It is exactly a year since the assassination that shook up Lebanon’s political status quo – when former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was killed in a car bomb attack. Twelve months later and many Lebanese feel disappointed with the progress of change.
The spirit of unity drawn across sectarian lines has withered away. After Damascus was blamed for masterminding the attack, Syrian troops withdrew. But failure to pinpoint the culprits has bred frustration. Nevertheless minister Marwan Hamadeh says Lebanon is better off now: “We accomplished a large part of our independence. We got the Syrians out and this was a major step. Without Hariri’s sacrifice we’d still be under Syrian hegemony.” Twenty other people died when Hariri’s convoy was blown up in Beirut. UN investigators have had to ask for more time to complete their probe, complaining of a lack of cooperation from Syrian officials, who deny any involvement.