The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) received a donation of Land Rover spares valued at over £400,000 from the UK’s Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF), the British Ambassador to Lebanon Hamish Cowell announced at a handover ceremony on 30 May.

The donation will support the Land Border Regiments’ Land Rovers reconnoitre capability and aid the LAF in their mission to safeguard the security and stability of Lebanon and its borders. “Land Rover Defender vehicles form the backbone of the LAF’s mobility.” said Ambassador Cowell, adding “Our UK teams with the Army’s leadership will continue to develop servicing, maintenance and equipment care procedures for the vehicles.”

Ambassador Cowell expressed pride in being able to make such a significant contribution to the cause, while stating that the contribution is aimed at enhancing the forces’ resilience and operational readiness as they continue to operate on the frontlines amidst a dire economic crisis.

Land Rovers to patrol Lebanon’s difficult borders

“Since 2010, the UK has committed over £98m, through its Conflict, Stability and Security fund, allowing the LAF to optimise its capabilities, and develop and modernise to become a respected, professional armed forces able to defend Lebanon and provide security along its border with Syria,” Ambassador Cowell said.

Amidst political turmoil in Syria, Lebanon has maintained an open border policy, resulting in a significant burden on its economy and security forces due to the influx of 1 million Syrian refugees. Lebanon’s history is marked by a persistent pattern of sectarian violence, which has been further exacerbated by the ongoing cross-border insurgency.

The LAF also patrols the country’s borders with Israel, known as the Blue Line. Israel, which occupied portions of southern Lebanon for two decades until the year 2000, has fraught relations with the country. The conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, which began in opposition to Israel’s occupation of Lebanon, invites cross-border violence. An additional concern for the LAF is the growth of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and other militia groups in South Lebanon, fostered within the Palestine refugee settlements based in the region.

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By GlobalData

Ambassador Cowell presented the spare parts at a ceremony on Tuesday, accompanied by Brigadier General Johnny Akl, Head of the Logistical Branch, along with Lebanese Army Commander Joseph Aoun and senior Lebanese officers.