Arab Spring falls into Summer


Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said it would boycott a key rally critical of military rulers last Friday, accusing the organizers of seeking to divide the nation after ousting Hosni Mubarak. The rally’s organizers — an array of youth groups and reformists — called for a return to Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday for a protest billed as “the second revolution of anger,” to nudge Egypt’s new military rulers toward faster democratic reforms.

A Brotherhood statement says the protest calls “drive a wedge” between the people and the army. While the movement wants Egypt’s military to speed up the pace of democratic transformation, some liberal groups are calling for planned parliamentary elections, now set for September, to be pushed back so that they will have more time to prepare.


The Syrian opposition called on the nation’s army to join the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime, saying regime elements are targeting protesters and troops.The call appears to be an effort to break a stalemate after nearly 10 weeks of protests.

During the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the armed forces broke with the regimes and sided with the protesters. Human rights groups say the government’s crackdown on dissent has killed more than 1,000 people, including dozens of soldiers. Many activists in Syria have been opting for nighttime protests, aiming for a time when the security presence has thinned out.


Libya’s government pushed a cease-fire proposal last week and said for the first time it is prepared to speak with its adversaries, signaling that months of fighting and NATO bombardment may be closer to forcing some concessions.

Even so, the government insists Gadhafi would not relinquish power, which he has held for more than 40 years. His departure is a key demand of the United States, European leaders and the rebels, who say they will not halt more than three months of fighting until Gadhafi goes. The international community has stepped up airstrikes and diplomatic efforts against the regime in a bid to break the stalemate.


Fighting spilled across Yemen’s capital, and frightened residents fled or cowered in basements as a powerful militia alliance warned embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh to either step down or face civil war. At least 28 people were killed as the four-day death toll neared 110 on Friday.

The bold ultimatum reflects the growing confidence among the oppositional forces who believe they could be gaining the upper hand against Saleh’s regime with the uprising shifting from near daily street protests to fast-moving urban combat. 


Compiled by Michael Corio