Ban Ki Moon 224.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that Hizbullah is making an effort to create "intimidation" in Lebanon ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for June, AFP reported late Monday. He was also quoted as voicing concern for Hizbullah activities in Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
In a report to the UN Security Council, Ban said, "The threat that armed groups and militias pose to the sovereignty and stability of the Lebanese state cannot be overstated."
"It creates an atmosphere of intimidation in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections. It also undermines the stability of the region, and is incompatible with the objectives of Resolution 1559," he added, referring to a 2004 resolution which called for the "disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias."
The UN chief described the groups arsenal as "a direct challenge to the sovereignty of the Lebanese state and an obstacle for the conduct of the normal democratic process in the country."
On Friday, Ban condemned what he said was Hizbullah's interference in the affairs of another country.
"I am alarmed that Hizbullah publicly admitted to providing support to Gaza-based militants from Egyptian territory," he said.
"Such activity indicates that Hizbullah operates outside Lebanese territory and beyond its stated national agenda. I condemn such unwarranted interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign member state," he said.
Ban renewed his call for Hizbullah to disarm and to transform into "a solely political party."
The group has rejected local and foreign calls to disarm, saying its arsenal of weapons and rockets is needed to defend Lebanon against any Israeli attack.
AP contributed to this report