The Taef Accord is Not a Solution
Charbel Khouri -UALM
The past few months have witnessed an increase in the calls for the implementation of the Syrian imposed Taef accord. Previously the calls were limited to the so-called ‘opposition’ MP’s but in a perplexing twist, even the staunchest pro-Syrian politicians have started to make mention of this dreaded agreement. This sudden rejuvenation is by no means accidental. With Syria’s control over Lebanon becoming weaker by the day, the Syrian leadership has realised that the only way it can try to regain its solid grip on Lebanon is through the Taef accord.
The Taef accord (also known as the National Reconciliation Charter) does not provide a solution to Lebanon’s problems, it does however among other things legalise an otherwise illegal foreign occupation. Today, Syria’s Lebanese supporters are pushing for the Taef accord more than ever before, they disregard the fact the Taef accord is unconstitutional and that the majority of Lebanese rejected it. Lebanon’s puppet politicians continue to call for its implementation knowing full well that all it does is serve Syria’s interests.
At the time the Taef accord was ratified on November 5, 1989, 85% of Lebanon’s territory was under foreign occupation. To add insult to injury, the accord was undemocratic since it was ratified by a parliament, which according to the Lebanese constitution was officially dissolved by the then Prime Minister General Michel Aoun. It is unimaginable to see how an agreement that was forced upon Lebanon and its people by a ruthless dictatorship with the use of warplanes and tanks could be beneficial.
Lebanon today is in dire need of an ‘accord’ but not along the same lines as Taef. Supporters of the Taef accord argue that it provides an opportunity for political reform. They forget however, that political reform must above all take into consideration the will of the people. The Taef accord was debated and signed without the approval of the Lebanese people. The ‘reform’ that has come about since Taef includes:
The signing and implementation of numerous unfair and one sided treaties and agreements that benefit Syria, such as the 1991, Treaty of Brotherhood and Co-operation and other treaties regarding trade, agriculture etc.
The appointment of the President and the manipulation of elections by Syria.
The crackdown on the basic human rights.
14 years have passed since the Taef accord was imposed by force and ever since then Lebanon has been in a state of decline. Advocates of the Taef accord painted a rosy picture for the future, they promised prosperity yet delivered poverty and chaos.
According to the United Nations almost two-thirds of Lebanese live below the poverty line.
Unemployment is at an all time high with a staggering 36% of Lebanese jobless.
The national debt is close to $34 billion and rising.
The over supply of Syrian workers in the work force.
The migration of close to one million Lebanese people in search of a better life.
Due to the Taef agreement, Syria has been allowed to get away with pretty much whatever it likes in Lebanon. Considerable evidence exists on the influence it really yields there. One case in point is the fact that Syria has only really partially implemented the agreement: Until recently provisions requiring Syrian redeployment to the Bekaa Valley have been ignored, while on the other hand wide-ranging initiatives have been taken to bolster the so-called "privileged relationship" between the two countries. Realistically, since its inception, Taef has been used only to swallow Lebanon through a succession of "bilateral agreements" designed to lead toward the gradual merger of Lebanon with Syria at all levels.
It must be made clear that the Taef accord was a conspiracy against Lebanon and its people. Those who are calling for the implementation of the Taef accord are committing a very serious crime, the crime of treason. By supporting the Taef agreement, they are in fact supporting Syria’s occupation of Lebanon. It is time to rip up the Taef accord and start a new chapter.
A truly new Lebanon is a real possibility, in a bid to bring about a fair and reasonable solution to Lebanon’s problems certain issues must be looked at (In no particular order):
Implementation of all United Nations resolutions regarding Lebanon, including UN Res. 520, which calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon.
All militias must be disarmed, under the supervision of UN peacekeepers.
The Lebanese Army must assert its authority over all Lebanese territory.
Hold free and fair elections under UN supervision.
Restore all basic human rights, which are guaranteed under the UN charter.
Proposal for political reform to be debated by and voted on by the people of Lebanon.
All treaties and agreements signed under occupation must be made null and void.
The Lebanese seek nothing except peace, freedom and democracy for their country. The imposed Taef accord will not deliver these things. The Taef accord brought nothing but oppression, despair and misery to Lebanon and its people.