Berri: Bekaa Must Not Be Left to Hooligans to Rule
Speaker Nabih Berri reiterated concerns on Saturday over the security situation in the eastern Bekaa region, saying it “must not be left under the mercy of hooligans while its people keep on suffering,” al-Joumhouria daily reported.
“It is totally unacceptable to have 120 barbarians control the fate of a dear area of Lebanon. Addressing this abnormal situation only requires an initiative,” said Berri.
The Speaker said the State must impose its control, pointing out that “AMAL Movement and Hizbullah have lifted the political cover on security violators,” in their Baalbek-Hermel stronghold.
“What do they want more than the announcement I made with (Hizbullah leader) Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that we have lifted the (political) cover? Why this negligence in addressing the situation as if Bekaa is some remote area outside Lebanon’s boundaries?” he asked.
The Bekaa Valley, specifically the Baalbek region, remained in shambles for over a month now. Berri has reiterated calls on security and military leaders to take serious measures to save the area.
The daily said shall the situation remain out of control, the Speaker “could visit Bekaa to inspect the situation closely.”
It quoted him saying: “Shall this shameful situation continue on without decisive steps to end it, i will then take another action.”
Security conditions occasionally deteriorate in Baalbek-Hermel where reports of crime, theft and gunfire are not uncommon. Residents of the area have long demanded a solution for the rampant chaos in their city.
Conditions deteriorated further in May and reports of shootouts, and revenge operations --a phenomenon that tribes cling to as one of the old customs-- were reported.