(2017年08月11日)叙利亚拉卡省委员会副主席默罕默德∙希贾兹向卫星通讯社表示,9月中期在罗马举行会谈,讨论叙利亚拉卡市从恐怖组织“伊斯兰国”手中解放后的管理问题。國際移民組織新聞處消息,2017年1月至6月共有60.2759萬敘利亞難民重返家園。敘反對派人士:新一輪敘各方會談前的技術會談定於8月22日舉行(2017年08月12日);(May 22, 2017)The real test for an Arab Nato will come the day after Raqqa falls.

21:24 2017年08月11日(更新 21:29 2017年08月11日)

俄羅斯衛星通訊社莫斯科8月11日電 敘利亞拉卡省委員會副主席默罕默德∙希賈茲向衛星通訊社表示,意大利提議9月中期在羅馬舉行會談,討論敘利亞拉卡市從恐怖組織「伊斯蘭國」手中解放後的管理問題。

© AP PHOTO/ ARAB 24 NETWORK

希賈茲說:“我省的2個委員會9月中期將在羅馬舉行一個國際會議。意大利代表提議在意召開會議,因為該國是各方都能接受的中立方。”

他還透露,委員會在土耳其加濟安泰普同美國、意大利、荷蘭代表就該省和城市從“伊斯蘭國”武裝分子手中徹底解放後的未來進行談判。

拉卡從2013年起就處於“伊斯蘭國”控制下,它被視為恐怖分子的非正式“首都”。美國領導的國際聯軍2016年宣佈開始解放拉卡的行動,已經數月在拉卡近郊進行戰鬥,以便對其進行封鎖。地面進攻由庫爾德人主導的“敘利亞民主力量”聯盟開展,美軍特種兵和空軍為其提供支援。

2017年初超過60萬敘利亞難民重返家園

© AFP 2017/ Bulent Kilic

社會

21:35 2017年08月11日

俄羅斯衛星通訊社莫斯科8月11日電 國際移民組織新聞處消息,2017年1月至6月共有60.2759萬敘利亞難民重返家園。

據新聞處報道,27%的回歸人口表示決定返回家園是為了捍衛自己的資產或財產,返鄉原因中25%是由於家鄉經濟狀況改善。返鄉者提供的其它返鄉原因中,14%是由於避難國經濟衰退,11%是由於社會、文化和政治上的困難阻礙他們融入新環境,家鄉安全形勢改善同樣佔返鄉原因的11%。

國際移民組織估計,67%的返鄉者返回阿勒頗省(40.542萬人),7.5萬余名難民返回哈馬省,超過4.5萬人返回拉卡省,超過2.7萬人回到伊德利卜省,另有大量難民返回大馬士革及其周邊地區和其他省份。

敘利亞國內衝突發生前,阿勒頗歷來被視為敘經濟中心,2016年底敘政府軍在俄羅斯空天軍的支援下完全肅清了該地區的非法武裝組織。目前城市完全由敘政府軍控制,然而盤踞在該地區以東和東北部的武裝犯罪團伙仍不斷進行破壞行動,襲擊敘百萬人口城市的平民。

敘反對派人士:新一輪敘各方會談前的技術會談定於8月22日舉行

© Fotolia/ Mny-Jhee

政治

01:40 2017年08月12日

俄羅斯衛星通訊社開羅8月11日電 敘利亞反對派開羅小組代表團團長Firas Khalidi向衛星通訊社表示,新一輪敘利亞各方會談前期的技術性會談將於8月22日在日內瓦和洛桑舉行

他說:“反對派接到8月22日赴日內瓦舉行技術會談的邀請。”
他補充說:“我們預計莫斯科小組會同意與利雅得小組會面。”他還表示,與利雅得小組(即最高談判委員會)的會談議題包括組建敘反對派統一代表團,以及為避免分裂召開敘反對派全體大會的問題。

Egypt comes one step closer to total military control

Date of publication: 11 August, 2017

Comment: Sixty-three years after Nasser passed the reins of the state to his fellow military officers, Sisi seeks to expand on that legacy, but to what end? asks Gehad Quisay.
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday that it will require all incoming foreign officers to attend six months training at Nasser Higher Military Academy. This announcement was hushed, buried in the current affairs section of only a handful of local newspapers.

“Our new training stresses the role of the Armed Forces in defending and maintaining Egypt’s national security," one course attendee told The New Arab on condition of anonymity.

This move comes as one of many attempts to engrain the military into all aspects of the Egyptian state. The army’s grip over everyday life has been increasing at an alarming rate since a popular uprising challenged its power in 2011.

In April alone, the Ministry of Education announced plans to convert vocational high schools to military academies, and a bill was introduced to parliament proposing granting control over al-Azhar to the country’s President Sisi. Yesterday, another MP announced that he will introduce a bill to extend the president’s term in office from four years to six.

These plans not only give the army great influence over vital institutions and public opinion in turn, they also allow the military to become so deeply rooted in the state that any attempts to challenge their hold on power will face almost certain failure.

In an attempt at resurrecting the good old days of officer rule, President Sisi seeks to solidify the role of the military in all aspects of Egyptian life. The state institution has been transformed from its traditional role as a tool of executing foreign policy to an all-encompassing force, the exclusive keeper of patriotism, infallible in the face of criticism, worshipped at the secular altar of the nation. After 2013, denouncing the army became equivalent to hating Egypt.

After 2013, denouncing the army became equivalent to hating Egypt

“The most important part of the new training provides techniques of combating ‘fourth generation warfare’," the anonymous attendee said. “President Sisi mentions this idea frequently in his speeches, he identifies it as a part of a global conspiracy against Egypt which uses new and social media to cause unrest."

Ending Mubarak

 

Army officers joing anti-Mubarak protesters in
Tahrir Square – January 2011 [Getty]

January 25 presented the army with a complication and an opportunity. Mubarak was a military man but since the 1990s his government introduced privatisation policies that served Egypt’s oligarchs.

Abandoning his military roots and swaying towards the business class was not Mubarak’s only blunder. The process of grooming Gamal Mubarak to inherit the presidency created an unprecedented rift between the military and the presidency. Ordinary Egyptians speaking up against power was dangerous, but it also gave the military the outlet it needed to restore its control over both the presidency and the people.

The jubilation of ordinary Egyptians in Tahrir Square at what they perceived as their army siding with them and protecting them against Mubarak was a fantasy at best. Army officers may not have killed protestors during Egypt’s 18-day uprising but they also did not protect Tahrir Square from the fury of pro-Mubarak forces.

When Mubarak stepped down, a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) made the announcement that it would take the reins. The chants on the streets revered the military, announcing that “the army and the people are one hand".

Still, the early months of 2011 taught Egyptians that they do indeed have the power to bring about political change.

The army also realised that their hold on power was not as solid as they had once presumed. The realities of the new media age caused a significant shift in power – one senior army officers had not anticipated.

Renewing the military state

Military officers clash with protesters
in December 2011 [Mostafa Sheshtawy]

Between 2011 and 2012, SCAF re-enforced its dominance through the use of force in an attempt to prevent another uprising. Closed military trials for civilians became the norm with more than 15,000 activists and journalists facing trial for exercising freedoms they thought they’d achieved by ousting Mubarak.

There were numerous clashes between the army and protesters who had forced their hand in ousting MubarakFor the first time in decades, ordinary Egyptians woke up to the reality that the military was at the heart of their oppression.

“Down with military rule" became a common chant – inspiring much more than annoyance to senior officers like Sisi. This chant represented the reality that the Egyptian people no longer saw the army as the heroes they once were.

Never again

The election of Mohammed Morsi in 2012 did not mean the end of military entanglement in the state. Egyptians watched in wonderment as Morsi dismissed the head of SCAF, Mohammed Tantawi. To Morsi’s supporters it was a display of civilian rule over the military but to his opponents it sparked fear that Islamist forces were replacing the army, taking full control of the state.

Morsi replaced Tantawi with Sisi as head of armed forces [Getty]

Tantawi’s replacement was Abdelfattah el-Sisi, a relatively obscure figure to the average Egyptian in 2012. Sisi was a member of SCAF, a new face to the same institution.

The changing of the generals was effectively symbolic but it gave the Muslim Brotherhood a false sense of power and security. This meant that the largest organised civil political force in Egypt lowered its defences, neutralising their opposition to military interference in the state.

Top officers continued to hold key positions in both local and central government, the head of state may have belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood but state institutions remained under military rule.

When Sisi ousted Morsi in July 2013, the army re-emerged as the only force that could save Egypt from wayward leadership. Protestors once again chanted “the army and the people are one hand".

With Sisi as president, the militarisation of the civil sectors has become an inevitability. Creeping military rule has built up over decades and under Sisi it is reaching completion.

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