Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Blog

Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submitted the 16th semi-annual report on the implementation of resolution 1559 to the UN Security Council, and it painted a very worrisome picture of the situation in Lebanon. The report emphasized the vulnerability of Lebanon to the continued violent escalation in Syria, noting that the ongoing turmoil in Syria has “increased political polarization and concern that the unrest… could have negative consequences for Lebanon’s stability.” 

In the report, Ban Ki-moon found room to blame just about everyone in and around Lebanon for contributing to the volatile situation. He said that Israeli forces continue to occupy the northern part of the village of Ghajar in violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, and “deplored” Israel’s “almost daily intrusions into Lebanese airspace.”

According to the report, 31 incidents of shelling by Syrian government forces of Lebanese villages across the border were reported in July alone, and have led to casualties. There were also incidents of confrontation between the Lebanese armed forces and elements of the Syrian opposition in the Eastern Bekaa.

The report also notes that the “humanitarian conditions for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have remained dire,” and that there has been significant “intermittent heavy fighting in Tripoli between the predominantly Sunni and Alawi neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jebel Mohsen.”

The report also calls for the disarming of Hezbollah, though encourages this to happen through a “Lebanese-led cross-party political process,” and castigates Hezbollah’s drone launch into Israel as a “reckless provocation that could lead to a dangerous escalation threatening Lebanon’s stability.”

The tragic news of a massive bombing in Eastern Beirut today, killing at least 8 and injuring dozens more (reports are still pouring in at the time of writing this blog), raises further concerns about the possibility of larger scale violence taking place in the country. Let's hope Lebanon can bypass this growing possibility.

Read an advance copy of the full 14-page UN report here.

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