BEIRUT — Cabinet is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and discuss extending the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)'s term until 2024, the promotion of security officers and officially employing Civil Defense volunteers for the first time.
On June 12th, French Ambassador to Lebanon Anne Grillo and Lebanon's caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib discussed UNIFIL's mandate, with Bou Habib demanding the removal of a paragraph about expanding the UN body's movements in the South.
After the latest renewal of its mandate in August, UNIFIL had to push back against "misinformation" over greater freedom of movement in South Lebanon.
UNIFIL clarified that it continues to coordinate its movements with the Lebanese Army, even when not physically accompanied by the military.
These clarifications followed incidents with residents of border villages in an area predominantly governed by Hezbollah.
Irish peacekeeper Sean Rooney, 23, was killed and three others were injured on Dec. 14 when their UNIFIL vehicle was attacked near the village of al-Aqbiya, an area controlled by Hezbollah in the south.
Cabinet will also discuss the promotion of a number of senior security officers, accepting some of the resignations in the sector and assigning some of the members for retirement among other things related to the sector.
On cabinet's agenda is also a clause about finally granting salaries to a number of Civil Defense volunteers, which they have demanded for years.
A Civil Defense source told L'Orient Today that 2,124 volunteers passed the test, meaning they fit the criteria for receiving salaries.
Cabinet is also scheduled to raise the transportation allowances of all security personnel and soldiers. It also will discuss securing funding for schools to ensure that the official exams take place.
Official exams were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to lack of funding and COVID-19 measures. The exams finally took place last year.