UNIFIL’s Sector East units trained last week with Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) personnel on COVID-19 disinfection procedures, as part of the two forces’ ongoing cooperation.
The three-day training at the UNIFIL Sector East Headquarters near the town of Marjayoun sought to exchange expertise, and “enhance cohesive inter-operability environment” between the two forces.
Ensuring a close cooperation between the two forces is key to implementing Security Council resolution 1701, which forms the core of UNIFIL’s current mandate.
A total of 20 UNIFIL peacekeepers from India, Indonesia, Nepal and Spain were joined by 12 LAF personnel from its 7th Brigade for the training, from 18 to 20 January.
All the participants were trained on different COVID-19 disinfection procedures – including disinfection of buildings, vehicles as well as self-decontamination – through both theoretical and practical sessions.
Addressing a ceremony at the end of the training, UNIFIL Sector East Commander Brigadier General Ramón Armada Vázquez expressed gratitude to LAF personnel for their participation, while encouraging the latter to join UNIFIL peacekeepers in more coordinated activities.
Coordinated trainings and exercises between UNIFIL and LAF personnel lie at the core of the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate. According to the latest report of Secretary-General António Guterres on the implementation of resolution 1701 covering the period from 19 June to 25 October 2021, UNIFIL conducted a monthly average of 160 trainings for the LAF’s land forces, and 126 trainings and exercises for the naval forces.
However, the report further noted, due to LAF resource constraints, the number of UNIFIL operations conducted in close coordination with them declined to an average of 14.7 per cent, compared with a 16 per cent average during the previous reporting period.
(UN Photos / Corporal Josue Falcón Perez)