WORLD LEBANESE CULTURAL UNION
Office of the Secretary General
Release October 7th, 2004
WLCU Secretary General Remarks on the UN Secretary General's Report
The World Lebanese Cultural Union's Secretary General issued the following remarks on the report issued by Dr Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the United Nations.
As we have reviewed the report, and as we thank Dr Kofi Anan for his efforts to
implement the UNSCR 1559, here are few remarks about the report:
1. The report said "from 1975 to 1990, Lebanon suffered a tragic and bloody civil war that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 120,000 people. Much of the fighting in that war was carried out by militias that corresponded to Lebanon's confessional communities. Various Palestinian militant groups also took part in the violence."
Answer: To be accurate historically, the War started on April 13, 1975 between Palestinian armed groups and Lebanese militias. Most of the confrontation during the Lebanese war were between many militias and the Syrian forces between 1976 and 1990. Many other confrontations took place between Palestinian forces and Israel and between pro-Syrian militias and Israeli forces. Hence, the war in Lebanon, although also between Lebanese factions, was essentially a series of confrontation between Lebanese militias and foreign forces, particularly, the longest stage, between Lebanese forces -both popular and regular army- and the Syrian forces.
These facts are important as they reflect historical realities and have significant consequences on the current situation in Lebanon
2. The report said: "Syria first deployed troops in Lebanon in May 1976, at the request of Lebanese President Franjieh. In October 1976, the League of Arab States established the Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) to keep the peace in Lebanon"
In reality, and as declared by the late President Hafez Assad, Syria ordered its troops in Lebanon without the consent of the Lebanese Government. (Hafez Assad speech at the University of Damascus, July 1976). It is only after the fact of the Syrian invasion of June 1976, that the Arab League decided to establish the Arab deterrent force.
3. We have noted that the report doesn't mention UNSCR 436 which has called for a cease fire between Syria's occupation forces and the self defense forces of Lebanon's civil society. This resolution proves that Syrian forces were engaged in military confrontation with the Lebanese populations.
4. The report said : "Syria has maintained forces in Lebanon since 1976. The troops were initially deployed at the request of Lebanese President Franjieh. That deployment was transformed into an Arab Deterrent Force sanctioned by the League of Arab States, at the request of the government of Lebanon, and was joined by troops from other Arab countries.
The governments of both Lebanon and Syria have told me that the Syrian forces present in Lebanon - which at one point numbered 40,000, according to the government of Lebanon - are there at the invitation of Lebanon and that their presence is therefore by mutual agreement. Specifically, they are said to be deployed pursuant to the Taif Agreement of 1989 and the Syria-Lebanon Treaty of Cooperation ratified by both countries in 1991."
Answer: Again the Secretary General of the UN espouses the version of the Syrians by qualifying that these forces have been invited by a Lebanese President. For there is a difference between invading forces which were accepted -after they started the invasion- by a Lebanese President, and Syrian forces which were initially invited. The difference is the timing. From there on, any occupied country will collaborate with the occupying forces and sign all types of agreements. The argument advanced by the Lebanese people is that all agreements concluded while the Syrian forces were occupying the country are to be reviewed.
5. We note that, according to the report, "the Syrian government has informed the United Nations that there is also a substantial presence of nonuniformed military intelligence officials which, it says, are usual components of military units. These officials, together with the uniformed forces, constitute the full Syrian troop strength."
This recognition by Syria that it maintain intelligence and security units in Lebanon is an admission that intelligence forces are operational in Lebanon, and hence proves that the Lebanese detainee in Syria were arrested by the Syrian intelligence forces operational in Lebanon
In a sum, and while we will be reviewing the other aspects of the report and the meetings at the Security Council, we call on both the office of the Secretary General and the members of the Security Council to issue a new resolution that would enable the UNSCR 1559 to be implemented particularly with regards the following:
1. Sending UN observers to monitor the movements of the Syrian forces and to report to the UN Security Council
2. Send a UN fact finding mission to Lebanon with mission to poll the Lebanese civil society regarding the implementation of UNSCR 1559
Dr Walid Phares
World Lebanese Cultural Union