Lebanon President Michel Aoun believes such an inquiry would only “dilute the truth.”
Rabat – Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun declared Friday that he rejects all international inquiry into the cause of the massive explosion that took place in Beirut on August 4.
He believes such an inquiry would only “dilute the truth.”
Meanwhile, domestic investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the devastating port explosion.
The blast was reportedly caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that have been stored near the port of Beirut for six years. Despite several alerts, Lebanese authorities ignored the apparent danger.
President Aoun has suggested that “it is possible that this was caused by negligence or by external action, with a missile or a bomb.”
The only official statement that Lebanese authorities have provided so far is that the explosion resulted from a fire spreading throughout the huge ammonium nitrate deposit.
Following French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beirut on August 6, Aoun asked Macron to provide aerial images to determine if planes were in the capital’s airspace at the time of the explosion.
“If these images are not available [from] the French, we will ask other countries,” added the Lebanese president, quoted by the French Press Agency (AFP).
Human Rights Watch, however, has expressed “serious concerns about the ability of the Lebanese Judiciary to conduct a credible and transparent investigation on its own.”
Neglect, corruption, and incompetence
The explosion of Beirut claimed the lives of more than 150 people and injured thousands, overwhelming hospitals. The Governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, revealed that the disaster left more than 300,000 people homeless.
For Moroccan scientist Rachid Yazami, the Beirut explosion was the result of “total neglect.”
“It is known to undergraduate chemistry students that ammonium nitrate is one of the largest explosives in the world. It is a metastable material that, in theory, can explode at any time,” the Moroccan scientist explained.
Aoun’s government is facing harsh criticism, with many Lebanese slamming the country’s authorities as incompetent.
The Beirut tragedy has reinforced Lebanese complaints of corruption. The current government has dragged the country to a severe economic crisis marked by a significant rate of inflation, critics say.
President Aoun, meanwhile, attributes the current situation to the “consensus-based system” used in the governance of Lebanon, which does not allow decisions to be taken quickly.
“[Decisions] must be consensual and go through several authorities,” the Lebanese president added.