News / Middle East

Bahrain's King Reshuffles Cabinet as Opposition Protests Continue

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa (File Photo)
Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa (File Photo)

Bahraini King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa has reshuffled his Cabinet in an apparent gesture to opposition activists holding daily protests demanding democratic reforms.

King Hamad named on Saturday new ministers of cabinet affairs, energy, health and housing. All had previously held senior government positions. Bahrain's Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, the king's uncle, also retained the post he has held for four decades.

Bahrain's Shi'ite-led opposition has been demanding the resignation of the whole government, which is dominated by the minority Sunni al-Khalifa family.

Anti-government protesters who have occupied Manama's Pearl Square for days also want the monarchy to transfer powers to an elected government that is representative of the Gulf state's Shi'ite majority. Some protesters say the entire al-Khalifa dynasty must go.

Thousands of protesters marched from Pearl Square to Manama's government and commercial district Saturday, their first foray into the area since they began demonstrating earlier this month.  

Many waved Bahraini flags and chanted, "the people want the fall of the regime" as they walked past government buildings. Police did not intervene.

The protesters later returned to Pearl Square to celebrate the return from exile of senior Shi'ite opposition figure Hassan Mushaima earlier in the day. He received a rapturous welcome accompanied by fireworks.

Mushaima said a dialogue proposed by Bahrain's Sunni rulers is not enough to resolve the crisis, and he accused them of repeatedly breaking their promises.

Mushaima had been on trial in absentia for allegedly plotting against the monarchy since October, until King Hamad pardoned him and 24 co-defendants in the case last Tuesday. Mushaima agreed to return to Bahrain from exile in London after the pardon.

A government crackdown on opposition protests that began February 14 killed seven protesters before the island state's rulers agreed, under pressure from their Western allies, to allow peaceful demonstrations to continue.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid