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Lebanon: Voices Mount Demanding Int’l Probe into Beirut Blast

Lebanon: Voices Mount Demanding Int’l Probe into Beirut Blast

Friday, 7 August, 2020 - 11:00
A view shows damages at the site of Tuesday’s blast in Beirut’s port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

Calls for an international investigation into the Beirut Port explosion have mounted over the people’s lack of confidence in the Lebanese judiciary.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulatif Derian, the head of the Progressive Socialist Party, former MP Walid Jumblatt, and Lebanese Forces Party chief Samir Geagea joined the chorus demanding a UN-led probe.

Amnesty International has also called for an international mechanism to investigate the circumstances of the blast.

Although the government announced a Lebanese inquiry, former Prime Ministers Saad Hariri, Fouad Siniora, Najib Mikati and Tammam Salam were the first to call for an international investigation.

“Beirut has become a stricken and wounded capital, and it is bleeding. All the Lebanese must join hands to confront the repercussions of this great disaster,” Derian said on Thursday.

He also called for an “international probe to determine responsibilities with transparency”, stressing “we don’t trust a local inquiry, nor do we trust the government at all.”

Jumblatt said that his Democratic Gathering parliamentary bloc would not resign “because our mere resignation will pave the way for the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and Hezbollah to control the entire parliament.”

“There must be effective control over the state facilities and border crossings, and we need a neutral, not hostile government to get Lebanon out of the policy of the axes,” he added.

For his part, Geagea said: “Based on our complete loss of confidence in our rulers and our firm knowledge that it is interfering with the judiciary; and because the political authority in Lebanon in addition to the judicial, military, security and administrative departments are all subject to accusation; and based on the enormity of the disaster that occurred, we call for an international fact-finding committee to be dispatched by the United Nations as soon as possible based on the Charter of the United Nations.”

The LF chief also demanded the establishment of an international relief fund under the direct supervision of the United Nations “because we do not have confidence in the Lebanese authorities.”

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