UNIFIL – Peacekeepers in the Line of Fire - Conflict & Intl. Politics

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UNIFIL Deployment 2007. Source: UN website

August 7, 2007
By Timur Göksel

Since October 2006, a beefed up UN force of some 15,000, including a naval force led by Germany, has deployed in Southern Lebanon to prevent new hostilities between Hizbullah and Israel, and to assist the Lebanese government in establishing its authority over the border region. But can the ‘new’ UNIFIL really make a difference, and be more effective than its predecessor? Timur Göksel, spokesperson for UNIFIL for more than 20 years, attempts an assessment.

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About the Author

Timur Göksel joined the United Nations in 1968 and was assigned as Press Information Officer/Spokesman to UNIFIL in 1979, where he served for 24 years and became Senior Adviser in 1995. Göksel’s extensive experience on the ground has made him into an expert on the inner workings of UN peacekeeping in general, and an authority on South Lebanon in particular. Since his retirement in 2003, Göksel continues to lecture on theory and practice of peacekeeping at the demand of international organizations. He teaches international politics with a special focus on the UN at a variety of Lebanese Universities.