BBC: Annan’s ‘Calm Presence’

“The UN post at Naqoura is barely a kilometre from the Israeli border. Beside it is a sleepy fishing harbour used to bring in supplies and reinforcements.The multinational peacekeepers stationed here since 1978 have witnessed a violent succession of conflicts, from the Lebanese civil war to the recent month of intense fighting between Israel and Hezbollah.

A total of 248 peacekeepers have died in that time. Most recently, four were killed when the Israelis shelled their base at Khiam on 25 July. Today their photographs were on display, together with two UN civilian workers who died in Tyre.

At the simple memorial inside the well-kept base, the UN secretary general laid a wreath and inspected a guard of honour mounted by the peacekeepers.

Mr Annan praised members of the peacekeeping force for remaining at their posts throughout the recent fighting, sometimes surviving on just half a bottle of water a day.

They had refused any suggestion that they evacuate their positions, he said, even when the battles were continuing all around them.” Link