deployment of UNIFIL force in Beirut, Major General Del Col said: “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. This support is also in line with the recent call of the Security Council for a strengthened UNIFIL-LAF cooperation.”