Sami Gemayel Calls for Curfew in Sidon, Beirut, Tripoli to Avert More Unrest

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Phalange Party MP Sami Gemayel condemned on Monday the clashes in the southern city of Sidon, voicing the party's support for the army's efforts to crackdown on the gunmen.

He said after the party's weekly politburo meeting: “A curfew should be imposed in all the regions that are witnessing tensions.”

He explained that a curfew should be imposed in Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli in order to avert unrest that may erupt there.

“We have taken too long to give the army the green light to crackdown on gunmen in Lebanon,” he lamented.

“Lebanon stands by the army in its efforts to restore the authority of the state,” he declared.

“This requires that they perform their duty objectively and not in a selective manner,” explained the MP.

He added that no one, regardless of their sectarian affiliations, should be allowed to carry arms in Lebanon.

Moreover, he hinted that the presence of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon helped contribute to the current unrest in the country, stressing that the party had longed warned of the possible threat they may present to Lebanon's internal security.

“All sides must assume their responsibilities in preventing unrest in Lebanon,” he demanded.

In addition, Gemayel said that the unrest in Sidon was a product of the concept of imposing security in Lebanon through the appeasement of all sides.

“It is time to impose real security in Lebanon without compromise,” he declared.

“Being lenient with gunmen will only worsen the problem and embolden gunmen,” he explained.

Furthermore, he said that the army is paying the price of imposing security through appeasement and “it is time to restore authority to the state, which requires supporting the army and standing against all who consider themselves above the law.”

“No one should be led to believe that they can control Lebanon through force or the use of arms,” he stated.

“We will not surrender Lebanon to armed groups and militias because that would mean the end of the country,” Gemayel said.

In addition, he noted the government's failure to convene in order to address the situation in Sidon, “which is sign of its absence.”

He therefore demanded that President Michel Suleiman take matters into his own hands, head to the Defense Ministry, and impose a curfew in the areas that have witnessed clashes and tensions.

Clashes broke out on Sunday between the army and supporters of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir in the southern city of Sidon.

The military command said the number of troops killed in the fighting rose to 12. There were also more than 50 injuries among the ranks of the soldiers, but it was not clear how many fighters were killed in the unrest.

The clashes erupted when al-Asir's supporters surrounded an army checkpoint in the area, where a vehicle transporting other supporters of the cleric had been stopped.

After the armed men attacked the troops with gunfire, the army fired back.

Tensions have since been high in numerous regions in Lebanon, especially in Beirut and Tripoli.

In Tripoli, army positions came under threat of gunmen, but then tensions have so far not escalated into violence.

Comments 11
Thumb geha 24 June 2013, 18:10

a curfew is too little too late sami.
the army should have long ago put an end to the actions of hizbushaitan and they should have disarmed them.
by assisting hizbushaitan the army lost its credibility. by trying to cover up for them they lost any sense of duty towards the citizens of this country.
by letting them assassinate Lebanese citizens in front of their eyes (and cover up for them) they became murderes like them.
the army should not do the dirty work of hizbushaitan, nor the Syrian regime. the army should have defended our borders against Syrian attacks.

Thumb benzona 24 June 2013, 22:13

It's a sad and painful truth.

Default-user-icon mazen (Guest) 24 June 2013, 18:50

Excuse me??? This sounds like a broken record. What has Hizbulla's weapons got to do with
terrorists and al qaeda? People are not stupid!

Thumb _citizen_ 24 June 2013, 20:02

The army has shown it can act when it wants..... depending on who it perceives as the enemy. The army's current structure is a carry-over from the syrian hegemony and is heavily infiltrated by HA. Regardless, it seems Qahwaji has officially launched his bid for the presidency.

Default-user-icon Charles (Guest) 24 June 2013, 21:41

God Bless you sami !

Thumb benzona 24 June 2013, 22:14

lol indeed

Missing trueleb 24 June 2013, 23:59

I agree FT.

Missing trueleb 25 June 2013, 00:01

Qahwaji is the man ,his did a good job getting rid of Asir .

Missing trueleb 25 June 2013, 00:02

I meant to say his troops did a good job .I am so happy to hear what happened to Asir .I could hardly type .

Missing VINCENT 25 June 2013, 00:42

These are the facts, and Syrian hegemony still has its claws over Lebanon. Now unite and oust everyone, everything and anything that references God, son of God, party of God, brother this, brother that from the business of politics and security of the Country. Otherwise, Lebanon can eat and drink religion for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and not realize that the stanch of blood is not coming of religion. It is a small minority of people who have hijacked your lives and well being in the name of religion. I am glad these animals do not claim to be Christians.

Default-user-icon TAREK (Guest) 26 June 2013, 05:19

I really hope the Lebanese take care of their beautiful country....Army must be supported 100% , here in Egypt if any group is to attack the army this would be their end... Beware of the evil salafis spreading in the Muslim world..these are NOT Sunnis, they are devils...also the army must and should have disarmed group in a country ahould ever have a militia..

Take care of your country with its Muslims & are an educated great open minded people do not destroy it again

A concerned Egyptian!