the commission wants to turn the page –

Two and a half years after their appointment, the members of the independent national commission leading the case of missing persons evaluate their activities and reveal the difficulties they face.

“My son is a soldier. He was stolen from his home in October 1983. Someone was looking for him to buy him a car. I don’t know about that time. He was 21 years old.”

Clasping her son’s age-yellowed picture to her chest, Mountaha implored the members of the Independent National Commission on Disappearances to spare no effort in shedding light on her son’s fate. This is also the case for all the relatives of the missing who came to participate in the conference held by the commission members at the Press Club in Furn el-Chebback on Wednesday to understand their mission and explain the difficulties. we are facing two and a half years after the creation of the commission.

And there are many, especially since the commission is not yet complete and two magistrates have not yet been appointed. It should be noted that after the adoption of the law in November 2018, it took more than a year and a half to appoint the members of the commission in June 2020. Before the commission was established, two members of the commission resigned. Their replacements were not appointed until April 2020. However, in June of the same year, four more members resigned. Only in October of this year, three new members were appointed: Marwan Sakr, representative of the Beirut Bar Association, Fawaz Zakaria, representative of the Tripoli Bar Association, and Naji Saaiby, representative of the medical decisions of Beirut and Tripoli. Other members are Ziad Achour, a representative of the Lebanese University council, Carmen Abu Jaoude and Adib Nehme, civil society representatives, and Joyce Nassar and Wadad Halaouani, representatives of the families of the missing.

Turn the page on war

Wadad Halaouani confirms that “the Commission faces many obstacles because it does not have the most basic working bases”, such as buildings where it can sit or financial opportunities, despite everything, the members of the commission work tirelessly. the truth is revealed and Lebanon can finally turn the page of the war. But also to lay the groundwork for their successors within the commission, because according to the provisions of Law No. 105 on missing persons, the current members of the commission have a non-extendable term of five years.

Members also developed the commission’s financial, administrative and internal systems, as well as a code of ethics, set a budget and implemented a business strategy for the next three years, as explained by Ziad Achour. “This commission cannot under any circumstances threaten civil peace,” he said, insisting that its role is not to judge the parties responsible for these disappearances, but to shed light on the fate of the disappeared.

Recognizing the obstacles they had to overcome and the limited resources available to them, the commission members decided to work in two directions: to collect the DNA of the relatives of the missing and to define and control the borders of the mass graves. , emphasizes Ziad Achurun.

Addressing the families of the missing, he assured them that the commission would continue the necessary efforts “to save them from this suffering”. He also called on officials to assume their obligations to the commission by providing buildings and necessary financial resources for its activities, and political parties to share all the information they have with the commission as long as they are participants of the commission. civil war, for the truth to finally emerge. Mr. Achour finally called on the international community to support the commission, which would enable it to fulfill its mission.

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