x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

New Egyptian cabinet: a blessing for Gaza?

A round-up of Arabic language newspapers.

A new Egyptian cabinet led by Essam Sharaf was constitutionally sworn in earlier this week and it was free of the symbols of the fallen regime which have damaged the reputation and role of Egypt and its people, observed the London-based daily Al Quds al Arabi in its editorial.

With much relief, the Egyptian people welcomed the new government with its prime minister who comes straight from the revolution and its ministers who are known for their integrity and competence.

Nabil al Arabi was appointed at the helm of foreign diplomacy in view of his extensive expertise in the field and his well-known patriotism and ethics. He is especially savvy when it comes to Israeli political manoeuvres, and thus, it wasn't surprising at all that he was strongly opposed to the Israeli siege of Gaza.

It is natural then that with the advent of Mr al Arabi as foreign minister, a comprehensive review of Egyptian policies concerning the Palestinian cause be on agenda. This means a review that could abolish old policies, such as the blocking of borders and dealing with Palestinians as terrorists.

This new cabinet reflects the principles and values of the Egyptian people who have always condemned the Gaza siege. It is also highly likely that this cabinet will soon decide to alleviate the suffering of Gazans by permanently opening the Rafah border.

Qaddafi family feuds signal likely collapse

In a recent interview on Al Arabiya news network, Alsaadi Qaddafi, one of the Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi's sons, alluded to the likelihood of a conflict within the ruling family that could lead to dissent among the siblings and even some of the grandchildren, which could soon evolve into armed confrontations and liquidations within the al Aziziya barracks in Tripoli.

In his article for the Lebanese daily Assafir, the columnist Satea Noureddin describes Alsaadi's interview as "interesting".

"The family is presenting its sons publicly one after the other to make statements that essentially don't differ much from those of the legal heir, Saif al Islam, but indicate different interpretations about the management of Libya and the responsibility for the current crisis. This signals that the ruling family is on the brink of collapse. Its members seem ready to divide the inheritance among themselves and jump off the sinking ship."

Alsaadi said his brother Seif al Islam has been ruling Libya alone for four years. He implied that his brother is to be blamed for the mistakes that were committed in that period and led to the explosion of the crisis.

"Conflict within the Qaddafi family isn't new, but it has now become more than just a competition for roles and deals. It is certain that the public will be seeing more of the seven brothers' antics on their television screens.

International military intervention in Libya

"Foreign military intervention in Libya should not be looked at in simlar terms as the ones in Iraq or Afghanisatn. The Libyan situation is absolutely different and is likely to transform into a devastating civil war, wrote Mazzen Hamad in the Qatar-based newspaper Al Watan.

The Libyan uprising also emerges to be different than the ones in Egypt and Tunisia, where the army stood by the people.

Although part of the army has defected and is fighting for rebels, Muammar Qaddafi is still taking advantage of the remaining brigades loyal to him, African mercenaries and the many ammunition depots in Tripoli. Probably these will give the regime unstoppable support to wage a long war against the civil protesters.

So this is the reason why Libyans should not be left unaided. Otherwise, they will be facing further massacres.  External intervention is not a luxury; it is a necessity for people's survival.

But an international consensus is required so as to ensure a limited military intervention to be geared towards destroying the regime's heavy weaponry. Any action of this sort needs yet to be debated and agreed on among Nato, the Arab League and US.

As well as protecting civilians, a well-planned intervention will help to prevent the country from drifting to a situation where it will be under regional and international pressures which may  prolong the civil strife.

Breaking away from an intelligence mentality

When it comes to persecution, Arab regimes are the masters. Almost every one of them relies on a security intelligence system, wrote Jaber al Hajeeri in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas.

The primary task of these systems is to guarantee the security of the regime rather than the security of the state.

Recently, the world has witnessed serious scandals in Egypt following the ousting of the regime, when officers in the security intelligence deliberately set fire to the intelligence system's headquarters before implicating documents could reach the attorney general's hands.

In Libya, as soon as the regime goes down, we will definitely hear scandalous stories,and of course, it will not be the last incident of its kind in the Arab world. Oppressed Arab peoples will not stop their uprisings until all tyrannical police systems are deposed. What we truly hope for now is that the revolutions would abide by human rights as a motto and a path .

The region has suffered enough for years as it went from colonialism to abominable regimes.

Other regimes in the region should now review their shortcomings that would ultimately lead to their demise, and this starts with the abolishment of state intelligence systems.

* Digest compiled by The translation desk