Unless all sides to the conflict agree to an inclusive dialogue in order to reach meaningful reform, Bahrain is heading for prolonged and costly political stalemate.
01 December 2014
22 Nov parliamentary elections boycotted by opposition. Authorities claimed 51.5% turnout; main opposition al-Wefaq estimated turnout around 30%. Run-off vote held 29 Nov. Govt banned protest rallie ...
Bahrain’s crackdown and Saudi Arabia’s 14 March military intervention could turn a mass movement for democratic reform into an armed conflict while regionalising a genuinely internal political struggle.
A little over four years after Sheikh Hamad bin ’Isa al-Khalifa announced a sweeping reform plan, Bahrain’s fragile liberal experiment is poised to stall, or, worse, unravel. The overlap of political and social conflict with sectarian tensions makes a combustible mix.
The Bahrain Revolt
11 April 2011: In March, after a month of popular protests, the island kingdom of Bahrain called for assistance from its neighbours in the Gulf to defend against an unspecified outside threat. In response, Saudi Arabia and other states dispatched troops and police. Though unspecified, the concern was clear: Bahrain’s Sunni rulers feared Iran’s influence among the country’s majority Shiite population. Joost Hiltermann, Crisis Group’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Program, explains why the Iranian threat is overblown. Listen
17 April 2012
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