The Outlook for Bahrain (Chatham House, 21/12/2012)

The Chatham House Middle East and North Africa Programme is pleased to annouce the publication of a new meeting summary as part of our work on Future Trends in the Gulf States.


* One year after the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI)
presented recommendations for improving the human-rights situation in
Bahrain, significant political issues remain unaddressed and human
rights problems continue. In the absence of any serious process of
political dialogue, the population in Bahrain is increasingly
fragmented and violence is gradually escalating.
* Explosions in Manama in November, which both Bahraini and Western
authorities say killed two expatriates, have been questioned by the
opposition. Yet this polarisation of narratives has distracted from an
important point: that there is a broad social consensus that violent
attacks on civilians are unacceptable. This is a valuable asset for
Bahrain, but risks being eroded in an atmosphere of growing political
and sectarian tensions.
* Despite the social and political polarization that participants
repeatedly referred to, there remains important common ground between
Bahrain’s competing political factions, which could be explored through
an inclusive dialogue process – if the political will is there.

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