Lebanese march marks 33rd anniversary of civil war

Saniora: "Today, after 33 years of wounds, we are still suffering and we haven't recovered from its effects, pains and memories."

Saniora 298 (photo credit:)
Saniora 298
(photo credit: )
Hundreds of Lebanese on Sunday marked the 33rd anniversary of the start of their country's civil war by marching along the "Green Line" that once divided Beirut. This year's commemoration came as Lebanon is mired in its worst political crisis since the end of the 1975-1990 war that claimed some 150,000 lives. The country has been without a president for nearly five months, and many here fear Lebanon could once again devolve into war. Several hundred people marched Sunday from the Mar Mikhael intersection in Beirut's southern suburbs to downtown Beirut. The path followed a boundary once known as the "Green Line" that divided Lebanon's capital into a Christian east and a Muslim west. Many in the crowd carried banners reading: "Our unity. Our salvation." The march was organized by several non-governmental groups. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Fuad Saniora delivered a televised speech to mark the anniversary. "Today, after 33 years of wounds, we are still suffering and we haven't recovered from its effects, pains and memories," Saniora said. Lebanon has been without a head of state since pro-Syrian president Emile Lahoud left his post in November. The parliament has failed to elect a president since then. The country is deeply divided between a pro-Syrian opposition and Saniora's Western-backed government. A dozen politicians, journalists and members of the military and police have been killed in political violence since 2005.