The degree to which Sudanese protesters are willing to implement lessons learnt from the 2011 revolts will be determined by their willingness and ability to sustain their protests in the face of violence. The opposition this week rejected an offer by General Al-Burhan to reopen negotiations and hold elections within nine months.
The spectre of sectarianism haunts the Middle East. It is blamed for chaos, conflict, and extremism. It defines what is seen as the region’s principal fault line: Sunni versus Shiite. It has the power and elegance of a grand theory that seemingly explains all.
One of the most important US Senate votes in decades took place recently, and few people know it happened. On March 20, Senators voted on whether to stop US support for Saudi Arabia’s vicious war in Yemen by invoking the War Powers Act.
The second, larger problem with discursively equating the Zaydi faith with Twelver Shi’ism is that it paints a picture of “natural” or “primordial” ties between the Houthis and Iran. President Hadi has emulated his predecessor Salih in asserting these ties, as have his Saudi and Emirati allies, who have regarded Iran as an implacable foe since the 1979 revolution that toppled the Shah and installed the Islamic Republic.