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Factbox: Arab Spring momentum in Middle East, North Africa
December 8, 2011 / 4:56 PM / 6 years ago

Factbox: Arab Spring momentum in Middle East, North Africa

(Reuters) - Here are the latest details of the revolts in the Middle East and North Africa and their aftermath:

SYRIA: Syrian activists have called for a nationwide strike on Sunday - a working day - as the first stage in a campaign of civil disobedience against President Bashar al-Assad.

- The United Nations has said more than 4,000 people have been killed in the nine-month crackdown, but Assad told the U.S. television channel ABC that only a “crazy” leader kills his own people and that most of those who had died were supporters of the government.

- Syria said on December 5 it had conditionally approved an Arab League peace plan. But in a letter to the League, Syria rejected foreign interference and demanded the annulment of sanctions plus reinstatement in the regional bloc, from which it was suspended last month.

- Last week, Turkey announced a list of economic sanctions on Syria, adding to the growing number of countries and bodies targeting the Assad government.

EGYPT: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood won a majority of run-off contests in the first round of parliamentary elections, consolidating its position as the clear front-runner. The results suggested that liberal voters swung behind the Brotherhood, banned under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, to prevent the ultra-conservative Salafis from building on a strong initial showing in the multi-tiered elections.

- On November 22, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the military council that has run Egypt since February 11, promised that a civilian president would be elected in June, about six months sooner than the army had planned. The military has said it will remain the ultimate authority until the election.

- In the meantime, some presidential powers were handed to new Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, whose cabinet was sworn in on December 1.

- Former President Mubarak is still on trial, accused of conspiring to kill protesters; 850 people were killed in the uprising that ended with Mubarak stepping down. Hearings are scheduled to resume on December 28.

YEMEN: U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar, who helped broker a deal to ease President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power, urged the new government on Thursday to bring stability after months of unrest that pushed the country to the brink of civil war.

- Vice-President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a decree on December 7, paving the way for a unity government to be sworn in to prepare for the presidential election set for February 21, 2012.

- Last month Saleh bowed to international pressure and signed a deal brokered by Gulf states that will ease him out of power after 33 years. But the deal has been threatened by fighting between Saleh’s allies and enemies. In Taiz, 200 km (120 miles) south of Sanaa, clashes have killed at least 20.

BAHRAIN: Washington has said a pending $53 million arms sale to Bahrain will hinge partly on the monarchy halting abuses inflicted on protesters earlier this year. A government-appointed fact-finding commission of international lawyers reported last month that 3,000 people were detained, over 4,000 lost their jobs, and hundreds were maltreated in detention.

- Troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states went into Bahrain in March to help quell the protests. The panel said 35 people were killed, including five security personnel, in the protests. It also urged a review of sentences handed down to those held responsible for the turmoil.

- There has still been little progress in talks between the government and opposition groups on political reform and the country remains tense, with daily clashes between riot police and Shi‘ite protesters.

LIBYA: Around 2,000 protesters called on December 7 for militias to leave the streets of Tripoli, in a show of support for the new government which is trying to end months of lawlessness that followed the civil war which toppled Muammar Gaddafi.

- New Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib and the city council have given militias until December 20 to leave. El-Keib named a cabinet line-up that aimed to placate Libya’s patchwork of tribes and regional interests.

- Announcing the government was the latest step in Libya’s halting progress towards building new institutions, three months after the bloodiest of the “Arab Spring” uprisings ended Gaddafi’s 42-year rule.

- Muammar Gaddafi and one of his sons, Mo‘tassim, were buried in the desert on October 25, five days after the deposed Libyan leader was captured, killed and his body put on public display.

- Gaddafi’s death allowed the NTC to declare Libya’s “liberation” on October 23 and meant an end to eight months of war.

TUNISIA: Tunisia’s constitutional assembly, elected after a revolution that inspired the Arab Spring uprisings, held its opening session on November 22.

- The Assembly, which will sit for a year to draft a new constitution, is dominated by Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party and its two coalition partners after the first democratic election last month.

- Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi offered assurances he would not impose a Muslim moral code and that he would respect women’s rights in planned changes to the constitution.

Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; editing by Mark Trevelyan

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