Media reports have emerged of ongoing protests in Beirut, Tripoli, and Baalbeck as of the morning (local time) on Friday, January 10, for the 86th day of nationwide anti-government protests. In Tripoli, protesters gathered for a sit-in at the Ministry of Finance, where they have blocked access to the building. Security forces were reported at the scene.
In Beirut and Baalbeck, groups gathered to protest ongoing power outages. Protesters in Beirut have gathered outside the Energy Ministry while those in Baalbeck are at the local offices of the Electricité du Liban (EDL).
A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of all protests, as well as transportation disruptions.
On October 16-17, the government approved tax hikes on tobacco products and 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, 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. On December 19, President Michel Aoun designated former education minister Hassan Diab to serve as the next prime minister.
Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate business disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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