Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji called on the military on Wednesday to be keen on the lives of the Lebanese by carrying out its mission responsibly following unrest in Northern Lebanon and Beirut.
The latest incidents in the North “proved once again that everyone relies on your role to prevent sedition and impose stability,” Qahwaji said in the Order of the Day on the occasion of Liberation Day, which falls on Friday.
“Be keen on the lives of your fellow compatriots by carrying out your mission with precision and responsibility,” he told soldiers.
“The defense and security missions are complementary in the preservation of the nation’s sovereignty and the country’s highest interest,” the general added.
Lebanon has been engulfed in turmoil since May 12 when Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi was arrested by the General Security Department in the northern city of Tripoli on charges of contacting a terrorist organization.
His arrest led to deadly gunbattles between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh, which is majority Sunni, and the Alawite Jabal Mohsen. Al-Mawlawi was released on bail on Tuesday.
But the army came under scrutiny when on Sunday a Lebanese soldier shot and killed anti-Syrian Sunni cleric Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed and his companion at al-Kweikhat checkpoint in the northern Akkar region.
This caused deadly fighting with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns between al-Mustaqbal movement and Arab Movement party members in Beirut’s Tariq al-Jedideh neighborhood.
Qahwaji rejected in his Order of the Day attempts “to tamper with the security, the livelihood and the dignity” of the Lebanese.
He also slammed any effort to take advantage of Lebanon’s democracy and the regional situation to “destroy the state’s foundations and create cracks in the unity of the nation.”
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/41168|