Amid widespread anger at austerity measures, thousands protested late May and early June after govt adopted draft law that would, if approved by parliament, increase income tax. As demanded by protesters, PM Hani al-Mulki and cabinet resigned 4 June. King Abdullah next day appointed Education Minister and former World Bank economist Omar al-Razzaz as PM and asked him to form new govt; protests subsided 7 June after al-Razzaz pledged to repeal proposed tax bill. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates 11 June pledged $2.5bn to stabilise country. Qatar 13 June pledged $500mn investment package, including 10,000 jobs for Jordanians in Qatar. World Bank 28 June pledged $500mn to support economic reforms.
As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement.
The season of Arab uprisings has not engulfed Jordan, but nor has it entirely passed the nation by. Pillars of the regime are showing cracks, and it ultimately will have to either undertake sweeping change or experience far-reaching turmoil.
A refugee crisis was feared before the coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003, but it came later than anticipated, and on a greater scale.
The horrifying 9 November 2005 suicide attacks against three hotels in Amman – with a toll of 60 dead and over 100 wounded – drove home two important messages.
This briefing is one of a series of occasional ICG briefing papers and reports that will address the issue of political reform in the Middle East and North Africa. The absence of a credible political life in most parts of the region, while not necessarily bound to produce violent conflict, is intimately connected to a host of questions that affect its longer-term stability:
In successive incidents over eight days in November 2002, the city of Maan in the south of Jordan was the scene of intense armed clashes between security forces and elements of the Maani population.
We are seeing a dramatic crisis between Jordan and Israel which makes de facto joint management [of the Holy Esplanade in Jerusalem] much more complicated.
Originally published in The New York Review of Books
Originally published in allhayat
Originally published in Le Figaro