November 14 to 18, 2011

–          Libyan factions in deadly clashes near Zawiya – BBC – 14/11/2011

Several days of fighting between rival factions near the Libyan coastal city of Zawiya have left at least seven people dead, reports say. The BBC’s Karen Allen in Libya says rival communities have been fighting for an area previously controlled by Gaddafi loyalists. The interim government said the fighting had been resolved. However analysts say the violence raises questions about stability in post-Gaddafi Libya. The country is still awash with weapons and armed groups following the rebellion that led to the collapse of Col Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.

–          Egypt Prepares to Vote: Cynicism, Confusion and Fear of « Remnants » – Time – 15/11/2011

If one thing has surely changed since the February overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, it’s that Egyptians have ushered in a new atmosphere of political expression and debate. Prospective voters, analysts and politicians predict that an unprecedented number of Egyptians will turn out to vote on Nov. 28 when the country makes its first attempt at democracy since Mubarak’s ouster. Analysts say the uncertainty is due in part to the fact that Egypt’s newly modified electoral system is unnecessarily complicated. Egyptians have grown increasingly cynical about the military’s intentions in recent months, amid harsh crackdowns on voices of dissent, including one of the uprising’s most prominent bloggers.

–        Middle East: the acceleration of settlement paralyzed negotiations ( Proche-Orient : l’accélération de la colonisation paralyse les négociations)- Le Monde – 15/11/2011

Les tentatives du Quartette pour créer une atmosphère propice à la reprise des négociations de paix entre Israéliens et Palestiniens « ont échoué », a déclaré mardi le négociateur palestinien Saëb Erakat. Cette déclaration intervient très peu de temps après l’annonce par le ministère israélien du logement de l’accélération de la colonisation à Jérusalem-Est. Des appels d’offres vont être lancés d’ici « un mois ou deux », selon le porte-parole du ministère, pour la construction de plus de 800 nouveaux logements dans deux quartiers de la ville annexée par l’Etat hébreu.

–          Change Square seeks to be genesis for a new Yemen– Al Masry Alyoum – 16/11/2011

Yemen’s is the longest running of the Arab Spring uprisings around the Middle East, now approaching 10 months. During that time, Egypt’s and Tunisia’s presidents have fallen, Libya’s leader has been killed. In Syria, where protests began a month after Yemen, the uprising has turned into a constant bloodbath with a crackdown by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Throughout, Yemen’s protesters have plugged away. Despite repeated attacks by security forces, their tent camp centered at a major Sanaa intersection they dubbed « Change Square » has spread over neighboring streets and grown to some 100,000 people — doubling during weekend protests.

–          Pressure intensifies on Syrian regime – Financial Times – 17/11/2011

Army defectors stepped up their fight against the regime of Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday as international pressure on Damascus increased with France recalling its ambassador and Arab ministers continuing to press Syria to abide by an Arab League deal to end the violence. Rebel troops fired rocket-propelled grenades on an air force intelligence base in the Syrian town of Harasta early on Wednesday morning, according to activists, hours before Arab ministers met in Morocco to confirm measures against the Assad regime for its violent crackdown on an eight-month uprising that has claimed over 3,500 lives.