Beirut explosion: Entire Lebenese government, prime minister resign

Beirut explosion: Entire Lebenese government, prime minister resign

- Prime Minister Hassan Diab was among Lebanese government officials who resigned on Monday

- President Michel Aoun accepted the resignation but asked the prime minister's team to stay on a caretaker capacity before appointment of a new cabinet

- The resignations came amid violent anti-government protests that saw the military and police engage rioters in running battles

- The international community has pledged economic support to Lebanon to help the country recover from economic turmoil

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Lebanon prime minister Hassan Diab on Monday, 10 August announced the resignation of the entire cabinet.

Diab's announcement came hardly a week after the 4 August devastating blast in the capital Beirut that injured thousands, killed over 150 and left thousands homeless.

Lebanese president Michel Aoun accepted the resignation of the prime minister's government but asked the administration to stay in a caretaker capacity to pave the way for the formation of a new cabinet.

Lebanese government resigns following devastating Beirut explosion

Lebanon Prime Minister Hassan Diab has attributed the Beirut blast to deeply-rooted corruption in Lebanon. Photo: Daily Nation
Source: Facebook

Among those who resigned were Prime Minister Hassan Diab, Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad and Environment Minister Damianos Kattar.

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Lebanese government resigns following devastating Beirut explosion

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (r) in Baabda when he received Executive Director of WFP David Beasley (l). Photo: General Michel Aoun.
Source: Facebook

The mass resignations came hot on the heels of heated protests in Beirut where police engaged demonstrators in running battles.

Clashes between police and protesters were triggered by the catastrophic blast which plunged the country into a fresh political and economic turmoil at a time it was still reeling under the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic and recession.

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International aid

The announcement by Lebanese administration came even as a section of world leaders led by French Republic president Emmanuel Macron convened a virtual meeting and pledged up to hundreds of millions in humanitarian support.

The meeting also roped in officials from the UN.

Macron said:

"Lebanon's future is being decided now by Lebanon itself and with its international partners at its side."

His administration through Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, however, urged Lebanese officials to ensure the help provided to the country was delivered directly to the people.

"The aspirations expressed by the Lebanese in terms of reforms and governance must be heard. The priority must be the rapid formation of a government that can live up to the expectations of the people, whose mission will be to meet the main challenges of the country, especially the reconstruction of Beirut and reforms without which the country will plunge into economic, social and political chaos," said Le Drian.

US president Donald Trump said his country will also channel "a substantial amount" of aid to Beirut.

In other news, earlier reported acting MEC Jacob Mamabolo has warned that the Covid-19 storm is closing in on Gauteng. The region is anticipating a drastic spike in infections during the last week of August and the beginning of September.

Mamabolo says that it is too early to breathe a sigh of relief over the decrease in hospital admissions. The acting MEC highlighted adhering to lockdown regulations as crucial to limiting the spread of the virus.

The Gauteng Department of Health in conjunction with private sector entities has opened another mall-based Covid-19 testing station at the Bloed Street Mall. Rebosis Property Fund and Faithcare Medicals joined forces with the state to help contribute to an increase in testing.

Community members will now be able to access testing free of charge, with the first site launched at the Forest Hill Shopping Mall in Centurion.

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