Monday, December 19, 2011

Tunsians Celebrate Arab Spring Anniversary

Tunisians celebrate Arab Spring Anniversary
(Dp-news - Sana)

TUNISIA- It started with a death in Tunisia, spreading to Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Syria. But one year on, the youth revolt has gone truly global. It could have easily been overlooked. It was not the first time a young, frustrated Arab had taken desperate action to draw attention to the plight of the marginalised millions. But on this occasion, the news of a suicide went viral.

A year to the day since Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in a Tunisian town kicked off a year of revolt, the convulsions have spread further than could ever have been imagined: in the depths of a Russian winter, activists are planning their next howl of protest at the Kremlin; in a north American city, a nylon tent stands against a bitter wind; in a Syrian nightmare, a soldier contemplates defection.

Sidi Bouzid is celebrating the first anniversary of the Tunisian uprisings, starting on December 16th, 2011 and continuing until December 19th, 2011. Sidi Bouzid is a southwestern Tunisian town that served as the birthplace of the uprisings that shook the country last winter. The uprisings acted as the first spark in the Arab world to rise up against dictatorship and corruption, ushering in a new chapter in the history of the region.

The committee organizing the first “International Festival of the Revolution of December 17th” held a press conference at the Ibn Rachik Culture Center in Tunis to shed light on the festival’s program. The festival’s aim is to commemorate the outbreak of the Tunisian Revolution in Sidi Bouzid.

Mohamed Jellali, a member of the committe, stressed that the success of the January 14th, 2011 revolution was an outcome of what happened on December 17th, 2010 – when Mohamed Bouazizi, in an act of desperation, set himself ablaze.

The organization of the festival is part of a rehabilitation program of the governorate of Sidi Bouzid – honoring the crucial the role it played in the outbreak of the uprising.

The festival will kick off on December 16th, 2011 with a photographic exhibition of portraits of martyrs and those wounded. The official opening of the festival will take place on December 17th, 2011, and will be marked with the unveiling of a portrait of Mohamed Bouazizi, a memorial of the uprisings.

The festival’s program includes entertainment shows to be performed on Sidi Bouzid’s main street, conferences, poem recitations from famous Arab poets, and large screen projections of films depicting the revolts.

Tunisian director Mohamed Zran’s movie, “The People Want: D├ęgage (Get out),” will be among the movies screened. Other highlights include a soccer game for 12-13 year olds, a marathon, an operetta performance, and a performance by the Spanish artist Manu Chao. Famous personalities that will attend the festival include 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karaman from Yemen and Palestinian poet Tamim Barghouthi.

An international conference entitled “The Tunisian Revolution: Building for the Right to Democracy and Revolution” will take place as part of the festival as well. The festival will close with a big gala.

Interim President Moncef Marzouki, Head of Constituent Assembly Mustapha Ben Jaafar, and Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali are attending the event while promoting a conference on regional development being held the same day.

The 26-year-old high school dropout, who had worked as a fruit vendor since he was 10 to support his mother, uncle and five brothers and sisters, Mohamed Bouazizi has become a national hero and the father of a regional revolution.

Every day, he would push his cart through the hot, dusty streets, struggling to earn just five dinars ($3) a day.

But on Dec. 17 last year, Mohamed Bouazizi had a run-in with the police when Feyda Hamdi, a municipal inspector, confiscated his unlicensed cart, vegetables and a prized electronic scale.

After allegedly accepting a 10-dinar ($7) “fine” from Mr. Bouazizi, she slapped him, spat in his face and insulted his dead father.

Humiliated, angry and dejected, Mr. Bouazizi went to provincial headquarters in Sidi Bouzid, hoping to get his vegetables and scale back and to complain to local officials. But they refused to see him and had police send him away.

Within an hour, the distraught vegetable vendor returned to the elegant white-washed building, shouted out against the injustices and poured two bottles of paint thinner over his body. Then he set himself on fire.

The flames ignited a year of chaos and change in the Middle East as they unleashed waves of anger against the Arab world’s poverty, unemployment and repression.

Overnight, Mr. Bouazizi’s gruesome suicide bid became a symbol of the humiliations to which the Arab world’s authoritarian states subjected their citizens.

A day after his self-immolation, hundreds of youths smashed shop windows and damaged cars in Sidi Bouzid. Film footage of the rampage was posted on Facebook and went viral as millions of Tunisians and other Arabs witnessed the rare rebellion.

When the government rushed extra security forces to Sidi Bouzid to try and crush the unrest, the rioting grew more intense and spread to nearby towns.

Within three days of Mohamed Bouazizi’s attempted suicide, as he lay dying in a Tunis hospital, the street protests had reached the capital and 1,000 workers clashed with police outside the offices of the General Union of Tunisian Workers.

Quietly, a lifetime of old power structures -- political, social, and ideological -- have been dissolved and the certainties of one generation have been replaced by the messy unpredictability of another. Today the furniture of the new sits deliberately beside the supposed certainties of the old. Handmade barricades are bolted to public squares, plastic tents pitched beside stone cathedrals and the solid steel of a New York bank is harassed by pop-up armies of retweeters.

It began as a Mediterranean revolt spreading on both sides of the sea -- from Tunisia through Egypt and Libya and beyond, and from Greece and Spain upwards into Europe. In a million different and fragmented ways, scenes of protest were the narrative backbone to 2011 played out again and again in cities as far afield as Santiago, Stockholm and Seoul.

Islamist-led Tunisia installs Secularist Dissident as President
(DP-News - agencies)

TUNISIA- Tunisia has installed as its new president a former dissident who was imprisoned and then exiled for opposing former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, a new landmark in the country’s post-revolutionary transition to democracy.

Rights activist and former opposition leader Moncef Marzouki became Tunisia's first elected president since the revolution.

Members of the constitutional assembly, Tunisia’s interim parliament, voted on to elect Moncef Marzouki as president, the second most powerful role after the prime minister.
The national anthem played in the assembly as supporters shouted "Loyalty to the Martyrs of the Revolution" after the vote was held.

"I am proud to carry the most precious of responsibilities, that of being the guarantor of the people, the state and the revolution," said the 66-year-old Marzouki on Monday, wearing his trademark oversize glasses and his usual grey suit with white shirt and no tie.

“I promise the Tunisian people that I will work for the country with all my strength,” Marzouki said after the vote. “I represent a country, a people, a revolution. Long live Tunisia.”

“I say to those members who gave me their votes, thank you for your trust, and for those who did not vote for me, your message has been received ... I know that you are going to hold me to account,” Marzouki said.

Addressing the opposition, Marzouki said: "I have received your message that you will be keeping an eye on me."

Marzouki was elected with 153 votes in the 217-member constituent assembly, with three of the 202 deputies present voting against, two abstaining and 44 opposition members casting blank ballots.

Marzouki will serve for a year until the constitution is re-written and new elections are held. Marzouki's first order of business will be to name the prime minister, with Hamadi Jebali, the number two of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, expected to get the nod.

About 40 opposition members of the assembly cast blank ballots in protest at a vote they said was a charade to mask the fact that real power was now held by the Islamists.
“This was a piece of theatre,” said Najib Chebbi, head of the PDP party. “We are disappointed in Mr Marzouki that he has accepted a presidency which is just democratic window-dressing without any real functions.”

Secularist politicians say the Islamists will undermine Tunisia’s liberal values and impose a strict moral code. Ennahda denies it has any such intentions, saying instead it will follow the moderate example of the Islamists who rule Turkey.

Among those who voted against Marzouki was Samir Betaieb of the left-wing Democratic Modernist Coalition.

"This election took place on the basis of an unbalanced text that gives a lot of power to a designated head of government at the expense of an elected president," he said.

Markouzi to sworn in on Tuesday at the presidential palace in Carthage, 11 months after the ouster of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali sparked the Arab Spring that also saw long-time dictators toppled in Egypt and Libya.

"I have the great honour of becoming the first president of the first free republic of the Arab world," the French-trained doctor said.

The North African country's new president was Ben Ali's bete noire throughout his political career and was forced to live in exile in France for a decade.

Marzouki, 66, is respected by many Tunisians for his implacable opposition to the autocratic Ben Ali. As president, he will be a secularist counterweight to the moderate Islamist party which is now Tunisia’s dominant political force.

Marzouki, who headed the Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LTDH) from 1989 until Ben Ali supporters forced him out in 1994, has a deep-seated passion for human rights.

An admirer of India's independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, he travelled to that country as well as South Africa after its transition from apartheid to democracy.

Marzouki, a father of three, is divorced from his French wife. A prolific writer, he has penned several books in French and Arabic including one titled "Dictators on Watch: A Democratic Path for the Arab World."

Tunisia became the birth-place of the “Arab Spring” uprisings in January when protests forced Ben Ali, in power for more than 23 years, to flee to Saudi Arabia.

That inspired revolutions in Egypt and Libya, as well as unrest in other Middle Eastern states.

The Role of Media at the Arab Spring, From Facebook to Sky News
(DP-News - huffingtonpost )

The role of social media networks including Twitter and Facebook has been debated endlessly online and in the press ever since the Arab Spring uprisings began.

Some have passionately argued that the new and more open communication afforded by these networks has been a vital organising tool.

Right at the start of the Tunisian uprising in December 2010, for instance, the self-immolation of Sidi Bouzid was not reported by the restrictive national media - but on Facebook the news quickly got out.

More than 100 pages on the incident were created - and blocked. Arrests and further shut-downs followed. The libertarian hacking collective Anonymous attached government websites in an operation known as Operation Tunisia in response and once Ben Ali fled the blogger Slim Amamou was appointed secretary of state for youth and sport.

Others have said that at best social media has been an additional weapon for protesters whose concerns are entirely separate to developments in the media.

For journalists, at least, social media tools have proved an important way of speaking to protesters with relative assurance that the security of protesters will not be compromised.

The Huffington Post UK has conducted several interviews with people inside Syria via Skype, for instance. These interviews, usually facilitated by activist networks, have provided important insights to a region that otherwise would be largely inaccessible to foreign media.

Global and local activist networks including Avaaz have also made use of social media in more targeted ways, for instance developing networks of so-called 'citizen journalists' whose work in getting out YouTube videos and accounts of torture and violence have been vital.

Mainstream media networks have also produced some exceptional journalism across the region. We spoke to the team behind a Channel 4 Unreported World documentary recorded secretly inside Syria, for instance, which made an important impact in the UK.

Arab Spring Timeline
(DP-News - huffingtonpost )
The Arab Spring Timeline from 17 December 2010 to 17 December 2011

(17) Tunisia - jobless graduate Mohamed Bouazizi starts selling vegetables without a permit. When police seize his cart he sets fire to himself and later dies. The act, following Wikileaks publication of US criticism of the regime, provokes young Tunisians to protest.
(29) Tunisia - after 10 days of protests, President Ben Ali appears on television promising action on job creation. He declares the law will be very firm on protesters.
(09) Tunisia - 11 people die in clashes with security forces. Protesters set fire to cars in several Tunisian cities; security forces respond violently.
(14) Tunisia - Ben Ali finally bows to the protests and flees to Saudi Arabia by way of Malta.
(14) Libya - Gaddafi condemns the Tunisian uprising in a televised address. First reports of unrest in Libya.
(17) Egypt - A man sets fire to himself next to the parliament building in Cairo in protest of economic conditions.
(18) Egypt - Diplomat Mohamed El Baradei warns of a Tunisia-style explosion in Egypt.
(19) Tunisia - Switzerland freezes Ben Ali’s assets.
(24) Yemen - The arrest of 19 opposition activists including Tawakil Karman, the female activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who had called for the ousting of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
(24) Tunisia - President Sarkozy promises emergency financial aid to the interim government.
(25) Egypt - The first coordinated demonstrations turn Cairo into a war zone as protesters demand the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. In response, mobile and network connections are stopped.
(26) Egypt - As security forces use tear gas and beatings, hundreds are arrested, including foreign journalists. EU leaders condemn the tactics.
(28) Egypt - After four days of protests and 25 deaths, Mubarak makes his first TV appearance, pledging his commitment to democracy. He sacks his government but refuses to step down.
(29) Egypt - The death toll reaches 100.
(30) Egypt - Al Jazeera TV is ordered to stop its reporting of the protests.
(31) Egypt - The army declares itself allied to the protesters.

(01) Egypt - Mubarak declares he won’t run in the next election, but will oversee the transition.
(02) Egypt - Mubarak supporters stage brutal bid to crush Cairo uprising. Using clubs, bats and knives, they start a bloody battle in Tahrir Square.
(10) Egypt - President Obama demands Mubarak presents his path to democracy.
(11) Egypt- Mubarak resigns and hands power to military.
(13) Egypt - Military reject protesters’ demands for a swift transfer of power to a civilian administration.
(15) Egypt - Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency begins tracing the bank account of Mubarak’s cabinet.
(16) Libya- Protests erupt in Benghazi after the arrests of human rights activists.
(17) Bahrain - Four people are killed in an early morning raid by security forces on Pearl Square, the focal point of anti-government protests.
(20) Libya - The death toll passes 230 as Gaddafi’s son addresses Libyan TV defending his father.
(25) Libya - As uprising reaches the heart of Tripoli, protests erupt across Middle East.
(27) Libya - Revolutionaries take control of Zawiyah, 30 miles from Tripoli.
(27) Tunisia - Renewed turmoil as Mohamed Ghannouchi resigns as the prime minister of the post-revolutionary government.

(03) Libya - The International Criminal Court says it will investigate Gaddafi for possible crimes against humanity.
(06) Libya - British diplomatic efforts to reach out to Libyan rebels ends in humiliation after a team of Special Forces are briefly detained by farm workers.
(06) Saudi Arabia- Authorities ban public protests after demonstrations by minority Shia groups.
(07) Libya - The UN secretary general calls for an end to attacks on civilians.
(08) Yemen - More than 2,000 inmates stage a revolt at a prison in the capital and join calls by anti-government protesters for Saleh to step down.
(09) Libya - Gaddafi warns the imposition of a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace will be met with armed resistance.
(09) Tunisia - Tunisian court rules that the party of former President Ben Ali will be dissolved. The news is followed by street celebrations.
(09) Yemen- Soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas at students camped at a university in Sanaa. More than 90 are wounded.
(10) Yemen - Saleh’s pledge to create a parliamentary system of government is rejected by the opposition.
(11) Libya - Sarkozy calls for targeted air strikes against the Libyan regime if Gaddafi's forces use chemical weapons and air strikes against rebel forces.
(14) Libya - The rebel leadership urges Western powers to assassinate Gaddafi and launch military strikes.
(15) Bahrain - Martial law is declared.
(18) Libya - The UN backs a no-fly zone.
(18) Yemen - Government forces fire on protesters in Sanaa - 45 people are killed.
(19) Libya - Operation Odyssey Dawn begins, marking the biggest assault on an Arab regime since the 2003 Iraq invasion.
(23) Libya - Britain, France and the US agree that Nato will take military command of Libya’s no-fly zone.
(26) Syria - The UN urges the government to show restraint.
(26) Libya - The strategic town of Ajdabiya falls to rebels.
(28) Libya - Rebels advance on Sirte, Gaddafi’s home city, recapturing several towns without resistance on the way.
(29) Syria - President Bashar al-Assad sacks his cabinet amid the worst unrest in decades.
(30) Libya - Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa flees to the UK in a fight arranged by British intelligence.
(01) Libya - The Gaddafi regime starts talks with west. Turkey proposes a peace plan.
(09) Syria - Anti-government demonstrations spread across Syria with highest turnout yet. At least 22 are killed in Daraa.
(11) Libya - The revolutionary council rejects a peace initiative because didn’t require Gaddafi to immediately relinquish power.
(15) Libya - Obama signals America’s return to the forefront of the international effort in Libya. In a joint article with Cameron and Sarkozy, he commits to military action until Gaddafi has been removed.
(25) Libya - The government accuses Nato of trying to assassinate Gaddafi after two air strikes in three days hit his premises in Tripoli.
(25) Syria - Tanks are deployed for first time.
(27) Yemen - Security forces fire on an anti-government demonstrations, killing 12.
(28) Syria - Hundreds of ruling Baath party MPs resign in protest as an increasingly bloody crackdown kills 500.

(01) Libya - The British embassy in Tripoli is burnt and other western missions ransacked in retaliation for NATO’s air strike.
(02) Syria - Prominent intellectuals and activists go into hiding.
(08) Libya - Dozens of migrants who boarded a boat in Tripoli were left to die in the Mediterranean after EU military units ignored their cries for help.
(09) Syria - The EU imposes an arms embargo and other sanctions on Syria but does not penalise Assad personally.
(16) Libya - Gaddafi, his son Saif-al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi are named as war crimes suspects by the chief prosecutor for the international criminal court.
(19) Syria - Obama urges President al-Assad to lead the democratic transition, or to resign
(23) Syria - EU sanctions target Assad.
(24) Libya - NATO hits Tripoli in the heaviest bombing raid yet.

(03) Yemen - President Saleh survives an apparent assassination attempt.
(04) Syria - Forces kill at least 100 protesters in two days of bloodshed.
(04) Libya- British army Apache helicopters attack Gaddafi’s troops for the first time.
(05) Syria - Israeli troops clash with protesters on the Syrian border for the second time in three weeks.
(05) Yemen - The US and Britain urge Saudi Arabia to persuade Saleh to formally stand down.

(11) Syria - French embassy guards in Damascus fire live ammunition to disperse President al-Assad loyalists who tried to break in the compound in protest at the envoy’s visit to the opposition stronghold of Hama.
(15) Libya - Rebels win political recognition as the legitimate authority.
(18) Libya - Rebels backed by Nato air strikes fight their way into parts of the government held town of Brega.
(19) Libya - US and Libya hold first direct talks since the beginning of the conflict but don’t reach any agreement.
(21) Libya - Rebels capture chief of operations, General Abdul Nabih Zayid.
(24) Syria - President al-Assad tries to quash dissents before beginning of Ramadan. Troops enter the village of Sarjeh, cutting electricity and water.
(24) Egypt - Strained relations between activists and military rulers worsen after dozens of protesters are attacked during a rally in Cairo.
(25) Syria - The cabinet backs a draft law to allow rival political parties to the ruling Baath party for first time in decades.
(25) Libya - Britain is prepared to agree to a political settlement that would see Gaddafi remain in Libya after relinquishing his hold on power.
(27) Libya - Britain confers diplomatic recognition to the Libyan rebels.
(28) Libya - The rebels’ chief of staff, Abdel Fatah Younis, is killed.

(01) Egypt - The army violently retakes Tahrir square with tanks.
(08) Syria - Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah demands an end to the bloodshed in Syria and recalls his country’s ambassadors.
(09) Syria - Envoys from Turkey, India, Brazil and South Africa head to Damascus to press President al-Assad to end the crackdown.
(11) Syria - Opposition forces say 257 have died in 11 days.
(18) Syria - Human rights investigators list Assad officials who could be prosecuted by the international criminal court.
(22) Libya - The capital appears poised to fall as rebels enter Green Square.
(26) Libya - In its first Tripoli press conference, the National Transitional Council says its cabinet will be moving from Benghazi to the capital.
(29) Libya - Gaddafi’s wife and their three children cross the border unhindered raising questions about NTC’s control over central Libya.

(02) Syria - EU governments ban imports of Syrian oil and extend sanctions to intensify pressure on Assad.
(08) Libya - Gaddafi issues a defiant message from hiding in which he vows never to leave "the land of his ancestors".
(09) Syria - Eight soldiers are executed in Damascus for refusal to fire on protesters.
(16) Libya - Rebel fighters are involved in heavy fighting in a final battle to capture Sirte.
(21) Syria - Obama condemns torture, detention and murder by the Syrian government and urges the UN Security Council to further sanction Assad’s regime.
(23) Yemen - President Saleh returns unexpectedly after three months recovering in Saudi Arabia from an assassination attempt. He calls for a truce after five days of brutal violence in Sanaa in which 100 protesters die.
(25) Libya - A mass grave containing 1,270 bodies is discovered in Tripoli.
(25) Saudi Arabia- King Abdullah announces cautious reforms, including the right for women to vote and stand for election from 2015.
(25) Yemen - Saleh calls for early elections in his first speech since returning to Yemen.
(27) Egypt - The military regime announces the first parliamentary elections since Mubarak was ousted by opposition groups. Protesters fear remnants of the old regime will stay in power.
(30) Egypt - Thousands rally under the slogan "Reclaiming the Revolution" in cities across the country as frustration grows with the slow pace of reform.
(30) Syria - Hillary Clinton speaks out after US ambassador Robert Ford’s convoy was attacked as he travelled to meet a leading opponent to the regime.

(06) Egypt - Supreme Council of the Armed Forces unveil plans that could see them retain power until 2013.
(07) Syria - Russian president breaks ranks with President al-Assad for the first time since protests started.
(16) Libya - The knocking down of Gaddafi’s Tripoli stronghold seen as erasing a symbol of repression.
(17) Libya - NTC troops raise flags of Libya’s new government after a six-week siege.
(20) Libya - Cornered by government forces and pinned down by NATO airstrikes, Gaddafi is found and killed.
(33) Libya - Libyans queue outside refrigerated meat store to confirm that the dictator is really dead.
(23) Libya- The NTC announces the liberation to elated crowds.
(23) Tunisia - Polls open nine months after Tunisians first took the streets.
(25) Libya - Gaddafi's burial alongside his son brings to a close the controversy over the public displaying of his body.
(27) Libya - The NTC questions its earlier assertion that Gaddafi died in crossfire and pledges justice for anyone proven to have fired the lethal shot.
(29) Syria - Arab ministers send their strongest message yet calling for an end to civilian killings after latest shooting at post-Friday prayer protests.
(30) Syria - President al-Assad warns that intervention could lead to another Afghanistan as NATO officials says Libya-like action lacks support.
(31) Libya - UN secretary general rules out intervention in Syria.

(02) Egypt - The generals announce a pardon for 334 prison inmates.
(03) Egypt - Activists claim their revolution is under attack and appeal for solidarity from the worldwide Occupy Movement.
(12) Syria - The Arab League agrees to exclude Syria and impose sanctions over its failure to end the violent crackdown.
(13) Syria - Saudi, Qatari, French and Turkish embassies are stormed by pro-Assad supporters as the regime demands an emergency Arab League meeting.
(13) Egypt - Violence escalates as protests against the ruling military junta spreads beyond Cairo and Alexandria.
(14) Syria - Pressure mounts on an increasingly isolated Syrian President as King Abdullah says he "should go".
(15) Syria - Human rights groups say that up to 140 people have been killed since The Arab League voted to suspend Syrian membership.
(19) Libya- Celebrations erupt as Gaddafi’s fugitive son Saif is detained while attempting to flee to Niger.
(19) Egypt - Security forces open fire on thousands of anti-junta protesters in Tahrir Square leaving two dead and more than 600 injured.
(20) Libya - All leading figures from Gaddafi regime have been killed, captured or driven into exile with Abdullah al-Senussi’s detention.
(21) Egypt - The interim government bows to growing pressure as violence leaves 33 dead and more than 2,000 injured.
(22) Tunisia - The constituent assembly, the first newly elected body to emerge from the Arab Spring, meets for the first time.
(22) Libya - The international criminal court’s chief prosecutor says Saif al-Islam could be tried in Libya rather than at the Hague.
(23) Yemen - Agreement for an immediate transfer of power pledges immunity for Saleh and his family.
(25) Egypt - The US calls for civilian rule to immediately follow parliamentary elections.
(27) Syria- President al-Assad’s decision to refuse access to observers leaves Syria facing stiff sanctions from The Arab League.
(29) Egypt - Egyptians vote in record numbers in the country’s first free ballot for more than 80 years.
(30) Egypt - The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party looks on course to be the biggest winner after the first round of voting.
Around 80 are injured in Tahrir Square after clashes broke out after polls closed.
(30) Syria - Turkey freezes assets of those involved in the government crackdown.

(01) Egypt - The announcement of Egypt’s election results is delayed.
(01) Syria - The UN high commissioner for human rights says the death toll has reached more than 4,000.
(01) Yemen - The political opposition and the party of the outgoing President Saleh agree to makeup of an interim government.
(02) Syria - A series of large protests call for the international community to establish buffer zones to protect civilians.
(05) Syria - President al-Assad`s regime says it is willing to sign an Arab League protocol to send international observers into Syria but only on certain conditions.
(05) Egypt - Egyptians go to the poll once more in the run-off contests for parliamentary seats. No party attracted more than 50% in the previous week’s vote.
(06) Syria - The US ambassador, who was withdrawn from Damascus for his own safety, is returning to Syria. Hillary Clinton meets Syrian opposition leaders.
(06) Libya - The government vows to disarm Tripoli.
(07) Syria - President al-Assad attempts to distance himself from the army in an interview from ABC news.
(07) Egypt - A new government is sworn in by Kamal Ganzouri, who was appointed prime minister by the military rulers.
(08) Libya - The government gives the green light for British police to visit the country to conduct an investigation into the Lockerbie bombing and the assassination of PC Yvonne Fletcher.
(09) Syria - More than 5,000 dead since uprising began.

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