Two Years After Arab Spring, Unrest Continues

Thursday, February 14, 2013

tunisia, tunis, arab spring, A Tunisian protester jumps amid smoke after police fired tear gas during a rally to protest the assasination of the opposition party leader. (Fethi Belaid/Getty)

The unrest that erupted into the Arab spring two years ago unleashed a broad political movement of very different groups who united to throw off dictatorial regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. They succeeded in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen, and uprisings continue in Syria and to a lesser extent in Bahrain and elsewhere.

But the sound in Tunisia today is of protestors shouting and the firing of tear gas canisters. People have taken to the streets there angry with the killing of Chokri Belaid, an opposition leader. 

In Tunisia, a populist movement has united to challenge the elected Islamist leadership. There is a similar challenge in Egypt, and there is open warfare in Mali between Islamist groups seeking to take power and secular groups united with the French military to take back the country.

Are we seeing a second act in the Arab Spring where secular groups are seeking to push back Islamist parties and groups which benefited so much from the early upheaval in the Arab Spring?

Ian Black is the Middle East editor for The Guardian.


Ian Black

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