29 Apr 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Uncertainty and lower growth expected in MENA region: IMF
AlJazeera, 29 Apr 2019

US sanctions on Iran are rising unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and oil price volatility are dragging regional economic growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. The IMF warned in a bi-annual economic outlook report that prospects for the region are "clouded by elevated levels of uncertainty".


The battle of Afghanistan
Israel Hayom, 28 Apr 2019

Afghanistan is often said to be America’s longest war but that’s imprecise. Afghanistan is the longest battle in what some of us insist on calling The Long War. When did the conflict begin? In 1996, Osama bin Laden issued a “Declaration of War Against the Americans.” Most analysts saw him as nobody a superpower enjoying a post-Cold War peace dividend need worry about.


How Egypt's referendum deepened its human rights crisis
AlJazeera, 28 Apr 2019

As protests spread across the Arab world in 2011, Egypt became a beacon of hope in the region. But this glimmer of light quickly dimmed, rights groups say, pointing to a widespread crackdown on dissent, with recent constitutional amendments only deepening the country's human rights woes.


Factbox: After 'caliphate' defeat, Islamic State is down but not out
Reuters, 24 Apr 2019

Driven from its self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria, Islamic State is down but not out. Where once they confronted armies, the extremist Islamist group’s adherents have now staged hit-and-run raids and suicide attacks. In some cases, the group has claimed responsibility for atrocities, including the bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed at least 359 people.


Welcome to the new Algerian revolution: an interview with Hamza Hamouchene
Open Democracy, 23 Apr 2019

In 2011, a wave of revolutionary struggle swept the Middle East and North Africa, often bringing down dictatorships that had governed for decades. Millions protested on the streets, occupied public spaces and demanded “bread, freedom and social justice”. Having broken through the fear produced by years of repression, the Arab Spring became an inspiration for activists across the world.