In the Lebanon, it has been a week of changes for the peacekeeping forces deployed there.
In the Lebanon, it has been a week of changes for the peacekeeping forces deployed there. An advance unit of about seventy-five Dutch soldiers, attached to the United nations interim force (UNIFIL), arrived at the israeli port of Haifa near the Lebanese border on Wednesday (28 February) to replace French troops. And Saudi Arabia announced it was withdrawing its soldiers from the Lebanon because of the border conflict between North and South Yemen.
SYNOPSIS: The Dutch contingent sent most of its equipment through Haifa, but the majority of about seven hundred Dutch officers and men will arrive in Beirut by air. They will be based in the Southern Lebanese village of Haris. The Dutch will coordinate their arrival with the French withdrawal on March the fifteenth.
The proposal by the Saudis to end their peacekeeping role in Beirut has alarmed Lebanese leaders. The Saudi contingent of about seven hundred is mainly deployed in Christian districts of the city. They replaced Syrian soldiers who were involved in clashes last July with right-wing militias opposed to the Syrian role in the country. Now Lebanese leaders fear that a Saudi pull-out could create new problems in the city. The Saudi Arabian Government has its troops on full alert over the conflict in the yemen, although plans for a ceasefire there have reportedly now been agreed by both sides. But should the Saudis leave, the Arab peacekeeping force in Beirut, would comprise only a small unit from the United Arab Emirates alongside the Syrians.