Lebanon news updates for Tuesday September 1st

In this August 22, file photo, a Lebanese activist holds a poster with pictures of  top Lebanese politicians
In this August 22, file photo, a Lebanese activist holds a poster with pictures of top Lebanese politicians

Here are the latest updates on current issues in Lebanon.

Sisi scenario” for Lebanon ?

a “Sisi scenario” for Lebanon was now “almost certain” in light of the recent protests that have rocked the country , a March 14 Alliance source told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that Lebanon’s army chief Jean Kahwaji will be appointed by lawmakers as the country’s president, in order to quell widespread public anger over a dysfunctional political system and a presidential vacuum that has now lasted for over a year.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea , who was the first to announce his presidential candidacy “blamed Iran and its proxy Hezbollah for the presidential vacuum in Lebanon.”

‘You stink’
Lebanon is bracing for more protests by the You Stink group and its supporters
72 hour ultimatum : ‘You Stink!,’ said Saturday it would “escalate” its public protests unless the minister of the environment who is in charge of the ineffectual garbage collection service that has left the streets of Beirut lined with trash resigns.
PM Tammam Salam appointed Minister Akram Shehayeb in charge of the garbage file. His move was aimed at appeasing the You Stink group without having to fire his friend Mohammad Mashnouq the minister of the environment.
Social Affairs minister Derbas told al Liwa newspaper that Shehayeb already formalized a road map to end the garbage crisis.
PSP spokesman Rami al-Rayes told VOL (100.5) radio station : Let’s see what Shehayeb will do before discussing the reopening of the Naameh landfill.

VOL (100.5) radio station reported that Internal Security Forces took precautionary measures in Riad al-Solh Square in downtown Beirut ahead of a “You Stink ” press conference.
LBCI reported that men from the “You Stink” group stormed the environment ministry building.
“You Stink” activists vowed to remain at the Environment Ministry until all their demands are met.
LBCI reported that security forces are forcing journalists to stir clear of the environment ministry building.

LBCI was told by Environment minister Mohammad Mashnouq that he is staying put and will not quit .
“You Stink” activists urged Lebanese citizens to join their protest at the environment ministry.
Several citizens were seen arriving at the environment ministry to join “You Stink” protesters.
LBCI reported that anti-riot police arrived at the environment ministry to clear protesters.
Security forces blocked the entrances to the environment ministry and stopped people from coming in and out.
NNA revealed that “You Stink” will hold a press conference soon, but the group denied the NNA report
Security forces distributed water bottles to the protesters at the Environment Ministry.
The “You Stink” follow up committee warned against attacks against the protesters at the Environment Minister and called for an immediate sit-in at Riad al-Solh Square.
Interior Minister’s office gave the protesters half an hour to leave the building and join their comrades outside.
You stink activists vowed not to leave the building until the minister resigns and urged the Red Cross to to come to the scene of the protest in anticipation   of clashes with the internal security forces.

A minor scuffle erupted between security forces and protesters outside the environment ministry.

Beirut Police chief Brig. Gen. al-Ayyoubi ordered the  journalists to leave the environment ministry building.

One protester at the Environment Ministry fainted and he was taken out of the building. The activist was identified as Naamat Badr Eddine

Al-Jadeed reported  that a  sit-in is taking place outside Tripoli’s Serail in solidarity with the Beirut protesters and to demand the environment minister’s resignation.

Security forces  started evacuating the Environment Ministry building from the You Stink protesters.

LBCI quoting Interior Minister Mashnouq as  saying: “Force was not used against protesters in the environment ministry building.”

The You Stink campaign announced that it will hold a press conference at 7:00 pm in the Riad al-Solh Square.

The ambulance took one of the activists to the hospital after she fainted

MTV reported that force was used in evacuation of the protesters but not violence  and said no injuries were reported only few fainted because of the heat

The minister of interior was quoted as saying : “If the claims that violence was used against protesters prove true every one responsible will be prosecuted”

Activist Marwan Maalouf denied that an agreement has been reached with the protesters to evacuate them peacefully from the Environment Ministry building.

Some protesters are hurling empty water bottles at security forces outside the Environment Ministry amid skirmishes.

Internal Security Forces revealed on Twitter that two persons were arrested for possessing heavy duty firecrackers and were handed over to the concerned authorities for investigations.
Power blackout in the Azarieh building where the ministry of environment is located.
Al-Jadeed reported that protesters are rejecting to leave the Environment Ministry building and they will be handcuffed and forcibly removed.
Clashes have erupted between security forces and protesters outside the Environment Ministry building in downtown Beirut.
Environment minister leaves building thru a back door

Dialogue talks

Several Lebanese leaders welcomed Speaker Nabih Berri’s initiative for dialogue.
It appears from Asharq Al-Awsat report that the dialogue could result in the election of Kahwaji as the army chief .The ‘You Stink’ campaign has been calling for the election of a president .
According to Ad Diar newspaper , former FPM leader Michel Aoun is the most reluctant to participate in the dialogue talks . Aoun is expected to announce his position following the Chang and Reform weekly meeting on Tuesday
PM Salam has reportedly urged Berri to bring the date of the national dialogue forward over fears of a prolonged cabinet paralysis, al-Mustaqbal daily reported on Tuesday.
The Lebanese Forces party is still studying its stance , while the Phalange party praised Berri’s move.

Dialogue talks will  be launched  on Sept 9 in the parliament

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim has said that the cell of detained Salafist cleric Ahmed al-Asir has disintegrated after his arrest at Beirut’s airport last month. Ibrahim denied that al-Assir had done plastic surgeries, saying he had only changed his looks. Ibrahim revealed that Assir was being funded by local Lebanese businessmen, who “will be taken to court” for trial.
Christian spiritual leaders , who convened at Bkirki on Monday voiced their support for the cabinet of Prime Minister Tammam Salam and demanded an end to the ongoing vacuum in the presidency.
According to media report the reason for the cancellation of the Christian-Muslim spiritual summit was because the top Lebanese Shiite cleric , deputy head of the Higher Shiite Islamic Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan decided to skip the summit. The Higher Shiite Islamic Council reportedly called Bkirki on Sunday to relay the message about his inability to attend. The top Sunni and Druze Spiritual leaders then decided to skip the summit in solidarity with Qabalan according to the reports. Health problems were given as the reason behind Qabalan’s cancellation.
Israeli violations
VOL (93.3) Radio Station reported that Israeli warplanes overflew the eastern and western mountain range at medium altitude on Tuesday


Former FPM leader Michel Aoun  announced  following the Chang and Reform weekly meeting on Tuesday his support for Berri’s call for dialogue.

“We agree with the demands of the protesters regarding the power and water shortages, corruption, and waster crisis.” He said  in reference to the You Stink protest.

He added: : “We support the protesters, but we have questions about those who are mobilizing them.”

He called for the protesters to join the FPM rally at 5:30 pm on Friday.