News / Africa

Egypt: Analyst says Long-term Rulers Should Take Heed

Egyptian children hold an anti-Mubarak cartoon during a protest in Alexandria, Egypt, 4 Feb 2011
Egyptian children hold an anti-Mubarak cartoon during a protest in Alexandria, Egypt, 4 Feb 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

The popular uprising in Egypt should serve as a warning to long-time Arab and African leaders, says a University of South Africa professor.

Shadrack Gutto, director of the university’s Institute for African Renaissance Studies in Pretoria, says, “One would have wished that the leadership in Egypt took a cue from what happened in Tunisia to be able to really say when you have such a spontaneous uprising, which cuts across various classes, subgroups and so on, it’s very difficult to stand it down.”

Face of repression?

Gutto says the demonstrations represent those who see Egypt as a “repressive state.  And the president is a symbol of that.  He then personifies those acts of repression, like torture and so on.”

The Egyptian economy and the country’s high unemployment rate, he says, are other driving forces behind the protests.

“There are those that are out there primarily expressing their frustrations,” he says, “And I think it is only reasonable for those who have been in power to indicate they have not found a proper solution and let Egyptians choose new leaders.”

Some Arab and African leaders have remained in power for decades, similar to or longer than President Mubarak.  One example is Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“The social composition in Libya is not quite the same as those in Tunisia and Egypt.  And maybe there won’t be an immediate uprising, but they are learning lessons.  And therefore one cannot say sooner or later we will not see some fundamental changes there,” he says.

He gives Cameroon and Uganda as examples of countries in sub-Saharan African countries that have long-time rulers.

“I believe that those leaders may be beginning now because of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that their strategy of thinking that they are indispensible to their countries – that they’re going to think quickly and move out before they are faced with (a) similar uprising, popular uprising.  So I don’t think that leaders who cling to power in any part of Africa ought to be feeling comfortable anymore,” says.

Professor Gutto says he’s not surprised by democratic stirrings in the Arab world.

“If you look at places like Yemen, it has a population which is fairly mixed with Arabs (and) Africans.  They took a…very quick cue from what was going on in Tunisia and…Egypt.  [In] Jordan, there were beginnings of rumblings and people’s dissatisfaction.  But there other parts of the Middle East where they have to think very, very carefully, particularly the kind of monarchical regimes that are there in Saudi Arabia, various emirates.”

Those countries have ruling classes that may believe that “they are anointed by ancestors or by God to be in power,” he says, “They ought to be quite worried.  People are beginning to realize that they do have power when they unite.”

Mubarak

Demonstrators have demanded that President Mubarak step down.  But would that end the turmoil?  Gutto says, “Mubarak has become the symbol of state repression…corruption…cronyism and so on.  And from that point of view, his stepping down would really be something useful at this particular moment.”

He adds that President Mubarak “shouldn’t pretend that if he were to leave there would be total chaos in Egypt.  It is not only him who holds Egypt together.”

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid