Middle East

Claims UNIFIL involved in Beirut Port blast unfounded – spokesperson

Claims that UNIFIL in some way played a role in the Beirut Port explosion in 2020 are unfounded and unsubstantiated, UNIFIL spokesperson Adrea Tenetti told Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency (NNA).

The Lebanese Bar Association alleged that UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force (MTF), which is tasked with securing Lebanon’s maritime border, did not properly check the ship that brought in the explosive materials back in 2013, the BBC reported. 

“The role of UNIFIL’s MTF is to hail ships that are approaching Lebanon and refer any suspicious ships to the Lebanese authorities, who are the ones responsible for carrying out the inspection of those ships independently,” Teneti told NNA. 

“UNIFIL cannot board and conduct physical inspection of any vessel in Lebanese territorial waters unless specifically requested by the Lebanese authorities.

“UNIFIL’s MTF is also not responsible for authorizing entry into Lebanese ports. This again is the sovereign prerogative of the Lebanese authorities. 


A UN peacekeepers (UNIFIL) vehicle drives in Adaisseh village, near the Lebanese-Israeli border, southern Lebanon, August 6, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/AZIZ TAHER)

“As such, after a ship has been referred to the Lebanese authorities, UNIFIL has no involvement unless the Lebanese authorities were to request any further assistance within the scope of UNIFIL’s mandate.”

This is a developing story.

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