Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 18, 3 November 2019

Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
Harini Madhusudan


In news

Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister, resigned on 29 October 2019, following thirteen days of street protests. The resignation came after the violence between the supporters of two Shia groups attacking the camps of the protesters and blocking the roads in Beirut. Lebanon is facing a financial crisis and is struggling to provide essential services, including electricity and water. Hariri’s resignation is seen as a boost to the protests, that witnessed street brawls instigated by the supporters of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement Party. 

The protesters demand that the government officials step down and replaced with a cabinet of independent experts who can lead Lebanon out of its financial crisis. They opine that Hariri should have resigned long ago, but ‘better late than never.’ They promise to continue their protests until all their demands are met. 

Issues at large

Lebanon is an import-dependent that maintains a pegged exchange rate between the Lebanese Pound and the United States Dollar. In 2019, the GDP per capita has reached its lowest since that of 2008, and the debt-to-GDP ratio has reached its highest since 2008 at 151 percentage. 

There was an increase in the government’s budget deficits and its reliance on using the foreign reserves from its Central Bank to keep the currency peg. The crisis was coupled with the strikes in gas stations, an imposed tax on gasoline, pharmaceuticals and importing of wheat. Additionally, there were wildfires in Lebanon. 

According to the Economist, Lebanon’s current protests has its origins in the sectarian political system post the Taif agreement. 

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has raised concerns over the growing protests in the region and has linked them with the policies of the US and Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere, many see this as a new round of Arab Spring. 

In perspective

The widespread dissatisfaction against the existing system is culminating in violent protests across various countries. These protests have a common goal to bring down the ‘corrupt’ leaders and regimes. 

These protests could lead to the emergence of new leaders and substantial changes to the existing systems. It may be early to call these protests a new Arab Spring, but they have similarities. The fact that these protests are carefully aligned with the removal of the US troops from Syria and Iran crisis raises many questions on the broader goals of these protests. 


July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal

January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings

December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria

August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China

August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar