The United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) delivered its long-anticipated indictment to Lebanese prosecutor Said Mirza yesterday, reportedly naming members of the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. By accusing Hezbollah of murdering a prominent Sunni leader, the sealed indictment and accompanying arrest warrants could spark renewed sectarian unrest during a time of broader regional instability. Lebanese authorities have 30 days to execute the arrest warrants, while Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has previously warned that his organization would "cut the hands" of anyone who tries to detain a Hezbollah member. Nasrallah will deliver a speech tomorrow evening, surely slamming the indictments. New indictments naming Syrian elements may also be issued in the coming weeks, adding to the tension.
-Mona Yacoubian is director of the Lebanon Working Group at the U.S. Institute of Peace