Lebanon: A UNIFIL soldier’s condition has stabilized – and the Lebanese Prime Minister visits UNIFIL headquarters

United nations

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the permanent headquarters that UNIFIL Irish peacekeeper Sean Kearny, who suffered serious head injuries during an incident he had with his colleagues in Al-Akabiya, southern Lebanon, has undergone surgery in Sidon and is in critical condition. but stable.

On the 14th of December, Irish soldier Shane Kearney and his colleagues were involved in an accident while they were on their way to the capital, Beirut. Shots were fired at one of the two vehicles carrying eight soldiers. Unfortunately, the 23-year-old Irish soldier, Sean Rooney, lost his life. Kearney was badly wounded. While two others sustained minor injuries.

According to what was said by Mr. Dujarric today, Friday, in addition to Private Kearney, who underwent surgery, the other two soldiers were also treated for their injuries.

A UN spokesperson told reporters at the permanent headquarters that UNIFIL is conducting an investigation, “and we need to wait until it is completed before providing more information on this incident.”

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati visits UNIFIL headquarters

On the other hand, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, the Lebanese Army Commander, and a delegation from Parliament visited the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today (December 16) to offer condolences for the killing of Irish peacekeeper Sean Rooney, wishing recovery for his three colleagues. .

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in a statement to the press following the visit: “The Lebanese Army Commander and I wanted to make this visit in order to express our grief and solidarity with the international forces present in the south. I expressed to the UNIFIL Force Commander our deep sorrow and our commitment to support these international forces in the south. We also adhere to UN Security Council Resolution 1701.”

Mikati described what happened as “very unfortunate,” noting that this incident not only affected the international forces and the Irish forces, but also affected Lebanon, “because the blood of [the Irish

soldier] merged with the blood of those who preceded him from the international forces and the Lebanese army in order to maintain security and stability in South Lebanon”.

Mikati spoke with the UNIFIL Commander about the general situation and confirmed that the environment in the south is a good one that feels that the international forces are present in order to take care of stability and peace in the region.

He said that the people of the region and the international forces deal as if they are members of one family, “and this is what the UNIFIL commander was keen to say, “We all know very well the suffering of the people of the south, and we [UNIFIL] are trying to help as much as possible.”

The Prime Minister stressed the full cooperation between the international forces and the Lebanese army in all the missions that they carry out.

UNIFIL Commander, the support of the Lebanese government is appreciated

As for the UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, for his visit today and for the strong solidarity he showed to UNIFIL and the mission’s peacekeepers, he said, ” It is greatly appreciated.”

He also thanked the Lebanese government and authorities, which have been steadfast in their support for UNIFIL.

He particularly thanked the authorities and first responders for acting “quickly” on Wednesday night. He expressed his hope for “their support and cooperation in the future, while UNIFIL investigates what happened.”

He concluded:

“We are all dealing with the horrific event, and we mourn the loss of Irish soldier Sean Rooney, a young soldier who had a bright future ahead of him. We wish Sergeant Shane Kearney, who was seriously injured, a full and speedy recovery, along with his injured colleagues.”

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