The commander of the Lebanese Rightist Militias, Bashir Gemayel, has told reporters in Beirut that the continuing state of war in the Ain Rummaneh areas of the capital has disrupted essential services and caused social problems.
CU Commander of the Lebanese Rightist Militias, Bashir Gemayel, talking to reporters.
TRANSCRIPT: GEMAYEL:"You must know that Ain Rummaneh have been suffering for five years from the weight of the war, first against the Palestinians and now against the Syrians. This is one of the only Lebanese areas who have been suffering non-stop, if we can say, from the war. Now we don't have any more pipes for water. They don't have telephone lines, they don't have electricity. The social conditions in Ain Rummaneh are very, very hard and this is how you can explain what's going on now. It's not at all a clash between two parties; it's a social situation which is now kept under very, very strong stress from the Syrians and this is the result. It's not at all a clash between two different parties."
REPORTER:"What is your solution, a short-term solution?"
GEMAYEL:"We have asked the amy if they can interfere just to...take on their ow some aspects of the defence of Ain Rummaneh but until now they were not able to comply with some of our requests because the Syrians are not letting them do so. We do not know if the army is going to be able to interfere in that."
REPORTER:"This is the first time you have asked the army to take up specific tasks in this area. Do you think we are going into a new stage of development?"
GEMAYEL:"We should not give to that main importance...it is not a big issue, you know. Only the main problem now is that Ain Rummaneh needs some kind of quiet, of calm, and as long as the Syrians are going to remain in the direct suburb of Ain Rummaneh, as long as the Palestinians in the Sabra Camp, El Shatillah Camp and Burj el-Barajneh Camp are surrounding Ain Rummaneh, I think the army will find some difficulties to get in."
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Background: The commander of the Lebanese Rightist Militias, Bashir Gemayel, has told reporters in Beirut that the continuing state of war in the Ain Rummaneh areas of the capital has disrupted essential services and caused social problems. These, he said, had been brought about by clashes between the local residents and the Syrian troops in Lebanon as a peace-keeping force.