The Arab Spring
The Arab Spring involved a combination of a series of anti-governmental protests, rebellions, and uprisings experienced among Arab nations in the early 2010 period. According to Darwisheh (2014), the revolutions began as a response to the increased corruption and poor economic conditions that were stagnating, majorly influenced by the Tunisian Revolution. Later, the protests spread to other Arab nations like Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, and Bahrain.
The uprising has had significant effects, with the impact being felt to date. According to Josua and Edel, in Libya, the uprising brought a state of continuous ongoing conflict. At the same time, Tunisia has improved to be the only country that participated in the uprising that is still doing better (Josua & Edel, 2021). The success or failure of the Arab Spring Uprising is still debated, as the revolt came with its fair share of positivity and negativities.
One major positive impact of the uprising was overthrowing the corrupt and dictator leaders. According to Josua and Edel, such leaders include Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. However, despite the changes in leadership positions, the revolt had other negative effects, as the war did not end (Josua & Edel, 2021). Most countries that participated in the Arab Spring today experience social, political, religious, cultural, and economic instability. Power protests are still there, with many of these being supported by different religious affiliations. Therefore, as a result, some Arab nations, such as Syria, continue to be gripped by the civil war resulting in a severe sovereignty crisis.
One of the countries that I shall look at is Libya. Darwisheh reveals that protests in Libya began as an active revolt against the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi (Darwisheh, 2010). The protest against dictatorial leadership resulted in an armed revolution between the security forces loyal to Gaddafi clashed with the civilians protesting against Gaddafi’s corrupt leadership. Darwisheh establishes that the war was serious, including the fact that it involved warplanes and bombs that led to the death of almost three hundred protestors by the second week of the revolution (Darwisheh, 2014).
The citizens retaliated against Gadaffi’s security personnel; hence a huge war broke out. The United Nations had to step in to control the uprising, which was now getting out of hand after the death of many civilians. According to Darwisheh, the United Nations ordered the country Libya to be under a No-fly zone rule to prevent the use of warplanes and ordered the protection of the civilians by any means necessary (Darwisheh, 2014). However, following these regulations set by the United Nations, NATO planned and began to carry out airstrikes, leading to more casualties.
The effects of the Arab Spring uprising in Libya can be felt to date. Lynch reveals that the Arab uprising in Libya led to the overthrowing of Gaddafi from power after 42 years of dictatorial and corrupt leadership (Lynch, 2021). After evading capture on several attempts, Gaddafi was killed, and the rebel groups in Libya took control of the city. However, despite the end of the rule of Gaddafi, who was a dictatorial and corrupt leader, the war continued. An additional civil war has since been experienced in Libya as the rebel groups continue to gain total control over the country. With the eruption of such wars and arguments over oil deposits, neither the economy nor the country’s political status is stable.
The current democratic reforms in Libya are offered by the provisional nature of the government in power. Lynch reveals that the main aim of the reform is to unite the rival governments in the three sovereign states of the country, which are Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica (Lynch, 2021). He revealed that in October 2020, the two main warring sides that had led to the split of Libya, Tobruk, and Tripoli governments, signed a permanent ceasefire allowing the unity government to take authority of the country (Lynch, 2021). The main agenda of this reform remains to ensure that peace is maintained, which may not be achieved immediately. Still, hopefully, soon enough, Libya will retain its lost glory as a country.
Darwisheh, H. (2014). Trajectories and Outcomes of the Arab Spring: Comparing Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria (456). Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). https://ideas.repec.org/p/jet/dpaper/dpaper456.html
Josua, M., & Edel, M. (2021). The Arab Uprisings and The Return of Repression. Mediterranean Politics, 1-26. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13629395.2021.1889298
Lynch, M. (2021). The Arab Uprisings Never Ended: The Enduring Struggle to Remake the Middle East. Foreign Aff., 100, 111. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/fora100&div=15&id=&page=