Charbel Calls for Decisive Measures as Two People Die in Saturday’s Clashes

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and Tripoli lawmakers said Saturday that the Lebanese government should take “decisive measures” to resolve the situation in the northern city as sniper activity and clashes renewed in the city breaching its fragile peace.

During a press conference that Charbel held before heading a security meeting, he hoped the meeting would be the start to the implementation of measures that would limit Tripoli's problems and lead to talks between the warring parties after days of gunbattles between the residents of two neighborhoods left scores of casualties.

“It is about time for us to learn and think about the interest of Tripoli,” Charbel said.

“The security situation is reflecting negatively on the economy. Shops are closing and people are emigrating,” he warned.

“We hope that we could control the situation … which is linked in a way or another to the developments around us and mainly the war in Syria,” he told reporters before heading the meeting that was attended by Police chief Joseph al-Duweihi, Governor of the North Nassif Qaloush and several other security officials.

“No one is emerging victorious in the (Tripoli) fighting,” Charbel said after the six-day gunbattles between the mainly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood and Jabal Mohsen, whose residents are from Syrian President Bashar Assad's Alawite sect, left at least 12 people dead.

The minister said the government should take “decisive measures” at the meeting of the Higher Defense Council scheduled to be held at Baabda Palace on Sunday.

However, sniper activity renewed in the city in Syria street, which separates between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.

The National News Agency reported that the army is responding to the sources of fire.

It said that an energa-type grenade fell on Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood.

Meanwhile, LBCI reported Saturday evening that a military official in the Arab Democratic Party identified as Ghassan Aref died as a result of the clashes.

The channel also announced that a member from the Mahfoud family was killed in Jabal Mohsen by sniper gun fire.

A planned meeting between Charbel and Bab al-Tabbaneh officials was canceled in the evening over their failure to come out of the neighborhood due to fears of sniper fire.

Also Saturday, lawmakers from Tripoli and the North called on President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati to “seriously” resolve the situation in Tripoli during the planned Higher Defense Council meeting.

In a statement read by al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Samir al-Jisr, the MPs said the political cover should be lifted and security forces should deploy heavily in the city.

The statement added that the government should compensate the losses suffered by the residents of the city.

Tripoli Municipal chief Nader Ghazal also urged the city's residents to participate in a sit-in outside the Serail on Monday to call for stability and the return of Tripoli Mufti Sheikh Malek al-Shaar, who traveled to France after he received information that he could be the target of an assassination plot.

The Lebanese Army said in a communique on Friday that it is continuing to implement measures to restore security in the city.

It said it arrested several people on Thursday on suspicion of opening fire, and confiscated weapons and ammunition from gunmen.

The Army also called on the residents of Tripoli to cooperate with it and “immediately inform it about any armed or suspicious activity.”

The communique added that seven soldiers suffered minor wounds from sniper fire Thursday

Comments 13
Thumb Lebanon4life 08 December 2012, 11:58

What do you think guys ? Is our army capable to end this fights between Jabal Mohsen and Beb al Tebbeneh for once and for all. Or don't they have the means to secure Tripoli ?

Missing feekahraba 08 December 2012, 14:21

Don't interfere, let them finish this battle once and for all

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 08 December 2012, 14:55

the question is can our army interfere between saudi arabia and iran????????????

Missing helicopter 08 December 2012, 18:44

Wrong Karim, in order to secure tripoli and make it as peaceful as Dahye..... they must arm to the teeth with full training from Iran, establish it as security zone with red line for the army and ISF........... we already have a working model in Hezb areas. Then when funds become scarce rob few banks, kidnap some citizens or import expired drugs. Do you see the bridge in your own eye or not yet?

Missing greatpierro 08 December 2012, 23:31

why doesn't the government take the decisive measure of withdrawing the weapons from all sides i.e. alawits and sunnis. Do you think that hizbullah and syria will allow the government to take this decision?

Thumb shab 08 December 2012, 12:42

Means, yes, will, no

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 08 December 2012, 14:07

i repeat and repeat:
tripoli front is the first active military clashes between wahhabies and farsis..it's bigger than lebanon itself dont blame the army.....popcorn plse.
N.B.PLSE TELL ME IF U AGREE OR NOT NEXT YEAR, MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Default-user-icon hummm (Guest) 08 December 2012, 17:12

In 1986 fighting erupted in West Beirut and every time the combatants there arrived to a cease fire snipers popped up shooting on all sides reigniting the strife. At the end the leaders and resident of West Beirut had no choice but to beg Assad to send his army back after if fled in 1983 ahead of the Israeli invasion.

Thumb LebDino 08 December 2012, 17:35

If the army can't stop this, what good are they for?

Default-user-icon DB (Guest) 08 December 2012, 17:52

I have been to both neighbourhoods and worked on a documentary about this situation and what I don't get is what the LAF do when the clashes start. I mean, you always hear how "..the army is moving in to seperate the sides" but they are already there to start with. So what happens, do they just jump in their M113s and run away? What is the point of the LAF being deployed in the first place, if they withdraw as soon as the fighting commences. The tragedy of this situation is that if you spend enough time there, both neighbourhoods are almost identical. All the young men want are jobs, investment in their areas and not to be treated as punch bags by bigger political forces who benefit from mobilising a wider population/political base by keeping this mini war going. That applies to the ADP and to the March 14th/FM. Having "an enemy" to scare your supporters is a good way of keeping people onside. It's so sad.

Thumb lebfrcan 08 December 2012, 18:16

Yes they can, but they need a political green light before they get tougher.
If they don't, the army will split.

Default-user-icon Hyperion (Guest) 08 December 2012, 19:56

The lebanese army is good for nothing if it is controlled by all factions in Lebanon. It should be controlled by the general in chief ( qahwaji) and the immediate commander as well which is the president of the republic Michel Suleiman. The main problem in all this is that since Hezbollah has weapons and sending as well fighters to syria, and alawites supporting bachar from inside tripoli. sunnis have swept away from Hariri and radicals are appearing because they can no longer tolerate beeing bullied by HA.

Default-user-icon Hyperion (Guest) 08 December 2012, 20:00

The situation in the country is now totally out of control. The north must be cleaned from all those terrorist salafis and alawites . Reorganise the REAL syrian refugees. Then Hezbollah must surrender his weapons to the lebanese army the sole protector of Lebanon and if they want we can create a special brigade for the south of Lebanon inside the army that will be directed by a general of hezbollah but only under instructions of war and peace of the president of the republic . Then we must find a solution to palestinians. We need a tough decision to disarm them, then ask for arab wealthy countries to sign a deal to take some of them to their countries to work for them since they care about palestinians that much.