The Lebanese government & Hizbollah's Challenges
By: Elias Bejjani
February 9, 2007
Lebanese officials said yesterday that the security services detained in the Hazmieh suburb of Beirut a truck loaded with various weapons (handguns, machine guns, GRAD missiles and ammunition) that were hidden under a cargo of animal feed. Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said that the truck was stopped while en route to Beirut from the Eastern Bekaa Valley, and was taken with its cargo of weapons to Beirut Harbor for customs inspection under the supervision of the army. He added, “We are awaiting the outcome of the investigation and we will declare everything to the Lebanese people”, and expressed his hope that the investigation be completed without any pressures. Meanwhile, Hezbollah announced that the seized weapons are its property and the government is obligated under the terms if its ministerial statement to release the weapons and hand them to Hezbollah because the weapons belong to the resistance.
From the Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council (LCCC), I wish to remind the Lebbanese government of Prime Minister Saniora that it is fully and exclusively responsible for the safety and security of Lebanese citizens and for enforcing Lebanese laws and all international resolutions pertaining to Lebanon over all Lebanese territory. As such, the government is obligated, domestically and internationally, to prevent the spread of weapons belonging to Hezbollah or any other parties or individuals.
I, also remind the government and all legitimate Lebanese authorities, as well as all politicians and organizations in the homeland, specifically Hezbollah and its coup d’etat appendages that the clause of the ministerial statement pertaining to the so called "resistance", has been superseded by events and international resolutions, and consequently has no longer any legal force for the following reasons:
1- Hezbollah, the Iranian Army in Lebanon, has revoked the ministerial statement, ignored all articles of the constitution and trashed all the resolutions that came out of the dialogue table, when it single-handedly launched its war of destruction of Lebanon against Israel last June without informing the Saniora government or seeking its approval. Thus, this resistance clause in the ministerial statement is no longer binding on the government.
2- UN resolution 1701, which Hezbollah has approved through its ministers and its allied Amal Movement ministers in the Saniora government, clearly stipulated the restricting of weapons in the hands of the legitimate Lebanese security forces and the spread of the State’s authority over all its territory. It also stipulated the prevention of arms smuggling across the borders, the deployment of international forces in the south, and the adherence to the provisions of the Armistice Agreement with Israel. The issues of the Shebaa Farms and the Lebanese prisoners in Israeli prisons will, still under resolution 1701, be dealt with through the UN and by peaceful means.
3- The "Taef Agreement", which is praised by everyone in Lebanon, including Hezbollah and its coup d’etat appendages, clearly stipulated the need to adhere by the Armistice Agreement with Israel and disarm all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, and for the State to exercise its authority over all its territory using its own legitimate armed forces.
Therefore, we, from the LCCC, demand that the Lebanese government declare in a public and formal governmental decision that the “resistance” clause of its ministerial statement is null and void, and notify the Command of the Lebanese Army to act accordingly vis-à-vis Hezbollah and the rest of the Lebanese and non-Lebanese armed organizations.
Should the government not act immediately, decisively and firmly by taking the necessary deterrent legal and security measures, and should the government surrender to Hezbollah’s threats and quixotic grandstanding, it would have abrogated its own responsibilities and will stand in violation of the Lebanese constitution and all international resolutions, specifically UN resolutions 1559 and 1701.
The government of Prime Minister Siniora is before a great and serious Hezbollah challenge: Either it assumes its responsibilities and proceeds forward bolstered by the confidence of the Lebanese people, or it surrenders, and in so doing, it would disclaim all justifications for its remaining in a position of responsibility.
Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)
LCCC Web Site http://www.10452lccc.com
CLHRF Website http://www.clhrf.com