Lebanese President Michel Aoun issues warning of an ‘atmosphere of civil war’ as unrest continues to rise; The Lebanese pound has declined in value nearly 75% since October 2019.
With civil unrest continuing to rise throughout Lebanon amid the ever-declining economy, President Michel Aoun warned of an ‘atmosphere of civil war’ on the rise. Speaking at a recent meeting regarding calming the national tension, the president faced opposition from multiple ex-prime ministers including the Sunni leader, Saad al-Hariri. Those opposing him claimed the meeting was pointless.
Aoun warned that the perpetual ethnic-religious division is also fueling the conflict. Aoun himself being a Maronite Christian, frequently faces opposition from the Shiite and Sunni factions. Not to mention that the Shiite and Sunnis are constantly engaged in disagreement(s).
The president stated, “We touched the atmosphere of civil war in a worrying way. Movements replete with sectarian tensions were launched in a suspicious manner.”
The Lebanese pound has now declined 75% since October 2019, which is continuing to result in more civil unrest. The country is now facing what’s considered by some to be the most significant conflict they’ve dealt with since the civil war that began in the ’70s.
Some countries in the Gulf region see Lebanon’s collapse as a result of their deteriorating relationship with Gulf countries. One official from the UAE stated, “If we see some of our friends, major powers interested in Lebanon, working in a plan, we will consider that. But up to now, what we are really seeing here, is a deterioration of Lebanon’s Arab relations and Gulf relations over the past 10 years. Lebanon is partly paying the price for that right now.”
The same official from the UAE, Anwar Gargash, said, “We’ve seen an accumulation of problems in Lebanon and we’ve seen also a dictation of the political discourse by Hezbollah which really has an army within the state.”
Furthermore, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reminded the deteriorating country that the United States is ready to provide assistance, given Lebanon addresses the influence within their government regarding the Iranian-backed terror proxy known as Hezbollah.