Lebanon's government places Tripoli security under the army

mikati suleiman 2Lebanon’s government has given the army full responsibility for security in Tripoli for six months, the caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, said on Monday.

Mr Mikati spoke after a high-level security meeting at the presidential palace following three days of sectarian clashes in Lebanon’s second largest city.

Security officials say 12 people have been killed in the clashes between militia supporting opposing sides of the Syrian conflict, the latest in regular outbreaks of bloodletting in the city that started during Lebanon’s own civil war but have intensified since the Syrian revolt started in 2011.

The clashes have wounded at least 61 people, among them 12 members of the Lebanese army.

Sectarian fighting in Lebanon has not been limited to Tripoli. Last month, twin explosions outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut killed 26 people. Iran is a key ally of Bashar Al Assad, Syria’s president, and support’s Lebanon’s Shiite movement, Hizbollah.

As well as sectarian tensions stoked by Syria’s war, Lebanon is also struggling to cope with the influx of refugees from the conflict.

Yesterday, residents of a village in eastern Lebanon forced hundreds of Syrian refugees from an informal campsite, setting fire to tents after accusing them of raping a mentally-disabled man.

But a doctor who examined the man said there was no evidence he was attacked, and one resident of the village said the alleged rape was a pretext to drive the refugees from the site.

The incident comes amid warnings from the Lebanese government and aid agencies about tensions between Lebanese communities and the more than 800,000 Syrian refugees who have fled to the small country, which has its own long history of unrest.

The informal camp in the eastern Bekaa village of Qsar Naba housed apout 400 refugees in around 100 tents and shelters.

On Sunday a group of residents stormed the camp, setting fire to some of the tents.

After the attack, many of the refugees began dismantling their shelters and spent Sunday night sleeping in the open nearby.

The residents returned yesterday, the refugees said, setting fire to at least 15 tents and knocking down others.

Ahmed Abdul Mahmud, 33, a refugee, said members of the local Dirani family led the attack.

“The Diranis burnt the tents and then refused to allow the fire brigade through to put the flames out. There’s not a single tent left for us,” he said, weeping.

He said the attackers beat the refugees and stole their belongings.

“I have three children, the eldest of whom is just six. We don’t know where to go. After this I just want to go back to Syria.”

The attack came after members of the Dirani family, who own the campsite land, accused four refugees of sexually assaulting a 29-year-old mentally disabled member of the family.

“He was passing by the camp, and four residents lured him inside a tent and raped him,” Ali Dirani said.

“The man’s mother found traces of blood on his trousers and informed the residents of the village,” he said.

But the doctor who examined the alleged victim said there was no sign he had been raped.

Dr Ahmed Walid Suleiman said he had submitted a report saying “there is no medical proof that indicates the young man was subjected to any kind of attack.”

“There are no signs of violence, or blood or bruising,” he added.

A resident of Qsar Naba described the rape allegation as “fabricated”.

He said the dispute “stems from the Dirani family, who own the land, wanting to get it back and not finding a way to get rid of the refugees.”

National

  • Reasonableman

    Personally i think our politicians have only tunnel vision which stem only in lebanon and for lebanon whilst im pretty sure probably half of lebanon are not even lebanese anymore. Who could possibly treat people of any area or sect of people of a war zone?? And think they have achieved anything to sort out sectarianism?? Too much patrotism and the move is not very see through.

    With all of mikatis money he should offer to buy those houses from the jabal then turn them into factories or hospitals or universities or libraries.

    Whilst there is trouble learking go learn the tactics of the LAF and prove your ‘manlihood’ by biting off the head of a venomus snake. In reality this snake is hezballah.

    Anybody else agree?

    • dateam

      No. Everyone needs to look at themselves before looking at others…lets start with Miqati? I am still trying to figure out why he resigned? Why would a PM resign causing a vacuum at a time of extreme fragility in regards to the conflict in syria and the pressures on lebanon including the refugees? If he resigned because he was upset that rifi’s term was not extended then that is weak because now he is punching on with rifi openly. If the leaders in tripoli who are of the same sect can not get along then what do you expect of the rest? How many zaems are there in tripoli and they cant control their supporters? From the onset the army should have been deployed along the borders to maintain control and control the influx of refugees. Camps should have been set inside syrian territory for the refugees. Regarding your sectarianism isnt the fact that you say that miqati should buy out jabal mohsen and turn it into factories or hospitals or unis or whatever a form of cleansing? The sunnis in tripoli are not even getting along with each other because in the 2nd largest city in lebanon had they gotten along with each other from the beginning they would have schools, hospitals, factories, universities and the people would not be doing what they are….yes where have the zaems spent all their money? They are spending it on weapons to buy for their supporters. And all this for what? Are you trying to say to any half intel;ligent person that the residents of jabal mohsen who total what about 20000 are going to take over tripoli which totals say 200000? There is no end game to this. There is no strategic victory or advances or political changes to anything with this. It is just chaos and ridiculous and the people are suffering.

      • Reasonableman

        Moving forward ill try to close my eyes towards your anti sunni rhetoric.
        The first sentance says it all yes we need to look at ourself. How far and how deep are we willing to dig to save lebanon?
        And NO it would not be concidered cleansing what part of offer didbt you understand?? You are getting money thrown at you instead of grenades you have the funds to travel or move someplace where one can go to school or know that tomorrow he can open up his shop to put food on the table. Only somebody who will reguard this as a victory for the tebeni will get on the defensive like you just have and call thos a cleansing. The Pros outweighs the cons. You offer money to either side of syria street to move out and you watch the reaction they will love you.
        Plus it can be a chance to boost economy and academics.

        • dateam

          First of all i wont be insulted by your ignorance…you know nothing about me to insinuate who i am or what i am….if you bothered to read properly ” Everyone needs to look at themselves before looking at others” how is that being anti anything? You rant and rave without trying to understand what i have stated….You think money will solve everything? There has been miliions and millions of dollars sent to tripoli where has it all gone? Your mentality is precisely why things are the way they are…keep following the money and see where it takes US. You dont even question the leaders actions you follow blindly…I asked why did miqati resign? To this day i dont understand if it was because he wanted rifi’s tenure to be updated then why is rifi and miqati at odds now? Is that not a legitimate question? is that not a question you should be asking? How come the rest of lebanon is not like this? What do things like asking for protection money from shop keepers or shooting a poor taxi driver in the leg have to do with anything? Knee cappings are the new trend now…Or even shooting at the army and our soldiers? That is whats happening my friend in tripoli that is the reality…you need to take your blinders off and see what is happening….you need to question what your zaems are doing there. At this stage it looks like not much.

    • 5thDrawer

      Nope …

      • Peaceforleb

        Double nope for me 5th.

        • 5thDrawer

          I think the ‘politicians’ are VERY focussed … just on the wrong things.
          I don’t agree with offering money for a fortress of rubble ….

          But I think the army finally got focussed too … last 6 days has been too much.
          They are tired of dying while ‘negotiating’ with the various idiots.
          And the women and kids would like to go shopping for food and water ….

          But ‘someone’ has been trying hard to make it a Mini-Syria.
          Time to erase those malcontents – no matter which sect or ‘child-gang’.
          Weapons OUT !

          • Reasonableman

            Either way 5th it will cost the army to stay in this “battlezone” food petrol bullets comrads and worst of all LIVES.

  • Reasonableman

    Personally i think our politicians have only tunnel vision which stem only in lebanon and for lebanon whilst im pretty sure probably half of lebanon are not even lebanese anymore. Who could possibly treat people of any area or sect of people of a war zone?? And think they have achieved anything to sort out sectarianism?? Too much patrotism and the move is not very see through.

    Whilst there is trouble learking go learn the tactics of the LAF and prove your ‘manlihood’ by biting off the head of a venomus snake. In reality this snake is hezballah.

    • dateam

      No. Everyone needs to look at themselves before looking at others…lets start with Miqati? I am still trying to figure out why he resigned? Why would a PM resign causing a vacuum at a time of extreme fragility in regards to the conflict in syria and the pressures on lebanon including the refugees? If he resigned because he was upset that rifi’s term was not extended then that is weak because now he is punching on with rifi openly. If the leaders in tripoli who are of the same sect can not get along then what do you expect of the rest? How many zaems are there in tripoli and they cant control their supporters? From the onset the army should have been deployed along the borders to maintain control and control the influx of refugees. Camps should have been set inside syrian territory for the refugees. Regarding your sectarianism isnt the fact that you say that miqati should buy out jabal mohsen and turn it into factories or hospitals or unis or whatever a form of cleansing? The sunnis in tripoli are not even getting along with each other because in the 2nd largest city in lebanon had they gotten along with each other from the beginning they would have schools, hospitals, factories, universities and the people would not be doing what they are….yes where have the zaems spent all their money? They are spending it on weapons to buy for their supporters. And all this for what? Are you trying to say to any half intel;ligent person that the residents of jabal mohsen who total what about 20000 are going to take over tripoli which totals say 200000? There is no end game to this. There is no strategic victory or advances or political changes to anything with this. It is just chaos and ridiculous and the people are suffering.

      • Reasonableman

        Moving forward ill try to close my eyes towards your anti sunni rhetoric.
        The first sentance says it all yes we need to look at ourself. How far and how deep are we willing to dig to save lebanon?
        And NO it would not be concidered cleansing what part of offer didbt you understand?? You are getting money thrown at you instead of grenades you have the funds to travel or move someplace where one can go to school or know that tomorrow he can open up his shop to put food on the table. Only somebody who will reguard this as a victory for the tebeni will get on the defensive like you just have and call thos a cleansing. The Pros outweighs the cons. You offer money to either side of syria street to move out and you watch the reaction they will love you.
        Plus it can be a chance to boost economy and academics.

        • dateam

          First of all i wont be insulted by your ignorance…you know nothing about me to insinuate who i am or what i am….if you bothered to read properly ” Everyone needs to look at themselves before looking at others” how is that being anti anything? You rant and rave without trying to understand what i have stated….You think money will solve everything? There has been miliions and millions of dollars sent to tripoli where has it all gone? Your mentality is precisely why things are the way they are…keep following the money and see where it takes US. You dont even question the leaders actions you follow blindly…I asked why did miqati resign? To this day i dont understand if it was because he wanted rifi’s tenure to be updated then why is rifi and miqati at odds now? Is that not a legitimate question? is that not a question you should be asking? How come the rest of lebanon is not like this? What do things like asking for protection money from shop keepers or shooting a poor taxi driver in the leg have to do with anything? Knee cappings are the new trend now…Or even shooting at the army and our soldiers? That is whats happening my friend in tripoli that is the reality…you need to take your blinders off and see what is happening….you need to question what your zaems are doing there. At this stage it looks like not much.

    • 5thDrawer

      Nope …

      • Peaceforleb

        Double nope for me 5th.

        • 5thDrawer

          I think the ‘politicians’ are VERY focussed … just on the wrong things.
          I don’t agree with offering money for a fortress of rubble ….

          But I think the army finally got focussed too … last 6 days has been too much.
          They are tired of dying while ‘negotiating’ with the various idiots.
          And the women and kids would like to go shopping for food and water ….

          • Reasonableman

            Either way 5th it will cost the army to stay in this “battlezone” food petrol bullets comrads and worst of all LIVES.

  • 5thDrawer

    TONIGHT, the LAF is finally WORKING in Tripoli … Going to MAKE PEACE even if it kills everyone.
    Tired of having their soldiers hit by snipers I am SURE.
    HOPE this is the beginning of the end of the IDIOTS and their little guns – seems they are meeting the Big Boys tonight …. Bloodly Time, I’d say.
    Meanwhile, anyone have space for Tripolian Refugees ??

  • 5thDrawer

    TONIGHT, the LAF is finally WORKING in Tripoli … Going to MAKE PEACE even if it kills everyone.
    Tired of having their soldiers hit by snipers I am SURE.
    HOPE this is the beginning of the end of the IDIOTS and their little guns – seems they are meeting the Big Boys tonight …. Bloodly Time, I’d say.
    Meanwhile, anyone have space for Tripolian Refugees ??