Lebanon's twenty member National Dialogue Committee held its second meeting on Monday (29 September) to renew its efforts to restore stability to the troubled country by striking at the political roots of the problems.
Lebanon's twenty member National Dialogue Committee held its second meeting on Monday (29 September) to renew its efforts to restore stability to the troubled country by striking at the political roots of the problems. The Committee agreed to remove barricades, take measures to remove the snipers from the cities, and free kidnap victims.
On the following day, Tuesday (30 September) the Committee -- which was only formed last Wednesday (24 September) -- held yet another meeting to discuss the effect of the decisions taken the day before. Their first aim is to restore life in the country to normal following the factional violence of the last few weeks in Beirut and Tripoli which cost at least 305 lives.
On Monday the Prime Minister, Mr. Rashid Kzrami said he hoped that Government offices, shops and banks would resume work that day. His call was answered -- at least partially -- on Tuesday, when the banks reopened for the first time in more than two weeks. A police spokesman said that in Beirut, the capital, reports indicated that all was quiet and most roads were safe.
Only twenty-four hours before the banks and many of the shops had remained closed despite the appeal by the Prime Minister.
The city was mainly quiet with very few cars about. Petrol has not been delivered for more than a week, and most people have generally preferred to stay at home, though some traders were out on the street doing a little business.
Throughout Monday there were still intermittent exchanges of gunfire in Beirut and its suburbs. Armoured patrols were stepped up and the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Camille Chamoun said that security forces would be stationed where gunmen on the opposing sides had been manning barricades.
As night fell, there were a few more explosions and occasional shots, and Beirut Radio warned its listeners that two of the worst trouble spots were still dangerous.