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Beirut on the brink

Many Lebanese hoped that the demonstrations that followed the assassination of Rafiq Hariri would lead to a Ukraine-style revolution. But other than the departure of Syrian troops, those hopes have been dashed. What now for Lebanon?

By Trevor Mostyn   December 2005

The armoured cars of Lebanon’s fragile army stood at the corners of Beirut’s now super-chic downtown area on 28th October, as the city braced itself for explosions and worse. The Lebanese stayed at home to await the details of UN chief investigator Detlev Mehlis’s report on the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, the controversial architect of this new, Disneyland city centre, and to some the hero of Lebanon’s rebirth. The three pro-Syrian former commanders of Lebanon’s feared security agencies are now in jail in connection with the killing. “You see how empty the area is. No one is…

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