Saturday, December 17, 2011

Arab Spring Timeline: 17 December 2010 to 17 December 2011

Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation one year ago was an act which symbolized the frustration and desperation of millions in the Arab world, setting into motion a series of revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa.

His was a cry for dignity, justice, and opportunity, which continues to be heard around a region undergoing tumultuous change. In today's Middle East, people matter. Many are now engaged in what could be a life-long struggle to fight long-standing grievances and take greater control of their lives. This process must involve the creation of new democratic political systems, which ensure greater accountability of leaders, and level the playing field of opportunity for all, not just a select few.
It has been a remarkable year... (read more)

Arab Spring Timeline: 17 December 2010 to 17 December 2011


(17) Tunisia - jobless graduate Mohamed Bouazizi starts selling vegetables without a permit. When police seize his cart he sets fire to himself and later dies. The act, following Wikileaks publication of US criticism of the regime, provokes young Tunisians to protest.
(29) Tunisia - after 10 days of protests, President Ben Ali appears on television promising action on job creation. He declares the law will be very firm on protesters.


(09) Tunisia - 11 people die in clashes with security forces. Protesters set fire to cars in several Tunisian cities; security forces respond violently.
(14) Tunisia - Ben Ali finally bows to the protests and flees to Saudi Arabia by way of Malta.
(14) Libya - Gaddafi condemns the Tunisian uprising in a televised address. First reports of unrest in Libya.
(17) Egypt - A man sets fire to himself next to the parliament building in Cairo in protest of economic conditions.
(18) Egypt - Diplomat Mohamed El Baradei warns of a Tunisia-style explosion in Egypt.
(19) Tunisia - Switzerland freezes Ben Ali’s assets.
(24) Yemen - The arrest of 19 opposition activists including Tawakil Karman, the female activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who had called for the ousting of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
(24) Tunisia - President Sarkozy promises emergency financial aid to the interim government.
(25) Egypt - The first coordinated demonstrations turn Cairo into a war zone as protesters demand the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. In response, mobile and network connections are stopped.
(26) Egypt - As security forces use tear gas and beatings, hundreds are arrested, including foreign journalists. EU leaders condemns the tactics.
(28) Egypt - After four days of protests and 25 deaths, Mubarak makes his first TV appearance, pledging his commitment to democracy. He sacks his government but refuses to step down.
(29) Egypt - The death toll reaches 100.
(30) Egypt - Al Jazeera TV is ordered to stop its reporting of the protests.
(31) Egypt - The army declares itself allied to the protesters.


(01) Egypt - Mubarak declares he won’t run in the next election, but will oversee the transition.
(02) Egypt - Mubarak supporters stage brutal bid to crush Cairo uprising. Using clubs, bats and knives, they start a bloody battle in Tahrir Square.
(10) Egypt - President Obama demands Mubarak presents his path to democracy.
(11) Egypt- Mubarak resigns and hands power to military.
(13) Egypt - Military reject protesters’ demands for a swift transfer of power to a civilian administration.
(15) Egypt - Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency begins tracing the bank account of Mubarak’s cabinet.
(16) Libya- Protests erupt in Benghazi after the arrests of human rights activists.
(17) Bahrain - Four people are killed in an early morning raid by security forces on Pearl Square, the focal point of anti-government protests.
(20) Libya - The death toll passes 230 as Gaddafi’s son addresses Libyan TV defending his father.
(25) Libya - As uprising reaches the heart of Tripoli, protests erupt across Middle East.
(27) Libya - Revolutionaries take control of Zawiyah, 30 miles from Tripoli.
(27) Tunisia - Renewed turmoil as Mohamed Ghannouchi resigns as the prime minister of the post-revolutionary government.


(03) Libya - The International Criminal Court says it will investigate Gaddafi for possible crimes against humanity.
(06) Libya - British diplomatic efforts to reach out to Libyan rebels ends in humiliation after a team of special forces are briefly detained by farm workers.
(06) Saudi Arabia- Authorities ban public protests after demonstrations by minority Shia groups.
(07) Libya - The UN secretary general calls for an end to attacks on civilians.
(08) Yemen - More than 2,000 inmates stage a revolt at a prison in the capital and join calls by anti-government protesters for Saleh to step down.
(09) Libya - Gaddafi warns the imposition of a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace will be met with armed resistance.
(09) Tunisia - Tunisian court rules that the party of former President Ben Ali will be dissolved. The news is followed by street celebrations.
(09) Yemen- Soldiers fire rubber bullets and tear gas at students camped at a university in Sanaa. More than 90 are wounded.
(10) Yemen - Saleh’s pledge to create a parliamentary system of government is rejected by the opposition.
(11) Libya - Sarkozy calls for targeted air strikes against the Libyan regime if Gaddafi's forces use chemical weapons and air strikes against rebel forces.
(14) Libya - The rebel leadership urges Western powers to assassinate Gaddafi and launch military strikes.
(15) Bahrain - Martial law is declared.
(18) Libya - The UN backs a no-fly zone.
(18) Yemen - Government forces fire on protesters in Sanaa - 45 people are killed.
(19) Libya - Operation Odyssey Dawn begins, marking the biggest assault on an Arab regime since the 2003 Iraq invasion.
(23) Libya - Britain, France and the US agree that Nato will take military command of Libya’s no-fly zone.
(26) Syria - The UN urges the government to show restraint.
(26) Libya - The strategic town of Ajdabiya falls to rebels.
(28) Libya - Rebels advance on Sirte, Gaddafi’s home city, recapturing several towns without resistance on the way.
(29) Syria - President Bashar al-Assad sacks his cabinet amid the worst unrest in decades.
(30) Libya - Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa flees to the UK in a fight arranged by British intelligence.


(01) Libya - The Gaddafi regime starts talks with west. Turkey proposes a peace plan.
(09) Syria - Anti-government demonstrations spread across Syria with highest turnout yet. At least 22 are killed in Daraa.
(11) Libya - The revolutionary council rejects a peace initiative because didn’t require Gaddafi to immediately relinquish power.
(15) Libya - Obama signals America’s return to the forefront of the international effort in Libya. In a joint article with Cameron and Sarkozy, he commits to military action until Gaddafi has been removed.
(25) Libya - The government accuses Nato of trying to assassinate Gaddafi after two air strikes in three days hit his premises in Tripoli.
(25) Syria - Tanks are deployed for first time.
(27) Yemen - Security forces fire on an anti-government demonstrations, killing 12.
(28) Syria - Hundreds of ruling Baath party MPs resign in protest as an increasingly bloody crackdown kills 500.


(01) Libya - The British embassy in Tripoli is burnt and other western missions ransacked in retaliation for Nato’s air strike.
(02) Syria - Prominent intellectuals and activists go into hiding.
(08) Libya - Dozens of migrants who boarded a boat in Tripoli were left to die in the Mediterranean after EU military units ignored their cries for help.
(09) Syria - The EU imposes an arms embargo and other sanctions on Syria but does not penalise Assad personally.
(16) Libya - Gaddafi, his son Saif-al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi are named as war crimes suspects by the chief prosecutor for the international criminal court.
(19) Syria - Obama urges Assad to lead the democratic transition, or to resign
(23) Syria - EU sanctions target Assad.
(24) Libya - Nato hits Tripoli in the heaviest bombing raid yet.


(03) Yemen - President Saleh survives an apparent assassination attempt.
(04) Syria - Forces kill at least 100 protesters in two days of bloodshed.
(04) Libya- British army Apache helicopters attack Gaddafi’s troops for the first time.
(05) Syria - Israeli troops clash with protesters on the Syrian border for the second time in three weeks.
(05) Yemen - The US and Britain urge Saudi Arabia to persuade Saleh to formally stand down.


(11) Syria - French embassy guards in Damascus fire live ammunition to disperse Assad loyalists who tried to break in the compound in protest at the envoy’s visit to the opposition stronghold of Hama.
(15) Libya - Rebels win political recognition as the legitimate authority.
(18) Libya - Rebels backed by Nato air strikes fight their way into parts of the government held town of Brega.
(19) Libya - US and Libya hold first direct talks since the beginning of the conflict but don’t reach any agreement.
(21) Libya - Rebels capture chief of operations, General Abdul Nabih Zayid.
(24) Syria - Assad tries to quash dissents before beginning of Ramadan. Troops enter the village of Sarjeh, cutting electricity and water.
(24) Egypt - Strained relations between activists and military rulers worsen after dozens of protesters are attacked during a rally in Cairo.
(25) Syria - The cabinet backs a draft law to allow rival political parties to the ruling Baath party for first time in decades.
(25) Libya - Britain is prepared to agree to a political settlement that would see Gaddafi remain in Libya after relinquishing his hold on power.
(27) Libya - Britain confers diplomatic recognition to the Libyan rebels.
(28) Libya - The rebels’ chief of staff, Abdel Fatah Younis, is killed.


(01) Egypt - The army violently retakes Tahrir square with tanks.
(08) Syria - Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah demands an end to the bloodshed in Syria and recalls his country’s ambassadors.
(09) Syria - Envoys from Turkey, India, Brazil and South Africa head to Damascus to press Assad to end the crackdown.
(11) Syria - Opposition forces say 257 have died in 11 days.
(18) Syria - Human rights investigators list Assad officials who could be prosecuted by the international criminal court. (22) Libya - The capital appears poised to fall as rebels enter Green square.
(26) Libya - In its first Tripoli press conference, the National Transitional Council says its cabinet will be moving from Benghazi to the capital.
(29) Libya - Gaddafi’s wife and their three children cross the border unhindered raising questions about NTC’s control over central Libya.


(02) Syria - EU governments ban imports of Syrian oil and extend sanctions to intensify pressure on Assad.
(08) Libya - Gaddafi issues a defiant message from hiding in which he vows never to leave "the land of his ancestors".
(09) Syria - Eight soldiers are executed in Damascus for refusal to fire on protesters.
(16) Libya - Rebel fighters are involved in heavy fighting in a final battle to capture Sirte.
(21) Syria - Obama condemns torture, detention and murder by the Syrian government and urges the UN Security Council to further sanction Assad’s regime.
(23) Yemen - President Saleh returns unexpectedly after three months recovering in Saudi Arabia from an assassination attempt. He calls for a truce after five days of brutal violence in Sanaa in which 100 protesters die.
(25) Libya - A mass grave containing 1,270 bodies is discovered in Tripoli.
(25) Saudi Arabia- King Abdullah announces cautious reforms, including the right for women to vote and stand for election from 2015.
(25) Yemen - Saleh calls for early elections in his first speech since returning to Yemen.
(27) Egypt - The military regime announces the first parliamentary elections since Mubarak was ousted by opposition groups. Protesters fear remnants of the old regime will stay in power.
(30) Egypt - Thousands rally under the slogan "Reclaiming the Revolution" in cities across the country as frustration grows with the slow pace of reform.
(30) Syria - Hillary Clinton speaks out after US ambassador Robert Ford’s convoy was attacked as he travelled to meet a leading opponent to the regime.


(06) Egypt - Supreme Council of the Armed Forces unveil plans that could see them retain power until 2013.
(07) Syria - Russian president breaks ranks with Assad for the first time since protests started.
(16) Libya - The knocking down of Gaddafi’s Tripoli stronghold seen as erasing a symbol of repression.
(17) Libya - NTC troops raise flags of Libya’s new government after a six-week siege.
(20) Libya - Cornered by government forces and pinned down by Nato airstrikes, Gaddafi is found and killed.
(33) Libya - Libyans queue outside refrigerated meat store to confirm that the dictator is really dead.
(23) Libya- The NTC announces the liberation to elated crowds.
(23) Tunisia - Polls open nine months after Tunisians first took the streets.
(25) Libya - Gaddafi's burial alongside his son brings to a close the controversy over the public displaying of his body.
(27) Libya - The NTC questions its earlier assertion that Gaddafi died in crossfire and pledges justice for anyone proven to have fired the lethal shot.
(29) Syria - Arab ministers send their strongest message yet calling for an end to civilian killings after latest shooting at post-Friday prayer protests.
(30) Syria - Assad warns that intervention could lead to another Afghanistan as Nato officials says Libya-like action lacks support.
(31) Libya - UN secretary general rules out intervention in Syria.


(02) Egypt - The generals announce a pardon for 334 prison inmates.
(03) Egypt - Activists claim their revolution is under attack and appeal for solidarity from the worldwide Occupy Movement.
(12) Syria - The Arab League agrees to exclude Syria and impose sanctions over its failure to end the violent crackdown.
(13) Syria - Saudi, Qatari, French and Turkish embassies are stormed by pro-Assad supporters as the regime demands an emergency Arab League meeting.
(13) Egypt - Violence escalates as protests against the ruling military junta spreads beyond Cairo and Alexandria.
(14) Syria - Pressure mounts on an increasingly isolated Syrian President as King Abdullah says he "should go".
(15) Syria - Human rights groups say that up to 140 people have been killed since The Arab League voted to suspend Syrian membership.
(19) Libya- Celebrations erupt as Gaddafi’s fugitive son Saif is detained while attempting to flee to Niger.
(19) Egypt - Security forces open fire on thousands of anti-junta protesters in Tahrir Square leaving two dead and more than 600 injured.
(20) Libya - All leading figures from Gaddafi regime have been killed, captured or driven into exile with Abdullah al-Senussi’s detention.
(21) Egypt - The interim government bows to growing pressure as violence leaves 33 dead and more than 2,000 injured.
(22) Tunisia - The constituent assembly, the first newly elected body to emerge from the Arab Spring, meets for the first time.
(22) Libya - The international criminal court’s chief prosecutor says Saif al-Islam could be tried in Libya rather than at the Hague.
(23) Yemen - Agreement for an immediate transfer of power pledges immunity for Saleh and his family.
(25) Egypt - The US calls for civilian rule to immediately follow parliamentary elections.
(27) Syria- Assad’s decision to refuse access to observers leaves Syria facing stiff sanctions from The Arab League.
(29) Egypt - Egyptians vote in record numbers in the country’s first free ballot for more than 80 years.
(30) Egypt - The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party looks on course to be the biggest winner after the first round of voting.
Around 80 are injured in Tahrir Square after clashes brake out after polls closed.
(30) Syria - Turkey freezes assets of those involved in the government crackdown.


(01) Egypt - The announcement of Egypt’s election results is delayed.
(01) Syria - The UN high commissioner for human rights says the death toll has reached more than 4,000.
(01) Yemen - The political opposition and the party of the outgoing President Saleh agree to makeup of an interim government.
(02) Syria - A series of large protests call for the international community to establish buffer zones to protect civilians.
(05) Syria - The Assad regime says it is willing to sign an Arab League protocol to send international observers into Syria but only on certain conditions.
(05) Egypt - Egyptians go to the poll once more in the run-off contests for parliamentary seats. No party attracted more than 50% in the previous week’s vote.
(06) Syria - The US ambassador, who was withdrawn from Damascus for his own safety, is retuning to Syria. Hillary Clinton meets Syrian opposition leaders.
(06) Libya - The government vows to disarm Tripoli.
(07) Syria - Assad attempts to distance himself from the army in an interview from ABC news.
(07) Egypt - A new government is sworn in by Kamal Ganzouri, who was appointed prime minister by the military rulers.
(08) Libya - The government gives the green light for British police to visit the country to conduct an investigation into the Lockerbie bombing and the assassination of PC Yvonne Fletcher.
(09) Syria - More than 5,000 dead since uprising began.