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IRB - Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada: Information on the present situation of the Lebanese Forces and the attitude of the occupying Syrian troops and the Lebanese government toward their supporters [LBN16473.E], 08 February 1994 (available at ecoi.net)
http://www.ecoi.net/local_link/184459/287290_en.html (accessed 18 April 2014)

Information on the present situation of the Lebanese Forces and the attitude of the occupying Syrian troops and the Lebanese government toward their supporters [LBN16473.E]

According to the Arab Press Service, Samir Geagea, the leader of the now disbanded Lebanese Forces (LF) has been living "as a recluse" in a fortified headquarter that he had set up in the mountain village of Ghedrass, north of Beirut, at the end of the war in 1990 (13 Nov. 1993). Geagea apparently rarely emerges from the village but has kept contact with Premier Hariri and President Hrawi (ibid.). The leader of the LF militia also met with the Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on 8 November 1993, for the first time since the beginning of the war (APS 13 Nov. 1993; The Lebanon Report Dec. 1993). The Christian Science Monitor reports that Geagea apparently declared in August 1993 that "all his movement's resources were at the state's disposal in the struggle for Lebanon's integrity and sovereignty" (2 Aug. 1993). Also, in September 1993, the Arabic-language daily al-Hayat reportedly quoted sources as saying that Geagea had lost his Israeli support and that his position had been undermined by the Israeli-PLO accord (The Jerusalem Post 26 Sept. 1993). Furthermore, according to an article published in the November 1993 issue of The Lebanon Report, Geagea avoided discussing regional politics during a recent speech before his party cadres to avoid being accused of awaiting an advantageous regional conjuncture to re-establish his power. Further information on the situation of the disbanded Lebanese Forces is currently unavailable to the DIRB.

Information on the attitude of the Syrians toward Samir Geagea's supporters in Lebanon is currently unavailable to the DIRB. However, Reuters reports Geagea visited Syria in January 1994 to offer condolences to President Hafez al-Assad on the death of his son (26 Jan. 1994). According to political sources, Geagea has tried to smooth ties with Damascus recently (ibid.).

Information on the attitude of the Lebanese government toward Geagea's supporters is scarce. However, according to a representative of Middle East Watch in Washington, there has been disagreements and infighting (for example, kidnappings) between the members of the Phalange party and the Lebanese Forces in Lebanon for at least a year (8 Feb. 1994). At its November 1993 congress, the Phalange party has further distanced itself from other Christian political groups by moving closer to Damascus and put an end to its link with the Lebanese Forces (APS 25 Dec. 1993). Also, following the bomb explosion at the Phalange party headquarter in Beirut on 20 December 1993 a number of activists of both groups were arrested by the government (8 Feb. 1994; APS 25 Dec. 1993; The Jerusalem Post 21 Dec. 1993).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find attached the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Arab Press Service (APS). 25 December 1993. "Blast At Phalange HQ." (NEXIS)

. 13 November 1993. "Berri-Geagea Talks." (NEXIS)

The Christian Science Monitor. 2 August 1993. Jim Muir. "Israeli Attacks Unite Lebanese." (NEXIS)

The Jerusalem Post. 21 December 1993. David Rudge and news agencies. "Phalange Headquarters Bombed in Beirut." (NEXIS)

. 26 September 1993. Dougals Davis and news agencies. "Hisbullah and Sunnis Join Forces Against 'Zionists'. Two SLA Men Slain in Weekend Exchange of Fire." (NEXIS)

The Lebanon Report [Beirut]. December 1993. Vol. 4. No. 12. "Chronology of Events: November 1993."

. November 1993. Vol. 4. No. 11. Joseph Bahout. "The Political Gains of a Christian Return."

Reuters. 26 January 1994. "Geagea Offers Condolences to Syria's Assad." (NEXIS)

Attachments

Arab Press Service (APS). 25 December 1993. "Blast At Phalange HQ." (NEXIS)

. 13 November 1993. "Berri-Geagea Talks." (NEXIS)

The Christian Science Monitor. 2 August 1993. Jim Muir. "Israeli Attacks Unite Lebanese." (NEXIS)

The Jerusalem Post. 21 December 1993. David Rudge and news agencies. "Phalange Headquarters Bombed in Beirut." (NEXIS)

. 26 September 1993. Dougals Davis and news agencies. "Hisbullah and Sunnis Join Forces Against 'Zionists'. Two SLA Men Slain in Weekend Exchange of Fire." (NEXIS)

The Lebanon Report [Beirut]. December 1993. Vol. 4. No. 12. "Chronology of Events: November 1993."

. November 1993. Vol. 4. No. 11. Joseph Bahout. "The Political Gains of a Christian Return."

Reuters. 26 January 1994. "Geagea Offers Condolences to Syria's Assad". (NEXIS)