LONDON: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Lebanese government to prevent Hezbollah and other groups from owning weapons in a report issued by the UN on Friday.
The report added that the presence of armed militias threatened Lebanon's stability and security.
It also stressed the need for the state to monopolize weapons and the use of force.
In May 2018, Guterres strongly criticized Hezbollah for operating as the most heavily armed militia and a political party in Lebanon and urged the militant group to halt military activities inside and outside the country, including in Syria.
In a report to the Security Council, Guterres also called on Lebanon’s government and armed forces “to take all measures necessary to prohibit Hezbollah and other armed groups from acquiring weapons and building paramilitary capacity” outside the authority of the state.
“In a democratic state, it remains a fundamental anomaly that a political party maintains a militia that has no accountability to the democratic, governmental institutions of the state but has the power to take that state to war,” he said.
Hezbollah, which is mainly financed by Iran, is considered a terror group by the US, Canada, Israel and the Arab League.
The heavily armed group has a large militia that has taken part in Syria's civil war alongside President Bashar Al-Assad's government, and also has elected members of parliament and positions in Lebanon's national unity government.
The group's influence over Lebanese state institutions has expanded in the last year. Together with allies that view its arsenal as an asset to Lebanon, it won more than 70 of parliament's 128 seats in an election last year.
The group has taken three of the 30 portfolios in the government formed by the Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri in January, including the health ministry - the first time it has held a ministry with a significant budget.