University

International consultant to discuss issues on revolutions in Northern Africa, Middle East

Gérard Prunier does not have a message to give Monday evening on the current crisis in North Africa and the Middle East.

Prunier, an international consultant on Central and Eastern African affairs, said he plans on delving into a deeper explanation of the crises that have been unfolding and how these revolutions relate to America at 7 p.m. in Central Michigan University’s Plachta Auditorium.

“We’re living through a period of extraordinary historical transformation for the past two months,” Prunier said. “It is the biggest thing that happened since the fall of Communism and it is far from being over. So I don’t have any message. I’m going to try to explain why this is happening and what are the modalities according to which it happens.”

Sarah Jean Buckley, the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences coordinator of marketing and events, said she hopes students can come and learn about this timely topic.

“We’re really hoping to get a good turnout for this event because (Prunier) is a great speaker to have on campus,” she said.

Buckley also said it is not often that universities have an expert on a topic that is currently being featured in the news.

Prunier said his message deals specifically with how places like Libya and Egypt affect the U.S.

“They are not exactly lost somewhere in the jungle, they are in a key segment of this world and their transformation matters,” he said. “If you don’t care it is going to take care of you.”

Prunier decided to come to CMU when Sterling Johnson, professor of political science, invited him to come.

“He came to my attention years ago when I was taking a course on African politics and we were looking at the Rwandan genocide,” Johnson said. “I sought him out and went to Washington D.C., and personally invited him to CMU … because I think he is doing some of the cutting edge research and writing negotiating and peacemaking.”

Johnson also said Prunier is a very valuable world citizen, and he has one of the most interesting and current analysis of what is happening across northern Africa and the Middle East.

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