Posted by: sean | November 1, 2006

International Crisis Group releases paper on Lebanon/Hizbollah/Israel

The International Crisis Group has released a report on avoiding renewed conflict in the region. Here are their reccomendations:


To the United Nations Security Council:

1. Promote effective implementation of Resolution 1701 on Lebanon by passing a follow-up resolution calling for:

(a) comprehensive Lebanese security reform, with the assistance of outside parties, based on the need to effectively assert the state’s sovereignty and defend its territorial integrity;

(b) sustained and substantial international financial assistance;

(c) intensive efforts to address outstanding Israeli-Lebanese issues, including a prisoner exchange, a halt to Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty and onset of a process to resolve the status of the contested Shebaa farms by transferring custody to the UN under UNIFIL supervision pending Israel-Syria and Israel-Lebanon peace agreements; and

(d) intensive and sustained efforts to reach a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

To the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL):

2. Accept that its task is essentially to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces, refraining from proactive searches for Hizbollah arms caches.

3. Investigate, publicly condemn and take appropriate action against flagrant violations of Resolution 1701, particularly attempts to resupply Hizbollah and Israeli over-flights or other violations of Lebanese sovereignty.

4. Quickly provide financial and technical support for the clearance of unexploded munitions (UXOs) and other lethal war debris, including cluster sub-munitions that are sinking below the surface due to the onset of winter.

5. Avoid assuming an assertive armed posture in patrolling southern Lebanon so as to minimise anti-UN sentiment among the local population.

6. Complete UN demarcation of the Shebaa farms area and propose to Israel, Lebanon and Syria placing it under temporary UN custody pending final peace agreements between them.

To the Government of Israel:

7. Halt hostile operations in Lebanon, including the capture or assassination of militants and civilians, as well as violations of Lebanese waters and air space.

8. Cooperate with UN efforts to address remaining Israeli-Lebanese issues, including a prisoner exchange, provision of digital records of cluster-rocket launching sequences and logbooks with target coordinates, and resolution of the status of Shebaa farms and Ghajar village.

To the Government of Syria:

9. Engage in an open dialogue with Lebanon aimed at clarifying and addressing both sides’ legitimate interests, in particular by normalising bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect and exchanging embassies.

10. Cooperate with UN efforts to demarcate the Shebaa farms area and reach agreement with Lebanon on its final status.

To Hizbollah:

11. End all visible armed presence south of the Litani River and avoid provocative actions vis-à-vis Israel or UNIFIL.

12. Work within the context of the national dialogue on a mutually acceptable process that would lead to the end of its status as an autonomous force, notably through enhancement of the LAF?s defence capabilities, reform of the political system and progress toward Arab-Israeli peace.

13. Limit territorial claims to those officially endorsed by the Lebanese government.

To the Government of Lebanon:

14. Undertake, in cooperation with international partners, a thorough security reform aimed at re-establishing and defending the state?s sovereignty over its territory, emphasising defensive capabilities and reinforcing the army as an instrument of national defence.

15. Ensure that such security reform is not used to further any international or partisan domestic agenda.

16. Encourage Hizbollah?s gradual demilitarisation by addressing outstanding Israeli-Lebanese issues (prisoner exchange, violations of Lebanese sovereignty and Shebaa farms); and reforming and democratising Lebanon?s political system.

17. Tighten controls along its border with Syria, using international technical assistance.

To the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF):

18. Confiscate visible weapons south of the Litani River and seek to prevent arms transfers.

To the European Union and its Member States:

19. Provide technical and material assistance to Lebanon?s security reform process, domestic security organs and the Lebanese Armed Forces.

To Arab States:

20. Support the building and equipping of the LAF.

21. Provide additional financial assistance to assist in reconstruction and reduce government indebtedness.

22. Cast off sectarian bias in dealing with Lebanon, ensuring that relations are established with the central government rather than particular communities.

To Members of the Quartet (U.S., Russia, UN and EU):

23. Conduct parallel discussions with Israel, Syria and Lebanon to re-launch Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese peace negotiations, making clear that the goal is a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

This touches on a lot of issues and I think ICG is right to advise caution and warn against using Resolution 1701 “as a blunt means of disarming Hizbollah.” We’ll see if any of the parties actually listen.



  1. hey Sean… you’re back in Beirut? Thought you were going to be in Amman for the foreseeable future…
    I lost your e-mailaddress, but then all of the sudden your weblog-name popped up in my head as I was riding my bike and here you are!
    Hope all is well, am planning to come back to the Middle East (Lebanon, Iran and Yemen) in February, so who knows where we’ll run into each other again).

    Good luck!

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