Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country
Syrian refugees make their way to the Turkish border. The U.N. said 10,000 Syrians have fled into neighboring countries.
June 15th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by 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.

Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to huddle with a special Syrian envoy on Wednesday in an effort to help stem the growing tide of refugees racing into Turkey from conflict-wracked Syria. The number of Syrians who have crossed the border now stands at 8,421, according to Turkey's disaster and emergency management directorate.

CNN reporter, briefly in Syria, hears 'horror' stories

That flight has been spurred by violence and a military offensive in the conflict-scarred country, and Turkey is worried that the border crisis could deteriorate and destabilize the region.

Of the refugees, 4,368 are children and 73 Syrians are now being treated in Turkish hospitals, the emergency directorate said. More than 1,230 tents have been set up in a number of locations.

Actress Angelina Jolie, a longtime goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency, has submitted an application to visit the refugees in Turkey, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal confirmed to CNN by phone. He says the government is "evaluating" the request.

GPS: The consequences of Syrian refugees in Turkey

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.

Analysis: Why U.N. won't act against Syria


The trial of three Bahraini opposition journalists accused of fabricating news to disrupt peace during the civil unrest in the Gulf state adjourned after a few minutes Wednesday. Civilian High Court judges postponed proceedings until Sunday after the defense presented documents showing detailed communications between editors of the Al-Wasat newspaper, King Hamad and other top government officials.

Mansoor al-Jamri, former editor-in-chief of the publication, Walid Nouwaihidh, former managing editor and Aqeel Mirza, the former head of the local news department, are on trial after being forced to quit the publication in April. A fourth man, Ali al-Sharifi, is being tried in absentia.

Rights group urges Bahrain to stop military trials

Roots of Unrest: Protesters initially took to the streets of Manama to demand reform and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy. But some are now calling for the removal of the royal family, which has led the Persian Gulf state since the 18th century.

Young members of the country's Shiite Muslim majority have staged protests in recent years to complain about discrimination, unemployment and corruption, issues they say the country's Sunni rulers have done little to address. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights said authorities launched a clampdown on dissent in 2010. It accused the government of torturing some human rights activists.


South African President Jacob Zuma lashed out Tuesday at NATO's enforcement of the U.N. resolution authorizing the organization to act to protect innocent civilians threatened by Libya's civil war.

"We strongly believe that the resolution is being abused for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation," Zuma said at a budget vote debate before the National Assembly in Cape Town. "These actions undermine the efforts of the African Union in finding solutions to the problems facing its member states," he said in an appeal that called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and called further for reform of the U.N. Security Council.

Unlike some other world leaders, Zuma has not called for the longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down. Neither has Zuma's African National Congress party nor the African Union, which Gadhafi once led. The AU also has criticized the NATO airstrikes.

Boehner warns of possible War Powers Resolution violation over Libya
McCain: Obama to make case for Libya mission

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. Gadhafi's government responded with a $24 billion fund for housing and development. A month later, more demonstrations were sparked when police detained relatives of those killed in an alleged 1996 massacre at Abu Salim prison, according to Human Rights Watch. High unemployment and demands for freedom have also fueled the protests.


A meeting was to be held on Wednesday between Yemeni Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi and members of the country's youth revolutionary movement, officials confirmed.

Hundreds of thousands of anti-regime protesters who want President Ali Abdullah Saleh to depart from office were gathering in front of Hadi's Sanaa residence and are calling on him to accept demands to form a presidential transitional council.

Along with Sanaa, protesters took to the streets on Wednesday in Tazi, Ibb, Hodieda, and Aden. Saleh is in a hospital in Saudi Arabia, where he is recovering from wounds following a June 3 attack on the presidential compound.

GPS: Saudi Arabia's Yemen dilemma
Yemeni VP, opposition meet; Saleh reportedly improving

Roots of Unrest: Protesters have called for the ouster of Saleh, who has ruled Yemen since 1978. The country has been wracked by a Shiite Muslim uprising, a U.S.-aided crackdown on al Qaeda operatives and a looming shortage of water. High unemployment fuels much of the anger among a growing young population suffering in poverty. The protesters also cite government corruption and a lack of political freedom. Saleh has promised not to run for president in the next round of elections.

soundoff (132 Responses)


    Another investigation by The Walid Shoebat Foundation. We have been gleaning of the Arabic Media and we have now exposed Anthony Weiner's wife troubling connections to the Muslim Brotherhood along with other "advisors;" no wonder why the USA is accepting of the Muslim Botherhood as a body we can do business as we have Muslim Botherhood operatives advising our key leaders in all areas of counter terror and foreign policy.

    Anyone who has an ounce of common sense and has reviewed the evidence who and what the Muslim Botherhood is, can only come to one conclusion and that it is they wish Islam to take over the world and make the USA and the whole world Sharia compliant under one Caliphate. Al Qaeda scares you with terror, the Muslim brotherhood uses our own political system to destroy us. Wake up!

    Review our research and make up your own mind: @ WALID SHOEBAT

    June 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      I agree. I have read several reports BY Muslim groups in which they state, clearly and loudly, that it is their intent to make the entire world Islamic and that we all live by sharia law. That is why everyone EVERYONE needs to educate themselves as to what sharia law is and what it contains. If you don't know what it is, do a Google search and find out. And do it quickly. What I fear is that as more refugees leave these countries, they will come to the U.S. and then I am certain, we will have more violence. This is their way of life. Always has been – always will be.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    As if it's only a rumor that the USA wants to militarily dominate the occupation after another.

    June 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Um, the US is going broke. Your world domination theory is a paranoid's joke.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. AR Grover

    While I dont know about the muslim brotherhood nor am I aware of the connections of Weiner's wife, I am aware we have been educating the middle east for sometime and we have been attempting to maintain a certain decorum with the countries in the middle east.
    America has not always been the police of the world though we have tried to reach out to certain countries and after being brought into world war two we have not really stopped when asked to come until now. Several of the countries have asked for our help however with the current state of affairs here at home we are hard pressed to enter into yet another middle east country where we are not like or welcomed for the most part.
    There is little doubt there is a lot of criminal acts taking place towards the innocents whom are caught up in the wave of anger of current goverments and anger of those opposing them. I do not know what the answer is as I have watched our own goverment respond likewise to people whom have spoken out against them or have not agreed with current polices.
    As for the brotherhood using our own political system to destroy us, I dont think it will happen today. The one great thing about america is the right to voice your opinion with out fear supposedly. I currently am choosing my words carefully as I am sure there is someone whom reads these and puts a check by your name much like the KGB of the USSR.
    Let me get to my point, if the people of the middle east are truely wanting to escape their goverments then they are going to have to do it much like America did. We struggled for years until the french thankfully came to our aid against our current friends yet past oppressors.
    There will be a lot of heart ache and death. There will be a lot of abuse and a lot of rewriting of laws. And if they do not seperate religion from state affairs then they are not really changing anything but the figurehead. I do not envy the state of current affairs. I do however support the rights of all to freedom. GIve me liberty or give me death.
    And while some say God Bless America, I tend to say, Honor America, Respect America, and Trust in America as these are the values which will see us through.

    June 15, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Calvin Hobbes

    To be blunt, honest, and politically incorrect, who cares? All the Arabs want to do is kill Americans. That's all we hear from them, that's all we've seen from them.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      They say the same thing about us and they ave a lot more evidence on their side. We have armies all over their lands killing their people. Over 100,000+ in Iraq alone.

      Maybe at some point we all see each other as people instead of grouping billions of people as enemies just because you don't like their religion.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Aaron

    I turned 40 this year. My whole life, all I've ever heard out of the middle east is "bombing this, unrest that, atrocity this, hostage that". It's really hard to care anymore. They place seems like a hornet's nets. You can't make a move there without getting stung somehow and stirring up an unintended swarm of hostility. I'm just so tired of hear about the place.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      You better start caring Aaron. It WILL effect you as it moves to our shores. And they have stated that their wish is to make the U.S. and the rest of the world, Islamic. THAT will effect you so you need to educate yourself on this. Don't hide your head in the sand.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • ron

      Yeah ever since the State of Israel came to existence. Don't look at the last decades look at the history of the Middle East at minimum of a century...

      June 16, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. hamsterset

    Didn,t the nasty christians buy slaves from nasty muslims?

    June 15, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Islam4fools

    It doesn't matter how many "revolutions" take place in middle east.

    As long as Muslims adhere to the backward Islamic ideology, nothing will change.

    You get rid of one dictator, the Muslims will put another one because they are backward, uneducated and too stupid for their own good.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. trex

    I got some REALLY BIG UNREST RIGHT HERE. Paki and all the rest can all go to H**L.

    June 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Alfredo

    Until Muslims learn to think for themselves instead of relying on a book of fiction for their every move, things won't improve. Allah won't save anyone you the individual can. Only independent thought and a secular government will liberate them....

    June 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pwnslap

      I lol'd... amurika is no different a$$hat. We think we're free to live our lives as we please but ignorance is our true american way of life. We all wake up and slave for he man upstairs who makes seemingly infinitly more than the drones he commands. You buy what the tv tells you to or what the sales signs say is a good deal in the stores or in on the ads in your paper. If americans had any sense we would have put our fet down decades ago when we were told to live how we wanted no problem we can afford it... instead a tragic collapse is upon us. You think by reading the news and voting you're contributing and benefiting our society but nothing comes of it. Go watch fox news and do what you're told!

      June 16, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. LiberalNN

    Seems like the summer of discontent is also spreading in Greece. People around the world are tired of lying, corrupt politicians.

    June 15, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • asterisk

      When you read your history books this was going on during George Washington they had money issues with loss of jobs, trying to pay for a war. And Islam is not going to take over the United States. The middle east been experiencing problems for many many years. But we hear is more since Facebook is talking to people around the world. And many of the young people want democracy, and jobs and money.

      June 16, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joshua

    Islam is the religion of peace. Uh huh.

    June 15, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • ron

      yeah because if it wasn't, with more then 1.5 billion muslims in the world I think it is plausible to assert that we would be in trouble..

      June 16, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. c. ring

    Re: 1:46pm entry. i agree!:

    June 16, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. Peikovian

    They'll calm down when it's 2011 on the Islamic Calendar.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. green thumb

    Gee would world feast work that's what the pilgrims and the Indians did with the slaves to. What is going to going to happen is all fights and wars will stop people will all be friends or we will all starve to death. When army's have no food they will lay down there guns for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Wait and see. The world food shortage is all ready happening. Kids that have noting to eat are not strong enough to fight or will men and women. Stop wasting time. Food supplies are getting scarce. And every time there is a war the water supply gets less. Do some story s on how citizens are fighting
    there leaders because they are starving and dehydration from no water. So the USA will never turn anyone away that is starving or thirsty. Just ask people from north and south Korea Christians have been sending food and med supply s to poverty stricken country's for years. I would say it is time to stop help country that want to harm people in the U.S.has russia learned how to grow food yet. Has red china learned how to grow food yet. Terrost are messing with food supplies. Won't be long before there will not be enough food. To supply all. So people of the world plant seeds of life and grow as much of your own food you can ( all you do is put a seed in a cup of dirt and keep it watered daily soon you have a sprout then a plant then you take it out side in a sunny place and plant it always be sure to water it daily and soon you will eat of the seed you started. Just like life what we show we reap. So show good not bad and enjoy. Thank you all have a great day. Green thumb.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. UvebeenBrainwashed

    CNN forgot to mention these other countries in the arab uprising/unrest in (North Africa) Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt. Also in the (Middle East) Lebanon, Joran, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman. and don't forgot about (South Central Asia) afghanistan and pakistan.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
    • UvebeenBrainwashed


      June 16, 2011 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
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