For the past six weeks, since the United Nations Security Council facilitated a cease-fire on the Israeli-Lebanese border, there was one promise given by the U.N. – that it would implement a process to disarm Hezbollah.
Now it is official. No plan for United Nations disarmament of Hezbollah will be forthcoming.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, the director of Independent Media Review and Analysis, an Internet news service, asked Farhan Haq, Information Officer, Office of the Spokesman for the U.N. Secretary-General, if the Secretary-General has complied with paragraph 10 of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 and presented a proposal for disarmament.
The rationale for Lerner’s question emanates from the simple language of clause 10 in UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which was adopted August 11, 2006, which “Requests the Secretary-General to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days.”
Farhan Haq’s response to Lerner was direct and to the point: that the Secretary-General briefed the U.N. Security Council in a closed meeting that he remains “convinced that the disarming of Hezbollah and other militia should take place through a political process that will lead to the full restoration of the authority of the Government of Lebanon so that there will be no weapons or authority other than its own.”
Farhan Haq went on to say The U.N. confirms that “the disarming of [Hezbollah] and other militia should take place through a political process that will lead to the full restoration of the authority of the Government of Lebanon so that there will be no weapons or authority other than its own,” and that “[t]he national dialogue has not managed so far to achieve a consensus on a political process and timeline for the full disarming of [Hezbollah] in the sense of an integration of its armed capacity into the Lebanese Armed Forces. I expect that the Government of Lebanon, pursuant to its decision of 27 July 2006, will define such a political process ….”
In other words, it is now clear that Israel’s condition for accepting the U.N. cease-fire will not be met. That condition was the disarming of Hezbollah.
The stage is therefore set for the next Israel-Hezbollah confrontation.
One complication: Thousands of troops from 15 countries this time stand in the way, and these troops may be hit in the artillery crossfire between Israel and Hezbollah, thereby escalating this stage of the Middle East crisis into an unprecedented international military entanglement.
©The Bulletin 2006