Bahrain, a Persian Gulf nation that has been the site of pro-democracy protests over recent months, is entering a new, uncertain phase after the collapse of talks between the main Shiite opposition party and the ruling Sunni elite (Associated Press, “Shiite Party in Bahrain Leaves Talks With Rulers,” New York Times, 17 July 2011).
Al Wefaq withdrew from talks with the kingdom’s Sunni rulers, saying that the government was not serious about addressing Shiite demands for greater rights and political freedoms. At least 33 have been killed and many more injured since troops from Saudi Arabia and other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries sent in troops to suppress the protests.
Events in the tiny country, home to the US Fifth Fleet, should be of special interest to Canadians as Canadian-built Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) have been used by the forces suppressing the pro-democracy protests.
Photo by Sara Hassan / Al Jazeera English