In 2016 I had the opportunity to work with UNIFIL in Lebanon. Those United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon peacekeeping mission supports the Lebanese government in securing the maritime borders and preventing weapons smuggling from the sea.
It began after the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The Maritime Operations Association UNIFIL was the first fleet association under the leadership of the United Nations – German ships and boats have operated in this association from the start. The ships thus contribute to stability and security in the region. Germany is supporting the Lebanese Navy with patrol boats, radar stations, spare parts, computers and a simulator for the naval school that the cadets use to prepare for their duties on board.
German marines have been involved in training Lebanese soldiers for several years. In cooperation with coastal radar stations of the Lebanese navy, the sea area is monitored, cargo ships checked and weapons smuggling prevented. In 2016 the mission was supported by the German corvette “Braunschweig”, which lay off the Lebanese coast and had its temporary home port in Limassol on Cyprus.
The UNIFIL mission in Lebanon exists since 1978. Around 300 German UN blue helmet soldiers are participating in one of the oldest peacekeeping missions of the United Nations.
UNIFIL will continue at least until June 30, 2021.