Predictions on Domino Effect   3 comments

UPDATED: Feb. 12, 2011

One could argue about which specific event triggered the North African-regional uneasiness, but here I wish to make educated and data-based predictions on who will follow suit . Earlier via Twitter, I disagreed with FP that Somalia and not Sudan would be the next to rise up. Then I was reminded by a colleague that Somalia has no government (to speak of) to topple and “armed groups on the[/every] corners”. I would say ‘lets place some bets here folks’ but I’m not sure if that would be taken lightly. So, here we go…who will follow suit behind the likes of Tunisia and Egypt??

*Note: I feel that this is strictly a regionally-focused, hence all of the predicted or current turmoil is located in one area of the world.

  1. Lebanon: With the fiasco surrounding their government and Hezbollah, I feel this is a probability. However, a civil war may be instigated prior to any mass protest being initiated.
  2. Syria: They have 2 days of “wrath” scheduled for Friday, which sounds like trouble.
  3. Algeria: Had flared up for a second, and then calmed down…but could flare up again at anytime.
  4. Jordan: A few Peace Corps friends believe that all eyes should be on Jordan, with their King dismissing his Cabinet. However, I am assured that the country is stable and secure.
  5. Yemen: …still protesting….while the ‘spill-over’ has seemingly already happened (subsequent to what Mubarak stated), after their President declared he won’t run again. But of course he’s said that before.
  6. Morocco and Saudi Arabia: My American friend (whose living in Jordan) senses that everyone suspects that the ‘spill-over’ will hit these two countries next.
  7. Sudan: No. Southern Sudanese are way too happy and positive to take to the streets. And why would they? If anything, it would be the rest of Sudan because their main source of income has basically been seized by others (*cough U.S. or China).
  8. Iran: Many young Iranians want more freedoms (economically and socially) and it would be a follow-up to their uprising from last year.
  9. Oman: ???

OR alternatively, as my fellow conflict and development colleague – Mr. Josh Zuckerman – points out,

“I’m not sure if there will be another up-rise. The conditions for the up-rise aren’t necessarily ‘ripe’ in other countries. It would be worthwhile to look for indicators such as: poverty levels, rising prices on fuel and food staples, access to communication (such as how many people have camera phones/internet on phone).

Another interesting thing is the obedience of the military; imagine if the revolutionary guard in Iran said that we aren’t going to dismantle the protests like the Egyptian army.”

A previous employer of mine, working in Afghanistan, told me

“[The countries in the area] are all mostly screwed; Yemen, Sudan, you name it…Algeria. I have a bet (10 bucks down with two Egyptians) that Hosni stays in till the 15th. Sudan will split, and the north will declare war on the south.”

International Crisis Group shows that Egypt is ‘peaceful‘ as well as in crisis and decreasing conflict all simultaneously (which is difficult comprehend) , with positive growth in both Tunisia and Southern Sudan, and with Sudan decreasing its dispute as well.

Peace Negotiations Watch only suggests Somaliland, Darfur, and Southern Sudan.

What does this all mean? Confusion and differences of opinion are based on data provided via many media sources, including nationals on the ground tweeting up a storm.

Thoughts, folks? Am I way off here?

More views on the topic, go here.

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Posted February 2, 2011 by Travis Warrington in Conflict

3 responses to Predictions on Domino Effect

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  1. I like the discussion, but all of the countries on your list have had domestic political turmoil for quite some time now. Further, how much can we attribute to a domino effect? Not to be too philosophical here, but many people have rightly pointed out that there are problems with the whole notion of a “domino theory” as we saw political leaders in the US attributing communism’s spread to a domino theory…just curious. For instance Lebanon’s turmoil hasn’t been caused necessarily by a pro-democracy movement but rather an internal power struggle, the same goes for Iran and Syria; a young electorate now comfortable with social networking and western norms dealing with outdated political structure incapable of dealing with a modernizing society.

    Anyway…I think you’re absolutely right to focus on Morocco and Yemen, it will be very interesting to see what develops there for sure.

    Thanks for the post, glad to see people are putting this into a bigger context with larger implications. Cheers!

  2. My hack-gut thought on Morocco is that it will not be affected by what is happening to its’ neighbors. Can’t really substantiate why I am leaning in this direction, but I guess it largely rests in a pessimism of the idea of spill over.

    Egypt seemed to be on the brink already, but Morocco might still be a few years away. Not really a thought based in much of anything to be honest.

    Nice post.

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