Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

France

France to reduce Lebanon presence by 400 troops

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-13

France plans to reduce its UN peacekeeping presence in southern Lebanon by nearly a third in bringing 400 troops home, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, following a strategic review of France's mission in the country.

AFP - France is to reduce the strength of its UN peacekeeping contingent in southern Lebanon by 400, just under a third of its troops there, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

A statement from the ministry said the decision had been taken in agreement with the United Nations and with Lebanon following a strategic review of the mission of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters the French force would be reduced to around 1,000 troops. UNIFIL as a whole has around 12,000 soldiers from 35 countries and is led by a large Italian contingent.

The force was created in 1978 to help Lebanon restore government control over southern Lebanon after an Israeli invasion, and it was beefed up in 2006 after the latest fighting between the Hezbollah militia and Israel.

Some 293 peacekeepers have died since UNIFIL was first deployed.

In August last year the UN Security Council asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to review UNIFIL's strategy, and his report was recently presented to member states, five years after the last border conflict.

France said it supports the conclusions of the review, which it said called for the UN force to become "lighter but more effective" and to accelerate the handover of responsibility for security to the Lebanese army.

"France reiterates its full support for the essential role of UNIFIL in support of the stability, independence and territorial integrity of Lebanon," Valero said, in his statement.

While Lebanon's southern frontier with Israel has been relatively peaceful in recent months, tensions are running high in the region because of the year-old revolt in Syria and the bloody crackdown against rebels.

There are also fears that any conflict between Israel and Iran could trigger renewed attacks by Hezbollah, a Shiite movement sponsored by Tehran.
 

Date created : 2012-03-13

  • LEBANON

    French soldiers face tough task in Lebanon

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    Hezbollah denies role in French peacekeeper attack

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    French soldiers targeted in Lebanon blast

    Read more

COMMENT(S)