Aoun, Michel Naim

Aoun, Michel Naïm, 1935–, Lebanese military and political leader. A graduate of Lebanon's military academy (1958), he fought in several major battles during the civil war (1975–90), rising to the rank of army general (1984). In 1988 he was appointed interim prime minister by outgoing president Amin Gemayel; Aoun, a Maronite Christian, was not recognized by Muslim leaders, who backed the existing Sunni-led government. In 1989 Aoun declared a war of liberation against the Syrian army in Lebanon; he was ousted by Syrian-led forces in 1990 and lived in exile in France from 1991 to 2005. He returned to Lebanon after Syrian troops withdrew, and his Free Patriotic Movement formed an alliance with Hezbollah in 2006. In 2016 Aoun was elected president of Lebanon after the post had been vacant for two years due to a political stalement.

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