unilad
Advert
Advert
Advert
Advert

Lebanon’s Entire Government Resigns After Protests Over Beirut Explosion

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 10 Aug 2020 16:20
Lebanon's Entire Government Resigns After Protests Over Beirut ExplosionLebanon's Entire Government Resigns After Protests Over Beirut ExplosionAbirGhattas/Twitter/PA

Lebanon’s entire government has stepped down following last week’s explosion in Beirut, with Prime Minister Hassan Diab expected to resign within hours.

It comes after thousands of political protesters took to the street demanding change, following the blast that killed more than 200 people and injured 6,000 more.

The news was confirmed by Lebanon’s health minister Hamad Hassan, who announced the government had resigned during a cabinet meeting earlier today, August 10.

Advert
Beirut Protesters Tear-Gassed As Thousands Gather Following Port ExplosionBeirut Protesters Tear-Gassed As Thousands Gather Following Port ExplosionPA Images

‘The whole government resigned,’ he told crowds of reporters, as per Sky News, before going on to say that the prime minister will be making his way to the presidential palace to ‘hand over the resignation in the name of all the ministers’.

Earlier today, it had been announced that justice minister Marie Claude Najm had already stepped down over the government’s handling of last week’s blast.

It has also been reported that a Lebanese judge has begun questioning head of state security Major General Tony Saliba, regarding the explosion.

Advert

The news comes after thousands of Lebanese citizens poured into the streets of Beirut chanting for a ‘revolution’ and calling for the ‘downfall of the regime’.

The explosion, which is believed to have been sparked more than 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – the ingredient used in fertiliser bombs – was set alight, has been described as the biggest non-nuclear blast in history.

Fresh fury was sparked when it was revealed that President Michel Aoun had known that the warehouse contained dangerous explosives, yet no efforts were made to store them in a more secure and safe location.

Advert

Port officials involved in storing the explosives have been placed under house arrest pending an investigation into the blast.

Lebanon's Entire Government Resigns After Protests Over Beirut ExplosionLebanon's Entire Government Resigns After Protests Over Beirut ExplosionPA Images

The head of the port of Beirut and the head of the customs authority, Badri Daher, both claimed they had written to the judiciary several times asking that the chemical be exported or sold on, but Daher said ‘this did not happen’.

He added: ‘We leave it to the experts and those concerned to determine why.’

Advert

Lebanon was already struggling as a nation due to a severe financial crisis, with food prices soaring and many families left to starve. Some parts of the country were even seeing as many as 20 power cuts a day, as a result of chronic fuel shortages, long before the explosion destroyed hundreds of homes.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Beirut, Hassan Diab, Lebanon, Michel Aoun, Now

Credits

Sky News
  1. Sky News

    Beirut explosion: Lebanon PM to resign within hours - as entire government steps down