Nieuws

Egypt crisis: overview and reactions

Today the Egyptian army has tightened security in Cairo and in other cities in response to calls from the Muslim Brotherhood for marches from 28 mosques after Friday prayers. It has been reported that security forces closed off entrances and roads leading to Cairo's Tahrir Square with armoured personnel carriers and barbed wire. In the meantime, protests have started across the country. The Muslim Brotherhood announced these protests after hundreds of people were killed in police action that ended two sit-ins in Cairo that began after the army deposed President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. The Muslim Brotherhood has called the day "Friday of rage". This was the same title that was given on January 28, 2011, during the 18-day revolt against Hosni Mubarak's rule. There are fears of renewed clashes after authorities have said the police are entitled to use live ammunition to protect themselves and key state institutions from attack.

EU: Hezbollah’s military wing is terrorist organization

On July 22 European Union officials have listed the military wing of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah on the EU’s terror list.

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans said: ‘We took this important step today, by dealing with the military wing of Hezbollah, freezing its assets, hindering its fundraising and thereby limiting its capacity to act.’

Egyptian interim government sworn in

On 16 July it was announced on state television that interim President Adly Mansour swore in 33 mostly technocratic or liberal ministers. The interim government was installed after one of the most violent clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces this month. Army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the ousting of the former government, is becoming deputy prime minister next to his current position as defense minister. Economist Hazem el-Beblawi, who suspended his membership in the Social Democratic Party, is leading the new government as prime minister. Seven ministers held positions in the former government but none of them are Islamists.

Syrian rebel forces clash after FSA commander is killed

After the assassination of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Kamal Hamami on July 11 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), tensions between the two rebel factions have increased. Hamami, a leading rebel commander and member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council, was assassinated at a checkpoint near Alatakia manned by fighters of the Al Qaida linked ISIL faction, after he had been meeting the Islamist to discuss battle plans.

Lebanese army clashes with followers of radical Sunni clerk

On June 25, Lebanese security officials say a roadside bomb has exploded on the highway linking Beirut with Damascus. The bomb comes a day after heavy fighting between the army and militia’s of the radical Sunni clerk Ahmed al-Assir in the northern coastal town Sidon. Each side accuses the other of provoking the initial fighting. According to security forces 16 soldiers died in the fighting and at least 20 supporters of Assir were killed. Dozens are said to have been arrested. The fate of Assir is still unknown.

First Future Leaders Training held in the MENA region

Between June 7th and June 9th the European Forum, in cooperation with the Alfred Mozer Stichting, the UK Labour Party and the Al-Sindyan Institute organized for the first time a Future Leaders Training for 24 young and promising participants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in Amman, Jordan. The participants came from social democratic and left progressive parties from Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan.

Unions go on one day strike in support of Gezi protests

On June 17, five Turkish unions, including the Confederation of Public Workers union(KESK) and the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK), said they will go on strike in support of the forced eviction of hundreds of demonstrators at Taksim square in central Istanbul. The total number of the five unions amounts up to nearly 800,000, including doctors, engineers and dentists.

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