UN shelves plans to disarm Hizb Allah

The United Nations appears to have set aside the thorny issue of disarming Lebanon's Shia movement Hizb Allah, despite US and Israeli pressure.

    Hizb Allah chief Nasr Allah is against laying down arms

    UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen on Wednesday said disarming the anti-Israeli group was not on the "action agenda" for the time being.

    UN Security Council Resolution 1559, passed in September, calls for an end to foreign military presence in Lebanon – a reference to Syrian troops – and for the disarming of all armed groups, in reference to Hizb Allah and Palestinian factions.

    "That particular requirement in the resolution has not been on the action agenda at this stage in my work as a special envoy for the implementation of the resolution," said Roed-Larsen.

    "We will continue our dialogue in this matter. I have primarily concentrated my efforts at this stage for the first report due later this month on the issue of Lebanon's sovereignty, the issue of the full withdrawal of the Syrian troops and military assets and the full withdrawal of the intelligence apparatus," he said.

    Shia movement

    Hizb Allah was theoretically the only group allowed to retain its arms after Lebanon's devastating civil war ended in 1990.

    "That particular requirement in the resolution has not been on the action agenda at this stage in my work as a special envoy for the implementation of the resolution"

    UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen

    It continues to launch attacks on the Shebaa Farms border area. The territory, seized by Israel from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, is claimed by Beirut with Damascus' approval.

    Lebanese officials have considered that the disarming of Hizb Allah cannot be implemented as long as Lebanese territory is occupied by Israel.

    Hizb Allah, created by Iranian revolutionary guardsmen in 1985, has grown into a well-structured party with a 12-member parliamentary block and an armed wing with a capacity to mobilise about 10,000 fighters.

    The movement has persistently refused to give up arms despite being dubbed both by the US and Israel as a terrorist organisation.

    Hizb Allah chief Shaikh Hasan Nasr Allah considers US demands for the movement's disarmament a ploy to "ensure the security of Israel".

    SOURCE: Agencies


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