The collapse of the Bouteflika and Bashir regimes is sending reverberations across the world. On social media, people are warning Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and other African rulers that their turns are coming
In just nine days, two of the Arab world’s most entrenched autocrats have been deposed, sending shock waves across the Middle East and North Africa and a warning to tyrants worldwide.
Both Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan successfully weathered the turmoil of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Those protests began as calls for democracy and justice, but resulted in disastrous civil war or renewed autocracy throughout the region – with the exception of Tunisia.
By late 2013, after backing Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a bloody coup against Egypt’s first freely elected government, the region’s autocrats were confident that the genie of the Arab Spring had been put back into the bottle. The rise of Isis in Syria, Iraq, and Libya underscored the message of the autocrats that the revolution the people dreamed of would only result in misery and violence.
With the election of President Donald Trump several years later, the autocrats were even more overjoyed. Here was a fellow traveller who not only overlooked their transgressions on human rights and civil liberties, but seemed a genuine kindred spirit.