Role of the Civil Society in the Arab Spring
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The Arab Spring is term to describe the political unrest, revolutions and demonstrations that have been being witnessed in the Arab countries since 2010. Notably, the Arab Spring in the Arab world has majorly been driven by the Arab citizens’ demand for change in rule of the specified countries. In countries such as Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and Libya the leaders were thrown out by force. This brought a lot of tension in these countries as people held demonstrations on daily basis revolting against the countries leadership. Apart from the above mentioned countries, major protests have also been witnessed in other countries such as Sudan, Syria, Algeria, Kuwait, Iraq and Morocco. In these countries, major demonstrations have been held with the aim of changing their leadership though they have not been successful in their demand for revolution. Apart from the political revolution campaigns, there have also been internal conflicts in some of the Arab countries that are categorized as Arab Spring as well. Some of the notable examples were the 2011 border clashes in Israel and the internal clashes in Libya coming from war. This clearly indicates that the Arab Spring was not only caused by the political issues but also by other economic and social issues. Moreover, apart from the political demonstrations held, the Arab Spring is also characterized by the civil union’s indulgence in strikes and revolts. This involves the teachers and medical practitioner’s demonstrations among others. The teachers for example join the rest of the country in demonstrations as they revolt against the low wages and poor working conditions. With these demonstrations, the civil society has to join in but with a different role which is to bring back peace in the countries and democracy among the other roles.
This paper discusses the Arab Spring uprising and the roles of the civil society in the revolutions and the war in general.
As noted above, the Arab Spring is the political unrest in the Arab countries that started in 2010. Notably, the Arab World citizens decided go against their countries and revolt with the aim of gaining new leadership. So far, these revolutions have been successful in some of the Arab countries like Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen. Despite that, the citizens face harsh response from the authorities and this is among the other reason that the civil society has to enter in and solve the disputes. Here are some of the ideal roles of the civil society in the Arab Spring.
Firstly, the civil society is supposed to ensure that there is peace in the Arab world. This is one of the major roles of the civil society in the Arab Spring. The citizens of the Arab countries go on strikes to demonstrate against a certain leader. This was experienced in several Arab countries in 2010. Apart from the political unrest, there are also internal clashes like the ones experienced at the border of Israel and Libya. Evidently, with such occurrences there cannot be peace in these countries as other people take advantage and attack their fellow citizens who have different opinions. Additionally, the government does not take the demonstrations softly and this results in harsh responses from the authorities. In most of the counties that the revolutions have occurred, numerous people have died from attacks from fellow citizens while others were killed by the police officers who were obviously ordered by the authorities. This is the sole reason why the civil society must bring peace and understanding between the people and the government. According to the civil society, this might be achieved through talks between the citizens and the government. At first, the government has to address the issue that makes the citizens revolt against them. With the pressure from the civil society, the government lacks an option but to address the issue that affects the citizens making them go to the streets. Normally, the main cause of the political unrest in the Arab countries is dictatorship. Dictatorship has affected most of the Arab countries with leaders defying the countries constitution and the human rights. However, with the above steps the civil society would have played their ideal role of bringing and maintaining peace.
Secondly, the civil society plays a role of ensuring that democracy is observed. The civil rights also play a major role in creation of democracy in the Arab Spring. Democracy is a form of a leadership where the leader of the country does not decide everything for the citizens but the citizens decide what they want. Additionally, it is a form of leadership whereby consultations are highly observed by the leaders. Despite that, this is a style of leadership that most of the Arab countries do not practice as their leaders are dictators. The dictatorship mode of governance has majorly affected the Arab countries leadership and catapulted the demonstrations for change in leadership. In such occurrences, it is the role of the civil society to ensure that democracy is brought back in the Arab nations and the citizens get what they want. This is achieved by summoning the leaders and forcing them to hold free and fair elections where the citizens could choose the leaders whom they feel to be the best. In most occurrences, the citizens of the Arab countries have been ruled by a single leader or by royal families. This is the main thing that angers the citizens and they decide to revolt against the government. In such cases, the civil society forces the government to call for free and fair elections. This is the only way that democracy can be achieved in such instances since the people would be able to choose the person whom they want to rule them unlike the past times whereby the leadership was inherited from the family member.
Thirdly, the civil society has to play a vital role in ensuring that the human rights are observed in the Arab Spring. As noted before, the Arab Spring involves a lot of activities which might lead to defilement of the human rights. One of the human rights that is cherished everywhere is the right to life. This right states that each person has a right to live and if any person takes away their life, then they will be prosecuted by the court of law. Regarding that, the civil society ensures that this is observed. In the Arab Spring, a lot of demonstrations are held by the citizens revolting against their countries’ governance. During such demonstrations, attacks occur as rivalry groups clash and attack each other. Moreover, there are some people who take advantage of the unrest and attack their neighbors killing them. This is notably against what the human rights state and it is the main reason why the civil society is needed in the Arab Spring. Apart from the civilian attacks and killings, the authorities also respond awkwardly to the demonstrations held by the citizens of these countries. During these demonstrations, the authorities order the police officers to shoot the citizens who take part in the demonstrations. According to the law and human rights organizations, this is wrong and they should be charged with murder. Justice is vital and this is now the duty of the civil society to ensure that this is achieved. Normally, the civil society accuses the person who got involved in murder, rape and other cases in the international court of law and they are charged with the crimes that have been commited. Moreover, apart from taking part in filing cases against the people who have gone against the human rights, the civil society also plays important role in educating the citizens about the importance of observing the human rights. This education is normally aimed at sensitizing the people so that they might protect the women and children who suffer more during such political unrests.
Moreover, the civil society should play a role of resettling the persons displaced during the revolts and war. Since the break of the Arab Spring, numerous demonstrations and revolts have taken place in all of the countries named above. Furthermore, some of the countries faced internal disputes that resulted into clashes and thus displacements. Regarding that, the other vital role of the civil society is settling the displaced person and offering first aid to the people who were injured during the war. This is normally a hard task for the civil society since they also face rebellions from the hostile citizens of certain countries. However, they achieve this through well laid procedures that they follow. Notably, the settling of the residents does not simply mean that they build houses for them but it involves giving them tents where they shelter from the war. This is equal to a home for the displaced persons because it helps them stay away from the cold during the nights and be in a safe place where there would not be attacks. Apart from the displaced, the civil society also offers the first aid and other specialized treatments to the citizens injured during the revolt. Normally, despite the attacks that the revolts groups set, the police also at times attack innocent citizens who are not even involved in the demonstrations and injure them. In such cases, it is the duty of the civil society to help such citizens and offer the first aid if they are slightly injured. However, if they are badly injured they take responsibility and offer specialized treatment to them.
The civil society also has a role of ensuring that there is the implementation of the constitutions of the Arab Spring countries or creation of the new constitution. The political unrest in the Arab world is mainly catapulted by poor leadership and dictatorship as noted before. This implies that the differences occur when the government works out things the way they want without the citizens’ will. However, a country that has a good constitution cannot face such issues since their leaders would have to follow the laws procedures before making decisions. In some of the Arab World countries, there are new constitutions, though they have not been implemented. The lack of implementation of these constitutions is what makes the leaders impose dictatorship on the citizens and thus, causing the uprising. Regarding that, the civil society has a major role to play here ensuring that the constitutions are implemented so that they become rules and people are well governed by their leaders. Additionally, some of the countries lack new constitutions. Such countries are the ones that are still being ruled by the royal families through inheritance. The royal family rule is not the best since not each member of the royal family can have the leadership skills. This has affected the Arab countries and catapulted several revolts. However, the civil society is capable of bringing this to a halt through pushing the government in power to come with the new constitution to rule the people. Notably, if the government decides to draft the new constitution, again the civil society is the one that plays the role of ensuring that the public votes through a free and fair election so that the constitution is passed to be the set of rules that will govern the country. This is important because the government might come up with a constitution that is not favorable for the people and impose it on them. Unlike that, a referendum on passing the constitution ensures that people vote and they follow the decision of the majority so that the rules are implemented later on.
Additionally, it is the role of the civil society in the Arab Spring to act as the watchman to observe how the government uses its power. Constitutionally, the government power is restricted to some issues. This implies that the government does not have 100% power to decide on each matter that arises in the country. The powers are normally divided between the executive and the legislature. There are some things that the government is to decide, while there are the others that the legislature has the power over the executive to decide on them. However, the main thing that has been bringing war in the Arabian world is the misuse and extension of power by the government. The extension of power takes place when the government uses the power that is not granted by the. However, in the Arab world the government has always determined the fate of several cases especially those that involved government officials. Regarding that, the civil society has critical role of ensuring that this does not happen by monitoring the way that the government evaluates their power. The civil society simply achieves this by following all the steps of the government and challenging it whenever it goes against the country’s constitution. If this role is exercised properly, then the country is assured of proper governance since the government would not be favoring other people or act against the constitution. Moreover, there would be peace and understanding in the Arab in the Arab World.
Providing education about peace and other issues is another role that the civil society plays in the Arab Spring. Generally, the biggest challenge that the Arab World faces is political unrest, thus wars. However, the misunderstanding between the government and the citizens of the country can be managed by the civil society. Notably, one of the roles of the civil society is ensuring that there is peace and this can be done through education. Despite the fact that the government’s poor leadership makes people go to the streets and start wars, the civil society’s role in the Arab Spring is working against this by proving education. The society teaches the people the importance of maintaining peace and love. Moreover, through their education, they teach people how the wars and demonstrations affect the country negatively and the reason why they need to seek other means of fighting against impunity in their country. This education is normally important especially for the youths who are the ones usually involved in such activities. When they are familiarized with the dangers of involving in the demonstrations and the effects of fighting against each other, the next time there is an issue they would most likely seek for a better solution rather than fighting against each other causing deaths and economic depressions. This implies that the education role of the civil societies is ideal for the Arab Spring.
Lastly, the civil society in the Arab Spring plays a role of creating awareness about the importance of political participation among the citizens of the Arab nation. Political participation is the taking part in the elections of a country by either vying for the political seats or voting for your favorite leader. Due to that, the civil society plays a role of sensitizing the citizens on the importance of participating in the elections so that they can improve their living standards. Arguably, the citizens who criticize the government must take part in the elections so that they are able choose the leader whom they want to govern them. This is important for the people of the Arab Spring especially after the emergence of the demonstrations and revolts in 2010. Moreover, people can also take part in the elections by vying for the political seats. According to the civil societies, vying for a political seat is a right of everyone as long as you are a citizen of that country. This implies that the citizens would only be in a better position to govern their country when they are on the political seats. This is the sole reason why the civil society plays a role of sensitizing people on the importance of taking part in politics.
In conclusion, the political unrests, revolts and demonstrations in the Arab Worlds since 2010 are called as Arab Spring. Regarding that, the civil society has huge roles to play in the Arab Spring. Firstly, the civil society has to ensure that the human rights are observed in the Arab Spring. As noted before, the Arab Spring has a lot of activities which might lead to disregard of the human rights. One of the human rights that is cherished everywhere is the right to life. This means that each person has a right to live, and if any person takes away their life, then they will be prosecuted by the court of law. Secondly, the civil society is supposed to ensure that there is peace in the Arab world. This is one of the major roles of the civil society in the Arab Spring. Additionally, the civil society should play a role of resettling the persons displaced during the revolts and wars in the Arab Spring. Since the break of the Arab Spring, numerous demonstrations and revolts have taken place in all of the countries named above. Furthermore, some of the countries faced internal disputes that resulted into clashes and thus displacements. Moreover, it is the role of the civil society in the Arab Spring to act as the watchman to observe how the government uses its power. Constitutionally, the government power is restricted to some issues. This implies that the government does not have 100% power to decide on each matter that arises in the country
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