UN: Lebanon in hyper-dangerous state

2010-10-28 21:44

Geneva - The UN special envoy for Lebanon said on Thursday that the country is in a "hyper-dangerous" state because of the heavily armed militias operating there.

The envoy, Terje Roed Larsen, called for urgent efforts to disarm groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, warning that there is "a hurricane blowing up" in the Middle East.

"Militias holding arms in Lebanon today is an intimidation in itself, particularly when it is paired with reckless and irresponsible rhetoric," Larsen told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council in a closed session on Lebanon.

"Lebanon is more conflicted every day... And we know that in Lebanon we have militias which are very heavily armed - and increasingly so - and this creates a hyper-dangerous situation," he said.

He did not comment on US allegations that Syria and Iran were providing arms to Hezbollah, but said: "There is a consistency between allegations we are hearing and statements from Hezbollah itself concerning their capabilities."

"These weapons are of course not coming from the moon."

The Middle East is "a region where we have cross-winds and a hurricane blowing up," Larsen warned.

"In the middle of those cross-winds there is a tent standing and that tent is critically held up by two poles. One is Palestinian and one is Lebanese. If one of those poles crack, the whole tent will go down.

"In other words, if the Lebanese situation is destabilised I am afraid that it will have rippling effects across the region," he told reporters.