U.N. Stresses Need for Investigation in Cleric Death, Tripoli Clashes
U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly voiced on Monday concern over the violence that has occurred in Lebanon recently, including in Tripoli last week and over the weekend that in Akkar which led to the deaths of Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed and Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Merheb and those subsequently here in Beirut.
He said in a statement: “It is important that there be no further repetition of such violence and that the incidents that have occurred be fully and thoroughly investigated.”
“I would like to extend my condolences to the families of those who died in these incidents,” he continued.
“Since I arrived in Lebanon, I have been impressed by the efforts of the security authorities and political leaders to safeguard Lebanon’s calm and stability at a time of upheaval and uncertainty in the region,” he remarked.
“I am confident now that all parties in Lebanon will continue to put the interests of the country above other considerations,” he added.
“Differences must be addressed through dialogue, not violence,” stressed Plumbly.
The U.N. official had held talks on Monday with Speaker Nabih Berri at his Ain el-Tineh residence.
Clashes erupted in Tripoli on May 12 after the arrest of Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi.
Some 10 people were killed and at least 70 wounded in fighting that broke out between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.
Abdul Wahed was killed at an army checkpoint in northern Lebanon on Sunday as he was heading to a demonstration in Halba.
The news of the killing by the army pushed several angry residents to the streets of Akkar villages as protestors cut off roads with burning tires in the northern province, and the road in Naameh and other roads in the Beirut areas of Verdun, Mazraa, Beshara al-Khoury and Qasqas.
The anti-Syria cleric’s death also caused armed clashes between supporters of al-Mustaqbal movement and Arab Movement party near the Beirut Arab University in Tariq al-Jedideh, leaving two dead.