Arab States Weekly Review 26th Feb – 4th Mar 2011

Ahmed Shafiq, Egypt’s prime minister, stepped down as did Tunisia’s prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi. Protests continued in both countries as pro-democracy campaigners complained about the slow pace of reform and the presence of allies of the former regimes.

Protests in Yemen grew fiercer and a reported 27 people are believed to have been killed since the demonstrations began a few weeks ago.

Fighting between forces loyal to Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi and his opponents intensified. Gaddafi remains in control of Tripoli and is battling to seize back towns under rebel control.

An estimated 100,000 refugees fleeing Libya are believed to be in makeshift camps across the borders with Egypt and Tunisia. The UN suspended Libya from the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court opened an investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed by Libya’s leaders.

Protests by jobless and ill-paid workers in the Oman port of Sohar resulted in one death. Days later, thousands of Omanis took to the streets in support of Sultan Qaboos, who has promised reform.

Stockmarkets throughout the Middle-East tumbled amid continuing instability in the region. Saudi Arabia’s index fell to a 23-month low, while Dubai and Kuwait hit six-year lows.

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