A new scandal in Lebanon reaches the judiciary .. Thousands of...

Amid Lebanon’s successive crises, a new scandal related to the waste of thousands of tons of flour provided by the State of Iraq after the explosion, today, Thursday.

The crisis began the day after the Al-Ghobeiry municipality announced that the thousands of tons of flour provided by the state of Iraq after the explosion are liable to be spoiled by storing them under the stands of the Sports City, which sparked widespread criticism of the Ministry of Economy.

At a time when the Lebanese people are groaning under the suffocating economic crisis that has led to an unprecedented rise in prices, the Ministry of Economy has stored thousands of flour sent as aid from Iraq, randomly in a warehouse in what is known as the Beirut Sports City, which led to its corruption and damage to a large part of it as a result. The heavy rain that seeped into the place, prompting a group of lawyers to file a lawsuit against the officials.

While the Minister of Economy, Raul Nehme, tried to evade responsibility, the municipality of Ghobeiry confirmed in the statement of this scandal, accompanied by pictures of the quantities of flour, that “the municipal police revealed a disaster in the warehouses of the Sports City,” noting that “the flour is subject to water, humidity and air, and that” thousands of tons Of the flour from the aid sent from the State of Iraq is stored poorly in the lower stands and in the lower halls. ”

After the blessing of criticism, he announced through his account on “Twitter” that about 7,000 tons of flour had been stored in the Sports City on a temporary basis, at the request of the Lebanese army, for distribution in stages to ovens and mills so that the Lebanese could benefit from the gift by increasing the weight of the bread bundle, while taking All possible preventive measures to preserve flour.

He explained in a second tweet that “the pictures that were circulated on social media, they show materials that were damaged during the process of unloading and transporting goods.”

On the other hand, the general director of sports facilities, Riyadh Al-Sheikha, said in a statement that “flour is stored in the Sports City for the benefit of the Ministry of Economy for a period of 15 days only until it is distributed, and we have no relationship with this matter.”

Despite the denial of his responsibility, the Minister of Economy prevented the food safety team in the municipality of Ghobeiry from inspecting flour in the Sports City, according to what the team announced today in a video recorded in front of the flour storage site, indicating that the Minister of Economy did not give permission to the observers to enter and inspect the materials Food and flour.

Today, the National Media Agency reported that the “People Want to Reform the System” group, represented by a number of lawyers, submitted a complaint to the Financial Public Prosecution against all of the ministers, managers, employees and officials involved in the investigation of the crime of “job negligence and causing the destruction of thousands of tons of the Iraqi flour gift presented. To the Lebanese government to distribute it to the poor of the Lebanese people. ”

Later in the day, Minister Nehme sent a letter to the Cabinet General Secretariat regarding storing the gift of flour.

He stated that he was not ready to unload and store it within 3 days of informing him of the donation, but the Army Directorate presented Sports City as a temporary warehouse under its supervision.

He pointed out that 7,000 tons were stored on wooden drums with the protection of plastic sheets. As for the pictures that were spread, they are damaged bags that are not suitable for manufacturing and have been put aside to be damaged.

Nehme said in this context that “the affected quantity does not exceed three bags and will be withdrawn gradually.” He explained that the Iraqi donation amounted to 10 thousand tons, about three thousand of which were distributed, while the remaining quantity was stored in the Sports City.

Demolish grain waste

In a related context, the Minister of Economy and Trade in the caretaker government, Raul Nehme, announced Thursday that in the next stage, the grain waste will be demolished after its foundations were cracked by the terrible explosion of the Beirut port three months ago.

He said in a press conference held at the ministry, that after studying the reality of the building by experts, “it became clear to us that the building is damaged, and more precisely it poses a danger to the public safety of those approaching it.”

He explained that “the possibility of collapse is present at every moment, especially since the foundations are damaged, and its demolition has become necessary to avoid any other problem that may arise,” noting that “the army will take over the demolition of nonsense with the support of experts.”

A terrible explosion occurred in Ward No. 12, next to the wheat scraps, in the port on the fourth of last August, killing more than two hundred people, including a number of employees of the control room, and injuring more than 6,500 people. It also caused extensive damage to the port and several neighborhoods of the capital.

The authorities attributed the explosion to the storage of huge quantities of ammonium nitrate in the port without protection conditions. The authorities, who have arrested 25 people, including the most senior officials responsible for managing the port and its security, are investigating the case without announcing any results yet.

According to the Ministry of Economy, about 45 thousand tons of grains, especially wheat and maize, were stored in the silos, according to the Ministry of Economy. The quantities still present in some of the silos were not clear.

However, Nima made it clear that it was “unfit for human and animal consumption,” according to reports prepared by experts after the explosion. He said, “We will work to empty the silos as soon as we can and without risk,” to preserve the safety of workers.

Lebanon began building up the dowries at the end of the sixties, thanks to a loan obtained at the time from the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development. And the United Nations warned at the end of August that more than half of Lebanon’s population is exposed to the threat of food insecurity in the coming months, after the explosion exacerbated the acute economic crisis in the country.

In a report, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) called on the Lebanese government to give priority to rebuilding grain waste as it is essential to national food security.

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