Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fighting in Lebanon Continues

Pro-West, Sunni Future Movement milita members fight in the streets of Tripoli

Lebanon finally has a president; as predicted, Michel Sulaiman, former head of the army, is now president. The controversial Doha Agreement put Sulaiman in power though things are not as good as they could be. Though the pro-West March 14th Alliance originally nominated him, Sulaiman is now trying to please the Hezbollah-led opposition and Hezbollah has a veto on any government decisions.

The agreement has not gone over well with the main Sunni bloc of March 14, the Future Movement. The movement is still fuming at its defeat by Hezbollah in the recent war flare-up and is seeking revenge. In the majority Sunni city of Tripoli Future Movement militias took on Hezbollah-auxiliaries (possibly supported by Syrian officers) and Alawite citizens. The same is going on in the Beqaa Valley were minor gun battles broke out at random encounters. The army is currently doing its best to keep the peace but its reputation has been damaged since its inability to curb Hezbollah’s spring offensive.

While all sides are still aiming to avoid greater violence, “low level” battles will continue to take lives as Lebanese society merely treads above the abyss.

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