Anti-Government Protests Continue in Lebanon and Iraq

Anti-government protests in Lebanon continued through the middle of December. Lebanese security forces used teargas, rubber bullets, and water canon to disperse hundreds of protesters. Nationwide protests have accused Lebanese politicians of corruption.  The government has been struggling to find a replacement for prime minister after Saad Hariri resigned at the end of October 2019. Some reports suggest Hariri will be renamed to the post, which is unacceptable to protesters. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

The Lebanese army also clashed with supporters of Hezbollah and Amal, who were reportedly angered by an online video that offended key Shiite figures. Reported by i24 News. Read more…

As it turns out, Hariri was not re-appointed prime minister. Hassan Diab, a former minister and university professor was named to the post. Diab has the backing of Hezbollah and its main Christian ally, but other political groups have backed Nawaf Salam, a former ambassador to the UN and judge. If Diab is approved after a second round of consultations, he will have to form a cabinet. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Iraqis were also out protesting the government in Baghdad, with the protesters claiming that government officials are enriching themselves, mismanaging the economy, and are beholden to Iran. Protests increased after an attempt was made on the life of a popular TV satirist. Reported by i24 News. Read more…