Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea: Hezbollah Should Lay Down Its Weapons

1215 BEIRUT (GMT+3) – In a strong show of support by his followers, christian Lebanese Forces leader, Samir Geagea, attacked the Hezbollah organisation on Sunday in a speech he held at Harissa, a place of pilgrimage for Lebanese christians North of Beirut.

Geagea told the crowd, estimated in the tens of thousands, that Hezbollah should lay down its weapons: “Betting on maintaining weapons through force is a wrong bet.” According to Geagea, Syria is still trying to interfere into Lebanese political affairs and “there can not be a state competing with a statelet.”

Followers of Samir Geagea at Harissa North of Beiruit show their support
Followers of Samir Geagea at Harissa North of Beiruit show their support.

Pointing at Hezbollah he told the crowd that allegiance to Syria does not serve the higher aim of national unity. His speech was interrupted several times by his followers shouting his nickname “Hakim,” which is Arabic and means doctor. Samir Geagea studied medicine before going to battle during the civil war from 1975 to 1990. Later on he finished his studies. He was imprisoned from 1994 to 2005 for warcrimes committed during the civil war despite amnesty was granted comprehensively to all militias.

On Friday some hundreds of thousands Hezbollah followers gathered in Harek Hreik, a southern Beirut suburb which was heavily bombed by israeli warplanes during the 34-day war in July and August. Hezbollah’s secretary general, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, showed up for the first time in public speaking to the audience and refused to hand over Hezbollah’s weapons for now.

See also April 24 2005 article and anticipating comment on Geagea’s future (bear in mind that Michael Aoun is losing support on a large scale and seems to be splitting from Hezbollah)