The rebellions that started in January in the Middle East and North Africa continued through the spring. People complain of poverty, rising food prices, hunger, lack of jobs and housing, and many are demanding that their leader step down. In response, some governments have called in security forces and riot police, that have used live ammunition and tear gas on protesters.

A young protester in Yemen. PHOTO: Saunders

Yemen (pronounced YEH-men)
Months of anti-government protests continue with people demanding that the government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, step down. Since protests started, about 144 protesters have been killed. Countries in the Persian Gulf are negotiating with Saleh to resign.

Egypt (pronounced EE-jipt)
While massive demonstrations led to Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak leaving office in February, the country is now in the control of the military which has not made many changes. In April, tens of thousands of people were in the streets demanding workers’ rights and the end to the torture and jailing of protesters.

Libya (pronounced LIB-ya)
The U.S, British and French intervened militarily in Libya through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a group of countries led by the United States. In April, NATO began dropping bombs on Libya as a way to support rebels and attack the government of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi (pronounced MO-mar al-ga-DA-fee). Libya is a country with great oil resources that are controlled by the Libyan government.