Alger, Le Caire, Rabat, Tunis : tensions politiques au sud de la Méditerranée

 Selon les ONG égyptiennes, 60 000 opposants et critiques du régime sont détenus dans les prisons égyptiennes. D’autres pays de la région sont le terrain de tensions politiques, notamment du fait de prochaines élections présidentielles comme c’est le cas en Algérie et en Tunisie. La politique d’austérité appliquée en Tunisie a également provoqué la colère de nombreux habitants qui multiplient les protestations, alors qu’au Maroc, les mobilisations pour dénoncer la cherté de la vie s’appliquent sous la forme de boycotts de grandes marques. 

France Culture s'interroge sur les tensions politiques au sud de la méditerranée en compagnie de Sophie Bessis, historienne, chercheuse associée à l’Iris. Elle est rejointe en deuxième partie d’émission par Marwan Ben Yahmed, directeur de la publication du magazine Jeune Afrique.

Afin d'écouter le podcast, Alger, Le Caire, Rabat, Tunis : tensions politiques au sud de la Méditerranée, veuillez suivre le lien.


Policy and Research Papers

Separating Law and Politics: Challenges to the Independence of Judges and Prosecutors in Egypt

In this report, the independence of the judiciary is examined with reference to Egypt’s laws and practice, as well as amendments to the existing law that have been proposed (Chapter Three). It finds that, although independence is constitutionally protected and the highest courts frequently rule against the government, the Ministry of Justice is given wide powers over judges which provide scope for abuse. These include the right to assign judges to courts around the country, the ability to decide which judges are seconded to work in government ministries and the right to initiate disciplinary actions against judges. These powers threaten independence as they allow the Minister to reward or punish serving judges, and therefore provide an incentive for judges to please the government.

The legal framework also gives a role to the executive branch in the appointments system, particularly at the higher judicial level, allowing scope for politicised decision-making. A lack of transparency and the absence of public examinations for appointments also leads to a perception – if not a reality – of nepotism.


La Syrie et la Libye: une crise partagée

Dans la région du Moyen-Orient et de l’Afrique du Nord, la Syrie et la Libye sont en proie à l'instabilité politique et se distinguent en tant que pays générateurs d'importants flux migratoires. Dans cette analyse, le visage syrien et libyen de la migration africaine est présenté avec un regard particulier sur le contexte régional dans lequel il se situe. En particulier, il s’agit de faire état de l’intensification de la pression migratoire de la Syrie et de la Libye sur leurs pays voisins. 

La crise humanitaire et sécuritaire qui fait rage en Syrie et en Lybie est un lourd fardeau que partage la région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord dans son ensemble. Bien que les naufrages en Méditerranée fassent l’objet d’une attention médiatique accrue, ils ne sont pas la seule conséquence de l’instabilité dans la région. Des conséquences aussi tragiques peuvent être repérées au Liban, en Jordanie, en Turquie, en Tunisie et en Egypte.

Vous pouvez lire l'article ici.


Understanding Shifts in Egyptian Civil-Military Relations: Lessons from the Past and Present

Understanding power and influence shifts in Egypt’s civil-military relations requires an analysis of societal dynamics and of loyalties in the officer corps. The ability to build and demonstrate support from a societal constituency, or an important faction in the officer corps, is a source of leverage for both political and military leaders. Powers of appointment and dismissal are also pivotal in shaping power relations between political and military leaders. When enjoyed by a political leader, these prerogatives reflect and promote control of the armed forces. Conversely, the inability to appoint and dismiss officers both reflects a political leader’s weakness and serves more broadly to degrade control of the armed forces. The centrality of these aspects is evident during critical episodes of civil-military relations in Egypt. These factors, in turn, have important bearing in assessing the prospects for future developments in the country’s civil-military relations.



The Military, the Media and Public Perceptions in Egypt: Communication and Civil-Military Relations

Following the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak in January 2011, and more markedly after the July 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s military assumed a new role in national politics. In taking on such new responsibilities and control, the military also came to realize the powerful importance of the media, both as a useful political tool and as a significant potential threat. Building upon their traditional, historical role in Egyptian society, the military resolved to adopt strategies aimed at manipulating and severely controlling media organizations and journalists in order to support the military’s agenda and shape public opinion.

This paper examines the results of this new military approach to public communication. Specific attention is devoted to the military’s communication strategy, its evolution since January 2011, its effects on civil-military relations, as well as the consequences for media freedom.

For full access to the research paper  The Military, the Media and Public Perceptions in Egypt: Communication and Civil-Military Relations, kindly follow the link.  


Arab Uprisings and Armed Forces: Between Openness and Resistance

Since late 2010, an unprecedented wave of protests has swept across much of the Arab world. The aim of this paper is to examine the role of the armed forces when confronted with anti-regime uprisings that demand greater political freedoms or even regime change. Drawing on the cases of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria, it argues that the degree of institutionalization of the armed forces and their relationship to society at large can account for different responses to pro-reform uprisings.

To access the full report Arab Uprisings and Armed Forces: Between Openness and Resistance, kindly click on the link.

This paper is part of DCAF's SSR Papers series. Click on the link for more DCAF publications on security sector reform.


Egypte 2017 : vers de nouvelles turbulences ?

En ce début d’année 2017, l’ordre règne en Egypte au prix d’une répression qui dépasse largement les Frères musulmans, mouvement qualifié de terroriste, et qui touche aussi des acteurs de la révolution du 25 janvier 2011. Cependant la menace terroriste persiste, au Sinaï et même dans l’agglomération du Caire comme en témoigne l’attaque du 11 décembre 2016 contre une église copte. Un malaise est perceptible dans l’opinion publique qui critique ouvertement  le gouvernement, voire le président  Sissi lui-même. Cette analyse se penche notamment sur la perception par la population du régime militaire de Sissi à l'épreuve du pouvoir. 

Pour accéder à l'étude Egypte 2017 : vers de nouvelles turbulences ?, veuillez cliquer sur le lien.


Now Is the Time: Research on Gender Justice, Conflict and Fragility in the Middle East and North Africa

This study examines the impact of fragility and conflict on gender justice and women’s rights in the MENA, as a part of an Oxfam project entitled ‘Promoting the Needs of Women in Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa’ funded through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It specifically aims to understand how conflict and fragility in four different contexts – Egypt, Iraq, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Yemen – have impacted the realization of gender equality and gender justice in the past several years of political and social upheaval. 

For full access to Now Is the Time: Research on Gender Justice, Conflict and Fragility in the Middle East and North Africa, kindly follow the link.


How Does the Media on Both sides of the Mediterranean Report on Migration?

A study by journalists, for journalists and policy-makers

Funded by the European Union Migration media coverage in 17 countries from 2015 to 2016

We have all seen the stark images depicted in the media of migrants and asylum seekers packed aboard vessels of questionable seaworthiness, risking life and limb to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in search of a safe haven and a better future. These images convey in sharp relief the human struggle in its most desperate moments. Over the course of the last three years, we have witnessed a range of different approaches to covering migration in traditional media on both sides of the Mediterranean.

This study aims to unpack some of these approaches in order to identify and better understand the prevailing media narratives on migration that exist in different national contexts. It looks at the strengths and shortcomings and provides some insight into the interplay between editorial lines, political narratives, journalistic approaches and public discourse on this sensitive and often polarising subject. 

For full access to the paper, How Does the Media on Both sides of the Mediterranean Report on Migration?, kindly follow the link. 


The need for an African Union Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security

This essay reflects upon the climate-related security risks facing Africa and reviews the current policy responses. It contends that broad AU member state support for an AU Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security would be a viable strategy that strengthens the AU’s response to climate risks. The idea of the envoy—which stems from the AU’s Peace and Security Council meeting in May 2018—is an opportunity to pre-empt migration and forced displacement and moreover, ‘climate-proof’ the AU’s peace and security architecture.

For full access to The need for an African Union Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security, please follow the link provided.


Gender Justice & The Law: Assessment of laws affecting gender equality in the Arab States region

Conducted by UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA, and ESCWA, this study on Gender Justice & the Law in the Arab States Region provides a comprehensive assessment of laws and policies affecting gender equality and protection against gender-based violence in Arab countries. The report is composed of 18 country profiles, each of which maps a country’s key legislative developments and gaps regarding gender justice. This introduction provides an overall summary of these country chapters followed by a summary of each country examined.

To access the full report, Gender Justice & The Law, please follow the link provided. 


Shifting journalistic roles in democratic transitions: lessons from Egypt

While in the case of the Arab Spring the focus of research and debate was very much on the role of social media in enabling political change both during the uprisings and in their immediate aftermath, the impact of traditional national mass media and journalism on framing this political change has been less addressed. In this article, we investigate the role of Egyptian journalists in shaping Egypt’s complex and fast-moving political transition. Based on a thematic analysis of in-depth interviews and a conceptual framework building on Christians et al.’s normative roles of the media, it can be concluded that the monitorial and facilitative roles, which were prevalent in the early stages of the post-Mubarak era, were quickly overturned in favor of a radical and collaborative role. Egyptian journalists working in private media thus demonized their political adversaries, mainly the Islamists, transforming this political ‘other’ into the ultimate enemy. At the same time, the new military regime was being revered and celebrated. This arguably contributed to further destabilize the fragile transition to democracy. It is furthermore concluded that for democracy to succeed in an Egyptian context, antagonistic political conflicts need to be transformed into agonistic ones both at the level of political culture and media culture.

For full access to the article, Shifting Journalistic Roles in Democratic Transitions: Lessons from Egypt kindly follow the link. 


From Bad Cop to Good Cop: The Challenge of Security Sector Reform in Egypt

Successful democratic transitions hinge on the establishment of effective civilian control of the armed forces and internal security institutions. The transformation of these institutions from instrumentsof brutal repression and regime protection to professional, regulated, national services – security sector reform (SSR) – is at the very center of this effort. In Egypt, as in other transitioning Arab states and prior cases of democratization, SSR is an acutely political process affected by an array of different actors and dynamics. In a contested and unstable post-revolutionary political sphere, the reform of Egypt’s security sector requires urgent attention.

To view this publication, please follow this link.



Security Sector Transformation in Southeastern Europe and the Middle East

For most countries, security today is primarily measured in non-military terms and threats to security are non-military in nature. These threats include incompetent government, corruption, organized crime, insecure borders, smuggling (weapons, drugs, contraband, people), illegal migration, ethnic and religious conflict, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, shortage of natural resources (e.g., water) and, of course, terrorism. As security is no longer just a military concern, it is no longer just the preserve of MODs and MFAs which have, to date, been the main ministries involved in security cooperation. It is no longer possible to draw a clear distinction between external security and internal security. Security henceforth requires the coordination of the 'external' ministries (i.e., MOD and MFA) and their agencies (armed forces, intelligence services) with those of the 'interior' ministries: internal affairs, education, finance, overseas development, transport, environment; health, etc., with their agencies (policing forces, security services, disaster relief agencies, etc.). Security today takes in social development and demands the involvement of all elements of society in a way which security in the Cold War days did not. Meeting these new security requirements demands fundamental reform of national structures, patterns of investment, and systems of government. Likewise it demands the evolution of international institutions on a truly radical scale.


Other Documents

State Repression and Polarized Politics Thwart Hopes for Justice in Egypt

After toppling Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship in February 2011, Egyptians were eager for a reckoning with past injustices. The slogan of the revolution that brought millions into the streets and Tahrir square was reflective of this sentiment: “Bread. Freedom. Social justice.” The energy from the streets was channeled into discussions on the country’s future. At a regional conference on transitional justice organized by ICTJ in Cairo in October of that year, the discussion was auspicious and animate. Accountability and institutional reforms were at the top on the political debate. Today, the hopes and optimism of those days seem like a distant dream. After four years of political turmoil, the possibility of a genuine transitional justice process in Egypt is uncertain.

Full article available here

Other Document

International Crisis Group - Watch List 2017

Crisis Group’s Watch List 2017 includes the Lake Chad basin, Libya, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh, Sahel, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela and Yemen. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.

For full access to the report, Watch List 2017, kindly follow the link. 

For an update on the report, Watch List 2017 – First Update with entries on counter-terrorism, Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia and the Western Balkans, kindly follow the link. 

Other Document