Lebanon’s kidnappings are a tragedy for us all

In the past two days, several people were kidnapped based on their official identification cards. Meanwhile, Lebanese military personnel are still being held hostage by Islamist militants, and some of them have been killed in the most hideous and brutal manner. It is as if we’ve learnt nothing from the past, from the civil war or from others’ wars on Lebanese territory, as Ghassan Tueni liked to call them. Perhaps it’s beneficial to participate in the protest which families of those kidnapped during the civil war hold every Thursday in front of the Grand Serail. It’s important to look into the eyes of mothers who’ve carried photos of their husbands and sons for like 30 years demanding to know what the fates of their beloved are. They are no longer waiting for those who were kidnapped to return, and are rather demanding to attain the investigations’ case files to uncover the truth.

This recent phase has marked the return of abductions between Sunnis and Shiites – i.e. between brothers - and we are once again exposing civil peace to danger. It seems there are no wise men in this country, or they have lost their role and influence and accepted leaving the arena to bandits and militiamen.

Kidnapping military personnel remains the most evil act because it weakens morale and threatens security institutions

Nayla Tueni

As for the recent wave of tit-for-tat abductions, kidnapping the military personnel remains the most evil act because it weakens morale and threatens security institutions which are incapable of engaging in any humiliating negotiations because they could lead to further abductions by foreign groups or even domestic groups who can pressure the state. The army institution also cannot abandon its sons because they are the guarantee of its survival and continuity.

If the negotiation process to release the kidnapped soldiers is ongoing via secret channels, other precautionary measure to protect us all against being abducted must be taken by the country’s different parties and sects. It’s their responsibility to put an end to these violations before they worsen and get out of control. At that point, remorse will do us no good as we will have all been kidnapped.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on September 22, 2014.


Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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