Further trouble in South Lebanon is expected after talks between Palestinian guerrilla chief, Yasser Arafat, and the United Nations peace force commander failed to achieve agreement.
Further trouble in South Lebanon is expected after talks between Palestinian guerrilla chief, Yasser Arafat, and the United Nations peace force commander failed to achieve agreement. The talks were held three days after Leftist guerrillas and United Nations soldiers clashed, resulting in the death of three of the peace troops. The disagreement arises over interpretation of the Security Council Resolution 425. The Palestine Liberation Organisation claims the resolution does not instruct the Peace Force to prevent Palestinian commandos striking at Israel. But the Ghanaian Commander of UNIFIL, Major-General Emmanuel Erskine, says that infiltration of United Nations-held territory by Palestinian guerrillas must stop.
SYNOPSIS: The Security Council has agreed to increase the number of peace troops in South Lebanon from 4,000 to 6,000. A Nigerian battalion is one of the latest contingents to arrive in Beirut to reinforce the peace-keeping army. Already serving in the troubled south are soldiers from France, Norway, Sweden and Nepal. They will soon be joined by 600 Fijian soldiers and a 630-man Irish battalion.
Israeli reports that Palestinian guerrillas have been returning in some numbers to their former bases in South Lebanon have been dismissed by General Erskine. He said that a very small number -- perhaps ten to 15 -- had crossed United Nations lines into the south, but his forces would get them out. Lebanese Leftists and radical Palestinians have condemned UNIFIL for attempting to stop them attacking those Israeli forces still in South Lebanon. General Erskine has replied that armed men must be prevented from entering U.N. areas.