UNITED NATIONS, September 3 (RIA Novosti) - With 45 UN peacekeepers from Fiji, still detained in the Golan Heights, the UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously agreed to a press statement calling for the “immediate and unconditional release” of the peacekeepers.
The Security Council said that the detention was “by a Security Council-designated terrorist organization.” The statement did not mention the Al Nusra Front. It said that “there can never be any justification for attacks on or the detention of UN peacekeepers. The members of the Security Council welcomed news that all Filipino peacekeepers are now safe and they commended the efforts of UNDOF’s [The United Nations Disengagement Forces] Quick Reaction Force.”
In their statement, the members of the Security Council “insisted that UNDOF’s mandate, impartiality, operations, safety, and security must be respected. To this end, they demanded that all groups other than UNDOF must abandon all UNDOF positions and the Quneitra crossing point, and return the peacekeepers’ vehicles, weapons, and other equipment.”
The Security Council concluded with “unconditional support for UNDOF and the vital role it plays in support of stability in the Golan Heights.”
Last week, a group of militants, presumably of a Syrian origin, has captured more than 40 peacekeepers from Fiji and restricted 72 peacekeepers from the Philippines in the disputed region of Golan Heights.
All Filipino peacekeepers, who were trapped by Syrian militants, managed to escape, however 45 peacekeepers from Fiji are still detained.
The United Nations Disengagement Forces (UNDOF) peacekeeping mission on Golan Heights has been monitoring a 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria following the war of 1973.
Currently the mission consists of 1223 troops from Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, Netherlands and the Philippines.