Throughout this morning, at the 'Miguel de Cervantes' Base, near the town of Marjayoun, the ceremony of transfer of authority between the BRILIB XXXVIII and BRILIB XXXIX contingents has been held, bringing to an end the change of command of the Eastern Sector of UNIFIL.
The ceremony was presided over by the Head of Mission and Force Commander, Spanish Major General Aroldo Lazaro Saez, in the presence of the Spanish Ambassador to Lebanon, Jesus Ignacio Santos Aguado, the Assistant General for Operations of the Operations Command, Brigadier General Carlos Prada Larrea, as well as various Lebanese civilian, religious and military authorities.
As is customary, the transfer of responsibility for the mission was symbolised by the handing over of the Operation "Libre Hidalgo" manual/script between Brigadier General Melchor Marín Elvira and Brigadier General Luis Jesus Fernandez Herrero, who will assume command of the Eastern Sector for the next six months.
This is the fourth UNIFIL deployment for General Herrero, who had already assumed command of Sector East in 2020. In his speech, the General thanked General Marin and his contingent for the work carried out during their deployment and stressed Spain's commitment to the United Nations and to the Lebanese people. He also expressed his intention to continue the excellent relationship and collaboration with the Lebanese Armed Forces to maintain the implementation of UN Resolution 1701 as well as subsequent resolutions, and especially to support the Lebanese population, being fully aware of the key role that the civilian administration and the religious authorities play in society. Finally, the new Head of Sector East recalled the members of UNIFIL who have lost their lives in the pursuit of the noble ideal of spreading peace with their efforts and their lives.
The "Almogávares" VI Parachute Brigade, which provides the bulk of the Spanish contingent, is leading UNIFIL Sector East for the fifth time following its previous deployments in 2007, 2010, 2016 and 2020.