Lebanon protests reignite in the streets after weeks of relative calm

Lebanese protesters returned to the streets Tuesday following a brief weekslong lull, blocking several roads around the capital, Beirut, and other areas of the country. The renewed rallies were held against a ruling elite who protesters say have failed to address the economy’s downward spiral.

Protesters burned tires and blocked three main highways leading to the capital from the south, east and north, bringing traffic to a standstill. School and university students took part in some of the protests and hundreds marched down main highways, raising Lebanese flags and blasting rallying songs through loudspeakers.

The protesters returned to the streets after several weeks of relative calm, following the designation of Hassan Diab as prime minister in mid-December. But he has so far failed to form an emergency government amid political divisions and jockeying for power. The lull was also partly due to the holidays followed by soaring regional tensions between the U.S. and Iran that eclipsed the protesters in Lebanon and Iraq demanding sweeping political change.

Samer al-Khoury, a 29-year-old protester, said the protesters were giving the politicians 48 hours to form a new government.

“We need solutions,” he said. “The street is angry because some people are more poor than others, some people are dying in hospitals, some people don’t have food on their table.”

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