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UN Council Condemns Haddad’s Militia for Killing Two Nigerian Soldiers of Unifil

March 23, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

After several days of private talks, the Security Council met early Friday morning and issued a statement condemning “the outrageous actions” of the Christian militia in south Lebanon led by Maj. Saad Haddad that resulted in the killing of two Nigerian soldiers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the wounding of other UN troops last Monday.

The Council statement, read by Ambassador Peter Florin of East Germany, who is this month’s president of the Council, called on “all those who share in the responsibility for this tense situation to put an end to any act which might increase the threat to international peace and security and to put an end to military assistance to any forces which interferes with UNIFIL in the exercise of its Mandate.”

The “outrageous actions” involved shelling by Haddad’s Christian militia last Monday of Kantara village. The statement made no reference to Israel or to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The statement also said “this renewed and barbaric act” against the UN peacekeeping force was “a direct defiance of the authority of the Security Council and a challenge to the mission of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security, which cannot be tolerated.”

Members of the Council began informal consultations at the beginning of last week, seeking a consensus statement which would condemn the killings but not single out Israel, as a majority of the 15 Council members wanted it to do. The United States, however, refused to support a statement which singled out Israel for condemnation.

Diplomats here noted that the statement issued Friday referred back to the resolution which established UNIFIL in 1978. That resolution called for “strict respect” for Lebanon’s territorial integrity and political independence and called on Israel to cease its military action and withdrawal of its forces from all Lebanese territory. Israel had mounted a brief land and air attack on PLO targets in southern Lebanon.


Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, issued a statement, after the Council meeting, declaring the Council statement was “not to our liking.” Blum also said it was his understanding that the statement was also not to the liking of Jeane Kirkpatrick, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Blum expressed “our appreciation to the United States and to Ambassador Kirkpatrick on the principle and stand” the United States took in the debate on the statement. This was understood to be a reference to U.S. opposition, in the discussions for a consensus statement, against singling out Israel.

He added that “while we unreservedly condemn the killing or harassing of soldiers serving the cause of peace under the flag of the United Nations, we object to the glaring double standard practiced by the United Nations even on this tragic occasion.”

Blum noted that according to UN sources, “27 UNIFIL soldiers have died in line of duty. Seven of these died in instances involving the local Lebanese militia and villagers in south Lebanon. The others — the overwhelming majority — were killed directly or indirectly by the PLO or its partners. Only on two such occasions has the Council been requested to convene and only on two occasions has it expressed itself in the form of a meeting.”

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