BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Minister calls on Druze to evacuate Christian homes

Minister Alice Shabtini poses for a photo during an interview in Beirut, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Minister for the Displaced Alice Shabtini Friday issued a decision for Druze tenants to evacuate residences belonging to Christians who were forced to emigrate from the Chouf village of Brih during the Civil War.

The decision is part of reconciliation efforts between Christians and Druze in the country following the 2001 historic visit by former Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir to the Chouf region.

In her decision, Shabtini also tasked the “Central Fund for the Displaced to pay compensation owed to the occupants and tasked the Office of Operations for the Displaced in Mount Lebanon to execute the decision in coordination with the ministry in order to hand over the houses to their rightful owners.”

The reconciliation plan seeks to bring back Christians who were forced to migrate during the 1980s battles of the Civil War.

In 2012, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai visited Brih and met with Druze leader MP Walid Jumblatt. Rai said that in order to complete the reconciliation process, all the displaced needed to return to their hometowns without exception.

Brih is one of the last villages where reconciliation has yet to take place.

 

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