Daily 49er

Middle East peace will come when human rights are recognized


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The recent violence in Egypt and ongoing conflicts in Syria represent a larger symptom plaguing government and politics in the Middle East.

As protesters convene in Cairo, the Egyptian military has gained the authorization to open fire on protesters, bringing the country back to where it was two years ago when the first protests began.

Recent Egyptian protests began on June 30, when the military asked former president Mohammed Morsi to change his unpopular ways.

By July 3, Morsi was ousted and replaced by Interim President and Head of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional court Adly Mansour.

Since then, protests from pro-Morsi supporters have rocked Egypt, with the military answering orders to shoot at protesters with live rounds. The result of which has left hundreds dead and thousands wounded.

As Egypt continues to fight for legitimate authority, unrest is sure to follow by what some in the country might feel is a military coup instigated by Mubarak-era Egyptian elites.

Until human rights are universally recognized, the Middle East will continue to destabilize.

Meanwhile in Syria, the situation has grown worse as the rebel opposition increases its power.

The rebels have entrenched themselves along the northern and eastern parts of the country, while the government maintains control along the coast and to the south near Lebanon.

When the Syrian civil war began in March 2011, President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime began a bloody crackdown on government protesters.

The protests began as a result of the human rights abuses the country suffered since the government established emergency rule  in 1963.

Basic rights such as the freedom of expression were controlled and alternative political parties were banned.

Accusations of government corruption surfaced as the protests grew, until the government began the brutal crackdown by arresting protesters and torturing prisoners.

Since the conflict began, more than 100,000 deaths have been reported, according to a U.N. estimate released in June.

The violence has raised the stakes to new heights in the struggle for power in Syria, as foreign countries fund both sides and refugees begin to spill into neighboring countries like Jordan and Turkey.

With U.N. Security Council members Russia and China funding pro-government forces in Syria, there seems to be no end in sight for the ever-increasing international conflict.

Fighting has now turned to indiscriminate bombing and attacking of contested areas.

As long as innocent Syrians are caught up in the civil war, human rights will not be respected.

Until human rights are respected, lasting peace will not be possible, as protests will rise once again which repeats the cycle once more.

With Egypt currently undergoing a transition in government of its own, it remains to be seen if the violence will escalate or if the country can undergo a more peaceful transition.

If Egypt continues to crack down hard on protests, it is likely to destabilize much like Syria did.

Nicolas Rodriguez is a senior political science major and an assistant opinions editor at the Daily 49er.

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