News Alerts

11 Dec 2019 | 10:17 AM UTC

Lebanon: Roadblocks reported in the north December 11 following night of violent clashes in Beirut /update 45

Lebanon News Alert

Reports of roadblocks in the north of the country on December 11 after police and protesters clash in Beirut the night prior; protests likely to continue

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/11/2019, 12:00 AM until 12/14/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Beirut). COUNTRY/REGION Lebanon, Beirut

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Event

Reports of roadblocks emerged in the early morning (local time) on Wednesday, December 11, in several areas, including Lebanon-North and Beqaa, as protests enter their 56th day. Similar transportation disruptions were reported in Tripoli's Al-Nour Square, Beddaoui highway, at the Tabbaneh pedestrian bridge, and other areas. In Halba (Akkar region), the main road has also been cut off.

Violent clashes were reported in Beirut's Aïn el-Tiné neighborhood on Tuesday, December 10, between protesters and Parliament police officers. Media sources indicated that several protesters were transported to hospital. Damages to nearby vehicles were also reported in the clashes.

Additional protests are to be expected nationwide, and especially in Beirut, over the coming days. Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in major urban centers as protests continue. Clashes between protesters and between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

On October 16-17, the government approved tax hikes on tobacco products as part of its 2020 federal budget, as well as a daily tax on messages and calls done via the WhatsApp mobile phone messenger application. The announcement sparked mass protests across the country on October 17, forcing the government to revoke the tax proposal. Since then, protests have evolved calling for the resignation of the government and have continued despite an emergency reform package announced by Prime Minister Saad Hariri on October 21. On October 29, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation. Former finance minister, Mohammad Safadi, who was expected to be appointed as Hariri's successor, declined on November 17, stating the difficulties to form a legitimate cabinet.

Advice

Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations, anticipate transportation and business disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.

 

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