Saudi Arabia. The struggle for how Islam is to be
translated into Saudi politics continued throughout the
year. It was particularly troubling at the border with
Yemen, where Shi'ite Muslim rebels protested against what
they experienced as oppression during the Wahhabit regime.
Two people were killed there in February and just as many in
July. In May, the Saudi military was reported to have
campaigned against the rebels inside Yemen.
During the year, trials were also launched against
hundreds of people, most of them Saudi but also a number of
Yemenis, suspected of colluding with the terror network
al-Qaeda. Recruitment to al-Qaeda was estimated to increase
due to widespread unemployment and also through the
unemployment in Yemen which gave al-Qaeda leeway there. In
May, Saudi Arabia pledged $ 3.25 billion in support of the
new Yemeni government. Two Saudi border guards were reported
to have been killed by al-Qaeda in November, and on November
28, a Saudi diplomat and his bodyguard were shot dead in
Yemen's capital Sana.
The Crown Prince, the Prime Minister and also the
Minister of the Interior Nayif, who had taken office in
2011, died in June. In the post of Crown Prince and Prime
Minister, he was succeeded by his half-brother, Prince
Salman. At the powerful post of Interior Minister, the king
first appointed another half-brother, Prince Ahmed, but he
was unexpectedly succeeded in October by a representative of
the younger generation, the deceased Nayif's 53-year-old son
Mohammed ibn Nayif. The appointment was seen as an attempt
by the relatively moderate King Abdullah to keep the most
conservative princes from the core of power.
countryaah, over 50 young women were injured and one was killed in
March when police intervened against female students
demonstrating against abuses at King Khaled University in
the city of Abha.
About 1,000 Nigerian women were arrested in connection
with the pilgrimage to Mecca in September. They were accused
of violating the requirement not to travel without a male
guardian, but most traveled with their spouses. In Nigeria,
married couples often have different surnames.
Swedish Defense Minister Sten Tolgfors resigned on March
29 after Sweden's Radio revealed that the Swedish government
had plans to assist Saudi Arabia with the construction of a
weapons factory there.
Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA received sharp
international criticism in early October after it was
discovered that its Saudi branch had retouched women from
images in the company's furniture catalog.