Michel Aoun, President of the Republic, spoke to the Lebanese people about the implications of the Tayouneh violence.
“What we saw today in the Tayouneh neighborhood, regardless of the causes and justifications, is a horrible and unpleasant scene,” he remarked. “My heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed today by criminals’ gunfire. We were reminded of days long past.”
He emphasized that guns must not be used as a means of communication between Lebanese parties because we all committed to close this chapter in our history.
“What happened today is unacceptable,” he continued, “particularly at a time when everyone has decided to rely on the rule of law and institutions.” This state, which guarantees liberties, particularly freedom of expression, must be the only valid reference for dealing with any problem, dispute, or objection through its institutions.
He emphasized that the street is not the site of the protest, and that barricades or escalated stances are not the solution.
He emphasized that there is no problem that cannot be solved, and that the solution can only be found inside the institutions and through the constitution, and that there is no matter that is beyond the reach of either threat or menace.
He believed that the country could no longer accept street fights and required calm answers, which should be found in institutions, the most important of which is the Council of Ministers, which must assemble immediately. Today, we made contact with the persons involved to discuss what happened and, more significantly, to avoid it from happening again, knowing that we will not tolerate it under any circumstances.
“The military and security forces have done and will continue to perform their jobs in ensuring security, stability, and civil peace,” he stated. “We will not allow anyone to take the country hostage to their own interests.”
“What occurred will be the subject of security and judicial investigation,” he continued. And, like any other judicial investigation, including the investigation into the port crime, which was and will remain a priority of my work and dedication to the Lebanese and international community, I will guarantee that the investigation reaches the truth of what happened in order to hold those responsible and troublemakers accountable.
He reassured the Lebanese that history would not repeat itself: “We’re on our way to a remedy, not a crisis.”
Six Shi’ites were shot dead in Beirut, in an attack on supporters of Hezbollah and its ally the Amal movement, who were gathering to demand the removal of the judge investigating the explosion that ripped through the city’s port last year. It was he deadliest civil violence in Beirut since 2008.