The Arab Winter is a term for the rise of authoritarianism and religious extremism evolving in the aftermath of the Arab Spring protests in Arab countries. According to scholars of the University of Warsaw, the Arab Spring fully devolved into Arab Winter four years since its onset. The Arab Winter is characterized by the emergence of multiple regional civil wars, mounting regional instability, economic and demographic decline of Arab countries, and ethno-religious sectarian strife. According to a study by the American University of Beirut, as of summer 2014 the Arab Winter resulted in nearly a quarter of a million deaths and millions of refugees.
The term Arab Winter refers to the events across the Arab League, including the Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi insurgency and the following civil war, the Egyptian Crisis, the Libyan Crisis and the Crisis in Yemen. Events referred as Arab Winter have taken place in Egypt that led to the removal of Mohamed Morsi and the seizure of power by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in an anti-Muslim Brotherhood campaign. Political developments, particularly the restoration of authoritarianism and suppression of civil liberties in Egypt since July 3, 2013 have been described as constituting a "military winter" that functioned in opposition to the goals of the Arab Spring. Various militias and tribes have started fighting in Libya after a breakdown in negotiations. The arenas of Lebanon and Bahrain were also identified as areas of the Arab Winter. Libya was put as a scene of the Arab Winter, together with Syria, by Professor Sean Yom. The Northern Mali conflict was often described as part of the "Islamist Winter". Political changes which occurred in Tunisia, involving a change in government, as well as an ISIL insurgency were also indicated by some as a possible "heading towards Arab Winter".
According to the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, as of January 2014, the cost of Arab Winter upheaval across the Arab World was some 800 billion USD. Some 16 million people in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon were expected to require humanitarian assistance in 2014.
The political turmoil and violence in the Middle East and North Africa resulted in massive population displacement in the region. As a result, “boat-people”, including internally displaced persons and asylum-seekers and refugees who had previously been residing in Libya, have headed towards the European Union. The attempts by some Libyans and Tunisians to seek safety from the violence by crossing the Mediterranean sea triggered fears among European politicians and populations of arrivals that might “flood” their shores. This spurred on a flurry of legislative activity and patrolling of the waters to manage arrivals.
- European migrant crisis
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
- List of modern conflicts in North Africa
- Spillover of the Syrian Civil War
- Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict
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- "In Mali AQ achieved to infiltrate and take over Tuareg insurgency. If AQ succeeds to keep the Arab Spring countries destabilized, this will lead to a viral reproduction of Azawad scenario. AQ is the "Islamic Winter"."
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- RT - Flames, Fury & Frustration: Arab Spring spins into Arab Winter?
- RT - CrossTalk: Arab Winter?
- Arirang News - Prime Talk: Are we approaching an Arab Winter? Jang Ji-hyang, Asan Institute for Policy Studies
- VICE - Arab Winter: Syrian refugees in Lebanon Bekaa Valley