Not to be outdone by the Italians, France has raised its troop commitment to 2,000, hoping to retain its leadership role in the peacekeeping effort in Lebanon. Kofi Annan was initially displeased with Europe’s response to the call for a peacekeeping force.

France, which helped draft the resolution calling for peacekeeping in Lebanon, initially offered only 200 additional troops, calling the force’s mandate vague.

BBC News:

The longer it takes to send in a more robust international force, the greater the chance that fighting could resume, says the BBC’s Chris Morris, in Beirut.

With Hezbollah still firmly established across the border region and in no mood to give up its weapons, there is some scepticism about what an international force can achieve however tough its mandate, he says.

And among Lebanese civilians in the south returning to houses damaged or destroyed, scepticism is mixed with resentment that it took the international community so long to bring the conflict to an end, our correspondent adds.


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