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Arab Spring - 2012 Timeline

Egyptian protestors gather during a rally in support of the Syrian people and against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. (AFP)

By Al Arabiya | 29 Dec 2012

A fire that Mohammed al-Bouazizi ignited two years ago continued to burn for the second year as the battle to break down the old regimes and their associates in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia continued unabated.


*President Bashar al-Assad made his first public speech in months, vowing to quash his opponents with an iron fist and denounced the uprising as a foreign plot.

*Egypt’s de facto leader Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi announced that a decades-old state of emergency would be partially lifted.

*Protests against Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) forced deputy head Abdel Hafiz Ghoga to resign.


*The former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, officially resigned and transferred his powers to his Vice President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Al-Hadi.

*In Libya, clashes between Arab Zawi and African Tebu groups in Al-Kufra, south-east of Libya, killed scores of people.


*Tribal chiefs in the oil-rich eastern part of Libya launched a campaign for autonomy, raising tensions with the National Transitional Council in Triploi.

*Muammar Qaddafi's intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi was arrested Mauritania.


*Thousands of Egyptian Islamist and secular forces packed Cairo's Tahrir Square demanding quicker transfer of power. The protest came after the country’s election commission disqualified 10 presidential candidates, including the top three contenders.


*Egypt witnessed its first free presidential elections decades. Former prime minister Ahmed Shafik and the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Mursi won the first round.

*Syrian regime forces killed more than 100 people, almost half of them were children, in what came to be known as the Houla Massacre.

*In Libya, Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi died.

*In Tunisia, Hundreds of Salafi Islamists clashed with security forces over the selling of alcohol


*An Egyptian court sentenced former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to life in prison. Habib el-Adly, Mubarak's minister of the interior, was also jailed for life but Mubarak's sons Gamal and Alaa were cleared of corruption.

*Former Libyan prime minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi was extradited from Tunisia.

*A Tunisian court sentenced ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to prison.

*The Egyptian people voted in the 2nd round of a presidential run-off election, in which Mohammed Mursi received the most votes.

*Egypt's election commission announced that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi has won Egypt's presidential runoff. Mursi won by a narrow margin over Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. The commission said Mursi took 51.7 percent of the vote versus 48.3 for Shafiq.


*The Syrian regime forces carried massacred 225 people in the Village of Tremseh, near central Hama.

On July 15, the International Committee of the Red Cross officially declared that the Syrian uprising was now a civil war.

*A bombing in Damascus killed many members of President Bashar al-Assad's inner circle, including his brother-in-law, Asef Shawkat.

*The former Vice President of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, died of a heart attack at a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.

*Syrian regime forces and opposition fighters began fighting a battle to capture Syria's largest city, Aleppo. The United Nations reported that more than 200,000 Syrian refugees have now fled the country, ever since the fighting began.


*Libya’s NTC handed power to the General National Congress. The Congress elected Mohammed Magarief as the interim head of state.

*In Tunsia, Former president Ben Ali was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of protesters


*The Free Syrian Army moved its command headquarters from southern Turkey into areas controlled by the armed opposition in northern Syria.

*U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed by suspected al-Qaeda gunmen in Benghazi.


The Free Syrian Army seized control of Maarat al-Numan, a strategic town in the province of Idlib on the highway linking Damascus with Aleppo.

*The FSA had captured the suburb of Douma, the biggest suburb of Damascus.

*Wissam al-Hassan, a the chief of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), was assassinated in a bombing in Beirut.


*President Mursi issued a decree declaring that no judicial body could dissolve the Constituent Assembly, which was writing the draft of the constitution, or revoke his decision to sack the attorney general.

*Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets as a result to protest the decision, which threatened to tear the Egypt part.

* In Libya, a new government led by Ali Zidan is sworn in.


*The Egyptian president announced that a referendum on the new constitution would be held on Dec. 15, 2012.

*On Dec. 8 deepening political crisis forced Mursi to annul his earlier decree.

*On Dec. 15, the first round of the controversial constitutional referendum was held. 57 percent voted for the draft document, amid widespread allegations of vote rigging and irregularities.

*On Dec. 22, the second round of Egypt’s constitutional referendum was held

* Egypt confirms that the controversial new constitution has been approved by nearly 64 percent of the vote.

*On Dec. 25 Egypt's President Mursi signed constitution into law


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