Bahrain king calls for national unity

November 21, 2011

King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa has called for preserving national unity and reinforcing it as a major tenet and achievement in Bahrain.

The country needs to boost the citizenship spirit and avoid acts or words that could undermine national unity, the king said as he chaired the government’s weekly session, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said.

The King’s stress on national unity came as Bahrain is going through special times with a high-profile international commission delivering on Wednesday its highly anticipated report about the incidents that hit the country in February and March and their consequences.

The report by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry is expected to highlight all the alleged human rights violations during the unrest.

The country also witnessed on Saturday evening clashes between two sectarian factions in which two people were injured and four cars were damaged. The incident at a café in Eisa Town, one of the major mixed-sect towns, raised concerns about the renewal of the bitter street standoffs that hit the country in March.

Earlier on Saturday, a teenager was killed after he was struck by a police car in Juffair, a village in the outskirts of the capital, Manama.

The victim’s family said that he was killed after the police car chased him and other protestors. However, the police said that the accident, at around 1 am, was not deliberate and that the car swerved out of control as a result of the oil poured on the road by protestors and struck him.

Protestors have been blocking major highways and roads in the morning rush hours by pouring oil on them and using steel chains.

In a separate incident, a woman was seriously seriously injured by an iron rod hurled by protestors, the police said.

On Friday evening, the windows of a 24-hour market in Busaiteen on the island of Muharraq, Bahrain’s second largest island, were smashed after youth hurled stones at them.

The action, a repeat of past attacks on the same shop, was seen as an attempt to force the owner to move out of the area.

However, it is, alongside the other violent actions over the weekend, an indication of the social tension gripping the nation.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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