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Bahrain on the road to recovery says expert

Manama, August 6, 2012

Bahrain is back on track following the unrest, but should ensure last year's events are not repeated, according to a leading security expert.

The "coast is clear and tensions have subsided", said Central European Journal of International and Security Studies (CEJISS) editor-in-chief and Prague-based Metropolitan University Department of International Relations and European Studies founder and head Dr Mitchell A Belfer.

The majority of people have become tired of political bickering and street violence, and are working towards national reconciliation.

"People have mostly agreed to get back to business; that is, the business of national dialogue and reconciliation," he explained in his latest report, Tongue-in-Cheek: Front Line Bahrain, which was published by CEJISS.

"Instead of the false battlefield images and contrary to the fear-mongering of a few over-zealous sociopaths, I bear witness to a Bahrain fully on the road to national recovery with the events of the past year and a half chalked up as an important history lesson - a lesson that each and every responsible citizen is keen to learn from so that past mistakes are not repeated,” he said.

He said that rioters are waging a "losing" battle as the country slowly gears towards dialogue and reconciliation.

It comes as the public has started to sideline political bickering, burning tyres, imprisonments, criticisms, negative police response and a wave of protests and seems to have moved on.

In his report, Dr Belfer says the country could be on the path of dialogue as efforts are underway to resolve the political situation.

"It seems that people have grown weary of the near-endless political bickering, the cat-and-mouse game of fireball tyres terrorising residents, 12cm high 'barricades, police responses, arrests, imprisonments, demonstrations and tidal waves of denunciations," he said in the tri-annual publication.

However, he warned that some might work towards hindering the process of reconciliation by spreading false accusations.

"Certainly, there will be those that attempt to shatter the prevailing calm with outrageous claims, counterclaims and actions," he stressed.

"But the feeling on the streets of Manama is that they are waging a losing battle and must also assume their responsibilities to dialogue and debate and not return the country to a state of fear."

Dr Belfer said that Bahrain continues to face a complex set of problems, which the majority of the population believe should be resolved through political channels.

The report was published following his visit to Bahrain last month, where he met government representatives including Minister of State for Follow-Up Affairs Mohammed Al Mutawa to discuss the situation in the country and co-operation in research and studies.

He said the country was back on track following the unrest, but should ensure last year's events are not repeated.

"This is not to say that the country has now entered a period of prolonged, unimpeded harmony, that acrimony has vanished and that outsiders have abandoned ship."

Dr Belfer also hoped the government would take advantage of the month of Ramadan coinciding with sending its citizens to the London Olympics as a step towards "national healing".

"With the double celebrations of peace, Ramadan and the Olympics in full swing, now is precisely the time for national healing in Bahrain and the next time 'war' is declared, let us all hope that no one turns up!" he said.

On March 3, our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News, reported that Dr Belfer slammed international media for their coverage of Bahrain and said that violent demonstrations hijacked real democratic reforms. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Manama | unrest | rioters |

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