Guterres expresses concern about Hezbollah’s weapons and calls for free elections

The UN Secretary General has called for “free, fair, transparent and inclusive” parliamentary elections in Lebanon on May 15, in a report released Wednesday, urging the subsequent formation of the government, which will allow for the implementation of reforms that address the country’s multiple crises.

Secretary General António Guterres said in his report to the United Nations Security Council that political polarization in Lebanon has deepened and that the Lebanese people “struggle daily to satisfy basic basic needs”.

He also referred to the frequent protests in all over the country, triggered by “general frustration with the political situation and the economic and financial crisis”.

It is interesting to note that the elections to the Parliament on May 15 are prime since the beginning of the economic collapse in Lebanon at the end of 2019. Political factions or the government have done next to nothing to address the collapse, leaving the Lebanese to grapple with the crisis on their own as they sink into poverty, with no electricity, medicine or junk food or any other manifestation of normal life.

This election is also the first since 4 August 2020, when the catastrophic explosion in the port of Beirut occurred which killed more than 215 people and destroyed much of the city.

The explosion sparked widespread anger at the endemic corruption and mismanagement of traditional parties.

Guterres, who visited Lebanon last December, said no party or person has been held responsible for the explosion so far and that the Lebanese are demanding “truth and justice”. He reiterated his appeal for “a rapid, impartial, thorough and transparent investigation” and underlined “the need to respect the independence of the judiciary”.

I am in the elections of May 15 in competition for 128 seats in parliament a total of 103 lists with 1,044 candidates, equally divided between Christians and Muslims.

Self-proclaimed opposition groups remain divided along ideological lines on almost every issue, including how to revive the economy, and as a result, there are at least three different opposition lists. in each of the 15 constituencies.

Guterres called for the swift formation of the new government “with the full participation of women and young people” after the elections.

The Secretary General’s semi-annual report on the implementation of the 2004 Security Council Resolution reiterated that its main demands for the Lebanese government to impose its sovereignty over all parts of the country and the disarmament and dismantling of Lebanese militias do not have been implemented.

Guterres said that “the maintenance by the Hezbollah militia of extensive and sophisticated military capabilities outside the control of the Lebanese government remains a matter of grave concern.”

He also referred to the announcement by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in February that the movement now has the capacity to convert thousands of its missiles. “in precision missiles “and that has been producing drones” for a long time “.

Guterres urged the Lebanese authorities to “step up their efforts to monopolize the possession of weapons and the monopoly of the use of force. in all its territory “.

He added: “I continue to urge the Lebanese government and armed forces to take all necessary measures to prevent Hezbollah and any other armed group from acquiring weapons and building paramilitary capabilities outside the authority of the state,” noting that this constitutes a violation of Security Council Resolutions.

Guterres also said Hezbollah’s continued participation in the war in Syria also threatens to drag Lebanon on in regional conflicts that undermine its stability.

He called on countries in the region with close ties to Hezbollah to encourage the militia to disarm, until it transforms in a “civil only political party”.

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