BEIRUT: The head of the Lebanese Army said Tuesday the military would prevent Lebanon from returning to being a place for settling scores and commended soldiers on their performance despite limited resources.
“I pledge to you today that there will be no going back and the Army will not allow Lebanon to become once again an arena where others settle their accounts or a base from which to export or import strife,” Army commander General Jean Kahwagi said during a speech to Lebanese expatriates in London.
He added that the Army had managed to preserve civil peace to a large extent through measures such as controlling the borders with Syria, containing clashes in the northern city of Tripoli and cracking down on arms smuggling despite limited resources.
“The Army, which succeeded in breaking the arm of terrorism in Nahr al-Bared [refugee camp in Tripoli] and implementing [U.N.] Security Council Resolution 1701 in south Lebanon in collaboration with UNIFIL, is working hard with the available and meager means to control the security situation on the border and inside,” Kahwagi said.
The Army commander, who is on an official visit to London in a bid to develop and improve bilateral military cooperation, added that the challenges facing the military were substantial given the presence of Israel on the southern border and the repercussions of Syria’s crisis.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 26, 2012, on page 3.