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The history of Arab uprisings unpacked

Publish date: 15 April 2019
Issue Number: 819
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: General

Ahmed Aboudouh, who was a protester in Cairo’s Tahrir square in 2011, has been following the Sudanese and Algerian uprisings ‘with a ringing note of caution’. In an analysis in The Independent, he says protesters managed to control the public space in their millions across Algiers and Khartoum, but are becoming aware of their limited resources. ‘The Sudanese and Algerians – unlike us Egyptians eight years ago – seem to be more clued up. They understand that although the military generals must be involved, the essence of their intervention is to defend all sorts of long-accumulated power put together during their former master’s time in office. This should be enough to put an end to any potential romantic, quixotic and unrealistic perceptions that the military might intend to deliver to the crowds their dreamed-of, rosy, democratic future. The history of Arab uprisings has been both stupid and brutal – apart from when the generals stood aside. Putting the military in charge of the transitional period after a popular uprising means making the nation hostage to the soldiers’ will and one-eyed notion of patriotism. After a while, whoever opposes the military’s interests will soon be labelled unpatriotic.’ Aboudouh believes that Sudan seems to be more at risk of following the fate of Egypt, where the army pushed Hosni Mubarak aside following the 2011 mass protests and led the country into a very messy transition. ‘Removing Abdelaziz Bouteflika and al-Bashir from power is not the end, it is the end of the beginning. Algerians will have a long battle ahead to stop already looming attempts by Bouteflika’s men from overseeing a change-of-names-only operation. The Sudanese people will have to fight the military’s violent and incompetent vision for their own future.’

Full analysis in The Independent