Angry protesters out in the streets again.
Image Credit: Reuters
After the huge explosion that left 158 dead and thousands injured on Tuesday, protesters headed back to street to protest the government’s corruption.
Last October, people went out to protest against the government and also about a waning economy and currency.
The growing level of mistrust between the government and Lebanese people has reached a stage where two ministers who went to visit the port where the explosion occurred, where chased out.
A 28-year old activist, Fares Halabi, said ‘After three days of cleaning, removing rubble and licking our wounds.. it is time to let our anger explode and punish them.’ The march is not intended just to show the people’s anger towards the government, but to also remember those who died in Beirut explosion. Thousands of people were injured in this explosion and 158 died so far. It is estimated that 300,000 people were left homeless after the explosion.
Lebanese President Michael Aoun rejected the idea of an international investigation into the cause of the explosion, to determine whether there was an external interference. The President said that local authorities will investigate the accident. They will be investigating whether the explosion occurred due to negligence, accident or external interference. The last possibility seems unlikely.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron visited Beirut to pay his respects, becoming the first Western Head of State to visit Beirut. He was mobbed by a large group of people that were welcoming him.
Lebanon was once one of France’s colonies. The two countries share close economic ties. Last March Lebanon defaulted on its sovereign debt, and the government did not manage to form a plan to with its international lenders to receive a bailout.
On Friday, The United Nations warned of a possible food shortage, and the risk of hampering the fight against COVID-19. This has prompted several countries around the world to promise aid.
United Status already pledged $15 million worth of medicine and food. The United Kingdom pledged £5 million to be delivered and will deploy a royal navy ship. Russia sent a mobile hospital and 50 emergency workers carrying personal protective equipment to help them in the fight against COVID-19. Germany will provide Lebanon with €1.5 million in emergency assistance and medical supplies.
The European Union agreed on an aid package of €33 million in emergency assistance to cover the required needs of Lebanon’s hospitals.
Australia has pledged $1.4million, but were discussing to send even more. Several Arab countries joined together to send medical and humanitarian aid. Turkey sent a military plane full of aid supplies and a search and rescue team. Brazil will also send aid to Lebanon in the coming days.