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.


Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali

Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border at any moment

Tunisian couple jailed for 'public indecency' over car kiss

Next round of Syria talks at end October

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe