The Arab uprising saw the fall of various regimes in the Arab world considering that people were demanding for changes in the way they were governed. The hostilities and violence in the countries led to the international intervention where foreign countries in a way tried to influence the outcome of the events in the various countries. An example of the countries affected by the Arab uprising includes Bahrain and Libya. The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the international intervention in the two countries. The paper will evaluate the countries and organizations involved in the intervention as well as the effects the intervention and lack of intervention had on the two countries.
In both Libya and Bahrain, the violence was initiated by what was believed to be a government that discriminated against some people in the society. The individuals who felt that they were discontented with the leadership engaged in demonstrations that aimed at removing their leaders from their seats. The two governments responded accordingly to ensure that there was peace but it proved difficult to contain the situation in Libya, and this is why there was the formation of National Transition Coalition (Peter 205). In Bahrain, the government responded effectively and was able to end the violence that was present.
From the international perspective, intervention in Bahrain was greatly influenced by the interest to achieve regional influence by the neighbors. Iran was interested in expanding its influence in the region, after the collapse of Iraq while Saudi Arabia was also motivated to ensure that it had influence over Bahrain (Peter 130). On the other hand, there was no issues of regional influence. The countries that intervened in Libya were western countries such as the United States.
The uprising in Libya was interested in changing the regime hence was not motivated by religious beliefs (Peter 131). On the other hand, the uprising in Bahrain was shaped by the fact that the Shia Muslims in the country were the majority while the leadership in the country was under the minority Sunni (Jones 5). The neighboring countries, Saudi Arabia were motivated in protecting their clans and the groups that hold the religion that is the majority of their countries. An example is Saudi Arabia supporting the government in Bahrain because it was led by Sunni leader while Iran government was supporting the rebels who are mainly the Shia. This means that religion in Bahrain shaped the international intervention in the country in a great way.
Libya saw a higher level of international intervention as compared to Bahrain, considering that in Libya, the United Nations was greatly involved in the intervention while the in Bahrain, the Gulf Cooperation Council was the greatest international organization that was involved. In both cases, troops were sent in the countries to ensure that peace was restored. This shows that Libya saw a greater level of intervention meaning that the situation in the country had escalated to worse levels while in Bahrain, regional intervention would easily deal with the problem successfully.
In both Bahrain and Libya, sanctions were used to deal with the increasing violence that was propagated by the governments. However, the sanctions were more severe in Libya than it was in Bahrain. In Libya, the government leaders were banned from traveling to Western countries, and many government assets were frozen (Peter 179). The government could not buy firearms, and this made it difficult to contain the violence that was initiated by the rebels. On the other hand, the sanctions in Bahrain were short-lived and were more lenient. The ban was in relation to purchasing of arms and after making some reforms, the sanctions were eliminated (Magdalena 176). This meant that the Bahrain government was able to run even with the presence of sanctions which was not the case with the Libya situation.
The resources in the two countries were a motivation to the intervention in Libya, while it was not a motivating factor in Bahrain. In Libya, oil was a major resource that the various groups were interested in controlling. The western world was also interested in exercising control over the important resource, and this is why it was very quick to side with the rebel government that was not legitimate. This fact made the situation in Libya worse considering that it took a lot of time before National Transition Cooperation was recognized (Leonardo 42). The western world seemed to be interested in having a government that they would control hence benefit from the resources in the country. In Bahrain, the country has limited oil reserves and the countries that intervened were rich in oil reserves and used the resources to finance their interest groups (Magdalena 175). A specific example is Saudi Arabia that set aside some oil reserves to benefit Bahrain government.
The method of intervention in the two countries by international participants was similar in that it involved arming the various groups in the countries as well as having ground troops. However, arming rebels in Bahrain was not successful, and this is why the strong military that was supporting the government was able to ensure peace (Katzman 25). On the other hand, arming the rebels in Libya in large numbers became dangerous because at the end, many people were armed and there was a lack of common command. The results of this was that various militia groups emerged in Libya and sought to achieve a certain level of influence. This is why Libya has never been peaceful since then (Barry 9).
In Libya, the international intervention was against the sovereignty provision of the international law considering that the government that was ruling the country was against the same (Leonardo 42). This is why the intervention was not organized, and the end results was that the problems in the country were not solved. On the other hand, Sovereignty in Bahrain was not adversely affected because Iran stopped its interference in the country after complaints from the government (Simon, 88). The intervention by Saudi Arabia was organized and did not lead to access of weapons by civilians, and this is why peace was achieved.
The intervention in Libya was disastrous because the international intervention was not organized and were not after protecting the sovereignty of the country (Peter 132). On the other hand, intervention in Bahrain respected the sovereignty of the country, and this is why the tensions in the country did not escalate. The fact that there were a few international countries involved in the intervention, it was possible to handle the situation within a short time and ensure that there was peace although tensions remain. If many groups had interests in Bahrain and all intervened, peace would not have been achieved.
In conclusion, there was a slight similarity in international intervention in Bahrain and Libya, with many international players being involved in Libya. Resources were an important issue in the case of Libya which was not the case in Bahrain. Additionally, the sanctions in the two countries were different while the arming of local groups was the worst decision in Libya but did not happen effectively in Bahrain. This is why the intervention in Libya had adverse effects while in Bahrain, peace was achieved.
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Bellodi, Leonardo. "Libya's Assets and the Question of Sovereignty." Survival, vol. 54, no. 2, 2012, pp. 39-45.
Cole, Peter, and Brian McQuinn. "Eastern Regionalism and Libya's political transition." The Libyan Revolution and Its Aftermath, London: Hurst, 2015.
Cole, Peter, and Brian McQuinn. "Libya's Islamist duration during and after the revolution." The Libyan Revolution and Its Aftermath, London: Hurst, 2015.
Cole, Peter, and Brian McQuinn. "The emergence of revolutionary battalions in Misrata." The Libyan Revolution and Its Aftermath, London: Hurst, 2015.
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Katzman, Kenneth. Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.s. Policy. Congressional Research Service, 2015.
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Magdalena, Karolak. "ESCALATION OF SOCIAL CONFLICT DURING POPULAR UPHEAVALS: EVIDENCE FROM BAHRAIN." Political Science Journal, vol. 7, no. 2, 2012, pp. 173-195.
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