President Michel Aoun voiced on Friday Lebanon’s need for the presence of Imam Sayyed Moussa Al-Sadr, who went missing with two companions 40 years ago in Libya.
On the 40th anniversary of Imam Sadr disappearance, President Aoun described the highly revered Lebanese Shia cleric as a national figure who struggled for Lebanon’s unity and coexistence.
“How we need today the presence of Imam Musa al-Sadr on the national scene, as an inspiration in political life and a reference of rapprochement, openness and keenness on the interests of the people,” President Aoun wrote via Twitter on Friday.
Imam Sadr founded the Lebanese Amal (Hope) Movement in 1974. The cleric who is of Iranian descent came to Lebanon in 1959 to work for the rights of Shia Muslims in the port city of Tyre, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Beirut.
His eminence disappeared on August 31, 1978, during an official visit to the Libyan capital Tripoli.
He was accompanied by Sheikh Mohammad Yaqoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine.
Lebanon still holds former Libyan authorities under rule of dictator Moamer Gaddafi responsible for the disappearance of the trio.
Since Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011, Lebanon and Iran have repeatedly called on the Libyan government to launch an investigation into Sadr’s disappearance.
Hannibal Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan dictator, is currently in custody in Lebanon, facing charges of withholding information regarding Sadr’s case.