UN council runs the clock on Lebanon peacekeeping renewal

Tough negotiations on the scope and scale of a 42-year-old UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon are set to run all the way up to a Friday United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session to renew its mandate.

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been stationed at Lebanon’s southern border since 1978, during the country’s civil war, and was beefed up following the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. 

The force’s one-year mandate expires on August 31.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has for years been pushing for changes to the mission’s mandate that would decrease the number of troops, now at roughly 10,000, and allow the force to have more freedom of movement in the border area that is largely controlled by Hezbollah.

Along with Israel, the US has argued that UNIFIL is ineffective at implementing UNSC Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war and called for the removal of all armed groups in the south other than the Lebanese army.

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