A year after Beirut Harbor Bombing Impact investigative trajectory and projected scenarios
Aug 04, 2022

A year after Beirut Harbor Bombing Impact investigative trajectory and projected scenarios

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The explosion in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on the evening of August 4, 2020, was a major event both domestically and internationally, due to its enormous volume resulting from hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate, which was stored in one of the port's wards. This explosion which was described as the largest non- nuclear explosion in history, led to the death of 200 persons and the injury of thousands and displacement of thousands created huge destruction in the city and made thousands decide to leave Lebanon.

In the aftermath of this explosion, and in the days that followed, it seemed that the aftermath would not be the same as before. The destruction and tragedy were too heavy for a people already burdened by crises.

This was evident in international statements and official visits to Beirut, foremost among which was the visit of ​2​​2​the French President​3​​3​, Emmanuel Macron, on 6 August, two days after the explosion, where he roamed the destroyed residential streets near the port, and then repeated the visit on 31 August, where he was pressuring to form a government to rescue and implement radical reforms in the Lebanese State​.

Locally, in the early hours following the explosion, it appeared that the judiciary and the accounting agencies would launch rapid and decisive investigations to uncover the causes of the tragedy that afflicted the​1​​1​ Lebanese, and​2​​2​ to identify those involved in silence about the presence of a large amount of ammonium nitrate in the port, especially since it had been stored since 2014. After the explosion, the Minister of the Interior, Mohamed Fahmy, stated that within five days, the cause would be uncovered and those involved would be brought to justice​.

Today, on the first anniversary of the massive explosion, despite the transfer of the case to the Judicial​1​​2​​1​ Council, investigations have stalled, with the arrest of several junior officers and some officials, without any clear account of the reasons and circumstances of the presence of such a large amount of ammonium nitrate at a port crossing and how it exploded.

The judicial investigator "Fadi Sawan" has been removed, and "Tariq Al-Bitar" has been appointed a judicial investigator in his place.

To illustrate the picture of the current scene with its various dimensions, it is necessary to briefly address the​1​​1​ latest developments of investigations, and the complexities and obstacles they face at the legal and political levels, which are developments that will allow the establishment of several scenarios about the future of the entire issue.

However, in preparation for addressing​1​ the​1​ development of the investigation into the explosion and the obstacles facing it, it is useful to draw a general picture of the impact of the explosion and its repercussions on the most prominent political actors on the Lebanese scene, as trying to understand the extent to which each of the actors affected would help in comprehending the general scene, and in understanding the obstacles facing the investigation and the prospects of the case, especially politically.


Read more on the folowing link: A year after Beirut Harbor Bombing Impact investigative trajectory and projected scenarios


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