Jordanian military sends a message of security and claims to be able to deal with any threat

Amid Jordan's unstable climate, the army affirms ability to maintain control
File photo, King Abdullah II, the supreme commander of the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army, attending a tactical exercise conducted by the 60th Royal Armoured Brigade Prince El Hassan bin Talal at a base in Zarqa, east of Amman.

AFP PHOTO/JORDANIAN ROYAL PALACE/YOUSEF ALLAN  -   File photo, King Abdullah II, the supreme commander of the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army, attending a tactical exercise conducted by the 60th Royal Armoured Brigade Prince El Hassan bin Talal at a base in Zarqa, east of Amman

Jordan is not living its most peaceful days after the arrest of former Crown Prince Hamza bin Hussein for conspiracies against King Abdullah. According to Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi, "the investigations have detected interferences and communications, including some with foreign entities, on the ideal timing for taking steps towards destabilizing Jordan's security" . The former crown prince is now under house arrest and Sharif Hasan bin Zaid, a royal, and Bassem Awadallah, former head of the royal household, former advisor to the monarch and former finance minister, have been detained and interrogated. And that is not all. There are at least 20 other suspects who have not yet been identified. 

Prince Hamza has said that he will remain under house arrest, but that he will do so on a temporary basis, as he claims "I'm not going to obey when they say you can't go out, you can't tweet, you can't communicate with people [and] you're only allowed to see your family", he said in an audio broadcast on Twitter. However, the army is calm and confident in its ability to deal with whatever may happen in the coming days. Major General Yusef al-Hunaiti, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "the Jordanian armed forces and security agencies have the capacity, competence and professionalism to enable them to deal with any developments in the local and regional arenas at various levels.”

Hamza's version is far from what is being explained by both the Jordanian government and the army itself. He claims that the head of the army came to his house to threaten him and that he has recordings to prove it, which are already in the possession of some family members and friends outside Jordan's borders. Furthermore, he says that this is a persecution by the government for being close to anti-government currents, not for any kind of conspiracy against his half-brother:  “I am not responsible for the collapse of governance, corruption and incompetence that has prevailed in our governance structure for the past 15 to 20 years and that has been getting worse. I am not responsible for the lack of faith that people have in their institutions,” he said in a video broadcast by the BBC. 

The prince's version does not seem to be the most credible, or at least that is what the vast majority of countries have said. Russia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United States and even the European Union have been quick to show their full support for King Abdullah II. Suspicions about the country that may be behind the aid to Hamza bin Hussein are far from clear and international society has quickly come out en bloc to side with the Jordanian government, trying to avoid being linked to the former crown prince's conspiracy. 

El príncipe jordano Hamzah Bin al-Hussein. Un antiguo ayudante de la realeza jordana fue uno de los varios sospechosos detenidos el 3 de abril de 2021, cuando el Ejército advirtió al príncipe Hamzah bin Hussein, hermanastro del rey Abdalá II, que no debía perjudicar la seguridad del país
AFP/KHALIL MAZRAAWI - Jordanian Prince Hamzah Bin al-Hussein. A former Jordanian royal aide was one of several suspects arrested on 3 April 2021, when the army warned Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, half-brother of King Abdullah II, not to harm the country's security.

Jordanian society does not fear too much for the resolution of the whole controversy surrounding the prince's house arrest. The government newspaper Al-Rai says that "Jordanians are in no hurry to get the results of the investigation. What is important is that their country avoided a chapter of unrest with the sophistication of the Jordanian leadership and security services, and taught traitors in Jordan a lesson through which they can identify the red line they cannot approach". 

What they are also well aware of is that the arrest of certain individuals who were part of the alleged conspiracy, as well as the identification of others, is not the end of the problem facing Jordan. All these events are only the beginning of a deep crisis that still has a long way to go. Ahmed Awad, director of the Phoenix Centre for Economic and Informatics Studies, believes that what is "required of all state structures is to first prioritise the implementation of the constitution and, second, to carry out reforms to state administration policies". However, the Jordanian government has never lost sight of the possible foreign actors that could be helping Hamza bin Hussein, and it is clear that they will not cease in their intentions.