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Germany enhances military support to Lebanon with new aid package.

| Defense News Army 2024

Germany has announced an additional 15 million euros (approximately 16.4 million dollars) in military support to Lebanon. This aid aims to strengthen the Lebanese army's ability to maintain security, particularly in the southern part of the country, amid escalating tensions between Israel and the Iran-backed Hezbollah group.
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A UNIFIL convoy (composed of French troops) in Lebanon (Picture source: UN)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock emphasized the importance of supporting the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission during these critical times. She stated that strengthening the Lebanese army is crucial for effective territorial control and limiting the influence of armed militias and terrorist groups. Baerbock highlighted the central role of the cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese army in achieving these objectives.

This financial assistance will mainly be used for purchasing fuel and improving land border surveillance. The decision to increase aid was made in close collaboration with international partners, notably the United States, France, and Britain, and is in line with agreements with Israel.

Baerbock advocated for maximum military restraint from all parties involved to prevent the escalation of regional conflicts. She warned against using the Gaza war as a pretext to open a new front, which could potentially lead to a broader regional war.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, known by the acronym UNIFIL, is a United Nations peacekeeping mission deployed in Lebanon. Established in 1978, it was created following an Israeli invasion, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security, and assist the Lebanese government in reestablishing its effective authority in the region.

Since its establishment, UNIFIL has played a crucial role in stabilizing Lebanon, especially in the southern part of the country, a region often marked by tensions and conflicts, particularly between Israel and various Lebanese armed groups. Its mandate has evolved over the years, especially after the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, a Lebanese politico-military movement. Following this conflict, UNIFIL's mandate was strengthened by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which aimed to establish a lasting ceasefire between the two parties.

UNIFIL's mission includes monitoring the cessation of hostilities, accompanying the deployment of Lebanese armed forces in southern Lebanon, and ensuring humanitarian access to civilian populations. It also plays an important role in conflict prevention by monitoring and reporting violations of the Blue Line, the demilitarized border between Israel and Lebanon. Furthermore, UNIFIL contributes to the protection of civilian populations and works for the return of internally displaced persons, thus playing a vital role in humanitarian efforts and reconstruction in the region.

The force is composed of soldiers from various contributing countries and has established a significant presence in the region, contributing to some stability despite ongoing challenges. The continued presence of UNIFIL is considered vital for maintaining a relatively peaceful climate and preventing a resurgence of hostilities in a region often marked by political and military tensions.

Additionally, Baerbock met with Lebanon's interim Prime Minister Najib Mikati to discuss the ongoing tensions. The recent conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip has led to an increase in hostilities, with Hezbollah launching projectiles into Israel and Israel retaliating against Hezbollah positions in Lebanon.

The Gaza conflict was initiated by attacks from Hamas and other Palestinian groups on Israeli border towns on October 7. Baerbock also visited a German frigate in the port of Beirut, part of the UNIFIL mission, to assess the contributions of the Bundeswehr soldiers in securing Lebanon's maritime borders and preventing arms smuggling.


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