Annan: UN force won't 'wage war' in Lebanon

Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to UN member states to provide desperately needed UN peacekeeping troops for Lebanon and assured them the UN force would not "wage war" on Israel, Lebanon or Hizbullah. "It is not expected to achieve by force what must be realized through negotiation and an internal Lebanese consensus," Annan said in a report to the UN Security Council on implementation of the Aug. 11 resolution calling for an end to the Israeli-Hizbullah conflict. A key concern of many countries is whether the UN force will be called on to disarm Hizbullah fighters, as called for in a September 2004 UN resolution. They want to study the rules of engagement and concept of operations for the force, which were distributed Friday, before making a decision on troops. Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown said countries needed to understand that the force would not be offensive. "It's not going to go in there and attempt large-scale disarmament," he said. He appealed to European countries to contribute troops to an expanded UN force to balance the commitments from Muslim countries so that both Israel and Lebanon will view the troops as legitimate.