A few days after the conclusion of the tripartite forum chaired by high representatives of the Lebanese and Israeli armed forces at the UN post in Ras Naqoura, Major General Stefano Del Col, head of mission and commander of the United Nations interposition force in South Lebanon , met the "blue helmets" of Sector West of Unifil, the multinational contingent based on the “Sassari” brigade.
"The consolidated success of the Unifil mission is due to the dedication, sacrifice, sense of duty and responsibility of each of you"General Del Col began in his greeting address to the "peacekeepers" deployed in the "Millevoi" base in Shama. Referring to the "fragile calm" that reigns in the area under its jurisdiction "Considering the delicate political, economic and social context that risks worsening given the ongoing health emergency", Del Col underlined the delicate commitment of the soldiers of the Italian-led contingent, called to guarantee, with impartiality and transparency, compliance with resolution 1701 and subsequent ones of the United Nations Security Council.
Referring to the difficult years of the civil war and the disastrous conflict that bloodied Lebanon in 2006, the commander of Unifil did not hesitate to define the progress of the mission in the "Land of Cedars" as "extraordinary" and urged the "peacekeepers" to “Continue to guarantee the stability of the area by maintaining the cessation of hostilities, supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces and seeking the unanimous consent of the local population, through the implementation of civil-military cooperation projects.
As for the distinctive features of the mission, the general stressed the importance of the latest resolution of the UN Security Council, 2539 of last August 28, which renewed the mandate of Unifil for another year and cast the foundations for further synergy between the mission and the parties towards the mandate objectives. "We are ready to help and continue to provide all assistance and support to the Lebanese people, even following the tragic explosion in the port of Beirut on 4 August", concluded General Del Col, who praised the responsiveness of Unifil and Sector West. In fact, from the very first hours following the explosion, a convoy of the Italian contingent, in coordination with the Operational Command of the Joint Chiefs of Defense Staff, entered Beirut to evacuate the wounded by land and extract the national and military personnel. UN from the rubble.
The visit of thehead of mission e force commander was the occasion to inaugurate the Unifil emblem drawn at the entrance to the headquarters of Sector West, depicting the UN symbol, surmounted by the Italian and Lebanese national flags, with the words “All together!” at the base, as a spur to work together for peace. Major General Stefano Del Col, fourth Italian in charge and commander of Unifil, one of the most important United Nations missions with over 10.000 men on the ground, was welcomed on his arrival by Brigadier General Andrea Di Stasio, under whose command 3.800 “blue helmets” (1.000 Italians) operate from 16 of the 45 contributing countries to the peacekeeping mission established in 1978.