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Saturday, March 16, 2013

CONFLICT | The second anniversary of uprising The war in Lebanon Syrian spreads

The Lebanese army had deployed armored vehicles and dozens of controls around the mosque. Riot police, displaying their shields and batons, was placed in one of the side streets. After the noon prayer, Sheikh Ahmed Assir harangued his faithful."We know that in these apartments have been installed armed Hezbollah members . Neighbors saw them come in with big bags and told us, "explains Nader Sabagh, a Salafist cleric's advisers. Religious devotees rushed to the apartments waterspout near the mosque, which argued that have been occupied by Shia militant group. Hurled insults at his team leader, Hassan Nasrallah. "You are the enemy of God!" They shouted. "We only kneel before God", echoed off the army tanks. The protest ended last 1st so suddenly as it had begun. Assir supporters cited for successive calls. The following protests spreadto cities of Sidon and Beirut or Tripoli with roadblocks and burning tires. The growing tension in Sidon where the headquarters Assir-Sheikh is a further sign of the breakdown of the instability that Lebanon suffers an accelerated and led the country's president, Michel Sleiman, to say the country is on the edge of an "explosion". "We have to keep putting out the fire, all the while with the extinguisher in hand," he said in an interview with Reuters.

'Infected' of the Syrian war

With armed incidents turned into an event almost everyday and political rhetoric to incendiary levels, the country has "infected" the war that plagues neighboring SyriaWhen marks the second anniversary of the start of the popular uprising in that country, the memory of that uprising against the dictatorship has been overshadowed by a terrible conflict that is stirring the worst ghosts of regional sectarianism. The impact of the conflagration are being felt not only in Lebanon but in Turkey and Iraq . In the latter country, Al Qaeda claimed the attack for days against a Syrian military convoy had fled their country and crossed the Iraqi province of Anbar, killing 48 soldiers in the country and eight stores. "We have annihilated a whole army column Safavid "cried radicals using the term they use to sectarian Shias and Alawites, which refers to one of the dynasties of the Persian Empire. The religious struggle is reaching its climax in Lebanon, building community differences that never closed after the civil war of the last century. The traditional division between the faction that supported the regime of Bashar al-Assad , now in government holding the Christian Michel Aoun and Hezbollah, and relatives of those opposed to Damascus, grouped around the coalition led by Saad Hariri, has resulted in the support of both the combatants on both sides fighting in Syria. As recognized by Druze leader Walid Jumblat in a recent interview with Al Jazeera, the two sides have decided Lebanese politicians settle their troubles in Syria sponsoring sending volunteers to fight alongside troops both of Bashar al-Assad and the rebel side."Hezbollah are fighting inside Syria on orders from Iran and some coalition parties March 14 (the opposition that commands Saad Hariri) do so by the Syrian people," he said. At the same time, the border areas between the two countries, both in the north and in the Bekaa Valley, have blurred so that no one keeps track of the number of armed skirmishes that have occurred in these regions. Last February the Lebanese paramilitary members of the Syrian army and fought one of the fiercest clashes in recent times in Wadi Khaled, on the border with the province of Homs, which killed four residents of Lebanon.

Camps 'private'

The neighborhood with Syria and the close historical ties of the two countries have made ​​Lebanon is now the leading host country for Syrian exiles but also the first country to admit the existence of refugee camps "private", where tenants must pay a "rent" for bad life in squalid barracks, Beirut's refusal to establish official refugee camps such as exist in Turkey or Jordan. The presence of the exiles in the strip of land that stretches from the Lebanese border and the city of Masnaa Chtura profuse as obvious as are the small towns that have been erected on the farm environment. Places like Bar Elias, or Elijah Kob Ansar Marjeh to have become the target of these shantytowns increasingly common. Venues like 'Umm Fatima', who has earned this name because the female of 55 years from Idlib was the first to raise his tent here for almost a year,supply the existence of official refugee camps in Lebanon , a extent to which local government is opposed by its relationship with Damascus. Fatima has to pay like the rest of the 40 families living in this suburb fact plastic sheets, sacks and a monthly logs of 100,000 Lebanese pounds (50 euros). "The landowner stores enables us, but we pay the rent, water and electricity (are anarchic connected to the grid). The owner comes every month to collect," said the lady with a cigarette in his mouth. "The Lebanese are delighted our presence , because they benefit from it, "said another of the Syrians who have formed a huddle in the presence of foreigners. "We we hosted them in 2006 (during the war with Israel) in our homes. Everything for free. As with Iraqi refugees, which was available for free education and health care," says with some bitterness Abu Mohamed, another newcomer Syrian Aleppo. The payment system is not a rarity in the 'Field Fatima'. The testimonies agree more than half a dozen similar enclaves .Prices range. In Nahri Ali, another nearby village, the Syrians have to pay 185,000 pounds per store per month, water and electricity (92 euros). According to the magazine 'Le Commerce du Levant', are at least 6,000 Syrians 'rent' land in the Bekaa Valley to raise their precarious parapets.

A fourth part, refugees

The refusal to open camps on its territory is a reflection of the controversy here is generating unstoppable influx of Syrians.Lebanese President Michel Sleiman warned that round number and one million, which together with the presence of Palestinian exiles have created an untenable situation in which a quarter of the population are refugees living in Lebanon. "These figures exceed the capabilities of any country.'s Not just material aid, our demographic and geographic capabilities are saturated and the massive number of people are creating social, economic and security," he told Reuters. Although Syrian refugees registered with the UN are 336,000 , Lebanon has had to assume that hundreds of thousands of workers who used to come to the country to participate in collecting agricultural or construction decided to remain in this country rather than return to Syria. Fatima was one of them. He earned 10,000 pounds (five euros) a day as a day laborer. In fact, the pattern is the same that now rents the land where they have created their refugee camp. Only in the town where he lives, Bar Elias, there are "about 2,200 families registered and must have about seven members each.'s Say 15,000 refugees in a population of 45,000 people" as stated its mayor, Naji Mahmoud al Mais. Although UN tries to maintain a strict neutrality in political scuffle generated exiles, the UNHCR representative in this country, Ninette Kelley, acknowledged in February that urged the executive to erect two "transit centers" where you can "provide food and shelter until they find another place of accommodation" for the fugitives. The stampede is generating the bitterness of some social sectors-mainly Christians who follow the said Michel Although towards newcomers. Social networks and some Lebanese media are full of more or less veiled reviews of these sectors of the population to the Syrians. A video whose authorship no one took accused ofpromoting the same instability that was attributed to Palestinian refugees and that they believe triggered the civil war of 1975. "Do something before it's too late," said recording required melodramatic tone. Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour, warned that unless the country receives more international aid "sooner or later" will produce"an explosion between the Syrians and the host communities" .


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