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KT edit: Time to move on for Lebanon

Filed on August 19, 2020
Bahiya Hariri, sister of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, prays at his grave after UN-backed tribunal convicted a Hezbollah member of conspiracy to kill Hariri in a 2005 bombing, in Beirut, Lebanon.

(Reuters)

The verdict should be accepted and the people should move onwards and upwards to rebuild their nation

The verdict delivered by the UN-backed special tribunal on the 2005 slaying of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri should bring closure for victims and the Lebanese society as a whole. The decision should allow them to move on at a time when the political atmosphere is febrile and the economy is in the doldrums. And the ringing in the ears has not yet abated. Families are struggling to put food on the table, and a majority of young are out of jobs. The ongoing pandemic and the recent blast at the port city of Beirut have further strained the limited resources in the country and brought about a humanitarian emergency. International donors have pledged aid, but nothing can truly help rebuild Lebanon until political and economic reforms are initiated and implemented according to a master plan.  

Come to think of it, much has changed in the country in the last decade and a half since Hariri's assassination. The 2005 bombing ended the 30-year-old Syrian occupation of Lebanon, and caused a fundamental split between the Lebanese community and the Syrian regime. The relationship, however, has healed with time. Rafik Hariri's son, Saad Hariri, reconciled with Syria in 2009. Hezbollah in the meanwhile has strengthened its control but it continues to be speaking for Iran. The country is crying for political and economic reforms. The Special Tribunal of Lebanon has said there is no evidence the leadership of the militant group Hezbollah and the Syrian government were involved in the assassination. The verdict should be accepted and the people should move onwards and upwards to rebuild their nation. 

 


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