First Published: 2011-04-21


UN warns Lebanon 'militias' threaten stability


Ban expresses his concern about recent security incidents in Lebanon, urges formal border delineation with Syria.


Middle East Online

Hezbollah is the only Lebanese group that did not disarm after Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war

BEIRUT - The United Nations warned on Wednesday that the presence of militias in Lebanon continues to threaten security in the country as well as the region, urging a formal border delineation with Syria.

"The delineation of the Syrian-Lebanese border ... has not yet taken place," read a UN report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which was adopted in 2004 and calls for "the disbanding and disarmament" of all factions in Lebanon.

"More importantly, the existence and activities of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia continue to pose a threat to the stability of the country and the region," the report added.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in the report he was concerned by recent security incidents in Lebanon, including the explosion last month of a small bomb in a church in the eastern town of Zahle.

"These occurrences confirm yet again the possession of lethal weapons by non-state actors," he said.

Hezbollah is the only Lebanese group that did not disarm after Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, arguing that its weapons are necessary to fight Israel.

The Shiite militant party has repeatedly warned Lebanese leaders that its arms are not open to discussion.

Hezbollah fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006 during which it fired more than 4,000 rockets on the Jewish state.

Israel estimates that Hezbollah has since stockpiled more than 40,000 rockets, some of which could reach major Israeli population centres.

Palestinian factions inside refugee camps across the country, which are off-limits to the Lebanese army, are also armed.

Ban said UN Security Council member states had provided information on weapons-smuggling across Lebanon's porous northern border with Syria, which, along with Iran, is a major backer of Hezbollah.

The UN could not independently verify the reports.

Ban said Lebanon's failure to delineate a formal border with Syria was largely due to the governmental and budgetary deadlock in Lebanon.

"Government officials in Lebanon have acknowledged the porous nature of the border and the possibility that arms smuggling occurs and over the past three years, and have taken limited steps to confront the issue," he said.

Saad Hariri's unity government collapsed on January 12 when Hezbollah and its allies pulled their ministers from the cabinet in a feud over the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

The Netherlands-based court is tasked with investigating the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father, ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, and is widely expected to indict Hezbollah figures in the killing.


UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Moroccoís Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessorís populism

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria