UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — There were clashes in Beirut on Saturday between protesters and security forces on the 100th day of the unprecedented protest movement against the authority, and the continuing rejection of the new government headed by Hassan Diab, which they see as an extension of the political class they accuse of corruption and describe it as a failure.
At least 20 people were wounded in the clashes between the two sides, 18 of whom were treated on the ground, according to the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Red Cross, George Kettana, told AFP.
In Riyadh al-Solh Square, demonstrators gathered near the prime minister’s closeness tried to remove barbed wire and an iron fence and remove the concrete blocks, according to an AFP correspondent.
Protesters pelted rocks and firecrackers with riot police, who responded with water cannons and tear gas.
And riot police managed to disperse the demonstrators, who had overcome almost all the obstacles placed in front of the entrance to the government headquarters, according to an AFP correspondent.
“Condemned and rejected this violence, and the destruction of people’s livelihoods in the center of Beirut, the movement has done a noble purpose and not to sabotage the city at the expense of its people and its merchants,” wrote Justice Minister Marie Claude Negm in a tweet.
And it had started at two in the afternoon (12:00 GMT) marches from several points in Beirut before meeting in the courtyards of Riyad El Solh and Shuhada in the center of the capital in light of the strict measures taken by the security forces and the army.
The demonstrators chanted “Revolution, Revolution” and carried signs reading “No confidence” in the government.
During her participation in the demonstrations, activist Birla Maalouli told France Press, “This is not the government that we called for, we demanded a rescue government from specialists away from quotas,” adding, “After a hundred days, as if the people did not say anything, we raise our voice against them, but they do what suits them.” .
“Responding to people’s aspirations”
On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “his desire to implement reforms that respond to the aspirations of the Lebanese people,” during a telephone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun, according to the Elysee Palace.
The French Presidency announced that the President of the Republic “conveyed a message of support to Lebanon and affirmed his adherence to Lebanon’s security, unity and stability.”
After a political crisis that lasted for weeks, the country has a new government on Tuesday, it has to move the wheel of the failing economy and persuade the demonstrators opposed to the political class.
The new government is composed of 20 ministers, most of whom are not known, and are academics and specialists. They were chosen with the clear purpose of avoiding names that protesters might consider provocative.
Despite Diab, 61, insisting that he formed a government expressing the aspirations of the popular movement that has been going on since October 17, protesters see the opposite. For them, the new government is only a front for allied political parties, and the new ministers are nothing but representatives of those parties.
The formation of the new government has been delayed as a result of the division of political forces supporting Diab into form and the sharing of shares between them.
On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese, who have been taking their streets and squares for more than three months, are demanding the departure of the entire political class, who hold them responsible for the deteriorating economic situation, accusing them of corruption and the inability to rehabilitate facilities and improve basic public services.
Diab affirms that the new government has put the economic “disaster” on top of its priorities.
Lebanon faces an economic meltdown with a tight liquidity and a continuous rise in the prices of basic materials and banks imposing strict measures on monetary operations and withdrawing the dollar, until bank branches turned into a daily stage of problems between depositors demanding their money and employees who implement the restrictions imposed.
During the past two weeks, Beirut, and in particular the vicinity of the parliament in the center of the capital, witnessed violent confrontations between demonstrators, who threw stones and dispersions towards the security forces, who responded with tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets.
The confrontations resulted in the injury of hundreds.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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