Jordanian safety forces have warned King Abdullah’s half-brother to cease “actions” used to focus on the nation’s safety and stability as divisions throughout the western ally’s royal household have been dramatically thrust into the open.
Main Gen Yousef Huneiti, Jordan’s military chief, mentioned the warning to Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, who was crown prince earlier than being dismissed in 2004, was “a part of joint complete investigations undertaken by safety businesses,” based on Petra, the state information company.
He denied a report that the previous crown prince had been detained. However Prince Hamzah launched a video, seen by the FT, through which he claimed he was below home arrest, whereas additionally launching a stinging assault in opposition to the ruling system, accusing it of corruption, nepotism and misrule.
Prince Hamzah mentioned the results of the federal government’s failings have been the “lack of hope that’s obvious in just about each Jordanian; the lack of hope in our future, the lack of dignity and a life below fixed risk”.
An unknown variety of different folks have been arrested as a part of the safety forces investigation, together with Bassem Awadallah, a former finance minister and chief of employees to King Abdullah, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a distant member of the royal household, Petra mentioned.
Awadallah has in recent times been an adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Prince Hamzah mentioned he was visited by the military chief and advised he was not allowed to go away his home or talk with folks as a result of there had been criticism of the federal government or King Abdullah at conferences at which Prince Hamzah had been current, or on social media regarding visits he had made.
He mentioned he was not accused of creating the criticisms, however added that various folks he knew, together with pals, had been arrested. He mentioned his web and telephone traces had been lower.
Prince Hamzah mentioned he made the recording to make it clear that he was not a part of any “conspiracy or nefarious organisation or overseas backed group”.
“What you see and listen to by way of the official line is just not a mirrored image of the realities on the bottom,” he mentioned. “I’m not the particular person accountable for the breakdown in governance, for the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing construction for the final 15 to twenty years, and has been getting worse by the yr.”
The extraordinary occasions will elevate considerations in regards to the stability of Jordan, lengthy considered an essential western companion bordering Israel, Iraq and Jordan. King Abdullah, who’s feted in Washington and London, can also be seen as an essential voice of moderation within the Center East.
However the disaster within the ruling household has erupted as Jordan faces rising financial and social pressures, which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gen Huneiti mentioned “nobody is above the regulation and that Jordan’s safety and stability take priority over any consideration.” He mentioned the investigations have been persevering with.
Shortly after the arrests have been introduced, the Saudi royal court launched a press release saying it affirmed its full assist to the “selections” and “measures” taken by King Abdullah to “preserve safety and stability”.
Different governments within the area issued related statements backing the Jordanian monarch.
A spokesman for the US division of state mentioned the US was carefully following the reviews and in contact with Jordanian officers.
“King Abdullah is a key companion of the US, and he has our full assist,” the spokesman mentioned.
Jordan has lengthy relied on monetary assist from western and Gulf states and it’s grappling with declining revenues and money owed which have soared to about 100 per cent of gross home challenge.
Unemployment soared above 20 per cent final yr as tourism, a key supply of overseas forex earnings and jobs, and remittances have been battered by the coronavirus outbreak.
Final month, there have been reviews that various sufferers died after a state hospital ran out of oxygen, inflicting the Jordanian health minister to resign.
In his video, Prince Hamzah mentioned the nation had been “stymied in corruption, in nepotism and in misrule”.
Extra reporting by Katrina Manson in Washington