The latest on the Othman-Mawlawi rift

News Bulletin Reports
2023-09-16 | 11:35
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The latest on the Othman-Mawlawi rift
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3min
The latest on the Othman-Mawlawi rift

The silent dispute between the General Director of the Internal Security Forces, Major General Imad Othman, and the underlying administrative disagreement appeared to have turned into a Sunni-Sunni dispute.

This dispute escalated, especially after the news spread that the caretaker Minister of Interior, Bassam Mawlawi, had given permission to pursue Othman. So, what are the underlying issues?

It's true that the disagreement between Mawlawi and Othman is not new, starting from the formations and the file of the Road Traffic Authority (RTA), among others.

However, what sparked the dispute between the two men was the non-invitation of Major General Othman to the session dedicated to discussing the displacement file, which was held last week in the presence of the heads of security agencies.

According to LBCI information, caretaker Prime Minister Mikati asked Mawlawi whether General Othman wanted to attend the session, and Mawlawi responded, "I am attending, and that's enough." 

What happened did not sit well with Othman, the Future Movement, and the team of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who considered it an attack on the institution of the Internal Security Forces and its political representation.

Hariri, who is abroad, intensified his contacts with Mikati's team on Friday night and Saturday to find out the truth of what is happening.

Furthermore, LBCI sources confirmed that the Minister of Interior did not actually give permission to pursue Othman; he only hinted at it and officially informed the concerned parties of this matter. 

However, this clarification did not resolve the issue, as Major General Othman insisted that Mawlawi has been targeting the institution of the Internal Security Forces since he took over the Ministry of Interior, not just when he decided not to invite him to the session on the displaced.

But what widened the disagreement gap was when Mawlawi decided to hold Mikati accountable for excluding Othman from the session regarding the displacement file. Mikati accepted this in an attempt to resolve the matter, as conveyed by Hariri and the General Director of the Internal Security Forces.

Moreover, the dispute between Mawlawi and Othman has been temporarily resolved this time.

Additionally, the damage has been kept within reasonable limits, but the history of their disputes suggests that this may not be the last.

The worst part is that Lebanon is mired in crises on all fronts, and our officials are preoccupied with personal battles, prioritizing their interests over critical issues.
 

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