Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Major Roads Reopen in Lebanon, Army Says Protests Applied in ‘Public Squares Only’

Major Roads Reopen in Lebanon, Army Says Protests Applied in ‘Public Squares Only’

Wednesday, 30 October, 2019 - 06:45
Police remove stones set up by anti-government protesters to block a main road in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Some major roads reopened on Wednesday after the Lebanese army command urged protesters to lift roadblocks so that life could return to normal after 13 days of demonstrations that have brought the country to a standstill and kept banks, schools and universities shut.

There was no significant resistance from protesters as army units with bulldozers took down barriers and tents set up in the middle of highways and major intersections.

The army communique followed Saad Hariri's decision to resign as prime minister on Tuesday, which toppled his coalition government, satisfying one of the demands sought by protesters.

In its communique, the army command affirmed the right to peaceful protest as protected by law but said it applied "in public squares only".

Hariri last week announced a package of economic reforms which aims to revive an economy that has been on the brink of collapse for months, but the move failed to quell the anger in the street.

The main protest camp in Riad al-Solh square in the center of the capital Beirut was on Wednesday quiet but closed to traffic by security forces.

Editor Picks