The families of victims stood somberly on the 5-month anniversary of the August 4 Beirut Port Explosion. Silence filled the air where one of the largest peacetime non-nuclear explosions in history took place.
On August 4th, an investigative committee was appointed to look into the disastrous blast and submit its findings in 5 days. It is now 5 months later, and a probe into the blast has gone nowhere.
However, upon the 5-day deadline, the committee reportedly submitted its findings to the Cabinet. It had included a list of at least 20 names, including several ministers.
Until now, only three former ministers and the caretaker prime minister, Hassan Diab, have been charged with negligence over the blast.
Diab, who resigned in the wake of the blast, was dumbfounded by the head judge’s decision to charge him and responded with noncompliance.
This has led to an argument by former PMs that if Diab were to be charged then Lebanese President Michel Aoun is equally responsible. After all, Aoun himself admitted to knowing about the chemical material at the port before the explosion.
What is more intriguing is that the Beirut explosion happened just hours after a probe into the ammonium nitrate was launched. Diab thought this to be suspicious, and rightly so.
Another shocking point is the series of suspicious deaths possibly linked to the Beirut Port.
The blast did not spare children, women, firefighters, doctors, port workers, grandparents, mothers, fathers, migrant workers, expats, foreign diplomats, rich, poor, and the list goes on. The call for justice and accountability has neither quivered nor subsided.
However, 5 months after the blast, and the investigation has been temporarily suspended. That is the doing of two of the indicted former ministers who have requested for the removal of investigative judge Fadi Sawan from the case.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that President Aoun refused an international and neutral investigation into the Beirut explosion, claiming that it would conceal the true cause of the blast rather than reveal it.
And yet, no true cause has been revealed and the truth seems to be further concealed.
Had Aoun not refused an international probe, closure and justice may have already been served without the pathetic arising complications.