Today, Wednesday 25 June, Libyans go to the polls for the second time since Gaddafi’s fall in 2011. The atmosphere surrounding the polls is not one of enthusiasm and participation. Libya is slowly but steadily slipping into a period of protracted violence, if not a full blown civil war. Elections were seen by many as a panacea but they may turn out to be a missed opportunity if no meaningful reconciliation is started and if a low turnout affects legitimacy.
The US-Egyptian relations have been experiencing serious fluctuations ever since the outbreak of the Egyptian uprising in January 2011. Bilateral relations have even reached their lowest point with the decision of the Obama administration to suspend substantial military aid (1), military training, and other economic aid funds to the Egyptian government in October 2013, pending what US officials called a credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections.
Three years have passed since the 2011 “Tahrir” Revolution in Egypt. In that occasion we saw the Egyptian women side by side with men calling for democracy and freedom, and the world had the impression that – along with a new season for political rights and democratization for all Egyptians - also a new era for women rights had began in Egypt.
Where is the Muslim Brotherhood going?
An Interview with Sondos Gamal al-Hosseny
The Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings culminated peacefully because their respective national armies ensured as much as possible an orderly transition; on the contrary, in Libya the national army collapsed and the uprising rapidly turned itself into civil war among armed Libyan factions. While the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings challenged the regimes at their center stages, symbolically occupying the heart of respective capital cities, in Libya the rebellion was located in Benghazi far away from the center of Qadhafi’s power.
The Middle East and North Africa Region has probably recovered more strongly than other regions of the world from the financial crisis, thanks to the dynamics of oil prices. However, the outbreak of the Arab Spring, motivated also by economic grievances, suggests that the impact of the world economic crisis in the region is probably deeper than imagined. Despite growth and increasing investments, unemploy-ment in the region is persistent, due on the one side to the growing population on the other side to rising inequality and ineffective management of the economy (rentier state).