United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 was a resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on September 2, 2004UN document |docid=S-RES-1559(2004) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2004 |accessdate=2007-09-06] . It called upon Lebanon to establish its sovereignty over all of its land and called upon "foreign forces" (generally interpreted as referring but not limited to Syria) to withdraw from Lebanon and to cease intervening in the internal politics of Lebanon. The resolution also called on all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias to disband and declared support for a "free and fair electoral process".

Nine countries voted in favor: Angola, Benin, Chile, France, Germany, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Six countries abstained: Algeria, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Pakistan, the Philippines and Russia.

The resolution was sponsored by France and the United States. The cooperation between these two nations on an issue concerning the Middle East was seen as a significant improvement in their relationship, compared to their earlier bitter disagreement over the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Because Lebanon was governed by France as a League of Nations mandate 1919-1943, France has long taken a special interest in Lebanon.


On September 2, 2004, the UN Security Council adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1559, coauthored by France and the United States. Echoing the Taif Agreement, the resolution "calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon" and "for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias." Lebanon has requested that Israel withdraw from the disputed Shebaa Farms and the hills of Kfar-Shouba and return the Lebanese detainees in Israel as a condition for fully implementing Resolution 1559 which includes disbanding of the military wing of Hezbollah [ [http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8616.doc.htm Security Council Press Release, Jan. 23, 2006] ] [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/05/06/lebanon.report/index.html Hezbollah disarmament unclear: CNN May 7, 2005] ] [ [http://www.jinsa.org/articles/articles.html/function/view/categoryid/884/documentid/3131/history/3,2360,884,3131 Lebanon, Independent on Syrian Terms: JINSA August 25, 2005] ] . Critics of the resolution argue however that an attempt from the weak and politically divided Lebanese army to disarm Hezbollah would be very difficult and could restart the Lebanese civil war. Syria was also in violation of the resolution until recently because of their military presence in Lebanon.

On October 7, 2004 the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reported to the Security Council regarding the lack of compliance with Resolution 1559. Mr. Annan concluded his report by saying: "It is time, 14 years after the end of hostilities and four years after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, for all parties concerned to set aside the remaining vestiges of the past. The withdrawal of foreign forces and the disbandment and disarmament of militias would, with finality, end that sad chapter of Lebanese history." [ [http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=12147&Cr=lebanon&Cr1= Syria has not withdrawn troops from Lebanon, Annan reports ] ]

The January 20, 2005 UN Secretary-General's report on Lebanon stated that "The continually asserted position of the Government of Lebanon that the Blue Line is not valid in the Shab'a farms area is not compatible with Security Council resolutions. The Council has recognized the Blue Line as valid for purposes of confirming Israel’s withdrawal pursuant to resolution 425 (1978). The UN Security Council has repeatedly requested that all parties respect the Blue Line in its entirety." [ [http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/sc8299.doc.htm SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS VIOLENCE ALONG BLUE LINE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND LEBANON, EXTENDS MANDATE OF UNIFIL UNTIL 31 JULY ] ]

On January 28, 2005 UN Security Council Resolution 1583 called upon the Government of Lebanon to fully extend and exercise its sole and effective authority throughout the south, including through the deployment of sufficient numbers of Lebanese armed and security forces, to ensure a calm environment throughout the area, including along the Blue Line, and to exert control over the use of force on its territory and from it. [ [http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/sc8299.doc.htm SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS VIOLENCE ALONG BLUE LINE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND LEBANON, EXTENDS MANDATE OF UNIFIL UNTIL 31 JULY ] ]

Syria made few moves to comply with the resolution until the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, on February 14, 2005. International pressure to withdraw intensified and public perception in Lebanon turned strongly against Syria, evidenced by mass demonstrations that were labeled the Cedar Revolution. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria announced on March 5, 2005 that he planned to "bring his forces home." The withdrawal, involving about 14,000 troops, took about seven weeks to complete.

On April 26, 2005, after 29 years of military action in Lebanon, the last Syrian troops left Lebanon. Syrian military and intelligence facilities, after the destruction of sensitive documents or the transportation of logistical material, were turned over to Lebanese counterparts. This action left the Lebanese government as the main violator of the resolution due to its refusal to dismantle the pro-Syrian Palestinian and Hezbollah militias.

On December 27, 2005 Katyusha rockets fired from Hezbollah territory smashed into houses in the Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona wounding three people [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051228/wl_nm/mideast_attack_dc_6] . UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on the Lebanese government "to extend its control over all its territory, to exert its monopoly on the use of force, and to put an end to all such attacks" [http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=17049&Cr=Middle&Cr1=Lebanon] .

On January 23, 2006 the UN Security Council called on the Government of Lebanon to make more progress in controlling its territory and disbanding militias, while also calling on Syria to cooperate with those efforts. In a statement read out by its January President, Augustine Mahiga of Tanzania, the Council also called on Syria to take measures to stop movements of arms and personnel into Lebanon. [ [http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=17263&Cr=middle&Cr1=leban Security Council calls on Lebanon to assert control over all its territory ] ]

The Lebanese response

The Lebanese government has officially responded to this resolution. It is posted on the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) official website ( [http://www.lebarmy.gov.lb/article.asp?cat=6&ln=en] ). It has responded in three ways to the resolution:
#The withdrawal of the foreign forces from Lebanon;
#Disarming the Lebanese and foreign guerillas; and
#Expanding the government's authority on all the Lebanese territories.

:1) "The only foreign forces existing in Lebanon are the Israeli forces which occupy the farms of Shebaa. Whereas the Syrian forces are friendly Arab forces which entered Lebanon according to the Lebanese government's demand and their existence is regulated by the convention of brotherhood and coordination and cooperation between Lebanon and Syria and a copy of this convention was submitted to the United States at that time. - And in this context the Syrian forces carried out five redeployment operations in the Lebanese regions according to the resolution of the mutual military committee of the two brother armies.An immediate withdrawal of the Syrian Arab forces according to the security council's resolution number 1559 cannot be executed however the redeployment operations are carried out in cooperation between the two countries and specifically in the framework of the high military committee."

:2) "The national resistance which is confronting the Israeli occupation is not a guerilla and it has no security role inside the country and its activities are restricted to facing the Israeli enemy. This resistance led to the withdrawal of the enemy from the bigger part of our occupied land and is still persistent to free the farms of Shebaa. Preserving this resistance constitutes a Lebanese strategic interest with the aim of relating the struggle with the enemy and regain all the Lebanese legitimate rights achieving and at the forefront the withdrawal of Israel from the farms of Shebaa and the return of the refugees to their land."

:3) "As for the Palestinian presence in the camps in all its known considerations is resultant from the practices of Israel which expulsed the Palestinians and the resort of a part of them to Lebanon, and most of them live in refugee camps fostered by the United Nations and the UNRWA organization. The Palestinians are claiming the right of return according to the international resolutions and especially the resolution number 194. In this framework the government preserved their particularities inside the camps which the army encircles and does not allow the traffic of arms outside of it and the army offered many martyrs and exerted great efforts to control the situation."

Lebanese Political Debate

The question of compliance with Resolution 1559 is a prominent matter in Lebanese politics. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has stated that the government considers Hezbollah arms to be a domestic affair and that stated policy should reassure Hezbollah that the government will protect its military wing. [ [http://yalibnan.com/site/archives/2006/01/lebanons_sinior_2.php "Lebanon's Siniora won't yield to Hezbollah", Safir, 16 January, 2006] ] . Hezbollah, seeing itself as the sole representative of the Lebanese resistance, was trying to acquire better privileges allowing it to stop any possible attack. The debate took several months after which prime minister Fouad Siniora admitted that the resistance will be not called anything else but resistance, in reference to people attacking it as a militia.Fact|date=February 2007

Druze leader MP Walid Jumblatt has repeatedly insisted that he objects to the disarmament of Hezbollah, according to the international resolution, describing the party as a "resistance group" and not a militia. He engaged in an electoral alliance with Hezbollah during the 2005 parliamentary election, with one of the titles of the alliance being "The Protection of the Resistance," but is now calling on Hezbollah to be integrated into the Lebanese Army and hand in its weapons over to the government. [ [http://www.lebaneselobby.org/News__index/news%202006/01%2017%2005%20EU%20demands%20Lebanon%20implement%20Resolution%201559.html "EU demands Lebanon implement Resolution 1559" Daily Star, Beirut, January 17, 2006] ]

Siniora has more stated on July 20, 2006 that "the continued presence of Israeli occupation of Lebanese lands in the Shebaa Farms region is what contributes to the presence of Hezbollah weapons. The international community must help us in (getting) an Israeli withdrawal from Shebaa Farms so we can solve the problem of Hezbollah's arms." [ [http://www.forbes.com/business/healthcare/feeds/ap/2006/07/20/ap2893194.html "Israelis, Hezbollah Clash Again in Lebanon", AP, July 20, 2006] ]


ee also

*History of Lebanon
*"Pax Syriana"
*2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict

External links

* [http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/unsc_resolutions04.html UN Security Council Resolutions 2004]
* [http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=S/RES/1559%20(2004)&Lang=E&Area=UNDOC United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (PDF)]

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