Friday,15 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1136, 21 - 27 February 2013
Friday,15 December, 2017
Issue 1136, 21 - 27 February 2013

Ahram Weekly

anniversary of the Bahraini uprising

The second Bahrini uprising
The second Bahrini uprising
Al-Ahram Weekly

THE SECOND anniversary of the Bahraini uprising has given more grounds to already bitter divisions over the country’s future, even as the tiny island kingdom’s political leaders make tentative moves towards reconciliation. All signs of protesting were rewinded, anti-government chants and sectarianism reached a peak with the death of a teenager and a policeman on Friday.
Less than 48 hours later, national dialogue talks had to begin on 10 February between Shia opposition and the Sunni Muslim-dominated government to find a way out of the impasse over Shia demands for more democracy. The Shia-dominated opposition wants a constitutional monarchy and a greater say in the running of the country, including an end to what it says are decades of discrimination against Shia, especially in the security forces. The Bahraini government denies that there is discrimination.  This was the second time the government and opposition groups have attempted to organise a national dialogue. Earlier, the largest democracy group, Wefak, and five other groups, said they are ready to participate in the talks but have called for a constitutional democracy with an elected government rather than one appointed by the king.
Bahrain, home to the United States’ main Middle East military presence and its fifth fleet, lies on a sectarian faultline aggravated by the regional tussle for influence between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.
“So far the statements [the opposition] made after the first session was not positive,” she said. “They keep saying they are not sure they will continue the dialogue. On the other side, they push the violence on the road.” Escalation in street violence over the past week was so flagrant that could mar any possibility to forging a deal that would stop street violence. This time it was different, Bahrainis had seen the use of a widening array of weapons by anti-government protesters including live ammunition. Many roads connecting villages around Manama were closed, while schools for Westerners remained shut for fear of violence, they said.
The Interior Ministry said rioters had blocked a number of roads, and security forces were seeking to restore order.

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