Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Protests in the Middle East and North Africa Out of the frying pan into the fire?

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  • Covid-19 brought an abrupt halt to months of mass anti-government protests in the MiddleEast and North Africa, but this is likely to be a short-lived hiatus.
  •  Social tensions will re-emerge as pandemic conditions ease, restrictions are lifted and theeconomic fall-out becomes apparent.
  • Civil unrest could spread across the region once again during the summer months or fall,threatening the established order and adding further complexity to a troubled region.

Covid-19 brought an abrupt halt to months of mass anti-government protests in the Middle East and North Africa, but this is more likely to be a short-lived hiatus rather than a long-lasting reduction in social tension. The underlying factors that drove anti-government sentiment in 2019 and early 2020 remain at large and social tensions are already bubbling back to the surface as pandemic conditions ease, restrictions are lifted and the economic fall-out becomes apparent. If anything, Covid-19 will act as a conflict multiplier in the region pitching citizens against governments and fanning the flames of regional rivalry. Another major storm could be brewing that could sweep across the Middle East and North Africa during the summer and fall of 2020.

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