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UN tribunal for Lebanon announces possible closure in July over funding crisis

A severe financial crisis might threaten the United Nations (UN’s) Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) ability to investigate beyond July, the 2005 attack in Beirut which killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The Special Tribunal on Lebanon announced this in a statement on Wednesday.

“The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) regrets to announce that it is facing an unprecedented financial crisis. Without immediate funding, the Tribunal will not be able to operate beyond July 2021, which will impact its ability to fulfill its current mandate,” the UN body said in the statement.

The special tribunal, which mainly relies on voluntary contributions from donor countries, has already drastically reduced its budget by nearly 37% for 2021, compared to previous years.

The reduction was due to “the challenging circumstances generated by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the concerning situation in Lebanon,” the statement added.

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