Political Drama Of Jordan’s Royal Family Is A Threat To Region’s Stability

by Shatakshi Gupta

Once again power tussle emerged in the Royal family of Jordan. King Abdullah-II has imprisoned his half-brother Prince Hamza bin Hussain in the house for an attempted coup. At the same time, the US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have come out in support of King Abdullah, keeping their interests. Jordan is a Sunni-majority country, which has very close ties with the US and Saudi Arabia.

Prince Hamza is under house arrest

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Former Crown Prince of Jordan, Hamza bin Hussein claimed that hehas been placed under house arrest. Hamza has made allegations of corruption, political incompetence and harassment in the country in a five-minute video sent to the BBC. He has also denied any involvement in any conspiracy against the government of King Abdullah.

The government accused him of conspiracy

The Jordanian government has arrested 19 people on Saturday along with the former minister and a member of the royal family, citing the security and stability of the country. Police and army allege that these people were trying to destabilize the country in collaboration with foreign security agencies. Jordan is generally considered to be the most stable country among Arab countries, but the latest developments have surprised analysts who monitor the region.

In a five-minute video shared through his lawyer, the prince under house arrest was criticizing King Abdullah, said, “the head of the Jordanian armed forces met me this morning. In which he informed me that I was not allowed to go out of the house and interact with people.  Because the meetings I attended or what I wrote on social media criticized the government or the king.”

Who is Prince Hamza bin Hussain?

Prince Hamza bin Hussein is the eldest son of Queen Noor, the fourth wife of the former King of Jordan. Queen Noor was an American citizen. Prince Hamza is considered the most favourite child of King Hussein. The King publicly called Prince Hamza a comfort to his eyes. Prince Hamza has studied at the Royal Military Academy in Britain and Harvard in the United States. He has also served in the Jordanian army for a considerable time. Hamza was given the title of Crown Prince of Jordan in the year 1999. Hamza was separated after the death of King Hussein.

After the death of King Hussein in 1999, Prince Hamza came to be seen as the King of Jordan.  However, he did not become king citing his lesserexperience than the current King Abdullah, despite being the first choice of the public and former king. The incident had escalated tensions between King Abdullah and Crown Prince Hamza.

Crown Prince title was taken away from him in 2004

In 2004, King Abdullah suddenly took away the title of Crown Prince from Prince Hamza bin Hussain and gave it to his son. This caused the biggest blow to the then Queen Noor who wanted to see Prince Hamza as the next king of the country. Hamza is still a very popular leader in Jordan.

US-Saudi backs King Abdullah

The US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, among Jordan’s traditional allies, have openly announced their support for King Abdullah. Most Sunni-dominated countries, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, have alliances against Shia-dominated Iran for many years. Jordan also has a strong relationship with the US, during the Iraq War and in the operation against the Islamic State, Jordan has openly helped the US. US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that King Abdullah is an important US ally and he has our full support.