Srebbine, 15 June 2022 (TDI): The inauguration of the European Union (EU)-funded Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Model Regiment HQ took place on the 13th of June 2022 in the town of Srebbine, south of Lebanon.

Inauguration of the LAF Model Regiment HQ

The inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of LAF Chief of Staff Major General, Amin El Erem, representing General Joseph Aoun, Commander in Chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces also, Major General, Aroldo Lázaro, Force commander of the UNIFIL, Ambassador of the EU to Lebanon, Ralph Tarraf, French Ambassador to Lebanon, Anne Grillo and Deputy CEO in charge of operations of Expertise France, Rima Le Coguic .

The Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon and Expertise France proudly announced the inauguration of the Headquarters of the LAF Model Regiment in Srebbine.

France acted with its partners namely, the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and Expertise France to consolidate the authority of the Lebanese State south of the Litani and to strengthen its army, a pillar of the sovereignty and stability of the Lebanese.

Goal of the project:

As funded by the European Union for a sum of 6 million euros, the project aims to improve the stability and security of Lebanon. Through strengthening the capabilities of the LAF to deploy in the south of the country.

More to this, Expertise France, the French public agency for international technical assistance, was chosen to implement the project between October 2019 and June 2022.

In line with United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701 and due to UNSCR 2373, Lebanon committed itself in 2017 to increase the presence of the State in the South. It also committed to gradually take over responsibilities from United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL).

To achieve this, Lebanon established a new infantry unit, the ’Model Regiment’. Which will be deployed in the UNIFIL area of operations. So that Lebanon increases its joint patrolling of the area with the UNIFIL.

The Model Regiment Headquarters includes all functions and services required by the Lebanese Armed Forces. Thus, in relation to command, operations, accommodation, and logistics on around 6000 built square meters.

Remarks by Officials

Tarraf pointed out that the project shows the EU’s commitment. Especially in building and reinforcing the capabilities of Lebanese state institutions, including the LAF.

In addition, Grillo said that restoring the LAF’s operational readiness, specifically in the strategic area of the South, is important. She mentioned France’s dedication to supporting the LAF in its capability-building process during difficult times.

Le Coguic expressed her satisfaction with the positive outcome of this first cooperation between Expertise France and LAF.

Thus despite the difficult implementation conditions resulting from the pandemic as well as the economic crisis.

Likewise, Major General El Erem conveyed General Joseph Aoun’s gratitude and appreciation to all international partners. He specially thanked France and the EU, for placing their trust in the Lebanese Army. That is, to assist in advancing the implementation of UN Resolution 1701 with the steady support of the UNIFIL.