Beirut port explosion: 3 years later, still no one held accountable

On 4 August 2020, a huge amount of ammonium nitrate exploded at the Port of Beirut. Three years later, the Lebanese people still ask for answers as the corrupted political system blocks the investigation.

2020 beirut port explosion
Three long years have passed since that tragic event shook Beirut to its core, yet the wounds remain fresh and open, with 218 deaths, 7,000 injuries, 300,000 people homeless. The cost of the damage was estimated at US$15 billion. ©ByTheEast

August 4, 2020, 6.07pm. The world watched in horror as Beirut, Lebanon’s vibrant capital city, was rocked by a devastating explosion. On that fateful day, lives were shattered, buildings crumbled, and an entire nation reeled from the unimaginable destruction. Three long years have passed since that tragic event shook Beirut to its core, yet the wounds remain fresh and open, with 218 deaths, 7,000 injuries, 300,000 people homeless. The cost of the damage was estimated at US$15 billion. No less.

Despite countless promises of justice and demands for accountability, no one has been held responsible for this catastrophe. It is a painful reminder that sometimes even the most egregious acts can go unpunished in a world plagued by political maneuvering and lack of transparency.

As we delve into the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion three years later, we find ourselves grappling with profound questions about who should bear responsibility for such a heinous crime against humanity. The search for answers leads us down a complex path entangled with political intrigue, international relations dynamics, and an urgent need for justice. Hezbollah’s presence at the Beirut port raises suspicions about their involvement in storing vast amounts of ammonium nitrate – the deadly substance that triggered this cataclysmic event – right under the city’s nose. And what about Judge Bitar’s investigation into this tragedy – his relentless pursuit to uncover truth amidst obstructions from powerful entities seeking to bury evidence beneath layers of corruption? Lebanese people and victims have the right to know, and the right to call for an international inquiry; one free from internal pressures or conflicts of interest.

August 4, 2020: the explosion that detroyed Beirut

August 4, 2020, will forever be etched in the collective memory of Beirut and the world. It was a day that started like any other, with bustling streets and vibrant energy filling the airdespite the economic turnmoil and the COVID-19 crisis. Little did anyone know that this ordinary summer day would soon transform into a nightmare of unimaginable proportions.

Suddenly, two explosions erupted at the Beirut port, the second one unleashing a devastating shockwave that tore through the city. In an instant, buildings were reduced to rubble, windows shattered into thousands of pieces, and lives were tragically lost or forever altered.

The sheer magnitude of destruction left onlookers speechless; it seemed almost surreal. Some say it was the third most powerful explosion in human History after Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 over Japan. The blast’s impact reverberated far beyond physical structures – it shook the very fabric of society and instilled fear in every heart.

Amidst this chaos and devastation emerged stories of incredible bravery and resilience. Ordinary citizens turned into heroes as they rushed to help their fellow Beirutis trapped under debris or injured by flying shards of glass. Strangers became neighbors united by a common goal: survival and rebuilding their beloved city from its ashes.

Yet amidst these tales of strength lies an undeniable sense of frustration and anger for many who continue to grapple with unanswered questions about what led to such a catastrophic event. How could highly explosive ammonium nitrate be stored improperly for six years? Who bears responsibility for this unfathomable tragedy? Three years have passed since that dark day, and still, no one has been held accountable.

Sadly, the lack of justice only adds salt to already deep wounds inflicted upon those whose lives were irrevocably changed. It is crucial not only for closure but also as a deterrent against future acts negligence or malfeasance – accountability must prevail if we are ever to move forward as individuals, families, and as a nation united in healing our wounded spirits.

Still no justice for the victims, no political accountability

Three years have passed since that fateful day in August 2020 when Beirut was shattered by a catastrophic explosion at its port. The lack of accountability is not only disheartening but also deeply concerning. It sends a message that those responsible can evade punishment and continue their lives without facing the consequences of their actions. This failure to hold anyone accountable raises serious questions about political integrity and transparency within Lebanon’s system.

The investigation into the blast has been marred by delays, obstacles, and resistance from powerful entities like Hezbollah. These hurdles have hindered progress towards identifying those responsible for storing large quantities of ammonium nitrate at the port for years on end. How did this deadly material go unnoticed? Who allowed it to be stored there? Even President Michel Aoun was aware of the danger, but did nothing.

Moreover, recent revelations linking Mozambique to the shipment raise even more eyebrows. How did ammonium nitrate destined for Mozambique end up sitting idle in Beirut? Was there any involvement or complicity from influential figures who benefited from its storage?

Frustration among the victims’ families grows with each passing year without answers or justice served. They deserve closure and assurance that such a tragedy will never happen again.

It is clear that an international investigation is urgently needed to ensure impartiality and uncover all facets of this horrific incident. Judge Bitar‘s appointment as lead investigator gave hope that progress can be made towards truth-seeking and accountability.  

Until then, we must continue to demand justice for Beirut’s victims while shedding light on these unresolved issues surrounding political accountability in Lebanon.

Hezbollah, Mozambique: why the ammonium nitrate was stored in Beirut for so long?

Hezbollah, Mozambique: two seemingly unrelated entities that played a significant role in the storage of ammonium nitrate in Beirut’s port for years. How do these puzzle pieces fit together? Let’s delve into this intriguing connection.

Hezbollah, a powerful political and military organization based in Lebanon, has been accused of using the port to store weapons and ammunition. It is widely believed that their influence allowed the ammonium nitrate to be stored without proper safety measures or oversight. This raises questions about Hezbollah’s motives and their disregard for public safety.

But what does Mozambique have to do with all of this? Reports suggest that the ammonium nitrate was originally bound for the African country but was redirected to Beirut due to complications during the journey of the cargo MV Rhosus. The exact reasons behind this redirection remain unclear, leaving room for speculation and conspiracy theories.

One theory is that influential businessman Iskandar Safa, who has ties to both Lebanon and Mozambique, may have played a role in diverting the shipment. However, concrete evidence linking him directly is yet to surface.

The presence of such hazardous material in an urban area like Beirut should never have been tolerated. It highlights not only a lack of accountability within Lebanese politics but also an urgent need for international intervention and investigation into this tragedy.

As we continue down the path towards justice for those affected by the devastating explosion three years ago, it becomes increasingly clear that identifying those responsible requires untangling a complex web of connections between Hezbollah, Mozambique, businessmen like Iskandar Safa, and other players involved.

It is crucial that we persistently demand answers from our government and push for transparency at every level until accountability is achieved. Only then can we hope to prevent similar tragedies from occurring again in the future.

The urgent need for an international investigation

As we reflect on the tragic events that took place in Beirut three years ago, it is disheartening to see that justice has not been served and no one has been held accountable. The victims of the explosion deserve answers, and their families deserve closure.

It is clear that political accountability is lacking in this case. The fact that ammonium nitrate was stored at the port for such a long period of time without proper safety measures raises serious questions about negligence and corruption. It is crucial to determine why Hezbollah had control over these dangerous materials and why they were allowed to remain there unchecked.

Judge Bitar’s appointment as lead investigator gave hope that progress will finally be made in uncovering the truth behind what happened on August 4th, 2020. However, his task cannot be done alone. There must be international support for an impartial investigation into all aspects surrounding this tragedy. An international investigation would ensure transparency and impartiality—two essential elements needed for justice to prevail. It would also send a strong message that acts of negligence resulting in loss of life will not go unpunished.