NPR logo Lebanese Government Collapses; Now, 'Everyone Will Hold Their Breath'


Lebanese Government Collapses; Now, 'Everyone Will Hold Their Breath'

The news that:

"Lebanon's year-old unity government collapsed Wednesday after Hezbollah ministers and their allies resigned over tensions stemming from a U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri." (Associated Press)

Is not-too-surprisingly leading to lines like this:

"There are widespread fears that a collapse of the government could spark an outbreak of sectarian violence, last seen in Beirut in 2008." (BBC News)

Or, as The Guardian does, to a Q&A like this:

"What happens now?

"Hezbollah will try to form a new government that will enable it to veto continuing funding of the UN tribunal and to invalidate the tribunal's findings. Hariri is flying back to Beirut, via Paris, to pick up the pieces. The regional players will make new efforts to quell the crisis, knowing full well that sectarian sparks could easily ignite turmoil within their borders. And everyone will hold their breath."