Aftermaths of Arab Spring

Photo Source: The Economist

By Naveed Qazi | Editor, Globe Up Front

Oppression by nature channels revolutions. When they began in Arab world, certain ideas of liberty, freedom, dignity and values were desired catalysts. The revolutions swept from one neighbouring country to another. 

The Arab Spring reflected economic stagnation and peoples anger against stubborn leadership, corruption and inefficient economic planning.

With the exception of Tunisia, where the new constitution is the only success story, the other countries, such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Morocco, Bahrain and Algeria are still in a reform phase and civil war. No stability has been instilled by the creation of new political systems and new leaders representing them. The wars also have not stopped.

Infact in places in Egypt, people had started to believe that Morsi was incompetent and also violent when he took the realms of power and ended a long time monarchy rule of Mubarak. The promises of a better economy were getting failed to materialise. Youth were frustrated with joblessness. Power was still highly concentrated with the elites.

Morsi was eventually ousted from power, despite giving speeches of calm and progress. The military had used bulldozers and automatic weapons to crush the protests against his government. Human rights officials called Rabaa Al-Adawiya Massarce in 2013 one of the most brutal in history, where about 817 people were killed in a single day.

In 2014, when new president Sisi took control, protests broke out when Morsi was not tried by the court for his role of deaths of hundreds of protestors. However, in 2015, he was ultimately sentenced to twenty years in prison for violations and espionage.

Since then, the Egyptian ISIS has taken full advantage of the political instability by beheading hostages and shooting down a Russian jet killing 224 people onboard. In the present economic crises, Egyptians are also unhappy with two Red Sea Island deals with Saudi Arabia, which are important logistical points for the country towards Jordan. Many protestors have faced rubber bullets for their outcry because they believe that their country is becoming like a vassal of Saudi Arabia. The aftermaths of Arab Spring indicate that revolutions can fail, and masses by nature will continue to protest till their voices are heard.

Bahrain on the other hand, is still locking up political dissidents, journalists and bloggers. Unrest is still continuing, particularly in Shia dominated communities who are met with state brutality for protesting and are accused of being part of Iranian backed conspiracies.

Algerians are still backing the ideals of Arab Spring. Poor living conditions, corruption, inflation, low salaries and high taxes are reasons for a change. There had been 9,700 protests in 2010 in Algeria alone. To this day, there are about 500 protests per month. The main reasons of protests for Algerians, over the period of time, has been revision of laws pertaining to elections, political parties, women participation in politics and media reform. Very recently, anarchy broke up on a large scale, after a controversial budget was drafted which included increased prices for daily household commodities.

Morocco is trying to ease its political crises by good functioning of a new coalition government. Droughts in 2016 had recently diminished agricultural revenues. The recent developments have no doubt exposed power struggles inside the country between Islamists and Royalists. The leaders look forward to mend its tourism industry and attract investments so that they would reflect a reputation of success.

In Western Sahara, about 165,000 people are still fighting for their freedom. Almost half of its population has been displaced to remote refugee camps in Algeria. An entire generation has been raised and born in these camps. Morocco has abused the human rights of the community and fortified 1,700 miles of desert, making the world’s longest minefield. Due to Morocco’s pertinence and Morocco’s illegal occupation from 1975, a referendum has never taken place. This has prompted the community to wage an armed struggle. Many political commentators have regarded injustices in Western Sahara as the epicenter of Arab Spring. The oppression still continues to this day.

Yemen and Syria have been on a brink of mass genocide over the years. With usage of chemical weapons by Assad Government and rebels, the civil population has been worst hit. Much of the social media still horrifies the viewers with the harrowing consequences of war. It wont be long till every Yemeni would be longing for feeding his family. Analysts also believe that Saudi has geopolitical interests with the Yemeni invasion and that it wants a control over strategic places.

Much of the Libya is in still in anarchy after rebels killed Gaddafi in the open. The rebels, many of them ordinary workers and students with guns, still control much of the industrial sectors and cities. Many gangs and mercenary groups are also involved. Libyan oil industry has already collapsed and extremist Islamic groups are on prowl in every Libyan city.

Was Arab world better without Arab Spring? Looking at the aftermaths, the economic problems and political unpredictability still haven’t been satiated according to will of the Arab masses. Leaders in Arab world need to identify the root causes and ensure reform.

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