Bahrain: GCC Troops to Remain Beyond June

Govt Announces Election to Replace Shi'ite MPs

Speaking today through the nation’s state news agency, Bahrain military commander Sheik Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Khalifa announced that the regime intends to keep some 1,500 GCC troops in the nation for the foreseeable future, despite a promise to end the “emergency rule” on June 1.

Khalifa, who like most of the top officials is a member of the Bahraini royal family, also threatened even more violent crackdowns if the nation’s Shi’ite majority attempted additional protests against the regime.

The “emergency rule” was announced in the wake of the deployment of the GCC troops, and eventually forced all the demonstrators off the streets. Though officials are now terming the situation “under control” there is increasing concern that it will spark a new series of violent uprisings among the even more disaffected Shi’ites of the nation.

In the meantime, the Bahraini government is moving toward an even more Sunni dominated parliament.  The nation’s Justice Minister, Khaled bin Ali al-Khalifa, announced that the nation will hold special elections in September to replace all 18 Shi’ite MPs, who resigned to protest the crackdowns.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.