On April 6, 2022, the Popular Resistance Committees announced that they would intensify their calls for citizens to participate in millions of demonstrations under the title "Marches of 6th of April", which aim to end military rule and restore civilian authority.

Analysis:

- The People’s Resistance Committees called citizens to participate in millions of demonstrations to end the military rule and return power to civilians. These calls come in the context of the rapid political and economic developments in Sudan, most notably the escalation of the political crisis extending in the country since the army overthrew the transitional government on October 25 2021. However, efforts to form a national unity government to manage the country's affairs faltered, which in turn was reflected in the economic and social conditions that worsened during the past six months, in addition to the failure of African and international efforts to bring sides closer and reach a comprehensive solution to this crisis.

- The call to organize these demonstrations is of particular importance, given several major considerations, most notably that it coincides with the anniversary of the outbreak of the protests in 2019, which led to the overthrow of the rescue regime and the removal of former President Omar al-Bashir. It also comes as an expression of rejection of the military control over the transitional authority and his refusal to hand it over to civilians, except after holding parliamentary elections in 2023, which will result in an elected government, and this is not acceptable by the Forces for Freedom and Change and the Popular Resistance Committees, which raise the slogans of the "three no's" (no to negotiation - no to participation - no to dialogue) and demand the postponement of these elections until the political parties and forces are ready for that, but the absence of political consensus between the military and civilian components prevented reaching an agreement that satisfies all parties, thus prolonging the current political crisis.

- The continuity of popular demonstrations and protests since last October reflects the growing dissatisfaction of many segments of the Sudanese people, which increases the growing political and societal tension in Sudan. It is also an important indicator of the inability of the current transitional authorities to contain these protests. This is due to the divergence of views and the non-acceptance of the military to hand over power to civilians without elections.

Expectations

- The current situation indicates the limited opportunities for these protests to achieve their goals, especially with regard to returning power to civilians and ending the military rule of the transitional period, which will result in more political instability in Sudan during the coming period, which in turn will reflect negatively on the economic and social conditions in the short and medium term, which in turn will lead the Popular Resistance Committees to continue to mobilize against the military.

 

 

The Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister, Saada Al-Shami, announced last Sunday evening (April 3, 2022) that the Lebanese state and the Central Bank of Lebanon had gone bankrupt, and that losses would be distributed to the state, the central bank, banks and depositors, and that the percentage of the distribution of losses had not yet been determined.

This was followed hours later by an announcement by the Governor of the Banque du Liban that the Central Bank is still operational and in a response to Saada El-shami, and that the plan for the recovery of the Lebanese banking system is currently being agreed upon between the Lebanese government and the International Monetary Fund.

This was followed by a watered-down statement from Lebanon's Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, explaining the shocking statement by his deputy, who said that the statements had been taken out of context and that he was referring to the currently faltering financial liquidity, but this does not mean the bankruptcy of the Central Bank.

Analysis

Technically speaking, the bankruptcy of countries means that countries fail to pay the installments of their foreign debts. This matter has already been realized in Lebanon since March 2020, when the government for the first time failed to pay the installments of its external debt, and then followed that by stopping the payment of all its debts, and banks stopped responding to depositors’ requests to withdraw their balances except within specific restrictions.

The statement of Deputy Prime Minister came in response to a question from a television interviewer about the percentage of losses that the Banque du Liban will bear from the total losses of the banking sector compared to the losses that will be incurred by the banking sector and depositors. Al-Shami responded to this question implicitly that the Banque du Liban is unable to bear additional losses because it is bankrupt, and he intended to clarify the unlikeliness of the Banque du Liban to bear a large share of the losses, because what it currently possesses of liquidity is barely sufficient to meet the basic needs of Lebanon in terms of food and medicine needs.

This shocking statement and the media coverage of it as an official statement about a new emergency event caused great interest in the issue of Lebanon's financial stumble after it became less covered after the Ukrainian-Russian war. Perhaps the aim of this statement was to restore international attention to the Lebanese issue, especially Arab attention, before the Arab tour that Mikati intends to implement in a number of Arab and Gulf capitals, especially to restore Gulf-Lebanese relations to their previous era. Mikati is facing great difficulty in persuading the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia, to re-engage in the political and economic support of the Lebanese state, with the continuation of the abusive media campaigns directed by Hezbollah and its media and political apparatus against Saudi policy. It is expected that this campaign will continue heavily during the coming weeks to provide a political momentum that garner the votes of his supporters before the elections, and this will be responded to by a counter-political attack from his opponents calling for resistance to the Iranian occupation of Lebanon.

The announcement also reflects distress in banking sector from the multiple demands in the Lebanese society from banks to assume their responsibilities in some of the losses that occurred and not to bear the losses in full to the depositors. As a number of depositors resorted to the judiciary, whether in Lebanon or in Britain and France, to file lawsuits against Lebanese banks to oblige them to hand over their savings to the depositors, contrary to the decisions of the Central Bank, which ordered restricting the disbursement of savings until the end of the crisis. Similarly, the state Prosecutor Ghada Aoun in Mount Lebanon decided to prevent some Lebanese banks from transferring funds abroad, in addition to accusing the Governor of the Banque du Liban and his brother of graft and money laundering, and his brother was detained upon pending investigations. These measures led to the protests among Lebanese banks and they went on two-days strike last week, in an attempt to stop what it called the interference of the non-competent judiciary in the work of the banking administration and the misuse of anti-corruption propaganda selectively.

All this coincided with the visit of the International Monetary Fund delegation to Lebanon for a period of two weeks to discuss with the government the reform plan and the laws that must be passed to secure a preliminary agreement between the Fund and Lebanon. At the top of these laws was the capital control bill, which was passed from the Council of Ministers to the House of Representatives, but was rejected by the relevant parliamentary committees and was dropped in the plenary session, as the deputies considered it a law restricting depositors’ access to their savings and loading them with the failures of the state, while neither the state nor the banks have a share of these losses.

The regulation was supposed to rationalize the consumption of the remaining foreign currency within the country and prevent the transfer of funds abroad, except within the framework of necessary exceptions, such as importation of essential goods, and medical and educational needs of Lebanese abroad, or the exchange of newly received dollars. Thus, dropping the law is enough to return it to the Council of Ministers to make additional amendments to be acceptable to the represenatives so that they can pass it before the end of the current parliament’s mandate and the next parliamentary elections in the middle of next May.

The Capital Control Law is still being discussed in multiple details according to the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund, but the negotiations also include a banking recovery plan, ending monopoly in various sectors, fighting corruption in the public sector, reforming the energy and electricity sector, in addition to restructuring debt and reforming the budget deficit.

Expectation:

The Lebanese governments will attempt to re-amend the law and pass it again through Parliament before holding the next elections. The law will be subject to more opposition from the MPs and is not expected to pass successfully given the competition among them to garner votes before next elections.

It’s expected to postpone the passing the proposal into law, which will lead to a confusion in the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. So, it’s likely to postpone the signing of the preliminary agreement with Lebanon.

Conflict between the banking sector and the judiciary will continue, and that means that banks go on successive strikes, unless the proceedings of the law passing are expedited.

The fact that the current investigations with the Governor of the Banque du Liban will not present sufficient evidence to bring him to trial, but these investigations will certainly contribute to more and more confusion in the banking sector and a loss of confidence in its ability to recover.

There will be increasing uncertainty over whether the elections would be held or not, as all parties pledged to hold the elections on time, but the fragile Lebanese situation is feared that any emergency may occur that disrupts the conduct of the elections and thus leads to its postponement or cancellation. This is reinforced by historical precedents for the current president, in which he suspended political life and completely seized full power as the head of an emergency government in the eighties of the last century.

The international community's support for the financial recovery plan in Lebanon is linked to holding the elections on time, otherwise the funds will likely be withheld.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On April 3, 2022, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declared that Russia will accept payments only in rubles for some exports, such as gas, and this comes after a similar statement by Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the Russian Parliament, on March 30, 2022, who warned that exports of oil, grain, minerals, fertilizers, coal and timber may also be paid for in rubles, similar to Russian gas.

Analysis:

- The announcement of Moscow’s intention to accept payments in rubles for goods  other than natural gas comes as part of its efforts to enhance the value of the Russian ruble against USD, by increasing the demand for it as a store of value and increasing its role as an intermediary tool in international financial transactions, but this has many difficulties, mainly the fact that the ruble does not enjoy the same status as USD and some other currencies such as Euro as international medium of exchange. It is seen that Russia is trying to apply pressure to ease western sanctions’ effects by waving the measures that have not yet been enforced, but at the same time it is not unlikely that the increasing sanctions’ pressure will push Russia it to implement those measures gradually, to find out the impact and feasibility of them on global markets, and their reflection on relieving western sanctions’ impact.

Moscow is seeking to reduce the expected economic shocks due to the Western blockade, which was clearly evident in the high inflation rate, which reached about 12.5% ​​in March 2022 (on an annual basis), a rate that Moscow has not witnessed since 2015, which resulted in tightening its monetary policy to fight inflation, by raising the interest rate to 20% in February.

Expectation:

- Moscow believes that the increased demand for its currency will be a multi-dimensional pressure tool, which is mainly in favor of its political and economic interest.

The Russian policy of imposing a fait accompli that it seeks to implement will be confronted by Western countries with many tools, which is likely to increase mutual pressure from the two parties in the coming period, until reaching a point that pushes them to negotiations table to determine the rules of economic engagement between them to contain the aggravating damage in the future, as the repercussions of current situation will leave irreversible damage that needs years of recovery.

Police Chief Kobi Shabtai orders his forces onto a high level of alert across the country to secure institutions, central stations and crowded places, following the shooting incident in Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv carried out by Diaa Hamarsheh, 26, a resident of Ya'bad village in Jenin. a former detainee in Israeli prisons, and a member of the Fatah movement. The attack resulted in 5 killed and 6 injured.

Immediately after the attack, army Chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi ordered the deployment of four additional battalions in the West Bank to beef up the four already deployed there in recent days.

Analysis:

The Bnei Brak is the third in a few days, which indicates the high frequency of targeting Israelis in the west Bank. On March 22nd, Mohammed Abu Al-Kiyan killed four Israelis and wounded three others, in the city of Beersheba in Negev. On March 27, Ibrahim and Ayman Agbarieh, from Wadi Ara area in Umm al-fahm, carried out a shooting attack in Hadera, south of Haifa, killing two Israelis and wounding five others.

It is noted that the perpetrators of the Beersheba and Hadera operations belong to the Islamic State, where the organization announced in a statement published by its propaganda agency “Amaq” the details of the incident. According to "SITE Intelligence Group", which monitors the activities of extremist groups, it is the first time since 2017, that the organization has claimed an attack in Israel.

The succession of the operations carried several messages to Israel, the most important of which is that Israel did not succeed in integrating the Arab Citizens of Israel into the Israeli society, given that some of the perpetrators of these operations were from the Arab Citizens of Israel, and that the occurrence of the operations in one week coincided with the Land Day, which falls On March 30, and with the continuing forced displacement of residents and the confiscation of Palestinian lands.

The Warnings of Israeli Security services has increased, especially the Shin Bet – before these operations – of the possibility of entering into new confrontations with the Palestinian side with the advent of Ramadan, and there was anticipation of clashes in the city of Jerusalem and near the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a result of the measures taken by Israeli settlers.

Expectation:

1-  The Bnei Brack attacks may open a path that will be imposed on all different Palestinian factions to re-coordinate and work together in light of new consensus and full support of all factions for the recent operations in the West Bank.

2-  It is expected that the security meetings held between the Palestinian and Israeli sides will resume in an unannounced manner, despite President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to officially halt security coordination.

3-  The current situation in the West Bank may provoke other Palestinian factions in Gaza Strip to fire missiles on the Gaza border Area.

4-  It is Likely that the objections to the Israeli Government’s approach to dealing with the Palestinian Authority will increase, which may be exploited by the Israeli opposition led by former Prime Minister Netanyahu to dismantle the government and reconstitute it again.

5-  It is conceivable that the Israeli government will utilize the attacks in its foreign media and political discourse, that ISIS is threatening its national security, which may prompt it to respond to the organization's presence in any nearby stage of operations.

6- The Israeli security services will utilize the attacks to request an increase in financial allocations and emergency funds to face what is happening, which will be deducted from the budget of education and health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the evening of Wednesday, March 30, 2022, Tunisian President Kais Saied announced, during a meeting of the National Security Council, the dissolution of the House of Representatives, whose work has been suspended since last July, based on Chapter 72 of the Constitution. The President announced the prosecution of those involved in holding online plenary session. And he described it as a failed coup attempt to conspire against the internal and external security of the state.

Analysis:

The Tunisian presidency announced the dissolution of the frozen parliament, following the implementation of Rashed Ghannouchi, the leader of the Ennahda movement and the speaker of parliament, of what he had previously threatened of, in order to confront the Path Correction announced by the Tunisian president last July, which resulted in a number of decisions: the most important of which was the freezing of the parliament and lifting of immunity for representatives, and overthrowing the government of Hisham Al-Mashishi.

The forzen parliament offic headed by "Ghanonouchi inissisted - despite previous warnings from the president - to hold an online plenary session to ratify a bill that cancels all presidential derees announced since last July 25, few days after the experiation of the electronic "national consultations". so 116 representatives opposed to path correction from Ennahda movement and its allies, Heart of Tunisia, the Dignit Coalition, Long Live Tunisisa, and some independent representatives, participated in the online plenary session. As they approved "Draft Law No. 1 of 2022 related to the abolition of exceptional measures and presidential decrees issued by the Tunisian presidency since Julty 25, 2021 without any reservation or objection bieng registered. 

Some political forces that supported the July 25 decisions have tried to show clear opposition since Rashid Ghannouchi called for the plenary session, as they refused to participate in the session, considering it illegal. Frozen filed a lawsuit before the Administrative Court to demand the annulment of the virtual general session, but the lawsuit was not accepted by the court.

Some political forces that supported the July 25 decisions have tried to show clear opposition since Rashid Ghannouchi called for a meeting of the Parliament’s office to set a date for a plenary session, as they refused to participate in the session, considering it illegal. Also, Abeer Moussa, Secretary-General of the Free Constitutional Party and head of its bloc in the frozen parliament, filed a lawsuit before the Administrative Court to demand the annulment of the virtual plenary session, but the lawsuit was not accepted by the court.

This is not the first time that the frozen parliament has challenged the Tunisian presidency. In an attempt to revive Political Islam after it failed to mobilize the masses against the announced roadmap for political reform.

Expectations

1. The Tunisian official institutions will manage to contain the legitimacy crisis that the partisan forces opposing the corrective course in the country seek to provoke. Perhaps this possibility is supported by a number of indicators represented first, by the popularity of the President. Secondly, by the opposition of the General Labor Union alongside the majority of political and civil forces to go back before July 25th.

2. Political and trade union positions will continue to be against the Ennahda movement and its allies. Especially since the recent period revealed Ennahda attempts to impose more confusion and turmoil in the political scene.

3. It is unlikely that the representatives of the Ennahda Movement and the opposition will be able to exceed the limits of their current capabilities by working through virtual and digital platforms, as these various steps are aimed at drawing the attention of external public opinion in light of the decline in their popularity at home, and the difficulty of being able to penetrate the frozen parliament headquarters for fear of clashing with the Security forces.

4. It is expected that the roadmap arrangements announced by the President will continue, including holding a public referendum next July, followed by holding early legislative elections in January next year at the latest, despite the demands of partisans to bring forward the date of the legislative elections.