The Federal Armed Forces will continue to participate in the peace-keeping mission United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The Federal Cabinet has extended the mandate to the end of June 2023. The German Bundestag has yet to give its approval. The most important questions and answers about the mandate extension.
What is the aim of the operation in Lebanon?
The UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) peace-keeping mission is intended to secure an end to violent conflicts and safeguard peace between Lebanon and Israel in the long term. In order to stabilise peace sustainably in this region, a permanent cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon must be achieved.
Securing peace in the Near East is of key importance not only for Lebanon itself, but also for Germany. The UNIFIL mission is making an important contribution towards this.
Why is the deployment to be extended?
Incidents still occur along the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel. The unresolved questions relating to the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon still harbour potential for conflict.
To date, the Lebanese government has been unable to ensure the security of its own borders alone through its own sovereign authority. Reducing the pressure on the army by deploying UNIFIL forces therefore remains an important element in ensuring the stability of Lebanon. The long-term goal is to enable the Lebanese navy to monitor its maritime borders independently. International and German involvement is intended to improve the capabilities of the Lebanese navy.
The Israeli and Lebanese governments have repeatedly expressed their wish for a continued presence of UNIFIL, as well as for German participation in the maritime component of the mission.
The mandate is to be extended until the end of June 2023.
What is Germany’s specific contribution?
The core task for the German troops in the mission lies in the maritime component of UNIFIL. Monitoring and securing the 225-km-long Lebanese maritime border is central to the stability of the country and the region.
Germany will be contributing to the UNIFIL naval unit with a frigate and also took on leadership of the UNIFIL naval unit in January 2021.
In addition, the Federal Armed Forces provide personnel for the headquarters of UNIFIL and participate in the general nautical and marine technology training of the Lebanese navy.
Up to 300 German soldiers from the Federal Armed Forces can be deployed in total.
The particular focus of the Maritime Task Force is on making the Lebanese security forces permanently capable of carrying out protection and surveillance of the sea and airspace themselves. German troops are therefore also participating in the training of the Lebanese navy. The Federal Armed Forces are also active in helping to secure access for humanitarian aid to the civilian population.
How is the Federal Government supporting Lebanon beyond this?
In Lebanon, the Federal Government is pursuing a connected approach which unites foreign, security and development policy instruments as well as measures for stabilisation and human rights. This comprehensive involvement in the region takes account of the interests of both Lebanon and Israel.
In total, the Federal Government has supported Lebanon with more than 2.5 billion euros since 2012, 888 million of which was for humanitarian aid and 1.7 billion for development cooperation.
What is the legal basis for the deployment of troops?
The participation of German forces is based on Resolution 1701 (2006) and the follow-up resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
In participating in UNIFIL, the German armed forces are acting within and according to the rules of a system of mutual collective security according to Article 24 paragraph 2 of the Basic Law.
In a letter to the United Nations on 6 September 2006 citing Resolution 1701 (2006), the Lebanese government requested, among other things, support in securing its maritime borders.
Information by the Federal Armed Forces on the deployment (in German).