Experts warn of the possibility of a second Arab Spring in 2020

After learning from the lessons of the past, the citizens of Algeria, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon focus their sights on the system, instead of their rulers


The think tank of the Carnegie Center for the Middle East has warned of the possibility of a new wave of revolutions in the Arab world throughout 2020, deeper and more specific than that occurred almost a decade ago, due to the worsening of the situation economic, which has further weakened the regimes that managed to resist the first impact.

A second revolution that “has learned the lessons of the first”, in the opinion of Professor Ishac Diwan, of the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris: “Not content to displace their autocrats, the protesters have focused their sights on the regime itself The internal divisions between them are over. Their ultimate goal is the declaration of new elections, and ones whose outcome is worthwhile. ”

Experts warn of the possibility of a second Arab Spring in 2020
Experts warn of the possibility of a second Arab Spring in 2020

“So, the challenge facing each country is to find their own economic and political transition; one that satisfies the people of the street. History is underway again, but nobody knows what can happen next.” , Explain.

Iraq is one of the manifest examples of this new situation. “Unemployment may have been the catalyst for the demonstrations,” says expert Rasha al Aqidi, about protests that have left nearly 300 dead throughout the country. “But the government's lethal response has finished convincing an entire generation, which has lived a decade without any stability, that the status quo must end.”

Another feature to keep in mind is that the protests affected countries have a more idiosyncratic character. “It is not a regional wave,” adds Al Aqidi. “In Iraq they respond to a very specific context that we have not seen in Tunisia, Algeria or Egypt.” For example, popular anger towards Iranian influence in the country has become a defining characteristic of the uprising, one that could become a barrel of gunpowder for a civil conflict or brutal repression, “he explains.

Mona Yacubian, senior advisor for Syria, the Middle East and North Africa at the United States Peace Institute, insists on the clarity of ideas that seems to guide protesters. In Lebanon, he explains, the demonstrations are committed to the emergence of a “more vibrant national identity” rather than traditional sectarianism. In Sudan, what would have previously succumbed to military power has ended up becoming a hybrid with civil society. “Everything, because they persisted,” he says.

Algeria, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon. Countries that remained relatively untouched by the “Arab Spring” in 2011; where social discontent has been accumulating for years and the same reasons that led to the 2011 uprisings are still present in the region, according to the academic Dalia Ghanem. In the case of Algeria, “the fall in oil prices in mid-2014 led to a deterioration of the economic situation and, when 2019 arrived, the Government realized that it had no money to buy social peace, as if it was eight years ago. ”

“Today, the protesters want a real and genuine change, and they don't trust the conventional political parties, the opposition and the old guard to do so. That's why, from Algiers to Beirut, the slogan is one and the same, in reference to the Expulsion from the political class' Everyone means everyone, “he warns.

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