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Lebanon, exhausted and in a constant state of war

This time every year, civil society organizations commemorate Lebanon’s civil war which officially began on April 13, 1975

Nayla Tueni

Published: Updated:

This time every year, civil society organizations commemorate Lebanon’s civil war which officially began on April 13, 1975. The war’s reasons date back to before the country’s independence and those reasons still exist. Apart from those reasons, we can still witness the war’s repercussions which grow by the day. They say the war ended in 1990 but this is not true. We’ve lived through large-scale wars since then, such as the 1996 and 2006 wars with Israel. There was also violence in Nahr al-Bared, Abra, Beirut and recently Tripoli, Akkar and Arsal. Not to mention the continuous absurd wars in Palestinian camps.

If the war has ended, then how do we explain the incidents in Tripoli which call for the constant heightening of security? These security plans all failed before the government finally made up its mind to strictly implement them. We hope this implementation continues at the same speed. If the war ended, then why do abduction operations continue in Bekaa? What about those abducted in Syrian prisons? If the war ended, what do we have to say about the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, Gebran Tueni, Samir Kassir and all the independence revolution’s martyrs? If the war ended, what do we have to say about explosions which occur throughout the country? Why haven’t those who have been displaced returned to their homes? Why haven’t violations of public and private property been settled?

A clear mechanism must be designed so we can move forward together and be liberated from the past’s sins

Nayla Tueni

Most importantly, why haven’t all the war criminals been tried and held accountable and why are only certain cases being addressed? Why are some people detained and others exiled while other warlords have enjoyed authority and its benefits until this very day? We raise these questions knowing they will remain unanswered. These questions don’t aim to open wounds, bring up the dark past and dig up graves - although, like many others, we haven’t forgotten and we cannot forget. But we do desire to turn the page of the dark past. We truly desire that. But we cannot do that alone. This is a national decision that must be brought up during a national dialogue conference. A clear mechanism must be designed so we can move forward together and be liberated from the past’s sins. If we don’t, then we’ll resume lying and seizing opportunities to eliminate others and set the stage for new wars and continued struggle.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on April 14, 2014.

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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

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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