The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon on Thursday commemorated the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, a UNIFIL statement said.
At UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura, peacekeepers representing 31 different national contingents of UNIFIL were joined by local authorities as well as by Lebanese army officers, security forces and diplomatic representatives.
UNFIL described this year's commemoration as "especially somber," given the heavy loss of peacekeepers in the past 14 months with 96 killed in the Haiti earthquake alone.
UNIFIL Force Commander Maj. Gen. Alberto Asarta Cuevas and Maj. Gen. Abul-Rahman Shehaitly representing Lebanese army Commander laid wreaths at the UNIFIL Cenotaph in honor of the peacekeepers who lost their lives in the service of peace, said the U.N. statement.
It said that since the mission's establishment in 1978, there have been 286 fatalities of peacekeepers serving with UNIFIL.
"I think that this commemoration is also an appropriate occasion to reiterate our determination to make every effort to contribute to the achievement of peace and stability in southern Lebanon," Asarta said at the ceremony.
"Today as ever, we in UNIFIL remain firmly committed to the implementation of our mandated tasks, in support of the people of South Lebanon and in close cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces," he added.
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/2|