Protesters in Bahrain continue to occupy the capital’s Pearl Square in their bid to force political change in the kingdom.
Their numbers swelled after Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Sheik Salman Bin Hamad al Khalifa, ordered troops and armoured vehicles to withdraw and offered to lead a national day of mourning after days of unrest have left seven dead.
The prince has been charged with the task of talking to the opposition. “I am sure that we are all for reforms. But we are all human beings and we must have a dialogue and we can make it work.”
But opposition groups who met on Sunday to discuss their demands insist there must be concessions made before they will enter into talks with the Gulf state’s monarchy.
Although Shi’ite Muslims account for 70 percent of the population, they are ruled by a Sunni royal family and are a minority in Bahrain’s 40-seat parliament. This coupled with discrimination from top jobs and housing has fuelled widespread discontent.