In the third edition of Making It Clear, the main international relations events of the week in a nutshell, it’s going to be analyzed: the migrant crisis in the Belarus-Poland border, protests in Iraq and updates about the situation in Sudan.
Belarus is going through a very unstable situation in its government since Alexander Lukashenko installed a polemic dictatorship in the country, being the only president ever since the elections were restored in 1994. When he was reelected once more in August 2020, protests rose across the country which were brutally repressed. Recently, Lukashenko is being accused by Poland and Lithuania about weaponizing Middle Eastern refugees by granting them refuge in Europe through the Belarus border with Poland, which is now declaring an emergency state due to the large number of refugees on the border, however these people are not allowed to enter Poland and the Polish security measures are violent against the refugees, and the only help provided to them comes illegally and independently from Polish citizens. There is also speculation about false medication given to the refugees by the Belarusian government which some people have affirmed that these are actually drugs. The Polish authorities are sending warnings to not ingest any sort of medication in Belarus and that the borders are closed so the refugees must go back to Minsk. Furthermore, Turkey has forbidden people from Iraq, Syria, and Yemen to buy plane tickets to Minsk in order to contain the situation, which is escalating to a possible conflict between the European Union against Russia and Belarus specially after military forces from these countries staged drills close to the Polish border.
Two countries are experiencing similar scenarios when it comes to protests against their governments: Iraq and Sudan. On Octobers 10th, Iraq held a parliamentary election which led part of the population into believing the results were a fraud, even though these were supervised by the UN and the European Union. Since then, a protest camp was created by those who support the Fatah alliance, representing an “Iran-backed Shia Muslim militias” and firmly believe that the election results aren’t fair. However, the opposition seem to be disorganized about what they are really expecting from the protests and what are the goals of the group.
There has been killings and hostile approach from the government towards the protesters and there was an attempt to assassinate the Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, which might lead to a civil war inside Iraq. The votes are being re-counted and checked once more and there has been progress in the negotiations of who is going to lead the country, but it seems that the country stability is at risk and the political scenario might take a turn.
In Sudan, the protests are still active after the coup help last month by the military forces. The population is asking for a transition to a civil-led government without conflicts and the Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok is still being held in his house. The pacific protests are being held by the military authorities with hostility and tear-gas and so far, there hasn’t been further progress in negotiations between the military and civilians, but Arab League mediators arrived at Khartoum as an attempt to better handle the crisis.
Considering the different situations, we might expect foreign interference soon in these countries, especially Belarus, since the support from Russia is causing turmoil inside the European Union. When it comes to Iraq and Sudan, it’s unlikely to expect interference from Western countries in the foreseeable future, unless it affects economic or political interests.