August 1, 2011 by staff
Ramadan Mubarak, Muslims around the world on Monday marked the beginning of Ramadan, a month of abstinence from dawn to dusk for food and drinks. But this year, unrest in the Middle East and North Africa has cast a shadow over what is traditionally a period of courtesy and good will toward men.
Several countries in the region have been swept by protests against the rulers for a long time since the revolt that ousted in January of Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben stronger Ali.
In many cases, these expressions and movements are met with brute force that has seemingly endless escalation of violence.
Most anti-government demonstrations took place after prayers, with the masses to the streets after meeting in mosques.
Month, bringing more Muslims in mosques, government has some concern that the meetings will be more opportunities for this kind of protest – and the protesters for fear that the security forces to take action with force to prevent them.
The crowd of pro-democracy activists who have camped in Tahrir Square in Cairo will take a break during Ramadan.
Twenty-six political parties and protest movements issued a statement Sunday morning saying he will suspend his protest “temporarily.”
Once the month ends, thousands of disgruntled protesters said they would return to the plaza, which was the center of the uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.
Protesters have filled the landmark roundabout July 8th frustrated by what they see as the slow pace of change.
They are demanding speedy trial of policemen accused of killing demonstrators in protests that toppled Mubarak, at the end of the military courts, the abolition of emergency law and economic reforms, such as the establishment of a salary minimum.
In a speech marking the start of Ramadan, the president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh reiterated that the only way out of the country’s current crisis is through a national dialogue.
“We emphasize on this occasion that all political movements that adhere to the initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the effort made by the Council (UN) security as a basis for resolving the crisis facing the country,” said Saleh from bed hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he is recovering from an attack on his presidential compound on 2 June that left him with severe burns.
His remarks were carried by the official news agency SABA.
Inspired by the revolution in Egypt, demonstrators began protesting 33-year-old Saleh regime on 11 February. A month later, Saleh offered to draft a new constitution that would establish a parliamentary system, but the protesters insisted on calling for his resignation, and numerous political and military officials resigned or were fired.
Saleh objected after making proposals to accept an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council to resign, and the fighting has intensified between the security forces and opposition groups – especially the tribal forces and Islamic militants – as efforts broke down in May.
Officials in Tripoli have been preparing for what they say will be a bloody Ramadan as a civil war grinds on the North African nation.
At a recent meeting in support of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a Muslim cleric told CNN that the government troops would be allowed to break the fast during the day to fight in the battle front.
“Those who are fasting, if thirsty, he should break his fast. (Because) they are fighting are Mujahideen (holy warriors),” said Mohammed Madani Chouairef. “All rise to this sedition is a Mujahed except those with NATO.”
Libya Protests began in February when protesters fed up with delays, broke into a government housing project was the building and occupied it. It quickly gained strength, and a movement to demand democracy and overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, after more than four decades in power, erupted in civil war. NATO began air strikes in March under a Security Council mandate to protect civilians.
It is not clear that the protests planned in the Syrian capital on Monday will proceed, a day after Syrian tanks broke into the restive city of Hama, one of several clashes that human rights groups said left more than 70 over 100 dead and wounded throughout the country.
“The attack appears to be part of a coordinated effort across a number of cities in Syria to dissuade the Syrians protest before Ramadan,” said British Foreign Secretary, William Hague. “The attacks are the most striking on the eve of the holy month of Muslims.”
The raid is the latest violence against protesters in the country have called for a new regime since mid-March.
The activists blamed the deaths of civilians in the statements of the security forces, but the government has attributed the violence to “armed groups”.
President Bashar al-Assad has drawn criticism at home and abroad for his tough campaign against demonstrators calling for his ouster
U.S. President Barack Obama said he was “appalled” and promised that U.S. officials increase pressure on the Syrian regime, “isolate the Assad regime and the Syrian side of town.”
With the forces of NATO has been increasing attacks in Afghanistan in recent weeks, the top U.S. commander in the country, said on Sunday it was difficult to know whether the pace will continue during Ramadan.
“It’s hard to predict what will happen,” Adm. Mike Mullen told reporters in Kabul. “I have no idea if violence or attacks go up or down.
Mullen said the U.S. has “great appreciation and respect for this month,” but “must ensure that our forces are protected and we will see what the enemy. That will likely drive what happens in the course of next month.”
About 150,000 members of the International Security Assistance Force Security are currently deployed in Afghanistan, which includes fewer than 100,000 of the United States. Ten thousand American soldiers are scheduled to leave the country by year’s end
Seven areas are being delivered to the national security forces in what is the first part of a transition of security to control Afghanistan.
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