segunda-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2011

UNIFIL Maritime Task Force

UNIFIL Maritime Task Force

UNIFIL Maritime Task Force (MTF), deployed since October 2006, supports the Lebanese Navy in monitoring its territorial waters, securing the Lebanese coastline and preventing the unauthorized entry of arms or related material by sea into Lebanon.
Currently, the MTF is commanded by Italy. 
The Maritime Task Force was deployed on the request of the Lebanese government within the mandate of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701 (2006). The operational control of MTF has been delegated by UNIFIL Force Commander to the MTF Commander.
This is the first Naval Task Force ever to take part in a United Nations peacekeeping mission. The deployment of MTF after the conflict of July-August 2006 was a landmark move that prompted Israel to lift its naval blockade of Lebanon..
Following the conflict, an Interim Maritime Task Force was deployed until 15 October 2006, when the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force led by Germany took over. On 29 February 2008, Germany handed over command of UNIFIL Maritime Task Force to the European Maritime Force (EUROMARFOR) led by Italy. 
Under this arrangement it was for the first time that EUROMARFOR - a Maritime Multinational Force formed in 1995 by France, Italy, Portugal and Spain to carry out naval, air and amphibious operations - operated under a United Nations mandate. The EUROMARFOR held command of UNIFIL MTF for one year, first under Italy's lead (29 February - 31 August 2008) and then under France (1 September 2008 - 28 February 2009).

On 1 March 2009, France/EUROMARFOR handed over the command of MTF to Belgium. On 30 May, Belgium handed over the command of MTF to Italy. Italy transferred MTF authority to Germany on 31 August, and Italy assumed command again on 01 December. 
A total of 13 countries have contributed naval units to the MTF: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

Currently the force consists of the following vessels: Germany (3 ships), Greece (1 ship), Italy (1 ship) and Turkey (1 ship).
Since the start of its operations, the MTF has hailed around 28,000 ships and referred around 400 suspicious vessels to the Lebanese authorities for further inspection.

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