In Lebanon, the 15 years of multi-sided armed conflict officially ended in 1990 with imposed silence on the victims and on society. State-sponsored reconciliation that was based on the formula “no winner, no loser” was done between the former warlords without a meaningful reconciliation taking place at the societal level.
As a consequence, 28 years after the end of the Lebanon’s wars the wounds are not healed and, for many, the conflict never ended. The Taef agreement which led in 1992 to the disbanding and disarming of militias, with some exceptions, did not establish a new social pact. It organized power sharing between the former warlords and gave birth to a fragile coexistence and precarious civil peace that continuously gets disrupted by new rounds of violence. The forced reconciliation left little room for individual and collective healing. This unresolved trauma transmitted across generations, forms the basis of historical myths that are being regularly activated by political figures in Lebanon and provide fertile ground for mistrust and conflict.
17 000 disappeared in Lebanon
At the heart of legacy of the Lebanese war lies the unresolved fate of thousands of people who went missing during the conflict, estimated at 17,000 individuals according to official figures. The families of these missing and forcibly disappeared people are still waiting for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones.
To commemorate those who disappeared and record their stories, ACT created in 2016 the online memorial for the missing and disappeared Fushat Amal.
To know more here
Action plan for Lebanon
In 2012, a consortium of civil society organizations, including ACT for the Disappeared, proposed a draft law to the Lebanese Parliament for the creation of a national investigative entity to clarify the fate and whereabouts of the missing and forcibly disappeared. The bill is still pending, due mainly to lack of political will.
This is why we believe there is a critical need to act now. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) fully appreciated the urgent nature of the situation and, in 2012, began collecting “ante disappearance data” and Biological Reference Sample (BRS) from the families of the missing to help identify human remains from the sites of graves once these are exhumed. The ICRC has undertaken to hand over all ADD and BRS data that is collected (and is being stored in a secure and confidential manner) to any future national commission established to clarify the fate of missing persons in Lebanon.
In 2014, to complement these efforts and to ensure the protection of the graves and of information related to what may have happened to the missing, ACT, in coordination with the ICRC, began its investigative project. To know more about our investigation project