Atlantic Council

MENASource

On Monday, a Tunisian military court announced that two former Ben Ali officials, the former head of presidential security and the former interior minister, would only serve three year sentences. Jalel Boudriga, former chief of Tunisia’s special brigades, had his sentence commuted from ten to three years.

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The passing of author Patrick Seale offers an opportunity to reflect on what has become of the country he loved and whose history he chronicled: Syria. The Struggle for Syria, first published in 1965, was and remains a classic: essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Syria—even, or perhaps especially, the Syria of 2014.

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Yemen’s interior ministry, in an attempt to fill leadership roles, is experimenting with a new way of vetting and promoting officers to senior posts, one not prone to cronyism or other forms of corruption. An evaluation committee has been formed to assess applications. As part of the process, applicants are required to submit an autobiography and a vision for the division or organization that he wants to manage.

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On Sunday, interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinnni resigned after one month, saying gunmen had tried to attack his family. The General National Congress (GNC) will have to recognize Thinni’s resignation. They are scheduled to do so at the next GNC session on Tuesday. Thinni was appointed as interim prime minister in March after former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was voted out of office after he failed to end a standoff with rebels over oil.

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Secretary of State John Kerry's Syria-related testimony of April 9th to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee attracted the attention of many at the Lebanese Army's Fourth Annual Strategic Conference in Beirut.  Kerry confirmed in his testimony that his September 2013 characterization of pending American airstrikes as an "unbelievably small, limited kind of effort" was literally accurate.  As one Lebanese proponent of humanitarian military intervention put it, "I have changed my mind completely.  Thank God President Obama did not strike.  If he had done what Kerry described, the United States would be a laughingstock."

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Philip Gourevitch had the terrible duty to chronicle the spasm of genocidal violence that visited Rwanda twenty years ago. His work captured in intimate detail not only the gruesome action of machetes but also victims’ unheeded appeals for help. In a tragic episode that gave Gourevitch’s book its title, a group of community leaders huddled as the tide of violence approached Mugonero, western Rwanda, and penned a letter seeking protection.

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Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

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The head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen has voiced concern over the deteriorating situation in Amran province due to clashes between Houthi militants and armed tribesmen.

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During the three years of war across the border in Syria, periodic reports have surfaced claiming that the Druze population in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights is inching closer to turning against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Follow the latest news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

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