Thursday, January 27, 2011

Uprisings in the Arab World

After a popular uprising toppled the government of Tunisia, it may have only been a matter of time before the frustration with strongman rule in the Arab world boiled over. Now demonstrators in Egypt and Yemen have taken to the streets, in Egypt to demand an end to Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, and in Yemen to protest the government of Ali Abdallah Saleh. Spearheading the protests in both countries are thousands of students and young people who are angry at a lack of economic progress and dictatorial rule. The Egyptian government is employing thousands of police and security forces to control the demonstrations, which have spread from Cairo to Suez, and the situation is extremely tense. Yemen is a new "ground zero" for expanded al Queda operations, and the government there has been cooperating with U.S. efforts to disrupt their activities.

Developments in Egypt and Yemen bear close watching given the strategic importance of these Arab nations. Will it be a failed "Prague spring" moment or will democracy take root in these important Arab countries?

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