BEIRUT — The spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Andrea Tenenti, called on Sunday on "the Lebanese Army to guarantee the safety, security and freedom of movement of its forces," after reporting that a routine patrol of peacekeepers was stopped by "a group of men in civilian clothes" near the town of Arab al-Louaizeh, in southern Lebanon.
Tenenti said that the men "threatened the UN soldiers and tried to take their weapons," according to the state-run National News Agency. He recalled that according to UN Security Council Resolution 1701, UNIFIL enjoys freedom of movement and the right to conduct patrols in its area of operation.
"Attacks, threats and acts of intimidation against peacekeepers, who serve the cause of peace, are a matter of grave concern," warned Tenenti, who called on the Lebanese Army to "guarantee the safety, security and freedom of movement of UNIFIL forces."
In southern Lebanon, the Lebanese Army is working with UNIFIL, which was established in 1978 by the Security Council to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon. It currently has more than 10,000 peacekeepers and a newly appointed commander-in-chief, Gen. Aroldo Lázaro.