Arab States Weekly Review 29th Jan – 4th Feb 2011

Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets to demand the end of the three-decade reign of President Mubarak. Demonstrations took place in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other Egyptian cities. Opposition was loosely united, with Mohamed Al-Baradei, former head of the IAEA, tentatively at its head. Violent clashes broke out as government forces tried to clear the protesters from the streets of Cairo.

King Abdullah of Jordan sacked his government and appointed a new prime minister, following a month of protests. Opposition leaders, who want the king’s powers curbed, said this was not enough.

With continuing demonstrations in Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced he would not run for re-election after his terms expires in 2013, nor would he hand over power to his son.

Iraq’s health ministry said 159 civilians were killed in violent attacks in January, the highest death toll since September. On January 27th a car-bomb attack on a funeral in a Shia district of Baghdad left at least 45 people dead.

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