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The first results of the "Arab spring"
Material posted: Publication date: 20-11-2011

The first results of mass protests in Arab countries in early 2011, became the overthrow of the ruling regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, the collapse of the regime in Libya, the ongoing domestic political standoff in Yemen and Syria. And if in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen the main reasons for anti-government protests appeared to socio-economic crisis, corruption at the highest levels, the absence of democratic freedoms in Syria and especially in Libya played a decisive role to support the opposition forces from the outside.

The driving force behind the "Arab spring" has become a dissident-minded young people, often unemployed graduates protesting against the deteriorating living conditions, the absolute power of the ruling elite and not seen for itself prospects in life. During the protest he had joined opposition political parties, as well as the forces of political Islam, which subsequently became one of the shock troops of the opposition. The head of the movement were passionate cyberactivity, bloggers and Internet users gathering on protest demonstrations by thousands of its supporters. In Tunisia this was slim Amama (born. in 1978), now the Minister for youth and sports in Tunisia. He worked with the Internet systems in the company Alixys and had the opportunity to speak to 20 thousand users. In Egypt it was Wael Gonim (born. in 1981), an employee of Google, who created the Facebook page "We are all Khalida said" in memory of the young leader-blogger, beaten to death by police in Alexandria and circulated via Twitter to the audience in 100 thousand people. In Libya, Mohammed Nabus (1983-2011), one of the activists of the opposition youth organization who created the website Free Libya (Libya of Hurra) and was killed during the clashes with government forces in Benghazi.

In Tunisia, opposition political parties most active in opposition to the regime of Ben Ali was shown on a semi-legal status party "the Congress for the Republic", headed by exiled from Tunisia and was in exile, former head of the Tunisian League for the protection of human rights, Moncef marzouki, and the "Democratic progressive party" (DPP), whose leaders were Maya al-Gharibi and Najib al-Shabbi. However, as a result of the first after the overthrow of the Ben Ali regime free parliamentary elections in Tunisia on 23 October 2011 the largest number of seats (90 out of the total number 217) was won by the Islamist party "An-Nahda" ("Renaissance") at the head of its leader Rashid Ghannouchi (b. in 1942), a prominent ideologue of political Islam, well-known not only in Tunisia but also abroad. In the times of Ben Ali, "An-Nahda" was accused of attempted coup d'état, her activities are prohibited, in consequence of which Ghannouchi was forced into exile for over 20 years and lived abroad (mostly in England). He returned to Tunisia after the overthrow of the Ben Ali regime on 30 January 2011, Ghannouchi stated that he was "not going to become a Tunisian Khomeini" and after the success of his party in the parliamentary elections confirmed that "An-Nahda" will continue to abide by democratic principles. At the same time, supporters of secular parties protested in connection with the success of "EN-Nahda" and even accused her of rigging the election results. Nevertheless, Moncef marzouki, leader of the "Congress for the Republic", which took second place in parliamentary elections (30 seats) and adhere to left-wing democratic orientation, stated that it can go on the Union with "An-Nahdi", which he described as a "truly democratic party".

In Egypt, unlike Tunisia power after the resignation of Mubarak in February 2011, was transferred to the military – the Supreme Council of the armed forces headed by Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who issued a decree dismissed the Parliament. At the beginning of March in Cairo again demonstrations were held, participants of which demanded the dissolution of the services of political investigation and purification apparatus of the MIA employees who participated in the repression against the opposition-Mubarak forces. Under pressure from protesters was sent in the resignation Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, a retired General and former chief of staff of the air force. The Prime Minister was ISAM Sharaf, a former transport Minister, an active participant in demonstrations antinobelevskih forces in the area of At-Tahrir. At the national referendum on 19 March 2011 were approved by the special Commission developed amendments to the current Constitution, in effect abolished under the former regime, military courts over civilians. Then adopted a new election law and defined their terms: parliamentary elections should be held on 28 November 2011 and presidential - since April 2012, after which the power should shift from military to civilian. However, the situation in the country remains complicated. In Cairo, there were demonstrations representatives of those political forces that did not agree with some amendments to the Constitution and the provisions of the new law on elections. In autumn 2011 there were clashes between Coptic Christians (Christians make up about 20% of the 84 million people of Egypt) from the Muslims, but also with the police, resulting in casualties on both sides. One of the reasons of the clashes was the demand of some Christian communities to allow the construction of new temples and their nisanc-tonirovanie construction in several areas. Prime Minister ISAM Sharaf and the Coptic Patriarch, denounced the instigators of the clashes and blamed them on supporters of the ousted regime. In Egypt, declare themselves the new political forces that are going to participate in parliamentary elections. It is such secular associations as the "Coalition of revolutionary youth", "We Khalida Saida", "Youth movement April 6", "Revolutionary socialists", "national Association for changes". Along with them high active forces that represent political Islam. First of all, it is the Association "Muslim brotherhood", its youth wing "Young Muslim Brothers", and they created political party "Center" and "the Party of freedom and justice". In turn the Salafi movement, which emerged after the collapse of Mubarak's regime, have also created their own political party "Light", "Authenticity", "Virtue". The most structured and influential political force in Egypt postmubarak are probably "Muslim brotherhood", which, judging by their official statements, is quite evolved in his political views in terms of the perception of democratic norms. Political program and demands of the "Brothers" are almost the same with the programs and requirements of the most democratic parties. New generation guide "of the Muslim brotherhood" consists mainly of representatives of scientific-technical and humanitarian intelligentsia. Changed even the official emblem of the "Muslim Brothers". Known two crossed swords replaced the two United in shaking hands hands over the rise out of the ground green escape. Related to the "Muslim brotherhood" in the Egyptian society is quite ambiguous. The part of the Egyptians, primarily the representatives of the Christian communities Express concern about the increase of their influence, and believe their statements about commitment to democracy pre-election tactic. At the same time, many tend to consider the evolution of the "Muslim brotherhood" as a new strategy that meets the spirit of the time.

The most dramatic confrontation was developing in Libya. Seven-month military campaign, NATO (March to October 2011) that supported those opposed to Moammar Gadhafi rebels, led to the fall of the regime headed by it, although the resistance of his supporters, most likely, will continue. The latter stages in the "battle for Libya" (Libyan rebels capture the capital Tripoli), according to various reports, on the side of "rebels" to the accompaniment of bombing was part of special forces, NATO and some Arab countries (in total up to 1.5 thousand servicemen). After a two-month siege and continuous shelling and bombing by NATO aircraft in October 2011, was taken by rebels of Sirte (Gaddafi's birthplace), the last stronghold of Gaddafi's supporters. NATO aircraft attacked the convoy, which was Gaddafi himself, who tried to leave Sirte. As a result, according to various unconfirmed reports, he was wounded and then killed by attacking a column of rebel forces, which "suggested goal" is also the NATO aircraft. Along with Gaddafi was killed by his son and the defense Minister of his government. At the same time, the eldest son Kaddafi the Safe al-Islam and Abdullah Al-senussi, head of the intelligence services of Gaddafi, international criminal court accuses of "crimes against humanity", managed to escape. In a hotel in Sirte, were found 260 dead bodies of Qaddafi loyalists killed by shots in the head, in connection with the international human rights organization "human rights watch" demanded the investigation and punishment of those responsible. Members of the Gaddafi family, in turn, filed a lawsuit in the international criminal court on NATO, accusing the Alliance of killing, which they qualify as a "crime against humanity". Despite this, NATO Secretary General announced the end of military operations in Libya, calling it "one of the most successful in NATO's history". He confirmed, however, that "NATO will continue to assist the new Libyan authorities". For seven months of operations, according to NATO, the Alliance aircraft has made more than 26 thousand sorties, of which more than 10 thousand military. Moreover, for each sortie were destroyed 3-4 goals, which included not only military facilities, but also administrative buildings, residential buildings, life-support systems. During the armed confrontation killed more than 50 thousand Libyan citizens. The main initiators of the military operation in Libya - France and England - it cost respectively 300 and 340 million euros. The leaders of the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy and the UN Secretary General expressed his "satisfaction" in connection with the liquidation of Gaddafi and his confidence that in the history of Libya begins "a new stage of democratic development". For the leading countries of the West the result of the collapse of the Gaddafi regime is to ensure access to oil and gas resources of Libya - one of the largest in the Arab world, and its multi-million dollar assets in foreign banks accounts and real estate abroad, and managers as trusted entities, the new Libyan authorities will be the financial and economic structure of those same Western powers. More than a half-year military conflict has largely led to the destruction of the infrastructure of several cities in Libya and disorganization of all government institutions. In this regard, naturally increasing emigration from Libya to neighbouring countries and Western countries, including illegal ones. A serious problem remains the large number of weapons among the population, including complexes of MANPADS and stockpiles of chemical weapons and nuclear components. Politically, the obvious presence in the force, now came to power in Libya, those who profess political Islam, perhaps in a rather radical form. This is confirmed by the first decisions of the new government: legislative and legal framework Libya is becoming the Sharia. In particular, repealed the law banning polygamy and passed a law prohibiting divorce.

In Syria, protests demanding better living conditions and democratic reforms started in March 2011 soon developed into clashes with police and calls for the overthrow of the ruling regime continued to the present time. At the same time, socio-economic and political problems faced by Syria, were not, as in Libya, unlike Tunisia and Egypt, the character of an acute crisis. The main factor is the continuing confrontation, as in Libya, the impact on the situation in the country from the outside. The West and Israel, who see in Syria the ally of Iran, seek to change the regime in Damascus and, accordingly, support the Syrian opposition. Turkey and the Gulf States opposing the Shiite Iran, in approximately the same position. Despite the fulfilment of the Syrian leadership is practically all demands of the opposition, i.e. the adoption of laws on political parties, General elections, media, local government, began discussions on amendments to the Constitution, and in particular to amend article proclaiming the leading role of the ruling party of PASV, the radical opposition continues armed confrontation with police. According to various sources, since March 2011 killed more than 3 thousand people. And of these, approximately 1,200 law enforcement agencies. At the same time in Damascus and other major Syrian cities were mnogomu-monthly meetings and demonstrations in support of President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian opposition can be divided into three areas. First, the internal, or, as its leaders call themselves "Patriotic" opposition, calling for the implementation of the announced reforms and consonant in the dialogue with the authorities. Secondly, the external opposition represented by the Syrian national Council (SNC), established in October 2011 in Turkey, which includes representatives of the liberal democratic community, the Kurdish community and the "Muslim brotherhood". The latter are the most structured and influential force. The SNA is headed by Ganun Burkan, a teacher from the Sorbonne Syrian-French descent. The main requirement to the SNA is the departure from power of Bashar al-Assad. Third, the radical opposition, represent the units of the armed fighters, consisting of both Syrian citizens and foreign mercenaries (including from Afghanistan), financed, trained and armed from abroad. The only slogan of the radical opposition is the overthrow of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Continuing the pressure on Syria by Western countries demanding the departure of Assad from power. The imposition by Russia and China veto on the draft resolution, in fact, included the implementation of the "Libyan scenario" probably saved Syria from the NATO bombing.

It is possible to allocate two preliminary result of the "Arab spring". The first is the strengthening of political Islam. "Islamization" of life in these countries should not be taken unambiguously negative. Perhaps the peoples of Tunisia and Egypt, freed from the corrupt rulers, will be able to build a better society based on their cultural and historical traditions, the core of which is Islam. This is especially true of Egypt, which has the most numerous and politically experienced intelligentsia and sufficiently developed democratic traditions. The second result is that new political-ski modes will not be one-sidedly Pro-Western, that will create a new political configuration of the Middle East and to some extent the world in General...




Tags: Syria , Libya , Africa

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