Lebanon

The Lebanese Republic continues to be shaken by sectarian conflict as internal tensions between ethnic and religious communities are heightened by the civil war in neighbouring Syria. President Michel Suleiman has set April 5 and 6 as the day for parliamentary elections to replace recently resigned Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who dissolved his cabinet after disagreements with the powerful Shia political and military group Hezbollah. Adding to the concerning security situation in Lebanon, clashes between pro and anti-Assad gunmen have continued in the northern city of Tripoli. Lebanon’s national news agency reported on March 30 that shells fired from inside Syria struck Lebanese border villages. (March 30, 2013 – Huffington Post; March 24, 2013 – UPI; March 31,2013 – Daily Star)