Social protests: Syria, Colombia and Nagorno-Karabakh
Is a revolution just beginning in Syria, a country which has been plunged into civil war since 2011? The largest anti-government protests in years have been taking place there for several weeks. In Sweida province in the south of the country, roads to the capital, Damascus, were blocked, and government offices were closed. According to some experts, all minorities in Syria are currently opposed to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and “the economy has completely collapsed, to such an extent that there will be either a revolution or mass famine.” According to the UN, almost 90% of Syrians live below the poverty line.
Since December 2022, Azeri protesters have blocked the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. The protest is intended to draw attention to the alleged illegal extraction of natural resources in Nagorno-Karabakh. The protest stops the free flow of people and goods, including food, fuel and medical supplies, to and from this Armenian enclave. According to the UN, the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, approximately 120,000 ethnic Armenians, faces “serious shortages of food, medicines and hygiene products. The situation affects the functioning of medical and educational institutions and exposes the lives of residents […] to significant risk.”
Thousands of demonstrators in cars and on motorcycles took to the streets of Colombia’s main cities to protest recent increases in gasoline prices due to cuts in government fuel subsidies. According to Colombians, the increases make it difficult for small businesses to operate and may result in higher food prices. The government of President Gustavo Petro claims that the subsidies cost the state budget approximately $11 billion annually.