The confrontation was called off…and the strife was stopped, but for how long?…After things got worse on social media, and after the Lebanese and Syrians mobilized each other using all kinds of threats and intimidations, the Lebanese Minister of Interior, Bassam Mawlawi, issued a statement yesterday evening (Tuesday) banning the Syrians from demonstrating. The National Campaign for the Liberation of Lebanon from the “Syrian demographic occupation” responded with a statement in which it canceled its counter-demonstration, and the question is, when is Zero Hour?
This question must be asked as the municipalities in most Lebanese regions begin to take strict measures against the Syrians residing in them. The municipality of Bint Jbeil (southern Lebanon) called on the Syrians residing in the town to register their names with their family members, warning anyone who fails to attend to be deported. The municipality of Al-Khayara (Bekaa) raised signs warning Syrians not to roam after eight o’clock in the evening.
In light of these developments, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati held a ministerial meeting to discuss field developments with regard to the displaced Syrians, with the participation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Social and Interior Affairs, Labor and security leaders, led by the Army Commander, the Director General of the Internal Security Forces, and the Director General of Public Security. Continuing to follow up on the voluntary return of the displaced Syrians, taking into account the requirements of agreements and laws in terms of preserving human rights.
The meeting asked the High Commissioner for Displaced Affairs, and within a maximum period of one week from its date, to provide the Ministry of the Interior with information on the displaced Syrians, provided that the status of displaced person shall be revoked for every person leaving Lebanese territory. He called on the security services to strictly pursue violators, prevent the entry of Syrians through illegal means, and register the births of Syrians on Lebanese territory, in coordination with the High Commissioner for Displaced Affairs. The meeting called on foreign countries to participate in bearing the burdens of the Syrian displacement, especially with the increasing number of displaced people in light of the worsening economic crisis, and to strictly control employment within the permitted sectors.
The meeting discussed the possibility of handing over the detainees and those sentenced to the Syrian state immediately, taking into account the relevant laws and agreements, and after coordination in this regard with the Syrian state.
For his part, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi stressed, after his visit to the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Abd al-Latif Derian, that he would not allow incitement against the Lebanese army and the state, calling on the Syrians to abide by the Lebanese law and maintain order, pointing out that they must be registered and their status regulated because chaos is harmful to Lebanon and their interests.
He said: We will continue to assume our responsibilities and follow up on the security situation and take precautions so that no security incident occurs, stressing that Lebanon will not be a passage for any harm or evil to any Arab country, and we will continue the war against drugs and the protection of our Arab peoples from them.