A recent incident occurring on the Lebanese-Syrian border has put the issue of border demarcation between Lebanon and Syria at the forefront again.
It took Syria about 60 some years to recognize Lebanon as an independent and sovereign nation by finally agreeing (albeit under pressure) to exchange diplomatic missions with Beirut. This however, has not stopped Syria from wanting and working towards the goal of meddling in Lebanese internal affairs to assure it's hegemony over anything Lebanese.
The mere presence of an ambassador in Beirut is not proof enough that Syria believes, wants, and works towards a free and independent Lebanon. After all, nobody hears anything from the guy, and he rarely appears in public. There is no shortage of issues that need to be dealt with when it comes to Lebanese-Syrian relations, and this blog has previously listed some of them.
One of the main issues, is the demarcation of the Lebanese-Syrian border. Syria has refused for years to demarcate the Lebanese border for various reasons that I will not get into in this post. However, one reason the border should be demarcated is the recent spat between the village of Arsal and the neighboring Syrian villages. Farmers and residents from both sides of the border have agricultural land that they tend to. The catch here is that since the border is not demarcated, and the propriety of the land is in question, and since apparently Wild West mentalities (video) are prevalent, every now and then, each time somebody goes out to tend to their land, they get killed. Usually, casualties are mostly on the Lebanese side of the border, however this time around, both a Syrian and a Lebanese were killed. The villagers are hoping that this will serve as a deterrent to what they see as a clear, concrete and constant violation of their rights by the Syrians.
Whatever the reasons are for Syria to not demarcate the border between the two countries, this however should not be used as an excuse or pretext by the Lebanese government to not protect its citizens and ensure their rights, no matter where they be found on Lebanese land.
It's time for the Lebanese government to take serious actions to pressure the international community and Syria to force a demarcation of the Lebanese-Syrian border. If this cannot be easily achieved, I believe that the Lebanese government should take unilateral actions to demarcate the border itself, at the very least to protect its citizens and territorial integrity.
1 day ago