In Southern Lebanon, three hundred Ghanian troops are joining the United Nations force to help cope with the heavy pressure in the Beit Yahoun-Tibnin area.
In Southern Lebanon, three hundred Ghanian troops are joining the United Nations force to help cope with the heavy pressure in the Beit Yahoun-Tibnin area. Ten United Nations soldiers died in one week in this area in August and the fragile cease-fire established at the end of the month was shattered last Thursday (6 September) when fighting broke out between Israeli backed militiamen and Lebanese leftist forces.
SYNOPSIS: An advance contingent of sixty-five soldiers arrived in the area on Saturday (8 September). The rest of the unit which is coming from Sinai where it has been serving with the United Nations Emergency Force is due to take up position next Saturday (15 September). United Nations forces in the area have been under heavy bombardment from the rightist militias of Lebanese Army Major, Saad Haddad, and Lebanese leftist guerrillas.
The Ghanaians--led by Major Dassan Nantogmah--will be taking over the much raided villages of Majdel Silm and Shaqra from the Irish unit enabling the Irish to concentrate their 620 men in a much smaller area and to supervise it more efficiently. The Irish contingent commemorated its 90th day of service in southern Lebanon last Thursday (6 September). At the ceremony, United Nations Commander General, Alexandre Erskine, stressed that negotiation was the only way for the force to establish authority in the area-and called for co-operation from all the parties concerned.
Earlier, General Erskine had warned that if the situation in Southern Lebanon did not improve the United Nations troop contributing countries might well feel compelled to withdraw their soldiers. Both Lebanese leftists and Palestinians have recently been stepping up their infiltration of the area. Israel has always maintained it is not a party to any cease-fires, since its forces do not control those of Major Haddad-although they support him. General Erskine is hoping the United Nations Security Council will increase his allocation of troops when reviewing the mandate in December.