President Michel Aoun on Sunday reminded the Lebanese of the 1975-1976 incidents to warn them against a renewed descent into civil strife, a day after the country was rocked by fast-moving sectarian unrest.
In a statement, the president said he condemns “any insult against the religious symbols of any component of the Lebanese family and the subsequent acts of violence and reactions that occurred overnight in several Lebanese regions.”
He also deplored “the attacks on shops, institutions and military and security forces who were carrying out their duty of preserving security and preventing riot,” in reference to clashes between protesters and security forces in central Beirut.
“We draw our national immunity from each other and our strength has been and will always be in our national unity, no matter what our political differences may be,” the president added.
“I address the conscience of every political and spiritual official and that of the prudent Lebanese who lived the 1975-1976 incidents… to carry out what they should do, each from their position, to put out any form of strife resulting from insults to our religious, spiritual and personal sanctities,” Aoun urged.
He said the events of Saturday should be “an alarm bell for everyone” to realize that “not through insulting each other’s sanctities we can achieve any demand.”
Aoun added: “We can’t achieve dignified living or reach our goals through insults or attacks on security forces, shops or institutions, and any security setback will not be in anyone’s interest, seeing as no one can triumph over the other through force or violence.”