News / Middle East

UN Security Council Fears for Lebanon's Stability

UNHCR's Representative in Lebanon Ninette Kelley sits with Syrian refugee children inside a makeshift room during her visit to the refugees on the occasion of the World Refugee Day, in Alman town, in the Shouf area in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon, June 20, 2013
UNHCR's Representative in Lebanon Ninette Kelley sits with Syrian refugee children inside a makeshift room during her visit to the refugees on the occasion of the World Refugee Day, in Alman town, in the Shouf area in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon, June 20, 2013
Margaret Besheer
The U.N. Security Council expressed deepening concern Wednesday that Lebanon’s stability could be weakened by the growing impact of the Syrian crisis on its smaller neighbor.

The 15-nation Security Council issued a statement urging Lebanon to recommit to its policy of dissociation regarding the Syrian conflict, as it copes with a mounting refugee crisis, cross-border fire, domestic sectarian tensions, and the direct participation of at least one Lebanese group in the Syria fighting.

Speaking to reporters, French Ambassador Gérard Araud said Lebanon is threatened to be engulfed by the Syrian crisis and that recommitting to a policy of dissociation is the only way for Lebanon to avoid being dragged into that conflict.

“I think it is nearly a miracle that this country has succeeded to resist to the incredible pressures and tensions which are stemming from the Syrian crisis," said Araud. "For more than two years now, the Lebanese have avoided the worst. But the situation is worsening every day.”

Growing issues in political vacuum

Lebanon currently has no government. Prime Minister Najib Mikati quit in March and the caretaker prime minister, Tammam Salam, has yet to form a government. Political tensions among the many religious factions are growing while the economy is contracting.

The Security Council expressed concern about recent violence in two major Lebanese cities and a car bomb explosion this week in Beirut’s southern suburb.

Adding to this, Hezbollah, the militant Shi'ite group, has openly said its fighters are helping President Bashar al-Assad’s army battle rebels in Syria.

Lebanon, which suffered its own civil war from 1974 to 1990, is now hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees of any country. The United Nations says nearly 600,000 are officially registered, but many more are not. The Lebanese government estimates the refugee number at slightly more than one million - a huge burden on a country of less than four million people and a territory only about 10,000 square kilometers.

Plea for international support

But despite the impact of the refugees, Lebanese Ambassador Nawaf Salam said the country will not close its borders.

“Let me stress three things: one, Lebanon will not close its borders; Lebanon will not turn back any refugee; Lebanon will continue to provide assistance to all Syrian refugees,” said Salam.

Unlike Syria’s other neighbors who are hosting refugees, Lebanon does not have formal camps for them. The Syrians have been absorbed into existing communities, which are now overwhelmed.

Ambassador Salam said Lebanon cannot cope on its own with the burden of the refugee crisis and he appealed for international support.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 11, 2013 9:38 AM
This is a country that should be looking out for help, now it is helping Syria cope with its crisis. Odd! But Lebanon cannot say it is not already in the war in Syria if its citizens are taking part there. Can someone please explain why Lebanon keeps begging Hezbollah instead of instructing it on what to do? Is Hezbollah bigger than Lebanon? Is Hezbollah stronger than Lebanon? Does Hezbollah provide its own jobs and finances? Why is Hezbollah called part of Lebanon?

I do not understand what the UN peace keeping force is doing out there, but if Hezbollah is so strong for any army to confront, let no one cry out again when next they engage Israel as in the 2006 face off. Hezbollah must be disarmed at all cost if anyone wants peace in Lebanon. The Arabs and Muslim world cannot station them as a counter force aimed at Israel and pretend they do not know what they are doing. At a time like this when there is no Israel to fight, they must lay their hands on something to do - just to keep busy. The UN should decide to put a stop to Hezbollah's existence by forcing Lebanon to disband it, or go in by force to help out. That's the only way to curb their meddlesome menace in the region for stability in Lebanon.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid