Rear View – Lebanon in review (14 March 2021)
8 March: Army Chief Puts Political Leaders on Notice
Lebanese Army Commander, Joseph Aoun, launched an unprecedented attack on the political elite for their failure to negotiate and mediate the impact of the financial emergency on the people. In an address to senior Army officers, General Aoun criticised the persistent cuts to the Armed Forces budget, saying that authorities “do not care about the army and soldiers’ suffering”. For the first time, the head of the military showed a confrontational attitude toward the civilian authority. “The people are hungry and the army that is part of the people is hungry too.” The commander explained that, if the army breaks up, the existence of Lebanon as an entity will be at risk. People cheered the commander for his courage. However, his speech was not welcomed by Hezbollah.
8 March: Lebanese Women Walk Against Outdated Laws
Women and allies in Lebanon marched against outdated laws, harassment, inequality, transphobia, the Kafala (sponsorship) system, and more for International Women’s Day.
The women accused all politicians and the society of being “male-oriented” and demanded their rights to live freely and peacefully in their country.
9 Mar: Electricity to Run Out
Lebanon’s caretaker energy minister warned the country would plunge into “total darkness” at the end of the month if no money was secured to buy fuel for power stations. “Lebanon could head towards total darkness at the end of the month if Electricite du Liban is not provided with financial aid to buy fuel,” he said. Ghajar, who was speaking after meeting Lebanese President Michel Aoun, warned of repercussions on all sectors if the power went out.
10 March: Lebanese Lira Collapses
The Lebanese lira, or pound as it is also called, dropped to its lowest value ever last week, hitting a new low of 10,000 to the US dollar.
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