As this issue goes to print, the so-called Arab Spring continues to reverberate locally, regionally and geopolitically. It started in early 2011 and spread across North Africa, with well-documented consequences far further afield in Africa and Europe. The conflict in Libya in particular confronted aid and protection actors with complex situations where people were moving for diverse reasons and facing distinct needs.
This issue of FMR reflects on some of the experiences, challenges and lessons of the Arab Spring in North Africa, the implications of which resonate far wider than the region itself.
We would like to thank IOM, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and UNHCR’s Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa for generously supporting this issue of FMR. We would also like to thank Khalid Koser, Frank Laczko, Angela Sherwood and Peter Van der Auweraert, our special advisors on this issue, for their invaluable assistance.
Alongside this issue we are also publishing an updated version of our 2008 FMR supplement on ‘Islam, human rights and displacement’.
With our best wishes
Marion Couldrey and Maurice Herson
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