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Unrest in the Middle East and Africa -- country by country

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Demonstrations have spread across parts of the Middle East and Africa. Here is the latest from each country and the roots of the unrest.

Sunday developments:


The nation appeared to slide deeper into civil war Sunday as anti-government forces and loyalist backers of President Moammar Gadhafi fought for control of various cities across the country.

Witnesses said opposition forces appeared to retain control of Misrata and Ras Lanuf despite claims by Gadhafi loyalists to the contrary. A Libyan government official proclaimed that Gadhafi forces has retaken Zawiya, though that claim could not be independently verified.

Medical sources said Sunday that five people were killed in Bin Jawad, and 42 in Misrata. A top United Nations official called on the Libyan government to grant humanitarian organizations immediate access to the city to care for the injured.

Witnesses said anti-government forces repelled a Sunday morning attack by pro-Gadhafi militias.

Libya's uprising
On the road to Benghazi
Evacuees receive help
Downed jet in Libya

In Tripoli, Gadhafi supporters held another large demonstration. According to a witness, police were searching cars to try to prevent anti-Gadhafi protesters from coming out on the streets.

Meanwhile, anti-government forces in Benghazi appeared to remain in control of the city.

Opposition leaders in Benghazi, sources said, briefly detained eight British forces members. The arrival of the British team in Libya apparently angered opposition leaders, who viewed the team's presence in their country as unwanted intervention, according to sources. The eight detainees left the country after their release, sources said.

With no end to the fighting in sight, various governments continued Sunday to airlift foreign nationals who had fled Libya into Tunisia. Four U.S. military flights headed to Cairo from Tunisia evacuating Egyptians fleeing the Libyan conflict. Many countries, such as India and China, put in place well-organized evacuation operations for their citizens. But others, including Egyptians and Bangladeshis, have been left to fend for themselves. On Sunday, the British government said it will provide emergency evacuation flights to repatriate 500 stranded Bangladeshis.

Roughly 200,000 people, most of them foreign workers, have fled Libya since the start of the conflict, according to the U.N. Roughly half have fled to Tunisia, and the rest have escaped to Egypt.

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, which has ruled since a 1969 coup, 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 the Abu Salim prison, according to Human Rights Watch. High unemployment and demands for freedom have also fueled the protests.


The United Nations plans to add 2,000 more soldiers to its peacekeeping mission in the Ivory Coast amid escalating violence between supporters of rival politicians.

The decision follows a shooting last week that killed women protesting the disputed president's refusal to cede power. Video footage shows women screaming as thunderous gunshots are heard in the background. After the attack, bloodied bodies, flip-flops and tote bags were left scattered on the streets.

Roots of unrest

Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent leader, has defied calls to step down after an electoral commission declared he lost the presidential election in November to challenger Alassane Ouattara. A violent power struggle followed the standoff, with supporters loyal to both sides taking to the streets in protests since December. About 365 people have been killed since the standoff started in December, the U.N. says. The international community -- including the United Nations -- considers Ouattara the legitimate leader.

Recent developments in other countries:


Suspected al Qaeda militants killed four Yemeni soldiers Sunday. Also, in separate incidents, two officers in the Yemeni Political Security Organization, the country's intelligence agency, were assassinated. The soldiers, part of the Republican Guard, were attacked in Marib -- about 172 kilometers (106 miles) east of the capital, Sanaa, the Yemeni Interior Ministry said. Militants made away with the soldiers' vehicle, the ministry said. The attack occurred near downtown Marib while the vehicle was on a ration-distributing duty.

The Yemeni government said that suspected al Qaeda forces were behind the killing of intelligence Col. Shayif AlShoaibi in Sayoun, Hadramout. In the other incident, two suspected militants on a motorbike killed another intelligence officer, Col. Abdulhamed Qassim Alsharabi, in Zanjubar, Abyan, the government said.

In its advisory Sunday, the U.S. State Department said it was warning against travel to Yemen because of the "high security threat level." The advisory also asked American citizens to consider leaving.

Roots of unrest:

Protesters have called for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah 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 steeped 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.


A large number of people protested outside the palace where Bahrain's cabinet was meeting Sunday, the first time a protest had been allowed at the site.

Protesters chanted slogans calling for the downfall of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, many waving one-dinar bills to criticize his purchase of the Bahrain Financial Harbour development for that amount in 2005.

The protest, which lasted about 2 1/2 hours, was peaceful and broke up before the cabinet meeting ended.

Anti-government demonstrators continue to camp out in Bahrain's Pearl Roundabout, where seven people died when security tried to clear the area.

More than 500 people have been injured in Bahrain since the protest began in mid-February.

A few dozen of those injured remain in the hospital. Four of them are in serious condition, said Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

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.

Crown Prince Salman bid Hamad Al Khalifa addressed the nation on television saying that a consensus has emerged around 70% to 80% of the people's demands, according to a government statement.

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.


Tehran residents reported pockets of protests and clashes with security forces Tuesday on the streets of the Iranian capital. But protesters appeared, by all accounts, to be heavily outmuscled by police, who showed in force in Tehran's squares and major thoroughfares in anticipation of demonstrations called by supporters of two key opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karrubi. The demonstrations were called to protest the two men's reported imprisonment.

The Iranian opposition website Kaleme, citing "trusted sources," reported March 1 that the men and their wives had been arrested and taken to Tehran's Heshmatieh prison. But the semiofficial Fars News Agency, citing a source within Iran's judiciary, denied the report. The source, who was not identified, said both men were inside their homes "and the only restrictions placed on them are contacts with suspicious elements."

Roots of unrest:

Opposition to the ruling clerics has simmered since the 2009 election, when hundreds of thousands of people filled Tehran streets to denounce President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election as fraudulent. Iranian authorities began rounding up many government opponents in February amid calls for protests like those that have swept across North Africa and the Middle East.


At least three Tunisian government officials resigned March 1 and Tuesday, the country's official news agency reported, in the wake of the resignation of the prime minister on February 27.

The minister of higher education and scientific research, Ahmad Ibrahim, and the higher education secretary, Faouzia Farida Charfi, both quit on Tuesday, Tunis Afrique Presse reported. Mohamed Nouri Jouini, the planning and international cooperation minister, resigned on March 1.

Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi's resignation February 27 came a day after three people were killed during protests in the capital, Tunis.

Roots of unrest:

The revolt was triggered when an unemployed college graduate set himself ablaze after police confiscated his fruit cart, cutting off his source of income. Protesters complained about high unemployment, corruption, rising prices and political repression.

An interim government came to power after an uprising prompted autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to leave the country on January 14. Those demonstrations sparked protests around North Africa and the Middle East.


Masked attackers burned tents of protesters overnight in the main city of Iraq's Kurdistan region, police said Sunday.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered later in the day in Sulaimaniya for another protest against Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan regional government, witnesses told CNN.

The unrest in northern Iraq that erupted three weeks ago has killed five people and injured 158 so far, the head of the emergency health department, Dr. Nozad Ahmed, said.

Separately, the head of an independent Kurdish radio station in Kalar, 150 kilometers south of Sulaimaniya, said Sunday that gunmen attacked the broadcast facility and destroyed or stole equipment overnight.

Protesters in the Kurdish region, mostly in Sulaimaniya, are demanding political reforms from Barzani's regional government and the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party. Like protests in other areas of Iraq, the demonstrators also complain of corruption, unemployment and poor public services.

Roots of unrest:

Demonstrations in Iraq have usually not targeted the national government. Instead, the protesters are angry over corruption, the quality of basic services, a crumbling infrastructure and high unemployment, particularly on a local level. They want an end to frequent power outages and food shortages.


Protesters returned to the capital, Nouakchott, on February 26, hours after police chased away demonstrators. One person was arrested during that melee. But young people returned by evening, promising to continue the protests over the next several days. The call to action started on Facebook, which is said to be very popular in Mauritania, sources tell CNN. Protesters are calling for job creation, economic and political changes and an end to corruption.

Roots of unrest:

In January, a man set himself on fire in front of Mauritania's presidential palace, according to news reports -- a self-immolation in the same spirit as others in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and elsewhere. There have been two bloodless coups since 2005 in the country, which borders Algeria and Mali, with ex-Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz serving as president since 2009.


A large demonstration in downtown Amman on February 25 ended peacefully a week after clashes erupted between pro-government and anti-government demonstrators near the Al Husseini Mosque. Protesters in Jordan have called for reforms and for abolishing the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel.

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.


Algeria lifted its 19-year-old state of emergency on February 22. The action lifts restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly imposed to combat an Islamist insurgency. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced last month that he would lift the emergency declaration, first imposed in 1992 and indefinitely renewed in 1993.

Roots of unrest:

Protests began in January over escalating food prices, high unemployment and housing issues. They started in Algiers but spread to other cities as more people joined and demonstrators toppled regimes in Tunisia and, later, Egypt. Analysts called Bouteflika's announcement about lifting the state of emergency law an attempt to head off a similar revolt.


Thousands of people have marched in protest through Djibouti. On February 18, riot police charged the crowd after the call to evening prayers, shooting canisters of tear gas at the demonstrators, according to Aly Verjee, director of the international election observation mission to Djibouti, who witnessed the event. Djibouti is home to Camp Lemonnier, the only U.S. military base on the African continent.

Roots of unrest:

Protesters have called for President Ismail Omar Guelleh -- whose family has ruled the country since its independence from France in 1977 -- to step down ahead of elections scheduled in April. Guelleh has held the post since 1999 and is seeking a third term. Economic stagnation is also a source of anger among the people.


Protesters in Kuwait have clashed with authorities on at least two occasions. Hundreds of protesters are demanding greater rights for longtime residents who are not citizens of the country. They also demanded the release of people arrested in demonstrations. On February 19, protesters attacked the security forces, who used tear gas on the demonstration involving between 200 and 400 protesters.

Roots of unrest:

Protesters are seeking greater rights for longtime residents who are not Kuwaiti citizens, an issue the country has been grappling with for decades. According to the CIA World Factbook, Kuwait has 2.7 million people, with 1.3 million registered as "non-nationals."


Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has decided not to run for another term in 2015, a senior member of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party said. Al-Bashir has ruled since a military coup in 1989. He won another five-year term in a 2010 vote that opposition parties boycotted over complaints of fraud. He also faces an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the region of Darfur.

Demonstrators have clashed with authorities on recent occasions in Sudan. Human Rights Watch has said that "authorities used excessive force during largely peaceful protests on January 30 and 31 in Khartoum and other northern cities." Witnesses said several people were arrested, including 20 who remain missing.

Roots of unrest:

Demonstrators seek an end to National Congress Party rule and government-imposed price increases, according to Human Rights Watch. It accuses the government of being heavy-handed in its response to demonstrations, and using pipes, sticks and tear gas to disperse protesters.


As protests heated up around the region, the Syrian government pulled back from a plan to withdraw some subsidies that keep the cost of living down in the country. President Bashar al-Assad also gave a rare interview to Western media, telling The Wall Street Journal in January that he planned reforms that would allow local elections and included a new media law and more power for private organizations.

Roots of unrest:

Opponents of the al-Assad government allege massive human rights abuses, and an emergency law has been in effect since 1963.


Protesters have taken to the streets in cities across Morocco to call for political reform. Labor unions, youth organizations and human rights groups demonstrated in at least six cities on February 27. Police stayed away from the demonstrations, most of which were peaceful, Human Rights Watch reported.

Roots of unrest:

Protesters in Morocco are calling for political reform. Government officials say such protests are not unusual and that the protesters' demands are on the agenda of most political parties.


Hundreds of Palestinians rallied for unity last month in Ramallah, West Bank, calling on Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian political factions to heal their rifts amid arguments over elections scheduled for September in the Palestinian territories. "Division generates corruption" was one of the banner slogans from demonstrators, who flooded the streets after calls went out on social-networking sites as well as at schools and university campuses.

Roots of unrest:

The Palestinian territories have not seen the same kind of demonstrations as in many Arab countries, but the Fatah leaders of the Palestinian Authority have been under criticism since Al-Jazeera published secret papers claiming to reveal that Palestinian officials were prepared to make wide-ranging concessions in negotiations with Israel. Negotiations toward a resolution of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict have since collapsed. Palestinian protests, largely in support of Egypt and Tunisia, were generally small and poorly attended. In some cases, the Hamas rulers of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority rulers of the West Bank actively tried to stifle protests. The split between Hamas and Fatah hampers internal change in the territories, although calls for political change are growing louder. Large-scale protests have failed to materialize as many Palestinians believe Israel remains their biggest problem.


Coming off two days of demonstrations, Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry warned Saturday that it would crack down on protesters who continue to take their grievances to the streets.

Saudi security forces will be "authorized to take all measures against anyone who tries to break the law and cause disorder," the ministry said, according to state-run news agency. An Interior Ministry spokesman said that kingdom law prevents all kinds of demonstrations, protests, strikes and even a call for them because they're against Sharia law and Saudi values and traditions.

Roots of unrest:

Demonstrators have demanded the release of Shiite prisoners they feel are being held without cause. Others have taken to the streets over the creation of a constitutional monarchy, more rights and other reforms.

Late last month, King Abdullah announced a series of sweeping measures aimed at relieving economic hardship and meeting with Bahrain's beleaguered monarch.


Protesters clashed with security and armed forces outside the Interior Ministry over reports that documents connected to the regime of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak were being destroyed. Eyewitnesses told CNN the armed forces responded by attacking the crowd outside the Interior Ministry. Gunshots could be heard, and protesters said they were struck by stun guns. Other protesters reported that pro-Mubarak gangs threw Molotov cocktails at demonstrators and beat some of them.

Egypt has been ruled by a military council since the revolt that toppled Mubarak. Sunday night the council released a statement warning Egyptians to return documents taken from the security agencies immediately and not to share them with news organizations.

Meanwhile, Nabil Elaraby, a former judge on the International Court of Justice, took over as Egypt's foreign minister on Sunday, according to state-run media.

Elaraby replaced Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who had been foreign minister since 2004.

The change is part of larger cabinet shake-up and occured a day after Egypt's former interior minister, Habib, al-Adly pleaded not guilty to corruption and money-laundering charges in the first trial for one of Hosni Mubarak's inner circle.

Roots of unrest:

Complaints about police corruption and abuses were among the top grievances of demonstrators who forced President Hosni Mubarak from office. Demonstrators also were angry about Mubarak's 30-year rule, a lack of free elections and economic issues, such as high food prices, low wages and high unemployment. Since Mubarak's departure, several thousand people have protested in Cairo's Tahrir Square to urge Egypt's new rulers to implement promised reforms. They pressed Egypt's Supreme Council to end an emergency law and release political prisoners, among other things. They also demanded civilian representation in government.

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