Lebanese government falls, but the streets are not satisfied

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Lebanese government falls, but the streets are not satisfied




Protesters in particular threw fireworks at the police.


© AFP/Joseph Eid/Getty Images
Protesters notably launched fireworks at the police.


Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his resignation on Monday, resulting in de facto the dissolution of the government, nearly a week after the deadly explosions that devastated the port of Beirut and part of the city. In the streets, hundreds of demonstrators again clashed with the police.

Mr. Diab, head of government for nearly seven months, addressed the Lebanese in the evening, saying the protesters’ anger is directed against the “political classTraditional and not against his cabinet. Presented as an independent, he had been appointed prime minister in response to a popular uprising that had already pushed his predecessor Saad Hariri to resign.

«This disaster is due to chronic neglect. […] The corrupt system is bigger than Lebanon“Hassan Diab said before announcing the resignation of his government.


Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his resignation in a televised address.


© AFP / Télé Liban / Getty Images
Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his resignation in a televised address.


«Lebanese want a strong state and an independent judiciary“, he added.

Diab said on Saturday he was ready to stay in office for two months, until early elections were held in a country dominated by the armed movement of Hezbollah, an ally of Iran and the regime. Syrian leader of Bashar al-Assad. But he came to the conclusion on Monday at an entirely different conclusion.

«May God protect Lebanon», He repeated three times at the end of his speech.

Four members of his team had already resigned since Sunday, following the terrible explosion of a huge ammonium nitrate depot in the port on August 4, which left at least 160 dead and more than 6,000 injured, and revived a popular protest already strong for months, despite a certain shortness of breath due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Michel Aoun accepted this resignation and instructed Diab to handle current affairs until a new cabinet was formed.


Protesters tried to knock down the concrete precincts of the parliament with chains.


© AFP/Joseph Eid/Getty Images
Protesters tried to knock down the concrete precincts of the parliament with chains.

Violent clashes

But it is the departure of the entire political class, accused of corruption and incompetence, that the movement demands.

Hundreds of Lebanese who were therefore not going to be satisfied with the resignation of Mr. Diab responded to a call to demonstrate Monday in front of the presidential palace of Baabda, in Beirut, to claim that of President Michel Aoun.

Violent clashes ensued, as our special envoy Philippe Leblanc noted.

The first tear gas was fired from the Prime Minister’s televised announcement. Protesters threw Molotov cocktails, fireworks, firecrackers and stones at the police, who responded with other tear gas and rubber bullets.

«Even with Hassan Diab resigning, there are still 128 thieves sitting in parliament», Lambasted Layal, a protester. “They too must resign, otherwise we will stay in the same cycle.»

«It won’t change anything », Added another demonstrator about the resignation of the government. According to her too, without the resignation of President Aoun and all the deputies, the “friends Regime will always find a way to keep power.


Hostility between protesters and police began as Prime Minister Hassan Diab began his statement.


© AFP/Joseph Eid/Getty Images
Hostility between protesters and police began as Prime Minister Hassan Diab began his statement.


In Tripoli, further north, the picture was different, with protesters expressing more their joy at seeing the Diab government fall. Some fired in the air.

Last Tuesday, the explosion of some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored for years in the port of Beirut – without “precautionary measures“, By Mr. Diab’s own admission – rekindled the anger of a large part of the population.

Six days after the tragedy, the authorities still have not explained why such a quantity of ammonium nitrate was there. President Aoun has rejected the possibility of an international investigation.

The demonstrations which took place Saturday and Sunday in Beirut, which brought together several thousand people, are the most important since the beginning, in October, of the protest movement against the economic crisis, corruption and mismanagement of public services by a political elite accused of misappropriating public finances.


View of the Lebanese government seat in Beirut.


© MOHAMED AZAKIR/Reuters
View of the Lebanese government seat in Beirut.

Search for survivors abandoned

As the Lebanese continue to bury their dead, rescuers have now lost all hope of finding survivors of the explosion.

Much to the despair of the families of the missing who accuse the authorities of having delayed in organizing the search. “We call for further research“, Launched on social networks Emilie Hasrouty, whose brother would be buried under the rubble.

Sunday, Lebanon’s international donors pledged to send around C $ 400 million in aid quickly and unconditionally to Beirut. However, they said they were going to distribute the promised aid themselves “directly” To the population.

They also specified that their continued support would depend on the implementation of institutional reforms.

The international community demanded an investigation “transparentOn the causes of the disaster which also left nearly 300,000 homeless.

In Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that states should refrain from politicizing the explosions in Beirut, particularly targeting Washington.

«The origin of the explosion must be carefully investigated “, He said, adding that”if the United States is honest in its approach to aid Lebanon, it should lift the sanctions».

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