Modern-Day Insurrections and Revolutions You Need To Know About


As long as there has been tyrannical leadership, there have been people looking to overthrow such oppressive authority and establish something new. These conflicts are sometimes called civil wars, revolutions, or insurgencies; what word is used depends greatly on the outcome of the fight and who is doing the fighting. All of them, however, deal with members of the same country or nation-state rising against one another.

Think of the American Revolution or Civil War. The battles often pitted brother against brother. This isn’t a thing of the past but a reality of the present for many people. These sorts of clashes arise all the time, and many people suffer because of them. Here are two modern-day conflicts you should know about.

2011 Egyptian Revolution

Early in 2011, swaths of Egyptians from every walk of life rose up to speak out against President Mubarak’s government and call for his removal from office. By February, a transfer of power occurred, and the protestors had won. However, this led to countrywide instability and the Muslim Brotherhood taking power through President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president. After a year under his rule, a military coup ousted Morsi. Thousands of pro-Morsi Egyptians filled the streets to protest the coup and were attacked for their efforts.

Mohamed Soltan, a citizen reporter of the ongoing turmoil and an American citizen, was not only shot but also illegally detained for almost two years. In August of 2013, there was a deadly dispersal of peaceful sit-ins in two of Egypt’s main squares where, according to Human Rights Watch, the dead numbered 904 and possibly more in this crime against humanity.

2011 Yemeni Revolution

At virtually the same time as the Egyptian revolution, unrest that had been building in fellow Arab nation Yemen was coming to a head. Protesters spoke out against government corruption and poor economic conditions and called for the removal of President Saleh from power. By May, Saleh had agreed to and reneged on a deal to transfer power three times which led directly to shelling and heavy street fighting in and around the presidential compound, injuring Saleh and many others. The crowds rejoiced as Saleh was evacuated to Saudi Arabia, and a transfer of power appeared to be nigh.

Groups of pro-power transition and Saleh loyalists fought endlessly for several months before Saleh finally signed over power in January 2012. This did not stop the unrest but opened the door for the 2014 coup, led by the Houthi movement, which has arguably resulted in more bloodshed, a greater lack of stability, and a bigger humanitarian crisis than the previous revolution.

Both of these power struggles have led to the thwarting of the rule of law and some of the greatest human rights violations of the century. People are dying to be heard. However, if a voice flies in the face of the party line, it is disappeared from existence. Journalists, lawyers, activists, and political opponents are imprisoned unlawfully, and some are even subjected to summary executions. An attack on the basic human rights of any one person is an attack on the humanity of everyone.