Anti-government protesters gathered in multiple locations across the country on Sunday, April 26, to denounce recent policies of Lebanese banks and the significant rise in the value of the US dollar against the Lebanese pound. Protesters disrupted transportation by setting up roadblocks and burning tires on the main motorways. According to media reports, an individual was injured by a shot fired after police intervened to disperse the crowd in Zalka (Mount Lebanon Governorate). As of Monday, April 27, all roadblocks have been dispersed according to authorities. The protests took place despite the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the near term, particularly due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Mass protests originally broke out in Lebanon on October 17, 2019, after the Lebanese government approved tax hikes on tobacco products and a daily tax on messages and calls done via the WhatsApp mobile phone messenger application. The protests forced the government to revoke the tax proposal and demands have since evolved into calls for the resignation of the government. On October 29, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation, and on January 21, 2020, former education minister Hassan Diab was appointed as his successor.
Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence near protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer