UNIFIL Complains About ‘Lack of Clarity’ of Blue Line Border between Lebanon, Israel

A UNIFIL patrol is seen near the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel. (EPA)
A UNIFIL patrol is seen near the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel. (EPA)
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UNIFIL Complains About ‘Lack of Clarity’ of Blue Line Border between Lebanon, Israel

A UNIFIL patrol is seen near the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel. (EPA)
A UNIFIL patrol is seen near the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel. (EPA)

Major General Aroldo Lazaro, Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), urged on Thursday Lebanon and Israel to continue to coordinate their movement near the Blue Line with the international force.

The Blue Line marks the border between the two neighbors.

Chairing a regular tripartite meeting between senior Lebanese and Israeli officers at the southern border town of Ras al-Naqoura, Lazaro underscored the importance of coordination to ease tensions.

He added that the “lack of clarity of the Blue Line” has added to tensions.

The Blue Line was established in 2000 after Israel pulled its forces out of southern Lebanon. A project has been in place since 2007 to demarcate the border line.

“The Blue Line marking project provides a guide in approximating the Blue Line trajectory. Clarity on the precise trajectory of the Blue Line is determined through the deployment of UNIFIL assets,” Lazaro said.

Moreover, he noted that actions that stoke tensions, such as the pointing of weapons, firing of live ammunition, laser-pointing, and stone-throwing, have continued along the border areas in spite of his demand that they stop.

He encouraged parties to make use of UNIFIL’s resources “to help avoid tensions like those seen recently.”

Thursday’s discussions focused on the latest UN Secretary-General report, air and ground violations, and other issues within the scope of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and subsequent resolutions.

Since the end of the 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel, regular tripartite meetings have been held under UNIFIL’s auspices as an “essential conflict-management and confidence-building mechanism,” the UN force said.

“Today’s was the 159th such meeting. Through its liaison and coordination mechanisms, UNIFIL remains the only forum through which Lebanese and Israeli armies officially meet,” it added.



US Invites Sudan's Warring Parties for Talks

FILE PHOTO: A view of a street in the city of Omdurman damaged in the year-long civil war in Sudan, April 7, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A view of a street in the city of Omdurman damaged in the year-long civil war in Sudan, April 7, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo
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US Invites Sudan's Warring Parties for Talks

FILE PHOTO: A view of a street in the city of Omdurman damaged in the year-long civil war in Sudan, April 7, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A view of a street in the city of Omdurman damaged in the year-long civil war in Sudan, April 7, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo

Washington has invited the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces for US-mediated ceasefire talks starting on Aug. 14 in Switzerland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo said early on Wednesday they will constructively participate in the talks to achieve "a comprehensive ceasefire across the country and facilitate humanitarian access to all those in need."
"We reaffirm our firm stance ... which is the insistence on saving lives, stopping the fighting, and paving the way for a peaceful, negotiated political solution that restores the country to civilian rule and the path of democratic transition," Dagalo said in a statement.

The talks will include the African Union, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations as observers, Blinken said in a statement. Saudi Arabia will be a co-host for the discussions, he added.

"The scale of death, suffering, and destruction in Sudan is devastating. This senseless conflict must end," Blinken said, calling on the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF to attend the talks and approach them constructively.

The war in Sudan, which erupted in April 2023, has forced almost 10 million people from their homes, sparked warnings of famine and waves of ethnically-driven violence.