• Short Summary

    In shout Lebanon, the movement of United Nations (UNIFIL) troops into the region occupied by Israeli forces until last week, is being prevented by right-wing Christian militia.

  • Description

    LV & SV Militia troops in armoured vehicles approaching the border (2 shots)

    SCU Troops standing near border gate

    CU Masked militia troops holding protest banner whilst other masked troops watch standing on armoured vehicles (3 shots)

    SCU Spokesman for militia, Francis Rizik, speaking in English

    GV Troops board armoured vehicles and drive away firing guns in the air (5 shots)

    TRANSCRIPT: FRANCIS RIZIK: "If UNIFIL will insist on entering our areas, contrary to the agreement between General Erskine and the two Lebanese Majors Haddad and Shidiak, we shall fight them for every piece of land, every house and every village. In our ranks serve Christians, Druze and Moslems. We consider ourselves the masters of the area from the Arkoub to the sea and we operate under the roof of the Lebanese Front. We warn the U.N. not to interfere with our intern Lebanese problems and we warn them that we shall fight till the last drop of blood. And we advise the U.N. to concentrate their efforts on keeping the P.L.O. away from our areas and the whole of Lebanon."

    Reuters News Agency reports that Major Haddad has been released from house arrest, but is no longer in control of the right-wing Christian militia, who number about 800.

    Initials BB/1735

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In shout Lebanon, the movement of United Nations (UNIFIL) troops into the region occupied by Israeli forces until last week, is being prevented by right-wing Christian militia. The militiamen are ignoring orders from the Lebanese government and local Lebanese army commanders to co-operate with the UNIFIL forces, and have established road-blocks and military positions throughout the area near the Lebanese-Israeli border. The UNIFIL troops, under the command of General Erskine, supervised last week's Israeli withdrawal after their two-month occupation. The Israelis invaded south Lebanon in March to attack Palestinian guerrilla bases in the area.

    SYNOPSIS: By Sunday (18 June), Christian militia forces were patrolling the border near the town of Metulla. The force is drawn from Falangist group sand other extreme right-wing organisations which until this week had supported the official right-wing Lebanese army. Major saad Haddad, Commander of the rightish forces in south Lebanon called on the militiamen to remain in their barracks and allow UNIFIL troops to enter the region. But they immediately placed Major Haddad under house arrest and prepared to block the UNIFIL occupation. Francis Rizik, a militia spokesman, explained why.

    The militiamen claim UNIFIL forces will not prevent infiltration of Palestinian guerrillas into South Lebanon, and fear the occupation will result in a call for disarmament. When the Israelis withdrew last Tuesday (13 June) they handed over control of the area to Major Haddad -- then in command of both the Lebanese army and the militia. The Lebanese Government said UNIFIL was the only legal peace-keeping force in the area and ordered all right-wing forces to withdraw.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
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    Available on request
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