Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab today announced the resignation of his government after the “earthquake” caused by the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut on Tuesday, which left at least 160 dead.
The resignation was accepted by the Lebanese President.
The head of the government, who claims to be independent and at the head of a team of technocrats, blamed the traditional political class for the failures of the executive and the tragedy of August 4.
“Today I announce the resignation of this Government,” said Diab, addressing the Lebanese in a speech broadcast on television.
He criticized the “corruption” that led according to him “to this earthquake that hit the country, with all its humanitarian, social and economic consequences”.
“The catastrophe that hit the Lebanese (…) happened due to endemic corruption in politics, administration and the state,” said the prime minister.
This Monday was once again marked by violent protests on the streets of Beirut.
The Government’s resignation is related to the explosions in the past day 4, in the port of Beirut, which caused at least 158 deaths and about 6,000 injuries, and further to the accusations of corruption that led to an unprecedented economic crisis and also the mismanagement of Covid-19 pandemic.
Before the start of the Government meeting, four ministers had already submitted the resignation.
Sunday resigned to Minister of Information, Manal Abdel Samad, and Environment and Administrative Development, Damiamos Kattar, and, already today, Justice, Marie-Claude Najm, and Finance, Ghazi Wazni.
In addition to the government, at least nine Lebanese parliamentarians also resigned.
The explosions, which the Lebanese authorities have attributed to a fire in a warehouse in the port where some 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored, also left some 300,000 people homeless, and there are still, according to the latest official data, about two dozens of missing.
The explosions have also fueled the uprising of a population already mobilized since autumn 2019 against Lebanese leaders, accused of corruption and inefficiency.
The UN has warned that the destruction of the port of Beirut has put food supplies in great danger and has announced that it expects to unload 17,500 tonnes of flour in two weeks so that Lebanon does not run out of bread.
“We are trying to restore the operation of at least part of the port to bring in wheat”, explained the head of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, during a videoconference meeting with the United Nations countries on the situation caused by the explosions that occurred last week in the Lebanese capital.
David Beasley recalled that 85% of the food consumed in Lebanon is imported and that 85% of the flour that enters the country arrives through the port of Beirut, reports the agency Efe.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced that he had invited his predecessor Michel Temer to head a humanitarian aid mission from Brazil to Lebanon.
The invitation to former President Michel Temer was announced on Sunday during an international videoconference in support of Beirut, which was attended by other heads of state, such as from Lebanon, Michel Aoun, from France, Emmanuel Macron, or the United States of America, Donald Trump, which was broadcast on Jair Bolsonaro’s social networks.
“In the next few days, an aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force will depart from Brazil towards Lebanon, with medicines and basic health materials, assembled by the Lebanese community based in Brazil. We are also preparing the shipment, by sea, of four thousand tons of rice. to mitigate the consequences of the loss of grain stocks destroyed in the explosion “, Bolsonaro announced in the videoconference.