UNIFIL: Full Implementation of UN Resolution 1701 is Shared Responsibility

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lazaro arriving at the ceremony (UN)
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lazaro arriving at the ceremony (UN)
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UNIFIL: Full Implementation of UN Resolution 1701 is Shared Responsibility

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lazaro arriving at the ceremony (UN)
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lazaro arriving at the ceremony (UN)

The full implementation of UN Resolution 1701 is a shared responsibility, and the parties' commitment is necessary to advance towards a long-term solution, announced UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lazaro.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) celebrated the International Day of Peace in Naqoura, south Lebanon, in a ceremony attended by Lebanese political representatives, including Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab, local authorities, Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), security forces, UN officials, and members of the international community.

Lazaro and LAF representative Brigadier General Mounir Shehade laid wreaths at the cenotaph in memory of the over 300 UNIFIL peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving in south Lebanon since 1978.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2695, extending UNIFIL's peacekeeping mandate for another year.

The resolution reaffirms UNIFIL's authorization to conduct its operations independently while continuing to coordinate with the Government of Lebanon regarding Lebanese sovereignty.

"As our name says, we are peacekeepers – we keep the peace, but we do not bestow it," Lazaro told the crowd.

"We keep the peace that the parties have each given space for, have each worked to maintain in their ways. But whenever it is threatened, UNIFIL is there, ready to help."

The UNIFIL head emphasized the mission's strong partnership with the Lebanese government and armed forces.

"We are here at the invitation of the Lebanese government, who have been our hosts for over forty-five years," he said.

"We coordinate closely with the Lebanese Armed Forces, conducting patrols with them and on our own, to help the government someday exercise its authority over this beautiful country."

He also stressed the importance of restraint and UNIFIL's role in decreasing tensions.

Lazaro noted: "The danger of miscalculation remains, a danger that could jeopardize the cessation of hostilities and lead us to conflict."

He asserted it was important for the parties to bear this in mind and to use UNIFIL's liaison and coordination mechanisms to deconflict situations and decrease tensions.

"The full implementation of UN Resolution 1701 remains a shared responsibility, and the parties' commitment is necessary to advance towards a long-term solution."

Military staff officers were awarded the UN Peacekeeping Medal during the ceremony for participating in the mission's work. As is customary, white doves were released at UNIFIL's cenotaph to symbolize peace.

The International Day of Peace was established by the UN General Assembly in 1981.

It is dedicated to ceasefire and non-violence and is an occasion during which all promote tolerance, justice, and human rights.

Each year, on this day, the UN invites all nations and people to honor a 24-hour cessation of hostilities and to commemorate the day through activities that promote peace.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.