Opinion| Lebanon, the day after the blast, by Mohamed Abubaker, Sudan

Since yesterday morning, I read so many harsh comments from Arabs and Africans shaming and condemning the Lebanese people for the petition started by some activists, inviting French mandate back to Lebanon, which so far gathered far more signatures than votes in elections in Lebanon. Citing anti-colonialism quotes along the way, from various civil rights figures and anti-colonialism fighters.
I completely understand the reaction and the allergy to any speech inviting colonial powers back(especially France), but I’d like to invite all those criticizing the people for the petition to see it in the context it’s meant to be seen- a protest of the failure of Lebanese factions to govern.
Lebanon today is the definition of a dysfunctional kleptocracy. In worse shape, in so many ways, than better-known examples of kleptocracies around the world. Few individuals and families who are not only utilizing the state for their personal gain and turned the state into their family business but who are also so bad at it that the business is going bankrupt.
In light of an ongoing global pandemic, economic crisis threatening the next meal for the poor and wealthy alike, and streets still filled with glass and blood, the pool of nonviolent resistance and protest tools in the disposal of the people are very limited.
Nobody wants to live under colonial rule. That’s not what the petition is about. It’s about sending a message to the ruling class in Lebanon that they care even less for the people and the country than a colonial stranger.

Now is not the time for puritanical condemnation of a population trying to exhaust every nonviolent tool they have to interrupt a terrible status quo. It’s time to be a good ally – to be helpful.

Mohamed Abubakr is a Sudanese human right activist and peacemaker. He is an alumnus of the YaLa Young Leaders Program and the President of the African Middle Eastern Leadership Project (AMEL)

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