Advertisement

The World

The Muslim half of Lebanon’s dual government named a new army commander--even though the Christians’ premier, Maj. Gen. Michel Aoun, also holds the military post. The appointment of Maj. Gen. Sami Khatib as acting commander of the army was made by Adel Osseiran, defense minister in the Muslim Cabinet. The move could divide the nation’s 42,000-member army along religious lines. Osseiran, a Shia Muslim, stopped short of firing Aoun as army commander, but the appointment of Khatib widened the split between the nation’s Christians and Muslims. Lebanon has not had a president since Sept. 23, when Amin Gemayel’s term expired and Parliament could not agree on a successor. That impasse led to the formation of rival Christian and Muslim cabinets.


Advertisement