Arab Unrest: The latest developments from each country



 
Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.
 
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Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.


SYRIA

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad offered another general amnesty Tuesday for those accused of crimes, Syrian state TV reported. It's the second known amnesty overture from the embattled Syrian leader since protests erupted in the Middle Eastern country.


Another deeply disappointing speech by Bashar al-Assad

Ammar Qurabi, chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, said Tuesday that dozens of protesters were arrested Monday during peaceful anti-government demonstrations in the city of Aleppo.

State TV showed images Tuesday of thousands joining pro-regime rallies in cities such as Daraa, Aleppo and Homs. Some in the crowds chanted, "With our blood, with our souls, we will sacrifice for you, Bashar" and "God, Syria and Bashar only."

At least 10,718 Syrian refugees, many of whom fled a military advance in and around the city of Jisr al-Shugur, have crossed the border into Turkey, the Turkish government said.

Diplomats, reporters and U.N. agencies visited northern Syria in a government-sponsored trip on Monday. The war-battered town of Jisr al-Shugur was virtually deserted.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says Syrian officials agreed to give the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent wider access to areas of unrest and that the government has "expressed its readiness" to discuss ICRC visits to detainees.


Obama can't 'lead from behind' on Syria

Roots of unrest: More than 1,100 people may have died since the unrest began in mid-March after teens were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in Daraa, according to Amnesty International. As the crackdown intensified, demonstrators changed their demands from calls for "freedom," "dignity" and an end to abuses by the security forces to calls for the regime's overthrow. On April 19, Syria's cabinet lifted an emergency law, which had been in effect since 1963. But security forces then moved quickly to crack down. Government opponents allege massive human rights abuses.


LIBYA

In the first loss of equipment since NATO began airstrikes on Libya, an unmanned helicopter went down Tuesday in the central coastal area, though the alliance did not give any details on whether it was shot down or experienced mechanical problems.

The loss for NATO comes as the alliance faced pressure over a series of incidents over the weekend and into Monday that resulted in allegations of civilian casualties and strikes on Libyan opposition vehicles. Libya claimed that 15 people, including three children, were killed in Monday's incident, said Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim, and included strikes from eight rockets.


Libyan rebel leader arrives in China to meet with Chinese officials

Roots of unrest: Protests in Libya started in February when demonstrators, fed up with delays, broke into a housing project the government was building and occupied it. They quickly gained velocity and strength and the movement to oust Gadhafi after more than four decades in power exploded into civil war. NATO began conducting airstrikes in March after a United Nations Security Council mandate to protect civilians.


YEMEN

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is being treated in Saudi Arabia after an attack on his compound, will return to Yemen on Friday, senior adviser Ahmed Al-Soufi told CNN. The country's ruling GPC party said that the president will be received by celebrations and will rule until the end of his term in 2013.

The return will likely be unwelcomed by anti-government demonstrators throughout the country. Opposition leaders called news of Saleh's return false rumors. "The ruling party are experts in lying and that is why we are not taking their comments seriously," said Hasan Zaid of the opposition Haq party.

Roots of unrest: Inspired by the revolution that overturned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, demonstrators on February 11 began protesting the 33-year-old regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A month later, Saleh offered to draft a new constitution that would establish a parliamentary system, but protesters persisted in calling for his resignation, and numerous high-ranking political and military officials resigned or were dismissed. Saleh balked after making overtures to accept an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council to step down, and fighting has escalated between security forces and opposition groups - primarily tribal forces and Islamic militants - since those efforts broke down in May.

Yemen's battle of the sons


JORDAN

Taher Edwan said he resigned his post as Jordan's information minister over proposed restrictions against the press. Such moves, he said, undermine his "positions" and "values" that he won't abandon. Edwan had been the editor of a daily newspaper.

Roots of unrest: Jordan's economy has been hit hard by the global economic downturn and rising commodity prices, and youth unemployment is high, as it is in Egypt. Officials close to the palace have told CNN that King Abdullah II is trying to turn a regional upheaval into an opportunity for reform. He swore in a new government following anti-government protests. The new government has a mandate for political reform and is headed by a former general, with opposition and media figures among its ranks.