U.N. Slams Hizbullah as a Continuing Challenge to Lebanon

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U.N. Slams Hizbullah as a Continuing Challenge to Lebanon

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:10 pm

Hizbullah's
continued armed strength poses a key challenge to Lebanese sovereignty,
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon says in a report released this week.


"Hizbullah's
maintenance of a para-military capacity poses a key challenge to the
government's monopoly on the legitimate use of force," he said in his
seventh report on implementation of Security Council resolution 1559
adopted in 2004.


He
reiterated his view that "the disarming and disbanding of Lebanese and
non-Lebanese militias, called for under Resolution 1559, should take
place through "an inclusive political dialogue."


Ban
said Syria and Iran, which maintained close ties with Hizbullah "bear a
significant responsibility in supporting such a process, for the sake
of Lebanon's and the wider region's security, stability and welfare."


He
pointed to an incident during the night of March 30 to 31 in which a
patrol of the U.N. mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) encountered
"unidentified armed elements in its area of operation," in "serious
violation" of Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701.


U.N.
officials said at the time that a UNIFIL patrol challenged the armed
elements who were following "a suspicious pickup truck towing a
trailer" and who left the area "before a positive identification could
be made.

The armed elements were believed to be Hizbullah fighters.

Resolution
1701, which set the terms of the ceasefire that ended that 34-day war,
also calls for the disarmament of all Lebanese militias.


The
deadlock between Lebanon's government and the Iranian- and
Syrian-backed opposition has left the country without a president since
last November -- and the government unable to pass legislation since
2006.


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