October 25, 2011

Arab Spring Update

A look at the latest from Tunisia, Syria and Libya.

Adriana: First up, we are heading to the country of Tunisia, the first to have protests. And it is where the Arab Spring sprang to life. History was made this weekend. Millions of Tunisians waited hours on lines to vote in their country’s first free elections since their independence in 1956. Until this year, Tunisia was ruled by longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Next up, we are heading to the country of Yemen. Here, deadly fighting has broken out between people fighting for change and the government. Many have lost their lives.

The president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has repeatedly refused to step down. But yesterday marked a big change in his stand. He said he would be willing to talk about a plan from the United Nations that would transfer power. The UN proposal would give President Saleh immunity, that means he couldn’t be charged with any crimes. But many protestors are against that, especially because of the violence they say he caused.

Now, we are heading to the country of Syria. Yesterday, U.S. officials announced that the U.S. ambassador, or government representative, has been pulled out of Syria for safety reasons. Protests in Syria began in March. The government has fired back at protestors with a lot of force, and the ambassador has been very critical of the Syrian government.

And last up, we turn to the country of Libya, where they have officially declared they are a free nation, just days after the death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The new government has laid out a two-year plan for the country’s move to a democracy.

There are protests happening in several other countries still. And one thing is for sure across the region, as the Arab Spring turns to fall and winter, it seems change is in the air.

Back to you, Jess.


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