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U.N. commander: Won't disarm Hezbollah
AP on Yahoo ^ | 9/18/06 | Henry Meyer - ap

Posted on 09/18/2006 6:38:12 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

BEIRUT, Lebanon - The French general commanding U.N. peacekeeping forces in Lebanon said Monday his troops would not intervene to disarm Hezbollah, even as French President Jacques Chirac said the militant group should not keep a military wing.

Maj. Gen. Alain Pelligrini told reporters the main task of his U.N. force is to ensure southern Lebanon cannot be used as a base for attacks on Israel.

"The disarmament of Hezbollah is not the business of UNIFIL. This is a strictly Lebanese affair, which should be resolved at a national level," he said.

Pelligrini's assessment underscored the constraints facing the beefed-up U.N. mission despite a tougher mandate and far greater manpower.

It came as French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie visited hundreds of her country's soldiers about to deploy to southern Lebanon, where they will join the U.N. force that is to maintain the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.

In Paris, Chirac said it was important for the Lebanese government to assert control over its entire territory.

"It is totally normal there be a wing that expresses politically what the Hezbollah think .... What is questionable, is to express this by force, by armed militias," the French leader said in an interview on Europe-1 radio.

U.N. peacekeepers for the first time began checking security measures Monday on Lebanon's border with Syria, part of efforts to help the Lebanese army in monitoring sea and land borders to prevent arms shipments to Hezbollah.

The bulk of the 15,000-strong U.N. force is deploying in the south, and France — contributing the second-largest contingent of 2,000 soldiers — will command it until early next year, when Italy is to take over.

The U.N. cease-fire resolution that ended the 34-day war Aug. 14 stipulated Hezbollah eventually be disarmed, and Chirac said he wanted to see the resolution implemented "without reservations."

But in practice, neither the Lebanese army nor U.N. soldiers want to provoke a confrontation with the well-trained guerrillas in their southern heartland.

Along with the U.N. troops, who currently number 5,000, Lebanon's army is deploying 15,000 soldiers in the southern area that borders Israel.

"Our mission is to have a zone between the Blue Line and the Litani (River) where there is no illegal army and from which you cannot launch hostile acts," Pelligrini said, referring to the area between the U.N.-demarcated border with Israel and the river.

Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, said in an interview last week that Israel's monthlong offensive had failed to dismantle Hezbollah and boasted that his armed guerrillas were still in the towns and villages near the Israeli border.

Hezbollah fighters, who have controlled parts of southern Lebanon for years, are believed to be lying low and blending in with the local population — as they did before the war.

The weak central government in Lebanon has vowed to re-establish its authority over the Hezbollah stronghold in the south. But Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora has also made clear the Lebanese troops would not actively hunt for hidden Hezbollah arsenals.

Alliot-Marie told the French soldiers at a temporary base housing them in Beirut that they would be carrying out a mission "whose difficulties and risks I am aware of."

But she said their robust mandate and heavy armor, which includes Leclerc tanks, sophisticated Cobra radar systems and 155 mm howitzers, would deter aggression.

"To avoid clashes sometimes you have to dissuade (the other side) by demonstrating you are stronger," the minister said.

Some 900 French soldiers who have been staying in Beirut are to begin moving Tuesday to a base in Deir Kifa, east of the port of Tyre. The French deployment to southern Lebanon will take about a week; the first convoy will consist of 150 soldiers and four tanks.

China, meanwhile, said it will increase its peacekeeping force in Lebanon to 1,000.

More than 1,000 people died in the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel, most of them Lebanese civilians.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: colormeshocked; commander; disarm; hezbollah; unitednations

French U.N. peacekeepers in an armored personnel carrier passing a banner reading :'The grains of soil dance under your feet' patrols on a road of the southern village of Alma Chaab, Lebanon, Monday, Sept. 18, 2006. French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie who arrived to Beirut late Sunday reaffirmed France's support for the Lebanese government following a monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas. Major-General Alain Pelligrini, the commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon said Monday that his troops will not try to disarm Hezbollah, saying that was a matter for the Lebanese government. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)


1 posted on 09/18/2006 6:38:14 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

French U.N. peacekeepers in an armored personnel carrier pass a billboard showing Iran's late leader Ayatollah Khomeini as they patrol a road in the southern village of Alma Chaab, Lebanon, Monday, Sept. 18, 2006. French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie who arrived to Beirut late Sunday reaffirmed France's support for the Lebanese government following a monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas. Major-General Alain Pelligrini, the commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon said Monday that his troops will not try to disarm Hezbollah, saying that was a matter for the Lebanese government. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)


2 posted on 09/18/2006 6:39:29 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

A Lebanese soldier, right, and a soldier from France's Foreign Legion, right, hold a ribbon to be cut by France's Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Murr, both unseen, during the official ceremony to open a bridge on the highway by the coastal town of Naameh, south of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Sept. 18, 2006, reconstructed by soldiers from France's Foreign Legion to replace an old bridge that was destroyed following an Israeli forces' attack during the 34-day long Hezbollah-Israel war. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)


3 posted on 09/18/2006 6:40:29 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

Can you say...Tower of Jello? Worthless as boobs on a boar hog. Ban the UN.


4 posted on 09/18/2006 6:40:54 PM PDT by shankbear (Al-Qaeda grew while Monica blew)
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To: NormsRevenge
UNbelievable!
5 posted on 09/18/2006 6:42:18 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: NormsRevenge

Hey, he's French - the question isn't whether he'll disarm Hezbollah, the question is whether he'll surrender to Hezbollah.


6 posted on 09/18/2006 6:46:10 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Paleo Conservative
So much for UN Resolution 1559 and the disarming of armed militia in Lebanon..
7 posted on 09/18/2006 6:47:24 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

Sounds like the Hezbos have spooked the Frenchy "commander."


8 posted on 09/18/2006 6:48:17 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (You can't defeat your enemy unless you are willing to get down in the mud with him.)
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To: All

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/lebanon/res1559.htm

RESOLUTION 1559 (2004)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 5028th meeting, on 2 September 2004

The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) of 19 March 1978, resolution 520 (1982) of 17 September 1982, and resolution 1553 (2004) of 29 July 2004 as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statement of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21),

Reiterating its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders,

Noting the determination of Lebanon to ensure the withdrawal of all non- Lebanese forces from Lebanon,

Gravely concerned at the continued presence of armed militias in Lebanon, which prevent the Lebanese Government from exercising its full sovereignty over all Lebanese territory,

Reaffirming the importance of the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory,

Mindful of the upcoming Lebanese presidential elections and underlining the importance of free and fair elections according to Lebanese constitutional rules devised without foreign interference or influence,


Reaffirms its call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout Lebanon;

Calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon;

Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non- Lebanese militias;

Supports the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory;

Declares its support for a free and fair electoral process in Lebanon’s upcoming presidential election conducted according to Lebanese constitutional rules devised without foreign interference or influence;

Calls upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully and urgently with the Security Council for the full implementation of this and all relevant resolutions concerning the restoration of the territorial integrity, full sovereignty, and political independence of Lebanon;

Requests that the Secretary-General report to the Security Council within thirty days on the implementation by the parties of this resolution and decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


9 posted on 09/18/2006 6:48:50 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

"Surpise, Surprise, Surprise"


10 posted on 09/18/2006 6:49:45 PM PDT by P.O.E.
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To: NormsRevenge

"To avoid clashes sometimes you have to dissuade (the other side) by demonstrating you are stronger," the minister said.



While they talk tough, the French just can't get that swish out of their walk.


11 posted on 09/18/2006 6:54:02 PM PDT by crazyhorse691 (Diplomacy doesn't work when seagulls rain on your parade. A shotgun and umbrella does.)
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To: NormsRevenge

UN Commander: We are useless


12 posted on 09/18/2006 6:55:27 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (Mark 5:9)
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To: NormsRevenge

Really diggin' how the Lebanese flag is over the French flag.


13 posted on 09/18/2006 6:56:06 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (Mark 5:9)
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To: NormsRevenge

Won't disarm Hezb'allah? CAN'T!


14 posted on 09/18/2006 6:58:48 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: NormsRevenge
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The French general commanding U.N. peacekeeping forces in Lebanon said Monday his troops would not intervene to disarm Hezbollah,

At least they're consistent in their cowardice. They said this a month a go.

15 posted on 09/18/2006 7:08:34 PM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: Right Wing Assault
Won't disarm Hezb'allah? CAN'T!

Completely correct. The reality of the situation - the balance of forces - do not allow it.

16 posted on 09/18/2006 7:09:38 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: NormsRevenge

Time to settle down to what seems to have become the usual work of UN peacekeeping forces: sex with underage children.


17 posted on 09/18/2006 7:11:19 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: NormsRevenge
The best part of the French gene pool emigrated to Canada. The second best was lost in the First World War. The third best was lost in the Second World War. The remainder of the gene pool isn't worth spit!

France and Europe are lost forever.

18 posted on 09/18/2006 7:16:29 PM PDT by Redleg Duke (ˇSalga de los Estados Unidos de América, invasor!)
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To: Jack Hammer
To my (unfortunately not complete) knowledge, the only people the French have disarmed in history are: 1) the citizenry, 2) on occasion, their own military.

Contrary views welcome, of course.

19 posted on 09/18/2006 7:18:40 PM PDT by SAJ (debunking myths about markets and prices on FR since 2001)
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To: NormsRevenge

They might as well stay at home.


20 posted on 09/18/2006 7:19:17 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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To: NormsRevenge

The UN forces are just going to be in the way when the Israelis need to clean up again.


21 posted on 09/18/2006 7:22:56 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: NormsRevenge
"The French general commanding U.N. peacekeeping forces in Lebanon said Monday his troops would not intervene to disarm Hezbollah"

Please. As if the frogs could do it if they wanted to. The terrorists would have to throw their weapons at them as they retreat out of town.
22 posted on 09/18/2006 7:26:50 PM PDT by ryan71
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To: NormsRevenge

A hell of a lot of words to say: "We Surrender!"


23 posted on 09/18/2006 7:40:54 PM PDT by Natty Bumppo@frontier.net (The facts of life are conservative -- Margaret Thatcher)
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To: NormsRevenge
The French general commanding U.N. peacekeeping forces in Lebanon

I stopped reading there.

24 posted on 09/18/2006 7:56:17 PM PDT by gotribe (It's not a religion.)
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To: gotribe

I wouldn't trust the UN and a french peace keeping force to disarm a boy scout troop.


25 posted on 09/18/2006 8:57:45 PM PDT by jakerobins
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To: NormsRevenge
Sounds like another chapter of the UN version of the Keystone Kops.
26 posted on 09/18/2006 8:59:39 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: FreedomPoster
The UN forces are just going to be in the way when the Israelis need to clean up again.

They'll just hunker down behind the hezzies, like they did last time. Those who don't beat feet for the airport, that is. Guaranteed, the last thing any UN "troops" want is to get mixed up in a real fight.

27 posted on 09/18/2006 9:03:38 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: NormsRevenge

Nasrallah should be terminated by any means necessary.


28 posted on 09/18/2006 9:38:25 PM PDT by PGalt (Civilization for Dummies 1.0)
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To: Jack Hammer


"Hey, he's French - the question isn't whether he'll disarm Hezbollah, the question is whether he'll surrender to Hezbollah."

Actually the question isn't whether he will surrender to Hizbullah but when will he surrender to Hizbullah.


29 posted on 09/19/2006 12:08:48 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz ("For seven million extra, we could have avoided a billion dollar WOT.")
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To: NormsRevenge
"U.N. commander: Won't disarm Hezbollah"

In other news, the sky is blue, bears poop in the woods, water is wet, Hillary is ugly, and the mohammedans are still mad at Pope Benedict XVI.
30 posted on 09/19/2006 9:38:37 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (Regarding islam: Osculate meas Sanctas Romanas nates (with thanks to Alouette for translation))
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