Jumblat Calls for Supporting Army ‘to Avert Dragging Lebanon to Strife’إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted on Monday that the swift investigation into the death of Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed demonstrates the need to support the army.
He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine: “The army should be supported in order to avert sliding into strife.”
In addition, he noted that backing the army will help the Lebanese overcome their “sharp division” over the crisis in Syria and assist them in “making it through this critical phase” in the region.
To this end, Jumblat stressed the importance of improving coordination between the security forces, “especially after the theatrics committed by some agencies plunged Tripoli into deep tensions.”
He made his remark in reference to the May 12 arrest of Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi.
He was detained after being lured by the General Security Department to one of Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi’s welfare offices in the northern city of Tripoli.
The arrest sparked clashes between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, which left some 10 people dead and at least 70 wounded.
Jumblat noted that the lack of coordination between the security forces also led to the release of a Qatari national who was accused of being linked to a terrorist group.
His initial arrest had forced Qatar to issue a travel restriction to its citizens, warning them against traveling to Lebanon, which the MP cautioned could have detrimental effects on Lebanon’s ties with the Gulf state and others that harbor tens of thousands of Lebanese people.
Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates issued travel restrictions against Lebanon after the recent instability in Tripoli.
Furthermore, Jumblat noted that the Syrian regime’s attempt to spread its crisis to Lebanon was foreshadowed on Friday by the letter sent by Syria’s Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar al-Jaafari to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in which he accused charitable organizations managed by Salafist groups and the Mustaqbal Movement of harboring terrorists from al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood.
This letter is aimed at transforming Lebanon into an open ground for foreign disputes, declared the MP.
Addressing the residents of Beirut’s Tariq al-Jedideh neighborhood, the PSP leader urged them to maintain the city’s Arab and national nature and “avoid dragging it into clashes as some powers outside the border aspire to.”
Abdul Wahed’s murder at an army checkpoint in the northern town of al-Kweikhat on Sunday sparked outrage in Akkar as protesters blocked the road in anger.
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.