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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet The election results

The election results

In the north, where 11 of the 27 Sunni seats were, there were two lists: the ‘official list’ headed by Omar Karami and Suleiman Frangieh and the list for ‘change’ headed by Ahman Karami (Omar’s cousin). Omar Karami’s list won 9 of the 11 Sunni seats; the other went to the fundamentalist al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya. Ahmad Karami’s list of change only won 1 of the total: a Greek Orthodox seat. Most of the Sunni MP’s elected were members of traditional leading families except the two members of al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya and one member of the SSNP on Omar Karami’s ‘official’ list.

In Beirut, with 6 Sunni seats, there were several lists. The most important ones were prime minister Rashid al-Solh’s ‘official’ list (with four government ministers on it) and former prime minister, Salim al-Hoss’ list of ‘Salvation and Change’. Al-Hoss’ list had a couple of names of reformists, including the president of the League for Human rights (a Christian) and among the Sunnis, al-Hoss himself, who was considered a technocrat of integrity, and Osama al-Fakhuri who had been in the National Movement as an independent. Al-Hoss’ list was elected in its entirety but it had some blank spots: there were only 3 Sunni candidates on it. Of the other 3 seats, 2 went to fundamentalist parties and one to Rashid al-Solh.

In the south, where the 2 seats in Sidon and 1 of the 5 seats for Marjayoun were Sunni, Amal leader Nabih Berri’s list for ‘Liberation’ was elected entirely at the expense of former speaker of parliament, Kamal al-Asaad’s list, a grouping of traditional southern leaders. Berri’s list had only one candidate for the two Sidon seats, which went to Bahia al-Hariri, sister of multi-billionaire (and later prime minister), Rafik al-Hariri. The other seat went to Mustapha Saad and his Nasserist People’s Organisation. The rest of the Sunni seats are spread out over areas where they are a small minority and don’t have any independent leadership.

Renewal or continuity?

So did these elections represent a break with the patron-client system for the Sunnis? If we are looking at the north, it is safe to answer no. Out of 11 seats, only 3 went to political parties with the others going to members of prominent families. Things are different for Beirut. Of the 6 Sunnis elected here, only 2 represent a party. Of the others, 3 are members of prominent families: al-Hoss, al-Fakhuri and al-Solh. However, only Rashid al-Solh can be considered a tradition za’im while al-Hoss and al-Fakhuri are considered reformists. In Sidon, a woman was elected with the highest number of votes in the south after Nabih Berri. This is an adaptation in the patron-client system so that women can be zu’ama now, rather than a break with the system. The other seat in Sidon went to Mustapha Saad, a party and militia leader as well as a traditional leader which was hardly a clean break with the patron-client system either.

A total of 9 out of 27 seats went to political parties. It is remarkable, however, that those 9 seats went to 7 different parties, the largest being al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya with 3 seats; the Sunni community remains divided. All the parties predate the war, but only two of them, the PSP and the Union of Working Forces, were represented in parliament.

All things considered, there was a bit of renewal. Although only 1 in three seats went to political parties, this is still an increase: in the years 1964, 1968 and 1972 an average of 15% of the Sunni seats went to political parties.163 Besides, some of the non-party members can be considered reformists also.


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Thanks, from:
curses (08-02-2008), Sophia (01-22-2011), Stormlight (08-01-2008)
By Watser? on 12-27-2010, 12:10 AM
News Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

Here's a story from the Lebanese press about one former member of Tawhid who was murdered Saturday in the Palestinian camp Ain al Hilweh, near Sidon.
Located on the outskirts of the coastal city of Sidon, Ain al-Hilweh, like most other Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, does not fall under the control of the Lebanese government but under that of local Palestinian armed factions.

The camp saw normal activity Sunday morning, one day after the body of Ghandi Sahmarani, a member in the disbanded Jund al-Sham Islamist group was found.

Security sources said that Sahmarani, who is a Lebanese citizen wanted by Lebanese authorities, was found hand cuffed, leg cuffed and struck by a sharp device on the head. Sahmarani who hasn’t shown up for a long time, used to live in the Taamir neighborhood, which lies to the north of the camp, and which is considered a stronghold for Salafi Islamists. The area falls under the influence of Osbat al-Ansar, an Islamist group.

The fugitive was a member of Al-Tawhid al-Islami movement in the 1980’s, during which he participated in the fierce battles that broke out between the movement and the Syrian Army in Tripoli. He left Tripoli in 1987 and moved to Sidon where he joined a number of fundamentalist movements including Osbat al-Ansar and Jund al-Sham. After the disbandment of Jund al-Sham, Sahmarani joined Fatah al-Islam.

Sahmarani reportedly sheltered a number of Islamists who fled the northern Dinnieh district after taking part in the clashes that erupted between their comrades and the Lebanese Army in the district in 2000.

As a member of Jund al-Sham, the group fought the Lebanese Army several times. Armed clashes broke out between the two around Ain al-Hilweh in 2007, when the army was fighting Fatah al-Islam in the northern Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared.
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By Watser? on 10-28-2014, 01:10 PM
Default Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

"The army has taken over Bab al-Tebbaneh," said the spokesman, adding that troops had captured 162 fighters since Friday.

The army urged other fighters still at large to turn themselves in.

The soldiers carried out house-to-house searches and made several weapons seizures.

A 72-year-old woman said she had never before been forced out of Bab al-Tebbaneh, "not even during the civil war. But this time, I had to flee my house, along with my five grandchildren. I am in charge of them, because their father is in jail", said Umm Mohammed Jaaburi. "The violence was unprecedented," she said.
Lebanon army back in control of Tripoli
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By Watser? on 10-30-2014, 02:36 PM
Default Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

No two people would disagree about the outcome of the most recent round of clashes in Tripoli. The army was able to defeat the gunmen. The outcome is unambiguous, at least in terms of appearances. The Lebanese army succeeded in driving the gunmen underground and removed all signs of their former existence. It set up checkpoints and carried out raids in areas that were forbidden to it in the past even if it cost the lives of 12 officers and soldiers, while there were no heavy casualties among the gunmen.
Jihadi groups in north Lebanon admit to defeat in battle against the army | Al Akhbar English
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