March 2011 Current Events: World News

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Here are the key events in world news for the month of March 2011.

  • Egyptian Protestors Demand Faster Change and Accountability (March 6): Newly appointed Prime Minister Essam Sharaf addresses tens of thousands of protestors in Tahrir Square, where demonstrators press for faster and more substantive changes. The former interior minister, Habib el-Adly, pleads not guilty to corruption charges. A series of fires break out in government security and financial investigation offices angering protestors who suspect that senior officials are trying to destroy evidence that will implicate more of them in corruption and human rights abuses.

  • Upheaval Continues in Libya (March 7): Government warplanes repeatedly bomb rebel positions near an oil refinery in the coastal city of Ras Lanuf, seeking to drive them back to the east, as the country's slide into civil war continues. In Tripoli, government supporters celebrate after state television falsely reports that Col. Qaddafi's forces had regained the entire country.

  • Yemen President Rejects Proposal to Step Down (March 7): President Ali Abdullah Saleh rejects the political opposition's proposal that he step down by the end of the year, calling it undemocratic and unconstitutional, the official Saba news agency reports. Saleh calls for a national conference to be held, which is rejected by the opposition.

  • Thousands Protest in Bahrain (March 8): Thousands of Shiite protestors form a human chain around the Manama, the capital of Bahrain while hundreds demonstrate outside the U.S. Embassy in an appeal for support. Opposition leaders vow that they will not be mollified by offers of money and jobs.

  • Interim Government Dissolves State Security Dept. in Tunisia (March 8): The State Security Dept., which had been accused of human rights abuses under the ousted president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, is disbanded by the interim government in Tunisia. The prime minister also names a new cabinet, selecting new leaders for six ministries while retaining ministers in significant agencies like defense, interior, and justice.

  • Bahrain Cracks Down on Demonstrators (March 18): Bahrain brings in troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to crack down against peaceful protestors clamoring for reform. The government also tears down the monument in Pearl Square, the site of many protests. The 300-foot sculpture, a stone pearl held by six sweeping arches, is seen by protestors as the defining monument of the protest movement. The official Bahrain News Agency reports the change as a "face-lift" to "boost the flow of traffic."

  • No-Fly Zone is Imposed in Libya (March 19): American and European forces unleash warplanes and missiles, striking against the government of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi in a mission to impose a UN-sanctioned no-fly zone. The goals of the no-fly zone are to keep Col. Qaddafi from using air power against rebel forces and to prevent a massacre in Libya. French warplanes begin the campaign. U.S. forces knock out air defense systems as well as missile, radar, and communication centers around Tripoli, Misurata, and Surt. NATO plans to take over the operation and enforce the no-fly zone.

  • Military Kill Protestors in Syria (March 25): Troops open fire in the southern part of Syria after tens of thousands take to the streets in peaceful protests around the nation. At least twenty demonstrators are killed.

  • Cabinet Resigns in Syria (March 29): President Bashar al-Assad accepts the resignation of his cabinet. The cabinet resignation reflects a rare responsiveness to public pressure by the Syrian government. Meanwhile, in the capital, government supporters take to the streets in an effort to counter the ongoing pro-democracy protests in several cities.

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2011 Current Events

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