Tunisian interim leader resigns; more unrest in Bahrain, Oman, Yemen

Tunisia‘s Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned Feb. 27, as security forces again clashed with protesters. “I am not ready to be the person who takes decisions that would end up causing casualties,” Ghannouchi said. “This resignation will serve Tunisia, and the revolution and the future of Tunisia.” (Middle East Online, Feb. 27) Three protesters were killed in street clashes with security forces in Tunis the previous day. (Middle East Online, Feb. 27)

In Bahrain, 18 MPs from al-Wefaq Shi’ite-led opposition bloc resigned in protest of the killing of protesters by the security forces. Seven protesters have been kille since anti-government demonstrations began in Bahrain on Feb. 14. (Middle East Online, Feb. 27) Bahrain’s king reshuffled his cabinet the previous day, as thousands protested in Manama to demand the Sunni rulers stand down. Opposition leader Hassan Mashaima returned home from self-imposed exile in Britain to lead the movement. (Middle East Online, Feb. 27)

In Oman police shot dead two protesters with rubber bullets Feb. 27. The protest was the second of its kind in the normally placid pro-Western sultanate in the past two months. Some 200 demonstrators took to the streets on Jan. 17 in protest against rising prices and corruption. Sultan Qaboos bin Said announced an increase in the monthly allowance for university students in an evident move to quell protests. (Middle East Online, Feb. 27)

Protests also continue in Yemen, where the local al-Qaeda franchise issued a statement calling for revolution. In an audio tape posted on the Internet, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) urged Muslims to revolt and establish governments based on Islamic law. The speaker was Ibrahim al-Rubeish, a former Guantánamo Bay detainee. (Yemen Post, Feb. 28)

See our last post on the new Arab revolutions.

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