The disengagement of the Egyptian and Israeli armies in the Sinai Desert is now complete.?
The disengagement of the Egyptian and Israeli armies in the Sinai Desert is now complete. On Thursday (7 March) the U.N. Emergency Force Commander, General Ensio Siilasvuo invited newsmen to inspect the buffer zone separating the two armies. Two days before, the U.N. forces had occupied a broad strip of territory stretching eighteen miles back from the Suez Canal, as laid down in the Israeli-Egyptian agreement of 18 January.
For the moment U.N. patrols in the zone are limited to the roads while Polish U.N. troops, helped by Egyptian flail tanks, clear the thousands of mines left by the Israelis.
General Siilasvuo told reporters that the Chiefs of Staff of the Egyptian and Israeli armies had signed a disengagement plan based on the January 18 agreement. Now, he said, breaches of the ceasefire were practically impossible. Neither side could reach the other with small arms fire. The two armies are now limited to seven thousand men and thirty tanks each. Between them are the two thousand men of the U.N. force.
This film includes a statement by General Siilvasvuo. A transcript is given below: