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The Arab Spring – 5 Years On Opinion 

The Arab Spring – 5 Years On

Five years ago, a series of unprecedented uprisings and demonstrations broke out in countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Protesters took to their streets to demonstrate against their governments, in what came to be known as the ‘Arab Spring’. It began in Tunisia in December 2010 when a young Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a suicide protest over unemployment and police harassment. What followed was to forever shake up the Arab world. The subsequent collapse of Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak acted as…

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Which heritage sites are IS targeting and why? Opinion 

Which heritage sites are IS targeting and why?

Aside from the incalculable loss and displacement of human lives, during the course of conflict, another casualty of war is the destruction of religious and cultural heritage sites due to their symbolic importance and noticeable presence. More often than not, this has a spiral impact on the economy of a country, particularly if tourism is a significant contributor to the country’s annual income such as in Syria prior to the uprisings. When important heritage sites are destroyed or damaged, the country’s tourism sector may not recover. Aside from a heightened…

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Opinion 

Libya and Egypt’s Unique Relationship

After Egypt and Libya gained independence in the 1950s, the two respective states maintained a mutual cooperative relationship. With regards to foreign policy and regional security, the two neighbouring countries viewed each other as key players. When Gaddafi assumed power in 1969, his initial goal regarding Egypt was to try and create a partnership with Egypt both within the region and in the broader Pan-Arab community. Unfortunately for Gaddafi, he would prove more dedicated to promote his goal than either Nasser or his successor Sadat. Later, tensions arose due to…

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Opinion 

The “other” ethnic groups in Libya and their respective positions in the Libyan conflict

In February 2011, after popular uprisings, a civil revolution broke out between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. What had begun as a sequence of peaceful demonstrations turned into confrontations which were met with military force. Some reports say that Libyan military and security forces fired live ammunition on protesters, but it is unclear whether these are official representatives of the army or mercenaries who are loosely associated with individual members of the army. On 18th February, security forces withdrew from Benghazi after…

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