Following a Norwegian Government offer to send 750 men to join the United Nations peace keeping force in Southern Lebanon, the first Norwegian soldiers have been taking up their positions in the peace-keeping buffer zone.
CU United Nations flag ZOOM INTO hills around Litani river
GV Bridge across Litani river
MV Norwegian UN troops smoking
MV U.N. Land-Rover out on patrol
MV U.N. soldier in armoured car
MVs U.N. troops filling sandbags (3 shots)
CU Norwegian soldier (not named) makes statement in English
MV PAN U.N. soldier guarding Khardali Bridge
GV U.N. armoured vehicles in convoy on road (4 shots)
SOLDIER: "Well, the place is very different from Norway, but, well, we like it. A little bit too much mines, but it's a good place to stay."
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Background: Following a Norwegian Government offer to send 750 men to join the United Nations peace keeping force in Southern Lebanon, the first Norwegian soldiers have been taking up their positions in the peace-keeping buffer zone.
SYNOPSIS: Most of the United Nations forces have been deployed along the Litani river. And one of the key strategic points is at Khardali, the river's most easterly bridging point. It was here that Swedish U.N. troops came under fire from Palestinians last month. These Swedish troops were moved to a more secure sector under a cloud of criticism over their conduct under fire, and were replaced by Norwegian troops. Following a statement last weekend by their Commanding Officer, Major-General Emmanuel Erskine, the new troops have been ordered to open fire, if necessary. One of them seemed content with his new military role.
Both Lebanese Christians and Israelis have criticised the scope and limitations of the U.N. force. The Israelis claim that a 4,000-strong U.N. force cannot effectively police the 60-mile (100 kms) security line along the Litani, and that some Palestinian infiltration is inevitable. The worry also remains whether the U.N. troops have the authority to use force to prevent the Palestinians re-opening their supply routes, or whether they may only fire in cases of self-defence.