Lebanon pays outstanding UN dues after stripped of vote

The United Nations logo is seen at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at UN headquarters in New York, US, September 23, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 13 January 2020

Lebanon pays outstanding UN dues after stripped of vote

  • The UN said that Lebanon was among 7 countries which would lose the right to vote in the GA
  • Lebann is facing its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s representative to the UN Monday said the crisis-hit country has paid outstanding dues it owes the international body after it lost voting privileges because it was behind on payments.
“Lebanon paid its dues that were delayed (a) few days... and everything is back to normal,” Amal Mudallali, the country’s ambassador to the UN, said in a post on Twitter.
“Lebanon is not under article 19 anymore,” she added, referring to a UN provision that allows the body to strip a member state of voting privileges if they have fallen behind on financial contributions.
The UN on Friday said that Lebanon was among seven countries which would lose the right to vote in the General Assembly because of a failure to pay dues.
This sparked a social media outcry in Lebanon, with many blasting the government for putting the country in such a position.
The small Mediterranean nation is facing its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
The World Bank says that Lebanon is in recession, and has warned that the proportion of people living in poverty could increase from a third to half the population.
The economic downturn coincides with an anti-government protest movement that has been active since October 17.
Protesters are demanding the removal of a political class they deem incompetent and corrupt.


Syria Kurdish-led force launches new anti-Daesh campaign

Updated 05 June 2020

Syria Kurdish-led force launches new anti-Daesh campaign

  • Operations will focus on the vast east Syria desert near the border with Iraq

BEIRUT: US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria announced Friday a fresh campaign to hunt down remnants of the Daesh group near the Iraqi border following a recent uptick in attacks.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led paramilitary alliance that has spearheaded the ground fight against Daesh in Syria since 2015, said that the new campaign is being carried out in coordination with the Iraqi army and the US-led coalition.
“This campaign will target ISIS’s hideouts and hotbeds,” it said, using a different acronym for the militant group.
It said operations will focus on the vast east Syria desert near the border with Iraq where Daesh has conducted a spate of attacks in recent months.
Since the loss of its last territory in Syria in March 2019, Daesh attacks have been restricted to the vast desert that stretches from the heavily populated Orontes valley in the west all the way to Iraqi border.
It regularly targets SDF forces and has vowed to seek revenge for the defeat of its so-called “caliphate”.
The SDF, with backing from its coalition allies, launched a campaign to hunt down sleeper cells after it forced Daesh militants out of their last Syrian redoubt in the desert hamlet of Baghouz in March 2019.
A raid in October by US special forces killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant group which once controlled large swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.
Last month, the United Nations accused the Daesh group and others in Syria of exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to step up violence on civilians, describing the situation as a “ticking time-bomb”.
Across the border in Iraq, Daesh has exploited a coronavirus lockdown, coalition troop withdrawals and simmering political disputes to ramp up attacks.
Iraq declared Daesh defeated in late 2017 but sleeper cells have survived in remote northern and western areas, where security gaps mean the group wages occasional attacks.
They have spiked since early April as militants plant explosives, shoot up police patrols and launch mortar and rocket fire at villages.