What is the conflict and who are the parties involved?There are two main groups of people in Lebanon, the Christians and the Muslims. These two groups also have many sects including the Maronites, the Sunnis and the Shiites. Making decisions in Lebanon can be very difficult.
The opinions of the two groups are often contradicting making it hard to agree upon things. An example of this is choosing who to align with outside of Lebanon. Many Christians want connections with the western half of the world while the Muslims want to side with Syria and Iran (Hardy.
2007; BBC News. 2017). Before the Arab-Israeli war, Christians were the majority. After that war, Palestinians fled to Lebanon and Muslims became the majority. Once the Palestinians came, everything shifted and war broke out in 1975 and lasted until 1990 (Salhani. 2015).Is this a territorial, religious, racial, or ethnic conflict? Combination?Although this a conflict between two religious groups, the Christians and the Muslims, this conflict is considered ethnic.
The Muslims in Lebanon consider themselves Arabs, an ethnicity from the Arabian Peninsula. The Christians consider themselves descendants from Phoenicians. The Phoenicians are a group that used to control what is today known as Lebanon (Rubenstein. 2014).Where is the conflict occurring? How does the location affect the conflict?This conflict is occurring in Lebanon. The location of Lebanon affects the conflict because of its proximity to Israel. This affects the conflict because of the Palestinians that fled as refugees from the Arab-Israeli war. Even though there was tension between the Muslims and the Christians before, the Palestinians that fled to Lebanon caused more problems.
They caused a shift in the country that was already unstable (Chamine. 1976). Later after the war had ended, Syria who shares their west border with Lebanon had a civil war.
Because of this more refugees fled to Lebanon sparking more conflict in war torn country of Lebanon (BBC News. 2017). What is the cause of the disagreement? In 1920, the French gained control of Lebanon. At this time the Christians were the majority and they were favored by the French. Because of this, the Muslims started to become angry and unsympathetic towards the French and the Christians. This was the beginning of the hostility that arose between these two groups. In 1943, Lebanon gained independence and the Constitution required that the government representatives would be equally based on the population of each religion based upon the most recent census (one form 1932).
But nothing else was specified, later causing more problems. According to the census, the ratio of Christians to Muslims was 6:5. The real ratio of the religions in 1943 was unknown because there was no up to date information about the population. This caused lots of disputes over how the government should be ran. Soon after the Arab-Israeli war, Palestinian refugees fleeing from Israel fled to South Lebanon. This caused a disturbance in Lebanon and an imbalance in the government representation of the two religions.
War broke out between the Christians and the Muslims who allied with the Palestinians (Chamine. 1976). How long has the disagreement occurred?The civil war in Lebanon began in 1975 and ended in 1990. However, tensions between the Muslims and the Christians dated back to the 1920’s when the French gained control. Over time conflict between the Muslims and the Christians have grown, building on top of another- festering over time.
Although there might have been some problems when Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire, most of the tensions began after World War 1 which ended in 1918. To this day there is still fighting in Lebanon (Chamine. 1976). How has the dispute been carried out? After the civil war ended in 1990, fighting and tensions were still present. Today there is still a lot of conflict and fighting. Many bombings have occured in Beirut and government officials have been assassinated. Border disputes have emerged and bad relationships with Lebanon’s neighboring countries became evident. Also, more problems arose because of the conflict in Syria and the Syrian refugees that fled into Lebanon (BBC News.
2017). What impact has this conflict had on the region and people?The civil war in Lebanon caused a lot of damage to the people living there. Many major cities in Lebanon were destroyed, like Beirut and Tyre. There are many refugees and internally displaced persons as a result of the Lebanese Civil War. Many people in Lebanon are suffering because of damaged homes and cities, fuel shortages, and limited access to crucial elements such as: food, clean water, and hospitals. It is estimated that there are around 3.9 million refugees in Lebanon making up 10% of the population, and today those numbers are still growing (Murphy.
2006).What is the scale of the conflict? Although the civil war took place in Lebanon, this conflict is considered global. Countries including the United States and France have tried to restore peace by sending people, but in 1983 they stopped because 241 US marines and 58 French died in a bombing (Reuters Staff. 2007). Syria was also involved in this because once the U.S.
left, they gained control of Lebanon. Syria sent troops to help end the war and didn’t leave until the UN forced them to leave in 2005. Because countries from all around the world have gotten involved in settling this conflict, this is considered global (BBC News.
2017). Why does the disagreement continue and are there any contrary opinion?Today, Muslims make up about 54% of the population and Christians make up around 40%. Each of these religions have different opinions about decisions for the country. Christians want US alliance and the Muslims want Syrian alliance.
Control over the country is also very disputed because each major religion has a substantial amount of people contributing to the population. The government is also divided into two different groups having contrasting ideas on what is best for the country (Hardy. 2007). Joseph Chamine says that the “damage that has occured practically rules out any chances for reconciliation and stability in the near future”. The ongoing conflicts and tensions that are going on today are digging Lebanon into a deeper hole making it harder for them to get out (Chamine. 1976).What is the world response? During the Lebanese civil war, the United States and France sent troops to Lebanon as peacekeepers to help resolve conflicts. But they stopped in 1983 when a combined total of about 300 troops from the US and France were killed.
In 2007, France gave a €500 Million loan (about $621,195,000 USD) to help rebuild the country from all of the damage (Reuters Staff. 2007). Community organizations in Michigan and California also made fundraisers to raise money for Lebanon (Murphy. 2006).
The United Nations (UN) also got involved because of all the different opinions and disputes between the religions. The UN made it a point to say that if Lebanon couldn’t make an effective decision making panel, then the UN would get involved (Hardy. 2007). More recently, the UN applauded the Lebanese people for taking care of 33% of the Syrian refugees that fled to Lebanon (BBC News. 2017).