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Abstract: Over the last ten years, as the European Union (EU) has tightened
its border controls and increasingly externalised its migration policies,
Morocco has changed from being just a transit country for migrants
en route to Europe to being both a transit and destination country by
default. MSF’s experience demonstrates that the longer sub-Saharan
migrants stay in Morocco the more vulnerable they become. This preexisting
vulnerability, related to factors such as age and gender, as well
as traumas experienced during the migration process, accumulates as
they are trapped in Morocco and subjected to policies and practices
that neglect, exclude and discriminate against them.
MSF’s data demonstrates that the precarious living conditions that
the majority of sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco are forced to live
in and the wide-spread institutional and criminal violence that they
are exposed to continue to be the main factors influencing medical
and psychological needs. MSF teams have repeatedly highlighted
and denounced this situation, yet violence remains a daily reality for
the majority of sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco. In fact, as this
report demonstrates, the period since December 2011 has seen a
sharp increase in abuse, degrading treatment and violence against
sub-Saharan migrants by Moroccan and Spanish security forces. This
report also reveals the widespread violence carried out by criminal
gangs, including bandits and human smuggling and human trafficking
networks. It provides a glimpse into the shocking levels of sexual
violence that migrants are exposed to throughout the migration process
and demands better assistance and protection for those affected.
These unacceptable levels of violence should not overshadow the
achievements that have been made in recognition and respect
for sub-Saharan migrants’ right to health over the last ten years.
Progress has been made, however considerable challenges remain,
particularly with regard to non-emergency, secondary care, care for
people with mental health problems and protection and assistance
for survivors of sexual violence. Further investment and reform of
the healthcare system is needed, however the impact of the progress
made to date and any future reforms will be limited unless concrete
action is taken to address the discrepancy between European and
Moroccan policies which view migration through a security prism
and criminalise, marginalise and discriminate against sub-Saharan
migrants in Morocco and those which protect and uphold their
fundamental human rights.
This report highlights the medical and psychological consequences
of this approach and the cumulative vulnerability of the significant
numbers of sub-Saharan migrants who are trapped in Morocco. In
doing so it calls, once again, on the Moroccan authorities to respect
their international and national commitments to human rights,
develop and implement protection mechanisms and ensure that sub-
Saharan migrants are treated in a humane and dignified manner,
no matter what their legal status.
Abstract: Au cours de ces dix dernières années, l’Union Européenne (UE) a durci ses contrôles aux frontières et externalise de plus en plus sa politique migratoire ; d’un pays de transit pour les migrants qui se déplacent vers l’Europe, le Maroc est devenu entre-temps un pays de transit et de destination par défaut.
L’expérience de MSF démontre que plus le séjour des migrants subsahariens se prolonge au Maroc et plus leur vulnérabilité augmente. Cette vulnérabilité préexistante, associée à des facteurs tels que l’âge et le genre, et les traumatismes subis durant le processus migratoire, s’accumule lorsqu’ils se retrouvent bloqués au Maroc et sujets à des politiques et des pratiques d’exclusion, de discrimination et de négligence.
Les données de MSF démontrent que les conditions de vie précaires auxquelles sont contraints la majorité des migrants subsahariens et la violence criminelle et institutionnelle généralisée à laquelle ils sont exposés sont encore à ce jour les principaux facteurs qui déterminent leurs besoins médicaux et psychologiques.
A maintes reprises, les équipes de MSF ont signalé et dénoncé cette situation, mais la violence est une réalité quotidienne encore aujourd’hui pour la majorité des migrants subsahariens se trouvant au Maroc.
En réalité, comme en témoigne ce rapport, à partir du mois de décembre 2011 une recrudescence importante des abus a été constatée ainsi qu’une forte violence et des comportements à caractère dégradant envers les migrants subsahariens exercés par les forces de sécurité marocaines et espagnoles. Ce rapport souligne également la violence généralisée commise par les bandes criminelles, y compris par les délinquants et les réseaux de traite et de trafic d’êtres humains.
Il donne un aperçu du degré alarmant des violences sexuelles auxquelles sont exposés les migrants durant tout le processus migratoire, et demande de réserver aux personnes affectées une meilleure assistance et une plus solide protection.
Ces niveaux inacceptables de violence ne devraient pas éclipser ce qui a été réalisé quant à la reconnaissance et au respect du droit des migrants subsahariens à la santé au cours de ces dix dernières années. Malgré les grands progrès qui ont été réalisés, les défis sont encore nombreux, notamment en ce qui concerne la santé secondaire non urgente, la prise en charge des personnes ayant des problèmes de santé mentale et la protection et l’aide aux survivants de violences sexuelles.
Un plus grand investissement et la réforme du système de santé doivent également être mis en œuvre. L’impact des progrès déjà obtenus à ce jour et toute future réforme seront néanmoins limités, à moins qu’une action concrète ne soit mise en œuvre pour résoudre le paradoxe des politiques européennes et marocaines qui, d'un coté, ont une approche de la migration se faisant à travers un prisme de sécurité et qui criminalisent, marginalisent et discriminent les migrants subsahariens au Maroc et, de l'autre coté, protègent et défendent leurs droits humains fondamentaux.
Abstract: Over the last decade, the dispute over the future status of the Western Sahara territory, which has set Morocco and the Algeria-backed pro-independence Polisario front in opposition, has entered a qualitatively new phase. This is due to attempts at finding a negotiated outcome instead of the long-delayed self-determination referendum. The idea of a political solution to break a twice deadlocked (1997 and 2000) UN self-determination referendum for the Western Sahara territory has steadily revived the prospect of autonomous status for the territory within Moroccan jurisdiction. As the viability of the implementation of the UN settlement plan became increasingly questionable, the relevance of a political solution to the dispute was again given renewed saliency. Yet, Morocco’s quick embrace of a negotiated settlement impelled Polisario to resent what it perceived as the hijacking of the old UN settlement plan, which it wanted to be fully implemented. The introduction of two proposals on autonomy and self-determination by the UN Personal Envoy, James Baker, eventually linked the autonomy option with a self-determination referendum, but failed to gain support from Morocco.
Abstract: Origins and genesis of the conflict:
Since the origin of the crisis, it has been evident that Morocco would never accept any outcome that might contest its sovereignty or result in the independence of the Western Sahara. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proposed in its first resolution adopted on December 16, 1965 that Spain “takes all necessary measures” to decolonize the territory, while entering into negotiations on “problems relative to governing.”
Following this first step, the UNGA adopted seven resolutions between 1966 and 1973 reiterating the need to hold a referendum on self-determination, in line with the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Nevertheless, King Hassan II has consistently advocated that Western Sahara was part of the Kingdom. This became crystal clear when Spain announced its plan to organize such a referendum in early 1975; King Hassan II immediately referred the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and called for the “Green March” the day after the publication of the Court opinion.
Abstract: Responses to "Autonomy: The Optimal Political Solution"
Bernard Miyet rightly points out that it has always been the goal of Morocco to gain the recognition of the international community of what it has maintained was its historically legitimate assertion of sovereignty over the Western Sahara. He is also correct that the UN effort to conduct a referendum on either the full integration of the territory into Morocco or its independence as a new state in the Sahel had utterly failed by late 1998. His analysis of the prospects that any such “winner take all” solution might lead to greater tensions, or worse in this already volatile region, was one of the reasons why the US State Department changed US policy on this question in early 1999, during the second Clinton Administration. This new policy continued during the Bush Administration and is one that Secretary Clinton has stated publicly remains unchanged under the Obama Administration.
Abstract: The latest diplomatic dance on whether or not former US Ambassador Christopher Ross should be allowed to continue to mediate UN-led talks between the Frente Polisario and Morocco on the future of Western Sahara is symptomatic of a much bigger problem ― the large powers’ unwillingness to advance an end to a dispute that they mistakenly see as peripheral to their strategic interests, and their resultant acquiescence in the brutal and illegal occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco for more than 35 years.
Western Sahara is not part of Morocco, nor has it ever been. When still under Spanish colonial rule in 1963, Western Sahara was listed by the UN as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, putting it on the same path towards independence traveled by almost all other colonial territories in Africa. Spain was expected and indeed obliged to oversee a process of decolonization that it completely failed to deliver upon. Instead, Spain’s withdrawal in 1975 was knowingly orchestrated to leave the territory to a tripartite administration with Mauritania and Morocco that eventually led to the illegal annexation of Western Sahara by Morocco.
Abstract: Responses to "Western Sahara: It's Time for the People to Choose"
Carne Ross is right when he refers to the unwillingness of the Security Council to impose any mandatory solution over the last 35 years, but wrong if he believes that the international community will change its approach in the foreseeable future. In this context, is it wise or constructive to definitively conclude that “really there is no other option” possible than the only one that has been impossible to achieve during more than three decades? One might conclude that it is wishful thinking or statement of principle rather than search for an outcome to this difficult problem.
Abstract: What more can be done to resolve the problem in Western Sahara?
Mr. (Carne) Ross, Undersecretary General Miyet, and I have be trading opinions for six months and it is clear that Mr. Ross has no intention to propose or agree on any kind of political settlement or compromise, regardless of arguments to the contrary. It is time to quit deluding ourselves and allowing the refugees to be used as hostages in an effort to advance the cause of a few thousand Polisario rebels. Rather, we should reach out together for a common middle-ground solution.
There are two absolute realities that we should not fool ourselves about. First, Morocco will never leave its Saharan territories, and the UN Security Council will never force Morocco to do so. This fact is grounded in an agreement between the US and Morocco and supported by the actions of the UN Security Council over the past two decades to not impose solutions on the parties. Even when the UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy James Baker threatened such a move, he was rejected by the Security Council, and consequently resigned.
Abstract: “Compromise” is the word repeated 25 times in this three-voice dialogue with opposing views on what could be the best solution to the Western Sahara dispute. The settlement options that emerged from the three contributors to this series have accepted either autonomy for the Western Sahara territory (subject to a referendum) or a referendum on self-determination that would include independence as well as other possibilities, including autonomy. The choices now on the table concern a self-determination referendum (with independence as well as autonomy as options) or negotiated autonomous status (without independence as an option). The shift, however, is significant because the conflict over Western Sahara is no longer characterized in mutually exclusive terms, i.e. through a defining referendum process on either integration with Morocco or independence (with an Algerian flavor). Autonomy is now part of the equation, though the latter has not changed fundamentally.
Abstract: The Maghreb is in motion. Political changes underway across North Africa have created opportunities for more representative and transparent governance. Debates over the nature of authority and the role of the state that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago now shape political discourse. And yet, doubts remain.
Transitions in Libya and Tunisia remain incomplete, and their ultimate impacts on the region are still uncertain. Popular expectations of reform are straining governments’ abilities to adapt. Dilemmas of political identity and institutional structure challenge both new and existing governments. Meanwhile, the region’s persistent economic tasks—to provide jobs, stability, and growth for the millions of citizens who enter the labor market every year—endure. Economic success will be integral to the success of the region’s political transformation and its future.
To better understand the evolving political, economic, and security dynamics in the Maghreb (defined here as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya), the CSIS Middle East Program convened a conference in Washington, D.C., on October 12, 2012. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the keynote address, imparting her optimism as well as her commitment to building on recent gains in freedom and civic participation. The conference gathered a senior group of experts from government, academia, policy research, and the business community to share their insights. While many agreed that there is reason to be cautiously hopeful, there was no denying that the region is at the beginning of a long and uncertain phase of change.
Abstract: On May 29-31, 2012, the Stimson Center convened a workshop on Water Challenges and Cooperative Response in the Middle East and North Africa as a component of the 2012 US-Islamic World Forum held in Doha, Qatar. Participants included scientists, academics, policy analysts, and practitioners from several MENA countries, as well as US and European experts. The interdisciplinary working group identified the principal water resource issues facing decision makers and stakeholders in the region, assessed the MENA states’ existing governance capacities and resources to address these emerging pressures, and recommended priority areas and approaches for advancing international and intersectoral cooperation and for identifying and strengthening intellectual and technical resources, tools, lessons, and best practices that could be shared, applied, or adapted across the region.
This report first provides a brief overview of available water resources in the MENA region. It then discusses the salient socio-economic and environmental stresses and trends that will drive and condition water supply and demand over the coming decades. Next, the report sketches prevailing water management approaches that are being developed or might be brought to bear. With this foundation in place, the report then seeks to illuminate the water governance policy options and obstacles confronting the region by examining three case studies: the Tigris-Euphrates basin, the Nile basin, and a side-by-side consideration of water stewardship in Yemen and Oman. Finally, the report concludes by presenting some recommendations suggesting strategies for the MENA countries to build their water management capabilities and bolster collaborative alternatives to managing scarce water resources at both the domestic and regional levels.
Abstract: Morocco is often seen as the exception to the “Arab Spring”. The country’s socio-political profile suggested that it was only a matter of time for the disgruntled masses to take to the streets and bring down another autocracy that has monopolised governance for decades and on whom the country’s ills can be blamed. Contrary to expectations to date, however, Morocco’ regime has survived the regional unrest, and its leadership seems to be as strong as ever. This is often explained with the promises of political reform that King Mohammed VI issued soon after regional uprisings started. This succinct narrative, albeit factual, does not accurately reflect the relationship between the resilient monarchy and the country at large. Other factors – particularly the regime’s approach to the country’s built environment, which encompasses the range of deliberately constructed physical structures: from inhabitable spaces to supporting infrastructure – can help explain the endurance of the inherited political status quo.
Abstract: Governments across the Maghreb are struggling to address a wide range
of socioeconomic and political grievances that sparked popular uprisings
throughout 2011. The problems are rooted in political systems that
have been marred by corruption, exclusion, and marginalization of large
swaths of the population, including young people. Despite significant
change in the last year, the region is still at the beginning of a long phase
To better understand the political and economic factors shaping transitions
in the Maghreb (defined here as Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia)
and opportunities for spurring economic growth, the CSIS Middle East
Program convened a half-day conference in Washington, D.C., on June
13. Because states dominate most economies in the region, the conference
examined both government strategies to address a range of economic
challenges and the role that trade and investment could play in promoting
growth. The conference brought together high-level U.S. government officials,
diplomats, and leading experts in academia and business. The following
report summarizes the views and ideas discussed at the conference.
Abstract: The Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is experiencing a shift in its political and social landscape as citizens throughout the region are mobilizing for greater dignity and freedom. This political awakening is a response to the decades-long dominance of systems of economic and political exclusion, which have stalled economic progress, created enormous wealth distribution gaps, endemic corruption, high unemployment and soaring inflation. The popular rage relates not least to the way the considerable resource wealth of the region is managed.
For the ONS Summit 2012 to be held 28-31 August, this year on the theme "confronting energy paradoxes", the ONS Foundation approached International IDEA as an organization specializing in democracy and operating in the West Asia and North Africa region to write a study entitled An energy-rich region of increasingly energized citizens - the interplay between democracy, politics and energy in the shadow of political upheaval in the MENA region.
Abstract: The so-called Arab Spring continues to reverberate locally, regionally and geopolitically. The 20 articles in this issue of FMR reflect on some of the experiences, challenges and lessons of the Arab Spring in North Africa, the implications of which resonate far wider than the region itself.
Abstract: Human Security Research is a monthly compilation of significant new human security-related research published by academics, university research institutes, think-tanks, international agencies, and NGOs.
Articles in this issue:
CAUSES OF WAR: Inequality and Identity: Causes of War?
SPOILERS: Spotting the Spoilers: A Guide to Analyzing Organized Crime in Fragile States
DR CONGO: Insecurity and Local Governance in Congo’s South Kivu
CONFLICT MEDIATION: Global Networks of Mediation: Prospects and Avenues for Finland as a Peacemaker
MEXICO: Drug Violence in Mexico Data and Analysis Through 2011
NORTH CAUCASUS: North Caucasus: Views From Within
PEACEBUILDING: A Peacebuilding Tool for a Conflict-Sensitive Approach to Development: A Pilot Initiative in Nepal
PHILIPPINES: Pagpati'ut: Mediating Violence in Sulu
WESTERN SAHARA: Simmering Discontent in the Western Sahara
TERRORISM: Individual Disengagement From Al Qa'ida-Influenced Terrorist Groups: A Rapid Evidence Assessment to Inform Policy and Practice in Preventing Terrorism
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka’s North I: The Denial of Minority Rights
MYANMAR: “Untold Miseries”: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State
Abstract: After the attacks of September 11, 2001, a growing number of analysts and policymakers drew a link between the dramatic rise of terrorism in the Middle East and the region’s lack of democracy. The question of whether levels of political rights and freedoms affect the resort to violence continues to be a source of major political debate.
While some scholars insist that democracies are less likely to produce terrorist activity, due to their ability to channel grievance peacefully, others contend that regimes transitioning to democracy are highly vulnerable to destabilization. Periods of liberalization often raise citizens’ expectations for freedom that regimes are unwilling or unable to meet. The resulting dissonance can fuel violent opposition.
This study examines whether liberalizing regimes in the Maghreb are more or less vulnerable to the threat of political violence and terrorism than their more repressive counterparts. Do political reform processes, however limited and incomplete, boost regime legitimacy and undercut support for radical opposition forces?
Over the last decade, the Maghreb has become a major producer and exporter of violent extremists to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Europe. This paper investigates whether political liberalization efforts in Algeria and Morocco, including the incorporation of mainstream Islamist groups, have contributed to a rise or decline in the level of political violence. Tunisia, one of the Arab world’s most authoritarian states, is also examined to determine whether more exclusionary state policies prevent violence or instead facilitate radicalization. The three cases suggest that the greater the gap between expected change and actual change, the greater the likelihood of political unrest and violence.
This paper argues that the potential negative impacts of liberalization processes on stability stem not from the depth of political and economic reforms but rather from their limited and inconsistent nature. This unevenness is, in some sense, inevitable. It is extremely difficult for political institutions in authoritarian contexts to keep pace with popular demands. As a result, most Arab societies find themselves torn between what they are and what many expect them to become. This gap cannot be easily erased. But it can be managed.
Abstract: The fate of the Sahrawi nation of Western Sahara hangs in the balance this week. About 165,000 Sahrawi refugees in Algeria are eagerly watching the current UN-sponsored negotiations taking place outside of New York City on the status of their country. For the past 36 years they have been languishing in camps, waiting for the day they may return home, which is currently under Moroccan control. Thus far, they have had little reason to hope.
The three-day negotiations, taking place from March 11-13, involve Morocco, with backing from the United States; regional nations like Algeria and Mauritania; and representatives from Western Sahara. It is the latest meeting in a 20-year process that has been marked by a continual failure to resolve the disputed status of this little-known and forgotten corner of Africa, wedged between Morocco and Mauritania.
Morocco is a perennial favourite of Western tourists who rightfully admire its spectacular natural vistas and the hospitality of a friendly people. But its dealing with the Sahrawi people is a little-known, dark and festering sore.
Abstract: The Western Sahara, a former Spanish territory annexed by Morocco despite Algerian objections, is a critical region that could quickly become part of the criminal and terrorist networks threatening North Africa and the Sahel. The undergoverned areas abutting the territory are becoming major hubs for drug trafficking, contraband smuggling, and weapons circulation. And Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is extending its reach in the region. The potential for destabilization is real.
AQIM and its offshoots in the Sahel are already working to expand their partnership with smugglers from massive refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, and to enlist recruits among the disenchanted youth there. If AQIM strengthened its alliance of convenience with the Polisario, the movement that has long fought for Western Sahara’s independence, a formidable terrorist organization could emerge.
Nearby Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara is plagued by widespread socioeconomic protests and ethnic strife. A deep enmity has developed between various groups in the territory, some of which have ethnic and cultural ties to inhabitants of the Tindouf camps. A growing number of Western Saharans find themselves increasingly isolated and frustrated—a precarious development. Just over a year ago, Laayoune, Western Sahara’s biggest city, was the site of violent rioting. Ethnic cleavages and cultural animosity have become dangerously pronounced, threatening to further fuel radicalism, violence, and confrontations.
Resolving the Western Sahara conflict would help untangle the main existing
deadlocks in North Africa and the Sahel: impediments toward regional
reconciliation and coordination in the fight against violent extremism and organized
criminal activity. Based on the author’s multiple trips to the Moroccan
Western Sahara and dozens of interviews, this paper examines the security
risks of the persistence of the conflict by analyzing the destabilizing forces that
heighten local tensions and regional instability.
Abstract: On August 21, 2011, rebel forces in Libya rolled into the capital Tripoli, seemingly finishing off months of armed combat and foreign intervention and bringing down yet another Arab head of state. At the same time, sporadic but violent repression of protests in Syria continues, while other states remain calm or have seen their protest movements fizzle. We open this second volume of our series, Revolution and Political Transformation¸ at a time of uncertainty and transition for the region.
The events of the “Arab Spring” demonstrate more clearly than anything else the heterogeneous nature of states in the Middle East. Monarchies, republics, and jamahiriyya alike have all faced popular protest to one degree or another, yet some have stood and some have crumbled.
While the first volume of this compilation of essays focuses on 'Agents of Change', those people and movements who pushed these revolutions forward, the essays in this volume seek to answer the question of why they succeed or fail by examining regime responses. Why does nonviolence accomplish in Egypt and Tunisia what required armed insurrection to accomplish in Libya, and why does nonviolence fail in Syria and Bahrain? What role does the US play in the success or failure of popular protest? By examining the “re-action” to the “action” of popular mobilization, we hope to provide a more complete picture for future analysis.
This volume comes little more than half a year since the fall of President Husni Mubarak in Egypt, and the ink has not yet dried on the pages being written about the other countries in the region. We intend these pieces to provide an outlet for commentaries, hypotheses, and analysis, but not to serve as the final word. The third and final volume in this series [Revolution and Political Transformation in the Middle East: Outcomes and Prospects] to be released this fall will seek to summarize our contributors’ thoughts on the way forward.
Abstract: On October 20, 2011, Libyan leader Mu‘ammar al-Qadhafi was found in Sirte and subsequently killed (under circumstances that remain unclear) after an eight-month battle with rebel forces. Just days later, residents of neighboring Tunisia went to the polls in droves for that country’s first elections since the fall of Bel ‘Ali in January. Under these strikingly different circumstances, the Middle East Institute concludes its series on Revolution and Political Transformation in the Middle East by examining the progress that has been made throughout the region in order to understand what lies ahead. As the varied fates of the deposed Qadhafi, Mubarak, and Ben ‘Ali governments indicate (not to mention the fates of the embattled governments of al-Asad in Syria and Salih
in Yemen), no two countries have had the same trajectory in the Arab Spring, and events across the region will likely unfold in similarly varied ways.
Every country that has seen a movement for change in the past eleven months has contended with different circumstances: different regime strengths, different demographic compositions, different sets of long-standing rivalries, and different attitudes towards change. The articles in this final volume seek to provide insight into
some of these differences, by looking forward to prospects for election and reform in Tunisia and Egypt (and what seems to be stability in Morocco), by looking to the past for the inspiration of literature, and by examining the dynamics of protest and non-violence as a tactical choice of protestors.
When we began this series of publications, we recognized the extreme difficulty faced by any scholar in seeing into the future for the implications of dramatic change — what seemed unthinkable only a year ago is now a reality in many places. What we hoped for was not to generate a perfect foresight into events to come, but rather to prompt a nuanced analysis of the different factors at play and the different possible trajectories that might result. While this volume represents the conclusion of this series, it does not represent the end of the conversation. By presenting these viewpoints, we hope we have begun a debate that will continue.
Abstract: Since an obscure young fruit vendor named Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire in the dusty Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid in December 2010, the flames that ended his life have spread across the entire Middle East, both figuratively and literally. The protests, demonstrations, and upheavals originally inspired by his action have acquired a variety of terms – Arab spring, Arab awakening, Arab uprising – and they have ousted, threatened, or at least frightened almost every ruling regime in the region. The terms used to describe this phenomenon clearly connote a sharp break from the decades of political stagnation and quietism that preceded Bouazizi’s desperate act and imply that some momentous region-wide transformation has been set in motion.
However, as Amos Yadlin reminds us in his introductory overview, only six of 22 League of Arab States members have experienced the full force of the upheaval, and in only two of those (Tunisia and Libya – the latter in the wake of external military intervention) has the regime actually been overthrown. In two others (Egypt and Yemen), the leader has been ousted but major elements of the ancien regime remain in place; in one (Syria) the struggle between regime and opposition continues unabated; and in one (Bahrain), the uprising seems to have been suppressed, at least for the time being. This volume does not delve into the domestic politics and society of those six states. Such issues are ably dealt with by area studies experts. Instead, in keeping with the mandate of the Institute for National Security Studies, we focus here on the regional and international implications of this phenomenon, with special reference to the potential ramifications for Israeli national security.
One year is not a very long time in which to judge the significance of events, especially when they continue to unfold, and historians may rightly criticize efforts of this sort as premature. In validating their criticism, they will almost certainly enjoy repeating the widely cited (though never really authenticated) comment allegedly made by Chinese Premier Zhou En Lai to US President Richard Nixon about the significance of the French Revolution: “Too soon to tell.” Any rush to judgment should certainly be avoided. Unfortunately, there is no consensus among historians on what does constitute sufficient perspective. More to the point, policymakers and the analysts who are supposed to help them in their deliberations do not have the luxury of waiting until some period of time arbitrarily defined as “enough” does elapse. Instead, they need to identify the challenges they face and constantly formulate and reformulate their policies in real time, notwithstanding the unavoidable fact that they will have to do that on the basis of incomplete or even erroneous information and of inevitably imperfect understanding. The purpose of the authors of this volume, all members of the INSS research staff, is to provide brief, concentrated studies of the international and regional dimensions of the Arab spring in the hope of minimizing analytical imperfections in the ongoing public debate over issues that confront Israel with urgent choices.
Abstract: This is a summary of an event held at Chatham House on 1 February 2012.
The event examined the role of transitional justice mechanisms after the Arab Spring, and in particular, the role of international mechanisms of justice and the role of international actors. Discussion focused first upon the transitional justice context within individual countries, before expanding upon a number of themes that emerge from all or a number of those situations. Included in this discussion was the Lebanese experience of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen.
Abstract: Despite growing concerns across the Sahel and Maghreb over the increasing potency of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the diffusion of heavily armed mercenaries from Libya, the expanding influence of arms and drugs trafficking, and the widening lethality of Boko Haram, regional security cooperation to address these transnational threats remains fragmented.
Algeria is well-positioned to play a central role in defining this cooperation, but must first reconcile the complex domestic, regional, and international considerations that shape its decision-making.
Abstract: In Revolution in the Arab World: The Long View, CCAS presents recent analysis of the historical context and events making up the Arab Spring. Themes covered in this collection include the prospects Arab states have to institutionalize their achievements, the vulnerability of various Arab authoritarian states to uprisings similar to those in Tunisia and Egypt, and counter strategies authoritarian regimes are using to resist, contain, and co-opt the protests.
In the first article, Dr. Laleh Khalili compares the Arab Spring with other revolutions in the twentieth century, pointing out how difficult it is to ascertain what the effects of revolutions might be. Next, Dr. Jillian Schwedler also takes a historical approach to the study of revolution by looking systematically at protests in Jordan over several decades with a focus on law, urban space, and spectacle. Third, Dr. William Zartman focuses particularly on the events in Tunisia, commenting particularly on different groups vying for leadership. Fourth, Mr. Gamal Eid writes about how youth have used social media to rally support and organize protests in Egypt.