The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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March 23, 2015

The Daily Star - Bahrain donates housing units for Akkar refugees, March 23, 2015

Negotiations with the captors of 25 Lebanese servicemen being held hostage on the outskirts of Arsal is set to witness a breakthrough by the end of the month, the daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Sunday.

According to the report, the resumption of Qatar’s role as a mediator between the Lebanese government and the Nusra Front has lead negotiations to take on a more serious turn, with “informed sources” expecting a “breakthrough” by the end of March.

A separate report published by An-Nahar Sunday also claimed positive developments in talks with the captors, saying that the Nusra Front was eager to release the policemen and troops.

The Al-Qaeda affiliate is reportedly seeking a quick resolution out fears that clashes with ISIS, Hezbollah or the Syrian regime would cause it to lose its footing in the Qalamoun region.

A report published by Al-Akhbar Saturday, identified the Qatari mediator as Syrian national named ‘Abu Anas.’ The report did not delve deeper in to the negotiator's identity but also confirmed that the resumption of direct negotiations with the captors is on a positive track.

“The Nusra Front is projecting positive signals,” the report read.

Also Saturday, General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim said that the captors are unlikely to resume killing the Lebanese servicemen because negotiations have made serious progress.

“We have come a long way in the negotiations over the captive servicemen, and no dramatic developments are anticipated,” Ibrahim, who is in charge of the task force negotiating their release, told TV station NBN.

“We believe that the murders are now behind us.”

He said that local mediators negotiating with the captors have succeeded in overcoming a great deal of obstacles.

“Any case can see both breakthroughs and setbacks,” Ibrahim said. “But according to my experience, [future] setbacks have become kind of unlikely.”

No mention was made of negotiations with ISIS, which have been on-hold for months.

At least 25 Lebanese soldiers and policemen are still held captive by ISIS and the Nusra Front on the northeastern Lebanese borders.

So far, the Nusra Front has shot dead two hostages, and released eight, while ISIS has beheaded two others.

The hostages were kidnapped during a five-day battle with the Lebanese Army in August.

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