BEIRUT – Speaking to military personnel on the occasion of the 77th Army Day, Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun stated that security forces “would not allow disorder or turmoil to find its way to our country.”
“We are concerned with our institution’s coherence and continuity in carrying out its tasks, as well as Lebanon’s security and stability,” he said, vowing to reject any attempts to destabilize the state.
The army chief’s warning came as Lebanese protestors stormed Beirut’s Ministry of Energy on Thursday, chanting, “We will continue the journey as free revolutionists until the thugs’ reign falls.”
Internal security officers denied protesters who requested to speak with Energy Minister Walid Fayyad entrance to the ministry’s office floors.
They denounced power outages and the inability of the majority of Lebanese to afford private generator expenses from the ground level.
“There has been a power outage in Akkar for months,” a protester from northern Lebanon remarked. What are you doing in your offices, earning your wages while we sink in darkness?”
“We get half an hour of electricity every week, and the private generator prices are more than $200,” stated another demonstrator. Please have mercy!”
Wassef Al-Harake, an activist, stated that “protests will continue in all ministries.”
“We expect living with dignity,” he continued. They hid flour so they could sell it at high rates until the subsidy was entirely lifted, just like they did with other subsidized commodities.
“People can no longer stand it. They are without electricity, bread, or medicines.”
Protesters and employees of the ministry connected with the Free Patriotic Movement got into a fight.
According to Al-Harakeh, “there will be more clashes with the government everywhere, and peaceful arguments are the only option.”
The Union of Workers and Employees of Electricity of Lebanon said on Thursday that they will join the open-ended strike of public sector employees to protest the failure to include them in public institutions and independent interests.
General Labor Union President Bechara Al-Asmar has called for the public sector to resume work after an over five-month-long strike.
He promised that “another order will be released next week that will equalize production grants for public institutions, independent interests, municipalities, governmental hospitals, social security, and Télé Liban with the public sector.”
Employees of the Finance Ministry returned to work on Thursday to finish paying salaries to civilians, military members, and retirees.
As lengthier lines form in front of bakeries, more disagreements between bakery owners and customers waiting to buy bread — and between individuals themselves — have occurred.
“While we were expecting to receive 27,000 tons of wheat in June, we only received 7,000 or 8,000 tons,” said Antoine Seif, head of the Mont-Liban Bakery Owners’ Syndicate. If wheat is smuggled, the state is responsible.
“The cause of the crisis is not the misuse of wheat.” The cause is a scarcity of wheat.”
Source: Arab News