Tensions and demonstrations against the total lockdown intensify in the streets of the Lebanese cities Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon for another week amidst heavy army deployment on most of Tripoli's main streets.
Meanwhile, Lebanese politicians and law bearers are placing limits on the inquiry into the catastrophic Beirut explosion as the victims' families seek justice. The explosion that rocked the Beirut port on August 4th killed nearly 200 people, injured more than 6,000 and left more than 300,000 people homeless.
The UN states that more than half of Lebanon's population live below the poverty line. On Monday, food importers cautioned the economic crisis and lockdown are depleting food stocks by "about half, or more" in a country that imports around 80 per cent of its food, AFP reported.
As the hungry mob takes to the streets, the spotlight is stuck on Hezbollah's role in Lebanon, through splitting a country already shaken by the economic breakdown. Hezbollah is recognized as a legitimate political party in Lebanon but deemed a terrorist organization by domestic and external political groups. Lebanon's political debates have reconfirmed the depth of the differences as critics name Hezbollah as a 'state within a state'.
Lebanon also recorded a surge in the number of coronavirus cases with the country's health care system frail from the economic collapse. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently published 'World Report 2021' which enumerated approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon of whom about 78 per cent lack legal status.
"With each passing day, the lives of Lebanon's citizens, migrants, and refugees is becoming more unbearable. Yet, the political elite are still haggling over how to divide the shrinking spoils to enrich themselves while impoverishing the country," said Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at HRW.
The French President Emmanuel Macron has announced his intention to visit Lebanon for the third time after the France-led initiative proposed in August came to a standstill following the explosion on the port of Beirut.
As the Lebanese situation worsens amid the economic crisis and Covid-19 pandemic, critics doubt an optimistic note at the end of the tunnel.Lebanon reeling in crises