Lack of political savvy sends Arab Spring states into turmoil

Lack of political savvy sends Arab Spring states into turmoil

DUBAI - Bloodbath in Egypt, civil war in Syria, stalemate in Tunisia: the Arab Spring has stoked turmoil because of a lack of maturity among the region's new political class, analysts say.

When popular uprisings swept away long-standing dictators in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia in 2011, hopes were running high for a smooth transition and a fresh start.

But this year's violence in Egypt and Tunisia, along with Syria's bloody civil war, shows that the Arab world is still plagued by often deadly political unrest.

"Arab countries are entering a turbulent period of change, which will likely see even more domestic violence, polarisation and regional competition," said Emile Hokayem, Middle East analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Nearly 900 people, mostly supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, have been killed in a crackdown across Egypt since August 14 when security forces moved to clear two Islamist protest camps in Cairo.

Unrest escalated further with a deadly attack by suspected Islamist militants in the restive Sinai peninsula on Monday that killed 25 members of the security forces.

The crisis has swept away most of the gains from the uprising against long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011, "especially the multi-party system with the entry of the Islamists into politics and the first democratic elections," said Sophie Pommier, an expert on the Arab world at Sciences-Po university in Paris.

"Egypt is going to the wall. The actors are incapable of political compromise," Pommier said.

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