In shout Lebanon, the movement of United Nations (UNIFIL) troops into the region occupied by Israeli forces until last week, is being prevented by right-wing Christian militia.
In shout Lebanon, the movement of United Nations (UNIFIL) troops into the region occupied by Israeli forces until last week, is being prevented by right-wing Christian militia. The militiamen are ignoring orders from the Lebanese government and local Lebanese army commanders to co-operate with the UNIFIL forces, and have established road-blocks and military positions throughout the area near the Lebanese-Israeli border. The UNIFIL troops, under the command of General Erskine, supervised last week's Israeli withdrawal after their two-month occupation. The Israelis invaded south Lebanon in March to attack Palestinian guerrilla bases in the area.
SYNOPSIS: By Sunday (18 June), Christian militia forces were patrolling the border near the town of Metulla. The force is drawn from Falangist group sand other extreme right-wing organisations which until this week had supported the official right-wing Lebanese army. Major saad Haddad, Commander of the rightish forces in south Lebanon called on the militiamen to remain in their barracks and allow UNIFIL troops to enter the region. But they immediately placed Major Haddad under house arrest and prepared to block the UNIFIL occupation. Francis Rizik, a militia spokesman, explained why.
The militiamen claim UNIFIL forces will not prevent infiltration of Palestinian guerrillas into South Lebanon, and fear the occupation will result in a call for disarmament. When the Israelis withdrew last Tuesday (13 June) they handed over control of the area to Major Haddad -- then in command of both the Lebanese army and the militia. The Lebanese Government said UNIFIL was the only legal peace-keeping force in the area and ordered all right-wing forces to withdraw.