Lebanon News

Day 55: Protesters return to roadblocks amid Cabinet deadlock

A demonstrator walks near burning tires during ongoing anti-government protests in Tripoli, Lebanon November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim

BEIRUT: Protesters returned to blocking roads Tuesday in north and east Lebanon, as the month-long Cabinet deadlock dragged on and the popular uprising entered its 55th day.

A road in Bekaa’s Barr Elias area and another near Ghazzeh were blocked Tuesday morning.

The highway in Minyeh was also obstructed, but reopened around 9:30 a.m.

The Traffic Management Center said that the main highway at Zouk Mosbeh and the seaside highway at Kaslik, north of Beirut, were blocked with burning tires Tuesday morning. They were reopened shortly after.

According to a statement released by the Army Tuesday, a number of protesters gathered in front of the residences of various MPs in Tripoli the previous day. Some shouted insults, threw bags filled with garbage and hurled stones at guards in front of MP Faysal Karami's home, resulting in the injury of six Army personnel.

Soldiers stationed in areas nearby intervened to break up the clashes and prevent protesters from setting fire to garbage containers, according to the statement.

It also said that Mohammad Oyoun al-Soud was detained on Monday, and four others on Tuesday in the Sarba area, for trying to block roads with burning tyres.

Lebanon has been without a government since Saad Hariri’s resignation as prime minister on Oct. 29, after an unprecedented popular uprising broke out across the country against the ruling political elite.

A financial crisis has raised concerns for the country's stability, amid a dollar liquidity crunch that has led to the Lebanese pound losing a third of its value on the black market.

Protesters, who have on the streets since Oct. 17, are demanding the formation of a technocratic government to save the country’s economy. However, their calls are falling on deaf ears, amid political squabbling over the new government.

Officials traded blame Monday, after a day of rain flooded roads and exposed the country’s neglected infrastructure. People in affected areas blamed the scenes on chronic mismanagement and poor maintenance of roads and highways.

 

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