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Reuters and regional press are reporting that two more countries in the Middle East and North Africa--Kuwait and Djibouti--have been hit by large protests, as well as Syria, where only a small flurry of dissent had been seen during the current wave of demonstrations.
Djibouti, which gained independence from France in 1977, is located on the Horn of Africa, surrounded by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. It also lies across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen, where anti-government rallies have raged for days.
Protesters have called for President Ismail Omar Guelleh -- whose family has ruled the country since its independence from France in 1977 -- to step down ahead of the elections scheduled in April. On Friday, protesters marched to the main stadium in the city-state. Guelleh has held the post since 1999 and is seeking a third term.
Djibouti's strategic importance to the United States is substantial. It's home to Camp Lemonnier, the only U.S. military base on the continent. The 88-acre former French military barracks is used as a staging ground for U.S. counterterrorism efforts including, reportedly, CIA drone attacks on al Qaeda terrorists.
At least one anti-government protester was reported killed Saturday in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, as a wave of political protests gains momentum across the Middle East and North Africa.
It is not clear whether security forces or pro-government supporters caused the death. Security forces monitored the situation while people in civilian clothes threw stones at the demonstrators, who have been demanding for more than a week for the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
In Bahrain, police have fired tear gas on protesters in Pearl Square in the nation's capital, Manama, shortly after soldiers moved military vehicles out of the square. The move came after a call by the main opposition group for the military to leave the streets before any consideration would be given for opposition participation in a national dialogue on the conflict.
In Libya, Human Rights Watch says at least 84 people have been killed in violence on anti-government protesters, based on reports from hospital workers and witnesses. The group says security forces killed at least 35 protesters in the city of Benghazi Friday.
Protests turned violent in Jordan as well Friday, as government supporters clashed with demonstrators calling for political reform. There are reports that at least eight people were injured when pro-government forces attacked the demonstrators with batons.
In Iran Friday, thousands of pro-government demonstrators called for the execution of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. The call came ahead of a small pro-government rally. Opposition websites have made calls for nationwide rallies Sunday to show support for Mousavi and Karroubi and to mourn the deaths of two people who died in anti-government protests in recent days.
In Egypt, the ruling military said it would not allow strikes and protests to weaken the country's economy. Tens of thousands of people packed Cairo's Tahrir Square Friday for a day of celebration marking one week since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
(Reuters) - The Arab League said on Saturday it was important that a March summit goes ahead in Baghdad due to what it described as "the grave, fateful developments" in the Arab world.
Libya, which holds the rotating presidency of the Arab leaders' summit, said this week that the Baghdad meeting would be postponed because of the situation in the region, where protests are challenging leaders from Bahrain to Algeria.
The presidents of Egypt and Tunisia have been toppled by mass protests this year.
Opposition groups in Djibouti, the Horn of Africa nation that hosts the only U.S. military base on the continent, plan to hold more anti-government protests after a demonstration last week ended in violence.
Opponents of President Ismail Guelleh will meet over the next two days to discuss a new date for the next protest, Mohamed Daoud Chehem, head of the Djibouti Party for Development said by phone from the capital city today.
“We will have another protest for sure,” he said.
At least four demonstrators died and 50 were injured in a protest on Feb. 18 that led to clashes with police, according to the opposition National Democratic Party. Government reports say one demonstrator and one police officer have been killed.
So-called Bidun are denied share of oil wealth and accused of freeloading
Emboldened by popular uprisings across the Arab world, Kuwaiti residents long denied citizenship took to the streets over the weekend demanding their civil rights. But harsh police treatment sent dozens of them to prison and hospital.
Known as Bidun, more than 1,000 of them clashed with security forces in the province of Al-Jahra, 30 miles west of the capital Kuwait City on Friday. Human Rights Watch reported that 120 demonstrators were arrested and approximately 30 others requiring medical treatment. On Saturday hundreds returned to the streets in Sulaibiya, north of the capital, demanding the release of the detainees in Friday's demonstrations, which the government termed illegal.
A human rights group has urged the Kuwaiti government to release scores of stateless Arabs, known as Bidoons, arrested during two days of demonstrations in the oil-rich country.
Hundreds of Bidoon protesters staged another protest rally in Kuwait on Saturday to demand basic social rights and citizenship in the littoral Persian Gulf country but faced tough reaction by security forces. Riot police opened fire on protesters in Sulaibiya, a village outside Kuwait City, and wounded a number of demonstrators AFP reported.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) says as many as 120 protesters were detained at a Friday rally as Kuwaiti Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Homud al-Sabah put the number at 42.
Originally posted by Agent_USA_Supporter
speaking of which whatever happened to the greece riots?
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Thousands of people marched in cities across Morocco on Sunday, demanding a new constitution to bring more democracy in the North African kingdom amid the wave of Arab world upheaval.
Demonstrators shouted slogans calling for economic opportunity, educational reform, better health services and help in coping with rising living costs during a march on central Hassan II Avenue in the capital, Rabat.
The G8 Map of Washington’s Greater Middle East extends right to the borders of China and Russia and West to Morocco
As real as the factors are that are driving millions into the streets across North Africa and the Middle East, what cannot be ignored is the fact that Washington is deciding the timing and as they see it, trying to shape the ultimate outcome of comprehensive regime change destabilizations across the Islamic world. The day of the remarkably well-coordinated popular demonstrations demanding Mubarak step down, key members of the Egyptian military command including Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan were all in Washington as guests of the Pentagon. That conveniently neutralized the decisive force of the Army to stop the anti-Mubarak protests from growing in the critical early days.
The strategy had been in various State Department and Pentagon files since at least a decade or longer. After George W. Bush declared a War on Terror in 2001 it was called the Greater Middle East Project. Today it is known as the less threatening-sounding “New Middle East” project. It is a strategy to break open the states of the region from Morocco to Afghanistan, the region defined by David Rockefeller's friend Samuel Huntington in his infamous Clash of Civilizations essay in Foreign Affairs.
AMMAN, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- King Abdullah II of Jordan called on Sunday for "real and quick reforms," pledging not to allow anybody to spread division or harm the country's stability amidst pro- reform protests, state-run Petra news agency reported.
The Jordanian leader pledged to root out corruption and called for a comprehensive dialogue and more involvement of citizens in the decision-making process, Petra said.
"I am waiting for government to come up with recommendations on a mechanism for comprehensive national dialogue to tackle necessary steps to achieve political reforms, at the top of which is studying and updating all legislation governing political and civic work, namely the election law,"
“My father, who was born in Kuwait in 1952, was never granted citizenship even though he worked for the Ministry of Interior,” Al-Shamari stated. “I have no document proving that my three children, born in 2005, 2006 and 2010 are mine.”
Abdallah Al-Shaiji, head of the political science department at Kuwait University, said a comprehensive solution had to be found for the Bedouin. He argued that some Bedouin have Kuwaiti mothers and therefore merit naturalization. But others, comprising the vast majority, do not and should be repatriated to their countries of origin.