Recap of developments in Middle East, North Africa

CAIRO- Latest developments in the unrest sweeping the Middle East and North Africa in the past 24 hours.
LIBYA: Libyan rebel fighters beat a retreat from positions near the oil town of Ras Lanuf under air strikes and shellfire Saturday, as Moamer Kadhafi's loyalist forces forged forward.
- Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam told Italian newspapers published Saturday the army had regained control over "90 percent of the country" and would totally defeat rebels.

- The Arab League came out in support of plans to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and contact with anti-Kadhafi rebels, diplomats said at crisis talks in the Egyptian capital.
- The African Union said that the presidents of South Africa, Mauritania, Congo, Mali and Uganda had been asked to form a high-level committee to help resolve the conflict in Libya.
- Germany's foreign minister said military intervention in Libya might be seen as a Western crusade, as EU states mulled imposing a possible no-fly zone.
- France insisted it was "very clear" on the need for a UN mandate to authorise a no-fly zone in Libya.
- The effectiveness of sanctions against Kadhafi's regime need to be evaluated before further ones are agreed, the EU's foreign policy chief said.
- US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the US military and other allies can impose a no-fly zone on Libya but questioned if it was "wise" to do so.
YEMEN: Three protesters including a 12-year-old schoolboy were killed in fresh bloodshed in Yemen as clashes between police and anti-regime demonstrators raged across the country.
TUNISIA: Two of ousted Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's top lieutenants and a former president of parliament have been arrested and are being held in military detention, judicial sources said.
ALGERIA: Police in Algeria launched a massive security operation to head off marchers calling for an immediate end to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's regime.
JORDAN: Thousands of Jordanians rallied on Saturday in support of King Abdullah II in response to an appeal on website Facebook to do so.
BAHRAIN: Bahraini police fired tear gas Friday at anti-regime protesters after blocking them from marching toward armed regime loyalists, as the US defence secretary began a visit to encourage leaders to embrace reform.
IRAQ: Hundreds of Iraqi protesters demanded jobs and better basic services on Friday, in the latest challenge to the government as a wave of popular uprisings sweeps across the Arab world.
SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia launched a massive security operation Friday in a menacing show of force to deter protesters from a planned "Day of Rage" to press for democratic reform in the conservative kingdom.
- Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Friday called the protests in the oil giant a "tempest in a teacup," saying instead of it being a "day of rage" people were demonstrating their love for the king.
EGYPT: Hundreds of Egyptians holding up crosses and Korans massed in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to protest against sectarianism, following religious clashes that left at least 13 people dead.
- Egypt's public prosecutor on Friday ordered the detention of four senior interior ministry officials for shooting protesters during anti-regime rallies that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak.
KUWAIT: Kuwait's Human Rights Association called on the government Saturday to free people arrested during a crackdown on a protest by statless Arabs demanding citizenship and other rights.
SYRIA: Syrian security forces have seized weapons smuggled into the country from neighbouring Iraq aimed at "sowing trouble" in the country, the official SANA news agency reported on Friday.

Sunday, March 13th 2011

New comment:

Opinion | Comment