06/06/2019, 10.00
LEBANON
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Maronite Patriarch: political divisions weaken "the foundations of the nation"

Card Beshara al-Rahi addresses internal divisions and struggles between the various factions, which undermine the principles on which the country is founded. A "sectarian spirit" that interferes in the various issues and causes a lack of confidence in the institutions themselves. The economic difficulties are compounded by the danger of terrorism after the Isis "lone wolf" attack in Tripoli.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has issued a warning to Lebanon's political and institutional leaders, who are "undermining the foundations of a strong state". " “We in Lebanon have political conflicts that turn into sectarian ones and distort the culture of the National Pact, coexistence and the formula of balanced partnership in power and administration". The reference is to the document around which "coexistence" - between Christians and Muslims, Sunnis, Shiites and Druses - is based, which regulates the institutional life of the State.

“This political-sectarian spirit is interfering in the matters of administration, judiciary, the court’s rulings, the army, the Internal Security Forces and other security agencies according to its interests, undermining confidence in them,” the patriarch said.

He decried that “the rulers themselves are destroying public institutions and undermining the strong and respectable state, the state of law and justice.” “This situation cannot continue at the expense of the people, who are suffering from stifling economic and social crises.”.

 

In recent weeks the country has been crossed by waves of protest by people with disabilities, retired public officials and former military officers, who took to the streets against the austerity measures desired by the executive. These weaker categories wanted to draw "attention" to a situation they call "disastrous".

Together with the problem linked to terrorism and the Syrian refugee crisis, these are the threats and challenges that the Lebanese government formed last February after months of political and institutional stalemate, must face.

The Lebanese Church has consistently denounced a situation of very serious difficulty, which includes the danger of attacks and violence as happened in the past few days in the northern city of Tripoli, where a "lone wolf" linked to the Islamic State (IS, ex Isis). Two soldiers and two policemen were killed on 4 June by a militiaman who then blew himself up before being arrested.

According to Lebanese media, Abdel Rahman Mabsut, this is the name of the bomber, already had a criminal record and was stopped by the anti-terrorist police office, for his links with Islamic fundamentalist circles. Some sources say that in the past he had fought with ISIS in Syria and had already participated in other attacks in Tripoli in 2014.

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