The Dutch contribution to United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon
The first 6 of the 18 Dutch observers left in the middle of June 1958. In addition to the observers, the Netherlands also supplied a Royal Netherlands Navy medical officer for the UN.
The work of the Dutch observers mainly involved conducting patrols in the Syrian-Lebanese border region and along the borders of the areas controlled by the warring parties. UNOGIL set up sector headquarters in 5 places throughout the country – Sidon, Marjayoûn, Chtaura, Baalbek and Tripoli.
From where 14 smaller locations and 30 observation posts were directed. Working at the headquarters were observers who investigated complaints from the parties. The headquarters also had an evaluation team which had to analyse incoming information.
Access to border areas
The operation was laborious at first. Only in mid-July did UNOGIL gain access to all the border areas. The observers were also given permission to search all vehicles and cargo entering the country via the northern border. Between 26 November and 9 December 1958, UNOGIL was withdrawn in 3 phases.