BEIRUT — Activists raided the Energy Ministry Thursday in protest of electricity shortages with one activist, Wassef el-Harakeh, an unsuccessful candidate in the May 2022 general elections, saying that “the confrontation will continue in all ministries,” videos circulating on social media showed.
Here’s what we know:
• Grappling with a crippling energy crisis made worse by its dependency on fuel imports, the state electricity provider Electricité du Liban has only been capable of supplying a handful of hours of power each day at best.
• “Bring us the minister!” demonstrators stormed the headquarters of the Energy Ministry in Corniche al-Nahr, Beirut, and demanded to meet caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayad.
• In videos filmed by activists and shared on social media, about 20 people can be seen crowding the premises of the ministry, some of whom tried to move further inside but were blocked by the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces.
• This is not the first time protesters enter the Energy Ministry. Activists had broken in and vandalized the ministry in April, where they tore down and ripped up a portrait of Lebanese President Michel Aoun to protest increasingly frequent power cuts.
• A ship loaded with diesel arrived at the Zahrani Power Plant Thursday, and its cargo will be unloaded on Friday morning, our correspondent in the South reported. Lebanon secured the fuel under its bilateral agreement with Iraq. The vessel will also move to the other only functional power plant in Lebanon, Deir Ammar Power Plant on Friday to supply it with fuel.