Political Instability in the MENA Region

The African Union joined hands to discuss the causes and effects of the post-Arab Spring era, through the course of the first session.

Amidst the heated exchanges that took place in the session, the Delegate of the Central African Republic (CAR) retorted. “Over the past forty years, nearly thirty countries have experienced at least one civil war. Approximately 20% of the African continent’s population now lives in countries where conflict has become endemic.”

Blaming the colonial past and the delegate of Botswana argued, “Every African country is still haunted by historical injustices and oppressive structures that were bequeathed to the post-colonial leadership.” The delegate also pointed at the neo-colonial tendencies of the former imperial powers as a causal force fueling the present crises. Such claims about the history of imperialistic or tyrannic monarchies playing a crucial role in the lack of government stability have gained ground increasingly.

Political instability in the Middle Eastern and North African region is currently one of the most prominent issues affecting the global community. Various factors are argued to have contributed to the present scenario. Several external factors such as unfair elections and voting procedures add to the reasons why corruption flourishes in these countries. Furthermore, trade dependency on volatile factors such as primary resources causes a lack of security in terms of economy.

Such factors have not only lead to economic stagnation but also a lack of human rights. For example, South Sudan currently has a 73% illiteracy rate, 83% poverty and a 12% increase in unemployment. Such factors eventually lead to inflation which creates an endless cycle of reduced human rights and quality living.

The Arab Spring was a series of revolutions across the MENA region, caused by protests and anti-government uprisings in 2010. The revolts were often assisted by religious extremist or military groups and hence, while it leads to the development of a democratic government, most countries are arguably hiding behind the name of democracy while truly about autocracy or, in some cases, anarchy.

Reporter: Kyra Kumar, Agency France-Press

Editor: Aayush Sukhija