Shabaa Farms
By: General Michel Aoun
(Translated by: Elias Bejjani)

CLHRF: General Michel Aoun in a statement issued on May 22/2000 said:
"The People of Lebanon can now witness under the Beirut Government’s reign and the umbrella of their Syrian brothers the most bizarre and irrational acts and stances. To make the people of Lebanon lose focus, Syria, its Lebanese puppet officials and mercenary politicians have been leading them into confusing futile argumentative debates on every issue, trivial or vital, no difference.

In this realm Syria’s regime has alleged few days ago that there is no dispute between brothers (Lebanon and Syrian) on the ownership of land. This statement contradicts the reality of relationship existing between individuals, due to the simple fact that 99% of disputes over land ownership occurs between inheriting siblings. The same reality applies on international disputes between neighboring countries, and Syria is a neighbor and a brother’s country. It is well known for all those involved in the Syrian-Lebanese border affairs, especially the residents of Shabaa themselves who has been occupying their land. They also know very well that Syrian-Lebanese demarcation of the mutual borders is a chronic and on going bitter problem. What has been now unveiled in regards to Syrian occupation to the "Shabaa Farms", also exists in "Dair Al-Ashaier" (Baalbek) region and on the Eastern borders with Syria.

To save peoples’ time, to show respect to the whole world that is dealing at the present time with the Beirut regime (Shabbier State!!!), for the sake of future Syrian-Lebanese relations and because the dispute is now handled internationally, it is a must to address the whole Lebanese-Syrian border dispute openly and ask the UN as well as other concerned international and regional parties to demarcate once and for ever the borders between the two countries. Solving this chronic problem now, would protect and preserve the rights of both countries and minimize the explosive gifts that Syria’s regime might resort to in the midst of the current delicate circumstances.

We have the obligation to thank Syria’s regime for recognizing and admitting Lebanon’s ownership right in the "Shabaa Farms". It should now be again included within Lebanon’s boarders’ line. But at the same time we wonder how much this regime honors Lebanon’s sovereignty after it has massed with mutual borderline and made the whole Lebanon in a bad situation, not much different from the "Shabaa Farms" crisis. It could be extremely assuring and joyful if Syria’s regime would surprises the Lebanese with some good news. For example, instead of giving them back only a piece of their land (Shabaa Farms) that its leadership had occupied years ago and then lost it during their war with Israel, We ask this regime to give our people back the rest of the "Farms" it occupies fraternally!!!. We want back the "Baabada Farm (The Presidential Palace), we want it to be again Lebanon’s presidential headquarters. We want the President who resides in this Palace to be elected freely by the people of Lebanon and not appointed by the Syrian President against their will.

At the same time, it would be joyful too when the Syria’s regime hands over to our people the "Saraaya Farm" (The Prime Minister’s headquarters). The joy would be even better when a freely elected Parliament elects a PM to run the state’s affairs and be accountable for his acts. Accountable to the Parliament that has been chosen by the people and not to the occupier that has mortgaged him before he was appointed PM.

Our joy would not be complete before taking back the "Nijme Square Farm" (The Lebanese Parliament). We want to see in the legislature patriotic MP’s elected freely by our people and not appointed by the Syrian occupier. Then, and only then, our parliament can reclaim its role as a forte for democracy through which the free voice of the people can be heard. Under the Syrian occupation, Lebanon’s Parliament has been made a cage for tamed puppets who act like parrots and speak only to cajole the occupier and insult their fellow free nationalist Lebanese.

There are also too many "Farms" Syria’s regime has to return back to the Lebanese. These should include all the State’s ministries, in addition to judicial, security and defense national and public institutions. It is extremely important for Lebanon’s House Speaker to submit an attested American map for Lebanon proving Lebanon’s ownership for "Shabaa Farms". But it would be great if at the same time he could submit an attested Syrian map for Lebanon indicating that Syria’s regime has finally recognized Lebanon’s sovereignty on its land and promises to keep the Lebanese people safe from vicious acts and schemes. Then, and only then, we the Lebanese can build willingly with neighboring Syria a fraternal relationship based on mutual trust, respect and balanced agreements. We want to put an end to Syria’s regime officials who constantly poison authentic cases and causes with defaulted contents.
May 22/2000