Irish Peacekeeping in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) A Historical, Political, and Socio-Cultural Study | Ifi Research Study
Research Study | June 2013
Irish Peacekeeping in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) A Historical, Political, and Socio-Cultural Study by Rita Sakr
This study explores Irish peacekeeping within UNIFIL, since 1978 through the expanded UNIFIL after its formation in the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon war, from historical, social, political, and cultural perspectives. The methodological approach relies mainly on interviews with a number of retired and active members of the Irish Defence Forces, academics, and journalists as well as primary and secondary sources including military archives. Among other areas that are examined, this paper focuses particularly on the centrality of humanitarian assistance and civilian protection to the Irish battalions’ commitment to the mission in South Lebanon; the multiple, complex facets of Irish “neutrality” in the context of peacekeeping in the conflict-ridden Middle East as well as participation in NATO Partnership for Peace and European Union Military Staff; and the hugely significant history of peacekeepers’ training, especially through the internationally active UN Training School in Ireland together with the evolving parameters of involvement in the expanded UNIFIL after its formation in 2006 wherein civil-military coordination mechanisms play an important part.