UNITED NATIONS (Jan. 16)
Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, in a report to the Security council which was made available here today, charged that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) “lacks the cooperation both of the de facto forces (in south Lebanon) under Major (So’od) Haddad (the Christian militia) and of the Israeli Defense forces, in relation to the complete deployment of UNIFIL in its entire area of operations.”
UNIFIL, therefore, is unable to help restore the Lebanese government’s control over the area as called for by Security Council Resolution 425 which created UNIFIL last spring, Waldheim said. “The assumptions on which UNIFIL was set up have not been-fulfilled,.” he reported, adding. “Indeed, the attitude of the de facto forces has, if anything, stiffened and the pattern of threats and harassing actions (against UNIFIL) has persisted and increased in intensity.”
Waldheim, recommending the renewal of UNIFIL’s mandate which expires Friday for another period of six months, concluded his report by declaring that in his view the present situation in south Lebanon cannot continue indefinitely. “Through no fault of its own, UNIFIL has not been in position to alter a situation which is neither acceptable to the government of Lebanon nor compatible with the intentions of the Security Council,” Waldheim said. He added. “I therefore appeal to those immediately concerned to reconsider urgently their attitude to UNIFIL and to ask themselves whether, in the context of the maintenance of international peace and security, they would really be better off if UNIFIL were obliged by continuing frustration to withdraw without fulfilling its mandate.”
Meanwhile, the Security Council is expected to meet Thursday to extend the mandate of UNIFIL. Sources here said it was not clear yet whether the mandate will be extended for four or six months. Consultations toward the Council’s meeting are due to start tomorrow.